LESS than 5 Kilometers from where I have lived for more than 3 decades in Chennai that was Madras, the cradle of Indian Tennis and home of the Krishnans and the Amrithrajs, I just had to go and FEEL the atmosphere of a global WTA 250 event and take in the breezy beauty of the SDAT Tennis stadium at the Lake Area in Nungambakkam, Chennai’s Midtown hub. I have done this ‘Day Out At’ this event, Chennai’s pride in the global Tennis Tour which has always been hosting only the Men’s ATP 250 till this year. I recall seeing my all time favourite, long-haired Rafa Nadal at Chennai along with the handsome Tommy Robredo and the classy, quiet Carlos Moya….
Now it is the women we have seen and admired at the Grand Slams! Eugenie Bouchard, Nadia Podoroska, Linda Fruhviratova, Alison Riske Amrithraj, Wickmayer, our own Ankita Raina, Karman Kaur Thandi…. quite a marquee list of famous names who have had their moments at the top of the global rankings and main draws at the Grand Slams, some as recently as a month ago at the latest Slam – the US Open ’22!
The Tamilnadu Government and the Sports Authority of Tamilnadu rose well to the occasion allowing the savvy, suave Vijay Amrithraj to have his dream come true by pulling out all the stops in providing a world class ambience that could easily match more than the majority if not the Slams standards.
Yet, it wasn’t more than half full house of die hard fans to take in the feel of a global arena. More than just a few known names, shouldn’t just the national pride of bringing India upto to speed drive more people into watching? Ridiculously low ticket prices, yet only the Tennis playing community at hand?
Loved the carnival atmosphere, tasteful variety of snacking stalls and the impeccably laid out courtside ambience with the massive, elegant floodlight pylons and colourful billboards with the LED screens splashes.
CONGRATULATIONS to the WTA-250 CHENNAI OPEN!
Made me feel proud to be an INDIAN! Don’t just look at the scores or the winners, soak in the Institutional changes in our society!