'Need more top-level tournaments'

'Need more top-level tournaments'

'Need more top-level tournaments'

Former Davis Cup captain Ramesh Krishnan believes more quality international events need to take place in the country to help players improve their standards.

Krishnan, who had reached three Grand Slams quarterfinals in 1980s, said during his time India was a prominent part of the world tennis circuit with competition taking place at the backyard.

“In the winter months you didn’t have much indoor tennis, so a lot of good competition was in India. For 3-4 months in a year you could play good competition and it did not cost a lot of money. Now all the competition has moved to Europe, so Europe is benefiting as everything is happening in their backyard. For an Indian child to compete, he or she has to travel further which gets a lot more expensive. Sooner you can have more competition in your backyard, sooner it will give your children a chance to fine tune themselves,” said Krishan, who was part of the 1987 Davis Cup team that reached the final.

Krishnan was here for the signing of a MoU between All India Tennis Association (AITA) and French Tennis Federation (FFT) at the launch of the 'Rendezvous a Roland Garros', a junior tournament which offers a wild card for the 2015 French Open junior event.

“The French Tennis Federation has a wealth of experience in organising tennis at various level and we can only benefit from such association.”

Krishnan insisted it was time tennis reaches to the smaller centres. “I think tennis is still too much centred on major cities. Cricket has done it successfully by taking it to any corner of the country like Ranchi. Tennis has to learn from that,” he said.

The 53-year-old, who was a junior French and Wimbledon champion, also lobbied for more clay courts in the country. “Clay will always be a major surface. But in India the shift has been a bit too much to hard courts. For Indian conditions clay is better suited. It is lot more easier on body.”

Krishnan was satisfied with the progress of Indian players. “Somdev (Devvarman) was coming nicely till he had a shoulder injury. Yuki (Bhambri) also had some good wins. Sania (Mirza) has been maintaining her form,” he said.

Krishnan also rated Roger Federer to be the best player of all time. “Both Bjorn Borg and Rafael Nadal are outstanding players on clay. But overall, it is Federer.”