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India’s tennis legend Vijay Amritraj was Thursday elected the new president of the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Madras Cricket Club here.
“I’m aware that the expectations will be high. Tennis in the country needs a fillip for a better standard. Our team will do its best to give that fillip. Concrete plans will be firmed up shortly. At this point, I would like to request the support of all in all the endeavours of the Association,” he told reporters after the 96th AGM of TNTA.
Asked what prompted him to take up the responsibility, he said, “I had a wonderful chat with Karti (Chidambaram), (Vijay) Sankar and everyone else. And, there’s this legacy, history, and nostalgia here.”
“It’s the 96th AGM and I’m the 12th president, if I’m not mistaken. Some of the greatest players of the country have come from this State (Tamil Nadu). In 1987, we were fortunate to have all four Davis Cup members from this State. Thus, when approached to consider this (the responsibility), I weighed all the pros and cons, and I think we have a good team,” he added.
He further said, “My father Robert Amritraj was a TNTA council member from 1972-80. So, it’s a very special privilege to take that legacy forward.
I also commend the outgoing administrators for their role in keeping up the promotion of the sport during their tenure.”
Amritraj stressed the importance of focussing on the “next generation of players,” especially school children who might consider taking up a sport to get into good colleges.
Efforts would be made to improve the sport in the districts, he said. The former Davis Cupper, who led India to two finals of the prestigious team tournament, said Indian players had to improve their fitness.
“Fitness, especially of the lower part of the body, is an important aspect. You’ve got to play the 20th ball like you play the 2nd ball. And that’s where we struggle quite a bit. Because, our boys and girls tend to pull the trigger too early in a point.”
The new office-bearers will serve a three-year term until 2021.
The list of office-bearers: President: Vijay Amritraj; Vice presidents: A Vellayan; Karti P Chidambaram; Vijay Sankar; Haresh Ramachandran; Secretary: Prem Kumar Karra; Treasurer: Vivek Reddy.
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