3 Indian Tennis players take to Twitter seeking assistance - Know Why
Over the past four days, a total of three young tennis stars from India were seen asking for some or the other assistance on the microblogging platform, Twitter.
India has enjoyed decent success in the sport of Tennis at the international level. Over the years, players from the country have earned podium finishes at various global tournaments, including various Grand Slams and the Olympics.
The likes of Leander Paes, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna, and others have turned into household names in the country, thanks to consistent show at the highest level. But, things seem to be far from ideal at the grassroots. Over the past four days, a total of three young tennis stars from the country were seen asking for some or the other assistance on the microblogging platform, Twitter.
It all started on 30th June 2021 when a 17-year-old, Tushar Mittal, from Delhi, put out a tweet tagging Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and Bollywood star Sonu Sood, asking for financial assistance.
Mittal, who was ranked number 8 in India and number 1 in Delhi in the under-16 age group, has various national titles across different age groups to his name. He is also a two time CBSE Nationals finalist in the under-17 category and has been left in a lurch due to his financial condition.
Mittal, in an interaction with The Indian Express, even went on to admit that his ranking in the under-18 category has fallen to 45 due to irregularities in competing at tournaments.
After Tushar Mittal, it was the turn of Riya Bhatia – India number 2 in Women's Singles.
A 23-year-old from Rohtak, Bhatia, took to Twitter and requested the Indian Sports Minister, Kiren Rijiju, to help her get a USA visa for competing in Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tournaments.
Currently ranked world number 364 in Women's Singles and number 387 in doubles, Bhatia has been touted as the one to watch out for by many in the Indian tennis circuit. She has even represented India at the Fed Cup and the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.
Rijiju soon responded to Bhatia's cry for help and assured her that he would follow up with the matter and try to sort it out as soon as possible.
Echoing Riya Bhatia's sentiment was India number 11 in Women's Singles, Jennifer Luikham.
Much like Bhatia, Manipur's Jennifer, too, tagged the country's sports minister and requested him to help her get a visa to the Netherlands which would allow her to compete in WTA tournaments in the country.
What is going wrong?
While it is difficult to pinpoint as to what has been going wrong, it does feel as if the development of Tennis at the grassroots in India has been neglected. The country does boast of a talented bunch of players who have been consistently making it to the main draws of Grand Slams, but there, quite evidently, is a very big gap between them and those below them.
Sportspersons coming out and seeking financial assistance or requesting help regarding visas is nothing new in India - it has happened many times in the past. But with the country now aiming to become a global sporting superpower, such incidents will just hamper India's rise in the world of sports.