Tennis India needs more ITF stuff: Ankita Raina | Whuff News

Ankita Raina, India’s number one tennis player for the past decade, said it was an exciting time to play her first WTA 250 match in her country at the Chennai Open .

But he wants to hold more matches of ITF levels 25 and above here so that the Indian players can improve their ranking without the hassle of traveling abroad and compete more in the WTA 250 rankings.

“Playing a WTA 250 tournament at home motivates the players to play at the highest level. Any big tournament in India has that effect,” he told The Bridge.

This year’s WTA 250 Chennai Open is the biggest women’s tennis tournament hosted in India since the WTA was reorganized in 2009. The 2008 Bangalore Open was the last major women’s tournament here – which the 26-year-old won. Serena Williams, who defeated Patty Schnyder in the final.

This year, two Indians in the Chennai Open – Ankita Raina and Karman Thandi – were knocked out in the first and second rounds. Raina was unlucky when she met Germany’s Tatjana Maria, the 2022 Wimbledon semifinalist, in the first round itself.

Raina, who is currently ranked 297 in the world, said that India should focus on hosting more ITF events so that an Indian can become a future prospect to win at a higher level.

“But we need more ITF 25, ITF 60 level matches to be held here. There should be about 16 such events in the annual calendar. It will help our players to build their level up to on the top 300, after they can have the opportunity to play in the WTA, not only will the travel costs of the players be reduced but the travel fatigue, playing and family situations make a difference,” he said.

There are five ITF events in India this year. Only one of them was at ITK 25 level or higher – in Navi Mumbai in January 2022. Last year, there were two ITF 25K events, both in Pune.

According to Raina, the difference in competition is not much different at the top ITF rankings than at the WTA 250 rankings. If Indians perform regularly in ITF tournaments, they can be a strong force at the higher levels, he said.

“The level of competition is the same between the WTA 250 and the ITF over 25. It is very useful to keep doing WTA events but to be able to play those events we always need more ITF. in the WTA 250 ranking,” she said.

(As told to Vijay Krishnamurthy)

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