The Marina Open is back! The second edition of this Wheelchair Tennis Tournament is ready to flag off at SDAT stadium in Chennai from 1st August 2018. This annual tournament is affiliated under All India Tennis Association (AITA) and players registered under AITA can only participate in this event.
The 1st Marina Open took place in August, 2017 in Chennai where 30 men and 6 women players participated. The tournament was inaugurated by Tennis legend Ramesh Krishnan. In the Men’s final, Balachander of Chennai defeated Shekar Veeraswamy by 6/4, 6/7, 6/0 whereas in the Women’s final, Nalani Buob defeated Prathima Rao 6-0 6-0 to win the title.
The final was graced by veteran Tennis player Anand Amritraj and former player Somdev Devvarman. Both the Men’s Singles and Doubles match went for almost 3 hours. The Singles Final was even stopped in between due to rain and the matches were resumed under the flood lights.
To take forward the success of the first edition of Marina Open, Astha- the organization instrumental in creating the Indian Wheelchair Tennis Tournament (IWTT)- is organizing the second edition of this fun-filled tournament. IWTT was created to provide a platform for the development of Wheelchair Tennis which is one of the most thriving Paralympic sport.
Astha launched IWTT in December 2016 with the Tabebuia Open in Bengaluru. It was India’s first AITA ranked tournament. The second edition was conducted in December 2017 which will be followed by the third edition in December 2018. Apart from Tabebuia Open and Marina Open, Astha is planning to include a third tournament in IWTT – the Charminar Open in Hyderabad in October.
Since its launch, IWTT has helped to provide a platform for Wheelchair Tennis players to compete and prepare for international exposure. These tournaments are helping seasoned players to widen their base and also act as an access point for young players.
As preparation for the Tour in 2019, Astha has planned a one-week, residential National Workshop for the top twenty players. The organisation is also in conversation with AITA to bring ITF Future Series tournaments in India in 2019.