Indian tennis star Saket Myneni turned down the playing for India when the played against Pakistan in the Davis Cup. According to him, India needs to come up with a system for the young guns to thrive before thinking about grooming them.
Speaking ahead of the Premier Tennis League, he said, “From the beginning I’ve seen people talk about it but I’ve never seen any action. There should be a base from where players can come up. It should be like a cycle.
All the players who have come up so far have all done it on their own. Everyone has their own stories. Some great stories to listen to but none of them were done in a simple way”. He further added, “Especially for juniors you should be thinking about money.
Sponsorship needs to be brought in to nurture them as future champions. “We are lacking in infrastructure (when) compared to European, US or Australian standards. We still need proper facilities that have everything or facilities at a short distance from each other.
Most foreign countries have all of it in close proximity but it’s tough in India due to the population and geography. As a parent it’s difficult to take your kid 15 km one side for something and then 15 km another side for something else.
It’s just a barrier that we have and we need to find solutions to it. I won’t say it is anybody’s fault but it has to be done the right way,” he said. Myneni further spoke about the lack of sporting culture in the country which needs to be developed.
“Take inputs from players who have done it before. Because we go to the US and we see the sports culture there, I don’t think we have anything close to it here. Again, I have heard a lot of talk in terms of that but the backing up part is never the same thing,” he said.
He lamented the fact that off-court issues have grabbed headlines whereas results of Indian tennis stars have come under the shadow. “Sumit (Nagal) has done fantastic this year, so has Prajnesh (Gunneswaran). Yuki (Bhambri) has done it before.
The results have to speak more than the other things,” he said. “I know that the Davis Cup is big, we are playing it only three times a year. But we didn’t need the unnecessary off-court issues. Focus should be more on what happens in the match,” he added.
Speaking about his plans for the upcoming season. “I have nothing till mid-January as of now. I’ll do some off-season and am planning on playing a challenger in January before the Indian challenger comes in February.
My ranking went down so I won’t be able to compete in the Australian Open. So my off season starts next week,” he said.