Love (for Tennis) in the Times of Cricket

Sachin Tendulkar and Roger Federer

During a recent sojourn in Bangalore (India), I found myself in the midst of the perfect cricket storm – World Cup 2015 and IPL 2015. Anyone who is into cricket, knows what that means , especially at the Ground Zero of cricket nowadays, where fever grips the nation and spreads into all aspects of the day in the life of the common man, rich man and the poor man.

While enjoying this coming together of the stars in my favor during my trip, I was still yearning to get on the tennis court, feel the tennis ball hitting the racquet, enjoying the camaraderie of the tennis community and competing for a trophy.  Having never played tennis in India during my prime tennis years, I was curious to explore the state of adult competitive/recreational tennis – the nature of the courts, the mettle of the local talent and the passion for the game (will there be people on the courts during India ka Tyohar)!

What I learnt,

  1. True love is same everywhere. The passionate flock to the courts on time, every morning, early in the morning at 6.30 AM because,
    1. That is the only time in the day when the traffic Gods smile
    2. Thanks to the kids school schedule
    3. Make the most of the precious 3 hours in the morning allocated for adults
  2. Indian clay court is a totally different beast.(more on it soon)
  3. Tennis Breakfast Social is a fun concept, especially with Indian food !
  4. Poly strings rule.
  5. Serve is the key to winning.
  6. Lack of Galli Tennis is a handicap. Whereas the contribution of Galli Cricket to Cricket is immeasurable.
  7. Access to courts and cost keeps the masses away. 
  8. Even here rich Dads hold the future of the game in their hands.
  9. Tennis coaches keep it simple and easy to learn for kids and adults with their attentive & practical approach.
  10. TV coverage of Tennis of the Futures, Challenger and ATP Tour are way better  than in the US, eventhough the active playing community may be lesser at junior and adult levels.

In summary, my summer of tennis in India left me asking “Aur Dhikhao ,  Aur Dhikhao, Hindustani Dil Kehta Hai, Aur Dhikhao ,  Aur Dhikhao” !

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