Siddhant J Banthia and Malikaa Marathe emerged victorious in the third edition of 'Rendez- Vous' to earn opportunity to compete for a wild card entry into the junior French Open. 16-year-old Banthia outclassed Abhimanyu Vannemreddy 6-1 6-0 in the boys final while 13 year-old-Malikaa cruised past Yubrani Banerjee 6-1, 6-3 in the girls final. They will compete against players from Japan, South Korea, China, Brazil and USA for the wild card entry. India's top U-18 players competed in the Rendez-Vous, a joint initiative by the French Tennis federation (FFT) and All India Tennis Association (AITA). "It gives me immense pleasure to be associated with the tournament where a total of 225 players got the opportunity to participate in the qualifiers which took place in two cities - Kolkata and Pune. Our focus has been on helping the All India Tennis Association in promoting clay court tennis in the country, and I am sure many more players will come out of the region in the future as well," Bernard Giudicelli, FFT President said. Spanish legend Arantxa Sanchez, who conducted tennis clinics for kids during the two-day final, said she witnessed some good talent. "I saw a glimpse of myself when I interacted with the finalists and I am sure they love clay courts as much as I do.
I would like to thank the FFT, AITA and Longines for inviting me for such a great tournament. I would also like to wish all the players the best of luck for the finale in Paris.
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