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Never had this kind of depth in Indian tennis: Mahesh Bhupathi

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

non-playing on Tuesday said Indian has an unprecedented depth in its talent pool and it's headed in the right direction.

"The depth we have today we have never had. Prajnesh, Yuki, Ram and many more right behind them are doing well. hasn't had this kind of talent pool before in the men's team," said at a event where 10 young fans of the country were selected as ball kids for in January.

For the first time has three men in the top-150 in the world rankings. Prajnesh Gunneswaran is the highest ranked Indian just outside the top-100 at 104, followed by Ramkumar Ramanathan at 133 and at 137.

"In the women's team, Harman and Ankita have made a nice run in towards the last part of the season. The results are very positive," added.

Ankita Raina, ranked 213 in the world, and world number 218 Karman Thandi won two back-to-back titles recently. They first clinched their career's maiden WTA doubles title in before uniting to win the Pune Open.

Bhupathi also said investment from the corporate sector was required in Indian

"For any sport, creating a culture in comes from corporate support and we have seen that with all the medallist who have been supported by an OGQ or a JSW," he said.

The four-time men's doubles winner also said initiatives like the one taken by help in promoting a tennis culture in the country.

Five kids from and one each from Mumbai, Chandigarh, Haryana, and Lucknow, including four girls, have been selected to represent India as the Kia Ball Kids for 2019.

Bhupathi played a key role in shortlisting 100 boys and girls across the country, before taking up the mantle of mentoring them.

The initiative, brought to India for the first time, witnessed staggering participation, with over 2,000 young tennis enthusiasts from across the country taking part.

The kids selected were selected are: Ankit Pillania (St Thomas School, Bahadurgarh), Jennika Jaison (St Joseph School, Mumbai), (Strawberry Fields High School, Chandigarh), M Varshith Kumar Reddy (St. John's High School, Hyderabad), Naman Mehta (LA Martiniere Boys, Lucknow).

The first set of trials were conducted across four metros -- Bengaluru, Delhi, and They were put through five rounds of tests, including Rolling the Ball, Speed and Agility test, Spider Drill, Throwing the Ball and Communication skills.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 16:55 IST