Tournament Director Paul Hutchins is blogging from India as the first qualifying events for the Road to Wimbledon in India 2015, supported by HSBC, begin in Kolkata...
First day of main draw was really good to see on grass at the historic South Club in Kolkata. The club are so proud of their grass courts and even call themselves "the Wimbledon of the East". Past great Davis Cup matches and the world’s top players of the recent eras have played on their courts. The same ground staff have been here for family generations. Grass court maintenance is in their proud DNA.
However with less grass now in India it is Kolkata South Club and next week’s Road to Wimbledon in Chandigarh where we are taking tennis back to grass with so far every junior I have spoken to loving the experience and parents so impressed with the novelty of their children being involved.
Traditions remain here in the South Club. All matches have umpires and ball kids and the organisation is really good from some officials who have been involved in tennis for decades.
Tomorrow sees us host the local media with clinics planned for Dan Bloxham from Wednesday and the ‘star attraction’ HSBC Ambassador Tim Henman arriving Sunday ready to grace his playing style on grass with the finalists.
Coach education involvement with 40 coaches during the week. The South Club have 15 coaches and the Bengal Tennis Association academy 28 coaches at one venue!
After all, there are 22 million people in Kolkata!
Find out more about the HSBC Road to Wimbledon.