Road to Wimbledon Tournament director Paul Hutchins is back in Delhi for the Road to Wimbledon in India 2015 Masters event, supported by HSBC
Monday saw the start of the Road to Wimbledon Junior Masters supported by HSBC where 16 boys and 16 girls who have qualified on the points table after competing in the qualifying Road to Wimbledon events in January and February.
14 & under events were run in Calcutta, Mumbai, Delhi and Chandigarh with the Masters taking place at the RK Khanna tennis centre in Delhi where the All India Tennis Association HQ is based.
The centre has 14 courts including a centre court for 4,500 where many great Davis Cup matches have been played in the past and also the venue in 2010 of the Commonwealth Games. The players stay onsite in AITA accommodation.
The Masters start with a round robin of four groups of four with the top two going through to the quarter-final knock out draw. The two boys and two girls finalists win a trip to play in our HSBC Road to Wimbledon National Finals during the week of 10 August on grass on the All England Club Wimbledon courts.
The standard is good and a number of the boys and girls I saw at the Calcutta and Chandigarh events earlier in the year. Some would like to play full-time tennis and are ambitious to learn and politeness, respect and seemingly good attitudes are plentiful.
Also today the Wimbledon Foundation (the charity of the All England Club) launched an initiative with Magic Bus, a well-respected international charity.
It was last year when I visited one of the many marginal communities in Delhi to see the work Magic Bus does with so many juniors across India and for the first time we are linking tennis into the Magic Bus social sports development programmes.
Dan Bloxham and former India Davis Cup player Vishal Uppal did a great Wimbledon Foundation Magic Bus clinic with 50 juniors from one of the selected schools where tennis is being integrated into their program of activities (pictured above).
Also Dan & Vishal did an advanced clinic for the Road to Wimbledon juniors ending with an unusual rain storm!
Tomorrow HSBC Ambassadors Tim Henman & Goran Ivanisevic arrive and will be marshalled straight into some coach education sessions followed by a clinic for the Masters juniors.
Thursday and Friday also jam-packed with activity before the Masters Finals on Saturday.
Quite a week coming up!
Bye for now and more tomorrow.