Nagpur: Star tennis players including the likes of ‘Swiss Miss’ Martina Hingis and Jelena Jankovic fight it out on tennis arena as Champions League Tennis (CTL) makes its debut in the city come December 3 and 4.
Martina Hingis has been a vital cog in Indian tennis players winning top tournaments including the Grand Slam titles. Hingis, with whom Sania Mirza and Leander Paes won many crowns this year, will be the centre of attraction as a host of international and top young national players descend in the city for the mega event.
The city will witness for the first time a galaxy of stars showcasing their talent at Ramnagar courts run by the Nagpur District Hard Court Tennis Association.
In the second year of the tournament, brain child of Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj, Nagpur has successfully bid for a franchise—Nagpur Orangers.
The six-team tourney with two groups has already started.
In their Group ‘B’ home-leg matches, the Nagpur Orangers play Chennai Warriors on December 3 and will lock horns with Hyderabad Aces the next day.
The city team comprises Alex Corretja (Captain & Legend player, Spain), Feliciano Lopez (International Male player & World No. 19, Spain), Jelena Jankovic (International Women player & Former World No. 1, Serbia), Divij Sharan (Indian Davis Cup team member and doubles expert India).
However, all eyes will be on Hingis, who has won all her four Grand Slam doubles titles with Indians!
In fact, Sania created history with Martina, becoming India’s first women’s doubles Grand Slam winner in London. The duo capped a brilliant year winning as many as eight titles together.
The Indo-Swiss combination of Leander-Martina won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open titles this year to become the first mixed doubles team since 1969 to win three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles in the same year.
With the US Open title, the 42-year-old Paes won his world record ninth Grand Slam mixed doubles title.
Both Sania and Leander were part of the inaugural edition of the CTL but missed this edition. “They had different priorities and commitment this season and thus could not be a part of the CTL,” Amritraj had informed this scribe during his visit to the city few days back.
Martina will play her singles match with Jelena Jankovic and will partner big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic to play Nagpur’s combination of Jankovic and Feliciano Lopez.
Sachin Khare is the owner of Nagpur Orangers while former Indian cricket team manager Rajan Nair is the CEO of the franchise.