September 23, 2002
Hindustan Lever Limited, the largest consumer product giant in the country, were the sponsors for the ITF Mens’ Futures event conducted by TNTA at the SDAT Tennis Stadium at Chennai from 2nd -7th September 2002.
The tournament was called Clinic All Clear ITF Men’s Futures Tennis Championship 2002.
The break-up of prize money and points was:
Winner: Rs. 62,114.00, 12 points
Runner Up: Rs. 43,002.00, 8 points
Semifinalist: Rs. 22,934.00, 4 points
Quarter Finalist: Rs. 13,856.00, 2 points
Second Round: Rs. 9,556.00, 1 point
First Round: Rs. 5,614.00, 0 points
Winning Team: Rs. 30,101.00, 12 points
Runner Up: Rs. 15,768.00, 8 points
Semifinalist: Rs. 24,844.00, 4 points
Quarter Finalist: Rs. 34,400.00,1 point
Players from eight countries of the ranking 400 – 1000 on the ATP world ranking list participated in the tournament. Prominent among the players were Viktor Bruthans of Slovakia, Eliran Dooyev of Israel, Ratiwatana Brothers of Thailand and Alexey Ageev of Russia. Representing India were the Davis Cup team-mates Rohan Bopanna, Harsh Mankad, Sunilkumar Sipaeya and the hardcourt National Champion, Vijay Kannan. Slazenger tennis balls were used. The sponsors and organizers left no stone unturned to look after the welfare of the players and the officials. This time indoor games and cable TV facilities were also provided in the players’ lounge.
All the matches were played only in the afternoon and continued under excellent floodlights at the stadium. This was to encourage more spectators to come watch the matches. A crowd of over 300 gathered to witness the finals.
The tournament was an opportunity for Rohan Bopanna to improve his international ranking and he did just the same. He is now the highest ranked Indian on the ATP tour. Though possessing a great serve and abundant talent, he had to struggle to win 3 of the 5 matches, each time dropping the second set. This indicates a slight flaw in his temperament, which if rectified, could make Rohan a real tennis star.
In the finals he faced Harsh Mankad who also played 3 sets in 3 of his 5 matches. Harsh tended to stay on the base line and allowed his opponent to take command of the game in phases in each match. He won an early round match against Alexey Ageev of Russia in the quarterfinals and then defeated Vinod Sridhar in the semifinals. In the finals however, he could not prevent Rohan Bopanna from becoming the Clinic All Clear Champion.
The most excellent match of the tournament was that of Vinod Sridhar Vs Viktor Bruthans in the quarterfinals. Bruthans, a fluent stroke maker strayed up and down in his form and temperament. The climax was at 5-6 down in the final set. Bruthans broke a racquet and the Iranian Chair Umpire, Ali Katebi had no choice but to impose a penalty game against Bruthans. Thus Vinod won the set and the match. Scores 2-6, 6-1, 7-5.
In the doubles event, Rohan Bopanna and Vijay Kannan won a tough first round against Rohan Gajjar and Sunilkumar Sipaeya. They cruised through rest of the matches to become champions and give Rohan a creditable double.
Mr. Mahesh Kanchan, Area Sales Manager, Hindustan Lever Limited gave away the prizes to the winners and runners. Mr. V. Narayanan, President, TNTA presented a memento to the Chief Guest.
TNTA thanks Hindustan Lever Limited for their whole-hearted support for the event.
TNTA also wishes all the players who participated, all the very best for the future.