Pune: While the entire country is under coronavirus lockdown, the sporting fraternity in the city is spending time at home and are training indoors, taking care of their health.
Players and sports administrators are looking forward to the period, post the lockdown where they will have to do a lot of planning on how to get ahead with the tournaments which were scheduled.
Sakal Times caught up with Sunder Iyer, Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association Secretary who spoke about how the players are coping and the plans after the lockdown is over.
He said, “The coronavirus lockdown is quite serious, and most of us have been affected and in especially sports I think it has taken a toll on everything and tennis is no different. It has been quite a tough time for all the players.”
“Pune being the hotbed of tennis, a lot of professional players play here. Most of them have been affected. The clubs, gyms, coaching centres are not open. Nobody is allowed to go out. It is really a tough phase for all the tennis players,” Iyer informed.
“I am actually more worried about the entire tennis family, which includes all the coaches, officials, the stringers who are involved in the game. I think it is going to be a big loss for tennis players in Pune and across Maharashtra,” he added.
“There were a lot of tournaments which were scheduled now. The exam season was supposed to be over at the end of March and usually, the new season starts in April and goes on till the rainy season and this is the busiest season for tennis in Maharashtra and in India, a lot of tournaments are held during this time.
“I think it is going to be a big vacuum for the players. We have been asked not to conduct any tournaments at least till the end of April. So one month is just going to be shut off, and I don’t know whether we will be allowed to do any tournaments even after May,” Iyer informed.
When questioned about how will things go post the lockdown, Iyer said “We will have to do a lot of planning and get back to work. There will be a lot of scheduling and a lot of paperwork will be required to plan the new season ahead.”
“Players will be waiting to play tournaments. Unfortunately, no international tournaments can be held until the first week of June. As of now, most international players will need some match practice before they start the new season. We will have to plan accordingly. Juniors obviously will have competitions, but we have no exact details on the dates. Still, we are looking to start the season in May. Pune being the hotbed of tennis, a lot of professional players play here. Most of them have been affected. It is really a tough phase for all the tennis players,” Iyer concluded.