4-time Grand Slam Champion Mary Pierce was left impressed by the displays of the 16 Junior players battling it out at the Roland-Garros Junior Wild Card Series. The second day of the tournament saw a few nail-biting games as the players fought hard to reach the finals and grab the coveted spots.
Top-seed Dev V Javia registered yet another clinical win as he defeated Nitin Singh 6-2, 6-1, to set up a final showdown with Chirag Duhan. 3rd-seed Duhan also cruised to the final after winning 6-1, 6-0 against Mohit Bondree. In the Girls’ Semi-Finals, the unseeded players put on spirited performances to knock out the two top seeds. Vaishnavi Adkar played out of her skin to make a memorable comeback and defeat 2nd-seed Akanksha Nitture 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, while Sanjana Sirimalla defeated top seed Reshma Maruri in straight sets 6-4, 7-5.
The finals will take place tomorrow and the two winners will then travel to Paris to play against their counterparts from Mexico, Brazil and China, in a bid to qualify for the main draw of the Junior Roland-Garros Championships. The tournament’s brand ambassador Mary Pierce was on the side-lines watching the day’s events unfold.
“I am delighted to be back in India, watching the junior stars of Indian tennis in action. I know from personal experience the crucial role Junior tennis plays in improving the game of budding players and laying a solid foundation for their careers. I am quite impressed by the standard of the game I have seen so far. This reaffirms my belief that India has real potential to be a tennis power-house in the future”, says Pierce.
The Roland-Garros Junior Wild Card Series by OPPO, is jointly organized by the All India Tennis Association (AITA) and the French Tennis Federation (FFT) organisers of Roland-Garros, the world’s premier clay court tournament. It is a testament to the collaborative efforts by both organisations to promote the game, particularly clay-court tennis, at the grassroots level in India.
“Exposure of playing on clay is vital for well-rounded development of budding players. Hence, we are proud to bring this competition to India for its 6th edition and give these talented players a chance to hone their skills. This tournament has also played an important role in growing the popularity of the Roland-Garros Championships across India over the past few years," says Lucas Dubourg head of international development of the FFT.
Echoing this sentiment, AITA President Praveen Mahajan says, “This is arguably the most important tournament on the Junior tennis calendar in India. Our association with Roland Garros has been instrumental in producing many talented Junior players who have gone to do the country proud at the international level. We are confident that this edition will also unearth some promising talent for the future.”
OPPO, a leading global smart device brand, is a Premium Partner of Roland-Garros and the presenting sponsor for this tournament. OPPO shares the same spirit as Roland-Garros, and has been constantly demonstrating its support and dedication to empowering young and talented athletes.
Sumit Walia, Vice President - Product & Marketing, OPPO India, says “The Roland-Garros Junior Wild Card series embodies OPPO’s brand values of prioritizing innovation and design in our products. It gives young players a chance to innovate, adapt and showcase their talent at a global level. This competition highlights OPPO’s youthful brand ethos and underlines our commitment to associate with sports that resonate with a young audience.”