Hyderabad: For the first time in Hyderabad, under the aegis of All India Tennis Association (AITA) and in association with Telangana State Tennis Association, Indian Wheelchair Tennis Tour (IWTT) is organising the Charminar Open 2018. A wheelchair tennis tournament that brings together some of the best wheelchair tennis athletes in the country. As a tribute to the city of Hyderabad, the tournament is named after one of the iconic historical structures of the city.
The tournament will take place from the October 24-27 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at SATS Tennis Complex, LB Stadium, Fateh Maidan, Hyderabad. The tournament is of free entry and people are encouraged to come and watch the grit and determination of India’s best wheelchair tennis players. The matches include Singles and Doubles, Mens’ and Womens’. 30 players from across the country will be battling for the winner’s position. The games are played according to International Tennis Federation Rules and Regulations.
The Tournament’s opening ceremony is on Wednesday at 9.00am. The opening ceremony will be graced by Chief Guest K T Rama Rao and cine actress Samantha Akkineni.
Sunil Jain, Chairman of IWTT & Founder Trustee of Astha on the launch of Charminar Open said “Wheelchair tennis is wonderful medium to allow people with physical disabilities to shed their inhibitions and transform their lives. Also, sports can be very powerful tool for social inclusion. I urge everyone in the city to come and watch the matches cheer the players and be inspired by this unique Sports.
He also said “This tournament is beginning of exciting journey ahead in Hyderabad. We will work to bring wheelchair tennis training program to Telangana with the support of TSTA and others. I request all the people with physical disabilities and their parents to visit the tournament and get first hand experience of this sport.
IWTT is supported by Sania Mirza, Rahul Dravid, Rohan Boppana, Anand Amritraj, Kapil Dev, Reeth Abraham, Charu Sharma, Srinath Prahalad, Jude Felix and Zeeshan Ali. And has Somdev Devvarman as an Advisory Board Member of IWTT.
Although wheelchair tennis was invented in the 70s and all four major Grand Slams have wheelchair tennis integrated into them, in India, there has been no concerted effort to develop the game in a competitive manner.
IWTT aims to enable a vibrant competitive environment for wheelchair tennis in India and encourage a greater level of participation at every level of the game. Indian Wheelchair Tennis Tour (IWTT), is a division of Astha, a registered non-profit organisation working towards empowering differently-abled people.
IWTT was formed in December 2016 to build a competitive environment of the sport in our country and to allow differently-abled people to transform their lives using the power of sport! The aim is to put Indian Wheelchair Tennis on the world map in the next 4 years. The Charminar Open is the 5th tournament of IWTT, earlier 2 tournaments were conducted in Bangalore titled Tabebuia Open and 2 tournaments in Chennai titled Marina Open.
In addition to tournaments IWTT conducts workshop - The First Serve to encourage people with disabilities to take up the sport of wheelchair tennis. IWTT also focuses on top player development by supporting players to participate in international tournaments.