Thursday, February 23, 2017

Former coach Enrico Piperno rues govt apathy in Indian tennis

Enrico Piperno

Bengaluru: India’s former Davis Cup and Fed Cup coach Enrico Piperno feels it’s nearly impossible for the country’s tennis players to make the world’s top-50 as there is neither funding nor infrastructure to produce bankable talent.

“It is almost impossible now, the closest being Somdev (Devvarman), who was ranked 62nd. The reason is, where is the support, where is the funding? Where is the infrastructure in place? Where are the kids to bank on,” said Piperno while announcing the launch of a sports management programme in collaboration with the Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Institute for Management Development and the Centre of Sports and Management Studies.

“I am based in Kolkata. Imagine, in the month of April. How much can I make it, my training and practice? There is no indoor facility. There is no weather control facility. Everything is done outdoors. How much can you do,” he asked.

“Just compare the way it’s taken in Australia and see what we have in Patiala, the 1960s kind of systems. You can’t blame the athletes. The government is still in the belief that the travel ticket in Air India means everything that is required to promote sports,” he said.

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