Mission 2018 aims to instil in player love for tennis: Bhupathi

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Ahmedabad, Nov 30 (UNI) Asserting that Apollo Tyres Mission 2018 Challenge 2008 is heading towards its goal, Indian Davis cupper Mahesh Bhupathi today said the mission not only aims to seek out young talent, but wants to instil a love for the game of tennis in every young player.

Bhupathi, who was in the panel of judges, further said Mision 2018 encourages each player to continue to play the game.

''As envisioned, we have found some truly brilliant young talent here. It would be a tough competition at the final selections in Hyderabad.

''Our aim is not just to select a few children but to try and instil in every child a love for the sport of tennis and encourage each one of them to continue to play the game. Mission 2018 is well on its way towards achieving its goal,'' a delighted Bhupathi added.

The second in the series of four selection camps held at the AGETA Tennis Academy for selecting the Second Batch of Apollo Tyres Mission 2018, which concluded here today, picked up nine children.

Eleven were selected from the previous camp in Chandigarh, bringing up a total to 20 children so far for the final selection at Hyderabad.

However, two more camps are yet to go on as per scheduled in Chennai and Hyderabad next month.

''Of the 21 children who are part of the Mission 2018, each one of them have shown exceptional performance over the past year, with two of the older set going on to achieve national and international acclaim.

''Young sensation Kyra Shroff, is currently ranked number two and 15-year-old Saurabh Singh is ranked number six in Indian rankings,'' the tennis icon affirmed.

However, this year, the camps will culminate in Hyderabad on December 21, where the names of the second batch of selected children to have won themselves this exclusive tennis scholarship will be announced.

With a Rs 100 crore corpus, Mission 2018 has been created by Apollo Tyres Ltd, with Mahesh Bhupathi as the consultant and mentor, to nurture Indian tennis talent capable of winning a Singles Grand Slam title for India by the year 2018.

The panel of judges included the tennis icon's father C G K Bhupathi, Prahlad Srinath (former India number two and Davis Cupper), Sandeep Kirtane (India's Davis Cup coach and Arjuna Awardee), Aditya Sachdev (among India's finest coaches) and Tony Beecroft (eminent physiotherapist).

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