Bengaluru, Nov 29: For the first time in India, the Indian Wheelchair Tennis Tour (IWTT) launch the All India Tennis Association (AITA) approved Tabebuia Open, a wheelchair tennis tournament that brings together some of the best wheelchair tennis athletes in the country.
The special tournament gets its name from the Tabebuia, a vibrant flower that blooms across the city of Bengaluru during winter.
The tournament will take place from 2 to 4 December 2016 at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA), Cubbon Park.
Entry to the Tabebuia Open is free on all days of the tournament. So you can head over to KSLTA, Cubbon Park from 2 to 4 December 2016 to witness a unique and inspiring battle to the top with some of the finest wheelchair tennis players in the country.
Wheelchair tennis is a sport for athletes with permanent physical disabilities of one or both upper or lower extremities (As per ITF Rules and Regulations) bodies.
The players use specifically designed wheelchairs to play this sport, which is slowly and steadily growing in our country.
If tennis excites you, then these athletes will definitely inspire you with their passion for the game and determination to be the best.
The tournament will witness participation from 40 wheelchair tennis players from across the country who will go head to head in both Singles and Doubles during the elimination rounds vying to make it to the finals on 4 December 2016.
All matches of the tournament are scheduled to take place from 9:00am to 4:30pm.
Sharing his thoughts on the sport at the launch event, Rohan Bopanna, US Open Runner-Up, 2010 and Davis Cup member, India said: "It is very exciting to see Wheelchair Tennis developing in India. I wish all of the players competing in the tournament the very best of luck.
"Competition is the way for their excellence and for the sport to thrive! Congratulations to IWTT for beginning a new chapter for Wheelchair Tennis in India."
Jordanne Whiley, the youngest person in a wheelchair to play tennis began her journey with the game at the age of three.
She is now ranked No. 1 in Great Britain and No. 4 globally with wins at the Paralympic games, the World Cups and won her first ever Grand Slam singles title at US Open in 2015.
Commenting on the Tabebuia Open, Jordanne said: "I am so delighted to hear that wheelchair tennis is being promoted in India.
"Tennis is such a wonderful sport and it opens so many career and social opportunities. I started playing when I was three years old and I made friends in my development group who I am still friends with now and we travel the tour together.
"It is so important try new things because you never know where it might lead. I really hope tennis can give to the people in India what it has given to me over the many years."
As part of their initiative to promote wheelchair tennis, IWTT has designed a two-hour workshop to introduce children with physical disabilities to adapted sports in general and wheelchair tennis in particular.
The first workshop is curated by Sunil Jain and Sripadmini and is scheduled to take place on December 3 from 11 AM to 1 PM at KSLTA Stadium, Cubbon Park.