CTL is designed for India: Vijay Amritraj

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From left: Vijay Amritraj, Inga Chandilya, Mittu Chandilya unveil the Bangalore Raptors jersey
Bangalore, Oct 28: Bangalore Raptors, one of the six franchises participating in next month's Champions Tennis League (CTL), Tuesday unveiled the team colours and logo with CTL promoter Vijay Amritraj presiding along with owners Mittu and Inga Chandilya.

Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, ranked 14, and multiple Grand Slam winner Venus Williams will headline the star cast of Raptors with young Ramkumar Ramanathan and former World No.4 Thomas Enquist completing the roster.

Amritraj stressed that the CTL was about providing exposure to young Indian players who will have the opportunity to rub shoulders with the world's leading stars over a 10-day period.

"CTL is designed for India and the important factor is that each of the six franchises will have two juniors who will have the unique opportunity to spend time with the top players," said Amritraj when asked how different will CTL be from Mahesh Bhupathi's International Tennis Premier League (ITPL) that has attracted the world's best players like Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Serena Williams.

Amritraj's venture has the blessings of the All India Tennis Association (AITA) and is scheduled for Nov 17-26.

Amritraj opined that Raptors are one of the strongest in CTL and would be the side to watch, given the strength and depth in talent.

"Lopez is ranked 14th and is the only Spaniard who can play serve and volley, rather from just the baseline. Though he is 33, he is an exciting player to watch. Venus has won 22 Grand Slam titles which in itself is amazing. She and her sister Serena took tennis to new heights," said Amritraj in analysing the Raptors squad.

"Enquist is a former top-10 player is very much part of the seniors tour. He is still very competitive and the captain of the Swedish Davis Cup team. As for Ramkumar, he is just 19 and reminds me of myself when I was that age. He has had some good results recently but needs to work on his physique."

Talking about Raptors, owner Mittu Chandilya, CEO of Air Asia, said he still has a lot of passion for tennis which he started playing when young and was coached by Ramesh Krishnan.

"I started playing tennis when I was just six and later, as a junior, I was coached by the legendary Ramesh Krishnan. I obviously have a lot of passion for tennis and one of the prime reasons that I joined the league," said Chandilya.

IANS

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