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Commonwealth Games hopefuls sweat it out

The Capital is already veering towards the sultry days of extreme summer,but Monday’s high temperature didn’t seem to affect the bunch gathered at the DLTA Complex.

Written by Shreya Chakravertty | New Delhi |
April 14, 2009 12:36:57 am

The Capital is already veering towards the sultry days of extreme summer,but Monday’s high temperature didn’t seem to affect the bunch gathered at the DLTA Complex. With Jaidip Mukherjea watching from the sidelines and Enrico Piperno shouting instructions,the 2010 Commonwealth Games tennis probables seemed intent on getting things right.

Vivek Shokeen,Divij Sharan,Ashutosh Singh,Navdeep Singh,VM Ranjeet,Vishnu Vardhan,Abhijeet Tiwari and Rohan Gajjar are part of the camp,with Mukherjea,Piperno and Arun Kumar providing the expertise. It will be a hectic next few months for this group with training camps and tournaments lined up one after another.

Prior to this,the players had just returned from a 4-week training stint at Nick Bolletieri’s academy in Florida,and the excellent facilities there proved to be an eye-opener. “It’s a world class tennis centre,and the time spent there has done them an immense amount of good,particularly on improving their fitness. They have a hectic 6-8 months ahead but they’re a good bunch of kids,and no complaints so far,” laughs Piperno. “The girls are in the Bolletieri academy right now,and we will have a similar camp like this for them once they return next month. By the end of the year,we will probably start weeding out some players,but it’s too early to decide anything right now,” he adds.

Mukherjea wishes they had started the schedule two years ago preparing for the Games. “They were kept busy in Florida — it was either playing or training in the gym —- but it helped them a lot as they got to play with quality players. Top ATP players like Tommy Haas,Max Mirnyi,Martin Damm were all there too,and seeing players like that sweating it out motivates you a lot,” says the former Davis Cupper.

With two Futures tournaments coming up in Delhi from next week,the players will be hoping to put some of the knowledge gained into practice. “We’ve set them up for a few international tournaments after they’re done with the tournaments here. The more match practice they get,the better it’ll be for their preparations,” says Piperno.

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