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‘Security concern’ leads to 70 foreigners pulling out of ITF tourney

Nearly 70 foreign players have withdrawn from an ITF Women’s Futures tournament because of security concerns

Written by Wajiha Shah | Lucknow | Published: April 20, 2013 2:55:38 am

Nearly 70 foreign players have withdrawn from an ITF Women’s Futures tournament because of security concerns,an official of the Uttar Pradesh Tennis Association (UPTA) said on Friday.

The figure is the highest in terms of withdrawals for an event held by the UPTA,which has been organising similar ITF events for over a decade. The ITF event is scheduled to be held at the Oudh Gymkhana Club in Lucknow from April 22 to 27,while the qualifying rounds will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

Talking to The Indian Express,UPTA treasurer and tournament director JS Kaul said,“This time a total of 102 players have withdrawn from the Lucknow leg of the tournament,out of which about 70 players are foreigners and the rest Indians. While the Indian players who have withdrawn have cited different reasons,the foreign players have mostly cited security concerns.”

Kaul said that the number of foreign players in the qualifying rounds of the tournament had also dipped compared to the previous editions.

“Although the UPTA has been organising ITF tourneys for almost one-and-half decades,this is for the first time that such a large number of withdrawls have taken place. This seems to be a disturbing trend because recently tournaments in other parts of India also have witnessed very few foreign players. Even if we take into account the qualifying rounds,there are only six foreign players which is a low number as earlier upto 40 foreigners was the average,” Kaul added.

Players from 24 countries,including Slovakia,Austria,Belgium,Germany,Great Britain,Japan,Croatia,Italy,China,Russia,Portugal,France and Sweden,among others,have withdrawn from the tournament.

Tournament seedings:

1. Ankita Raina,2. Nidhi Chilmula,3. Prarthana G Thombare,4. Sweta Rana,5. Natasha Palha (all from India),6. Barbara Bonic (Serbia),7. Eetee Maheta (India),8. Emi Mutagguchi (Japan),9. Angelique Svinos (Australia),10. Anushka Bhargava (India).

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