'Kerala Open - 2007', a $25,000/- WTA Professional Circuit Tournament conducted by the Trivandrum Tennis Club got off to a start today. As an active member of the Organising Committee I worked for the success of the tournament. Players from Australia,USA, Europe and Japan joined Indian girls in aiming for the laurels. Trivandrum Tennis Club with nine tennis courts, seven of them clay, and with spectator galleries on two sides of each court is one of the finest tennis facilities in India. This was vouchsafed for by many players and their coaches who came from abroad and expressed surprise at the existence of such excellent infrastructure,lying largely unused. It is unfortunate that these resources were never promoted by the country's tennis associations. Also because the club members preferred to keep it as a very exclusive place with only 200 playing members.
The club signed an agreement with StumpVision, a sports management company based in Bangalore to arrange sponsors for the tournament. It turned out to be a cropper,thanks to a series of tactical errors on the part of the company's executives. The day was saved for us at the eleventh hour by Life Insurance Corporation of India which gave a substantial sum for sponsorship, more because its present Chairman hails from Trivandrum.
The Chief Minister of Kerala, V.S. Achuthanandan inaugarated the tournament, amidst tight security, consequent to a death threat against him, made in the early hours of the morning. However the Club Office as usual botched up things by hiring a sub-standard group to instal and operate the microphones, leading to an electrical short circuit which disrupted the function for a few minutes. This does not behove of a club with illustrious traditions. The people in charge of ceremonies ought to have given more attention to these, though they are minor matters. This is bound to cause us a lot of embarassment, if ever the truth comes out.
Well, I am looking forward to a few days of excellent tennis.