Bangalore Raptors Are a Formidable Team in Champions Tennis League: Vijay Amritraj
Analysing the team, Vijay Amritraj said the Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, ranked 14, is an exciting player and Venus Williams has 22 Grand Slam titles, including seven singles, to her credit.
Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj today said that Bangalore Raptors is one of the strongest teams in the Champions Tennis League (CTL), given the "strength and depth in talent".
Analysing the team, Amritraj said the Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, ranked 14, is an exciting player and Venus Williams has 22 Grand Slam titles, including seven singles, to her credit.
"Lopez is the only Spaniard who can play serve and volley rather from just the baseline. He is an exciting player to watch. Venus has won 22 Grand Slam titles which is amazing," Amritraj said.
"Though Thomas Enquist a former top-10 player, he is captain of Swedish Davis Cup team and still competitive. 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."
Amritraj said CTL is complimentary to IPTL, which will do wonders for Asian cities and his league would benefit Indian cities.
"Mahesh's league will do tremendous job for Asian cities. We are completely complimentary to what he is doing. My focus is on Indian cities. I wanted India players to rub shoulders with international players and therefore I had this league on board amidst so many other leagues taking place in other sports," he said.
Unlike IPTL, his league would see the game being played in six Indian cities, Amritraj said adding that the beauty of this league is the participation of top 25 international players.
"What really I like about this is we have top-notch 25 players plus two juniors. For me that's where the meat is," he said.
Asked whether there was any talks with Bhupathi to conduct a league together, Amritraj said he did it approximately four years ago, but his counterpart felt Asia would be better idea to work on.
"I spoke three to four years ago, and I told him what I am going to do. He felt Asia would work better. I thought India would be better. I think the time has come to see international tennis in India and Asia. It is important we have this champions tennis league in India," he added.
Asked whether the league would help India get a player doing well at the Grand Slams singles event. Amritraj said,
"This is meant to truly inspire the kids. If they don't get inspired by hanging out with Venus Williams and (Thomas) Enquist, then they should do something else."
The inaugural edition of the CTL will begin on November 17 with matches in Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Pune and Mumbai over the course of 10 days. The final will take place in Delhi on November 26.