Kolkata: Tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi, also the head of his own sports management firm, is bringing the first WTA Ladies event to India. It will take place in Kolkata in September 2005 and the prize money will be $170 thousand. While, Bhupathi won't name names, come September, Kolkata will be host to the creamy layer of international women's tennis. "We'll either get one top-10 player or three players in the top 20. With 10 months to go, it is too early to comment on the names," said Bhupathi, also MD of GloboSport. "The girls usually make their schedules just two months ahead. But we have started talks with a bunch of different players," he added. Govt backing The event will be held at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, where renovation will begin virtually from scratch. And the state government does not plan to spare any expense. "The indoor stadium is wood based. On top of that, a carpet will be laid. The carpet has to be imported either from Spain or Italy," said Jaideep Mukherjea, former Davis Cup captain. "The way the Kolkata government has come behind the event, the Sunfeast Open will put Kolkata on the tennis map and give it an image makeover," claimed Hemant Malik, ITC foods. Not only would the even be good for Kolkata it will also give a boss to India's women tennis stars like Sania Mirza and Shikha Uberoi. For them the tournament will be their highest-profile event on home ground.
Topics : Tennis