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ITF circuit: Look forward to more tennis tournaments in Bhubaneswar, say emerging stars

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], April 13 (ANI): The newly-inaugurated tennis centre at Kalinga Stadium has left a lasting impression on the participants at the ongoing International Tennis Federation (ITF) Asia U-14 Development Championships 2023 Finals in Bhubaneswar.

A global hub for hockey, having hosted numerous international tournaments including the FIH Men's Hockey World Cup, the Kalinga Sports Complex is rapidly gaining popularity among the elite tennis players from Syria, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and Iran who are in the city to clinch top honours in the prestigious ITF event, as per a press release from Sports Odisha.

Maaya Rajeshwaran Revati, a rising tennis player from Tamil Nadu, put things in perspective as she expressed, "This is the first time I am in Odisha, and the facilities in this new stadium is remarkable. I thoroughly enjoyed playing here, in the state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities. I am hoping they host more such tournaments here. I would like to come back and play here."Speaking about her performance in the tournament, Maaya said, "We are a little weaker in tennis compared to other nations. We are not as aggressive in our game and strong built which makes it challenging for us to stay up with their level, but we will continue to train harder."She further expressed that teamwork has always been their strength. "Since it is the second week and there are four of us--four Indian players--two girls, two boys, and a coach, the training is actually wonderful because we constantly consult each other about how we should prepare and train. Our coach is always there to support us and guide us."Echoing the same thoughts, Natrada Sakulvongtana, a U-14 player from Thailand said, "It is my first time playing in Odisha. It has been a wonderful time here. The facilities provided to us have been amazing. All the facilities here are world-class. I would like to thank the Government of Odisha and the Sports Department for giving us all the facilities so that we could train good and play well."The Bhubaneswar ITF U-14 events are being held in the Kalinga Sports Complex's Tennis Centre under the aegis of the International Tennis Federation and the Asian Tennis Federation. The Tennis Centre was built at a cost of Rs 25 crore and features a gymnasium, players' changing rooms, an auditorium, dignitary rooms, media room, and other amenities, as well as one synthetic centre court with a seating capacity of nearly 1,400 people. (ANI)