Third edition of Rendez-vous à Roland-Garros on April 18-19

tennis icon 520 2New Delhi: Aiming to get a wildcard in the French Open junior, 16 promising tennis talents will battle it out in the third edition of the Rendez-vous a Roland-Garros Masters, to be held on April 18 and 19 at the DLTA Sports Complex here, the organisers announced on Wednesday.

Prior to the Masters in April, the tournament will now witness a qualifier round in Pune and Kolkata next month. These qualifiers are integrated into the All India Tennis Association (AITA) calendar and will count towards the participants AITA ranking points basis performance.

Besides, the qualifiers will have the presence of French coaches from Roland Garros to train participants as well as to hold clinics for the local budding talent and tennis enthusiasts.

"The main draw will consist 64 boys and 48 girls. Based on the results, the top 16 boys and girls will qualify for the Masters event in New Delhi to be held on April 18 and 19," the organisers said in a statement.

"The winners of the Indian leg will go on to face the winners from Brazil, South Korea, China, Japan and the United States in the play-offs in Paris and the eventual champions will get a wild card entry to the French Open Junior," the statement added.

Welcoming the third edition of the Rendez-vous, AITA President (Mrs) Praveen Mahajan said: "AITA is committed to its partnership with the French Tennis Federation (FFT) and we are extremely happy to see the progress of this initiative growing each year since the past three years."

"The opportunity that the Rendez-vous à Roland-Garros provides is excellent and we want to encourage more talent to participate, hence the decision to add a qualifiers leg and integrate it into our calendar and ranking points. We want to use this measure to increase the talent pool and scout for the best to represent us at the finals in Paris."

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Commenting on the association between the AITA and FFT, Asian Tennis Federation President Anil Khanna said: "It is heartening to see the association between AITA and FFT for junior development programmes over the years in India and I look forward to spread the Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines event in other Asian nations as well."

Three-time French Open winner Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, who was named the brand ambassador of the event, will witness the finals in April.