Chennai: IMG has signed up Ramkumar Ramanathan, the rising 17-year-old Indian tennis talent. A contract between Ramkumar’s parents and IMG was signed on Thursday in the presence of Fernando Soler, Head of Tennis, IMG worldwide, M.A. Alagappan, President, Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, and Karti P. Chidambaram, Chairman, Organizing Committee, Aircel Chennai Open and Vice President, AITA.
IMG has under its fold several international tennis players including Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Ramanathan is one of the most promising junior tennis players in the country and emerged the Junior National champion in 2009 and 2010. The Chennai lad, who was given a wild card in the doubles main draw of the Aircel Chennai Open 2012, is currently training at the Sanchez Casal Academy (SCA) in Spain.
The youngster first got an opportunity to train in Spain for three months in April 2010 on a scholarship facilitated by IMG. As part of the contract signed by TNTA and IMG for the Aircel Chennai Open, IMG provides training to talented players from Tamil Nadu at the SCA.
Ramanathan’s second stint at the SCA in Barcelona was for almost a year, from December 2010 to October 2011, during which he began playing ITF Futures tournaments and is currently ranked 896 in the ATP rankings list, which is a very creditable performance for a 17-year-old.
Fernando Soler, Senior Vice President, Head of IMG Tennis Worldwide, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for Ramanathan to improve his tennis and further his career. At IMG we always look at ways to identify and nurture young talent. IMG has decided to sign up Ramkumar as they feel he has a very bright future and wish him all success as he chases his tennis dream. This is yet another positive step in IMG's relationship with the TNTA, towards raising Indian players onto the international level”
Karti P. Chidambaram, Chairman, Organizing Committee, Aircel Chennai Open and Vice President, AITA, said: “IMG is well known for scouting for top talent in sports and recognizing such players’ world class potential. IMG's signing up of Ramkumar has been due to his encouraging performance as a raw 17-year-old in the Men’s Futures Tournaments in Spain in 2011. We believe that IMG will be a good mentor in helping Ramkumar navigate his way through professional tennis. Ramkumar has been a beneficiary of TNTA's support and we will continue to support him going forward. I thank IMG and wish Ramkumar all the best."