The India Tennis League (ITL), based out of Hyderabad is now entering its fourth year of promoting the sport of tennis in the subcontinent. Established in 2016, the league conducts tournaments in Hyderabad and Bangalore for juniors from Under 10 to Under 18. They were also the first to start conducting UTR (Universal Tennis Rating) tournaments in India, back in 2018.
Did you know quite a few top 100 national ranked players, in various age groups, started or competed in ITL tournaments!
About The League
It was in the summer of 2016 when the founder of ITL, Hyder Jaffari, was trying to find tournaments for his son to play in. The national level tournaments were few and far in between, one every 3 months or so. This wasn’t enough to get the match play experience needed, and traveling to other cities introduced exorbitant costs. Realizing he can’t be the only one, he decided to set up the league with a partner academy.
The first event attracted almost 100 entries!
Having their own uniquely developed point system, it awarded 1 point for every game won. This provided players the competitive attitude to give it all in their matches, regardless of whether they won or lost.
Very soon, players and parents started taking the ranking system quite seriously. To reward the young passion, the league set up an award system given out at the end of the year to each top ranked player across the age groups.
Camps and Foreign Trips
The league has also done various camps, and even a foreign trip to Europe!
In 2017, Vishnu Vardhan (ranked top 5 nationally at the time) and ITL came together to conduct a camp for young budding professionals.
The event focused on providing players the game play practice they would need to advance to a higher competitive range. The kids also got to learn what the Olympian had to share about the international tennis scene, and his experience having traveled the world to compete.
Moving forward to August 2017, a handful of players traveled to Slovenia to train with Robi Cokan. He is the coach of Kaja Juvan, who just faced Serena Williams in the 2nd round of Wimbledon 2019 and took the 1st set off her.
The camp lasted 2 weeks and opened up a whole new world to the attending players. Experiencing a new level of tennis, and fitness, really broadened their perspective. Enjoying some of the sights, and cool weather, also made this once in a lifetime experience truly rewarding for all attending.
Focus on Fitness
Apparently, it wasn’t just tournaments that were lacking. Fitness too was an unheard of concept in almost all academies.
ITL decided to start doing free fitness sessions at their partner academy once a week. Ever since then, Hyder has taken it upon himself to get certified, and is now a Strength and Conditioning Coach himself.
He feels the future of Indian tennis no longer lies in more drills, but more fitness. The next Grand Slam champion from India, junior or Pro, will come off the fitness mat.
ITF Wildcards and UTR
The league has also been busy expanding its network around the world. Forming relationships with various tournament organizers, ITL was able to get 9 wildcards in various ITF grade tournaments. The highest being a qualifying wildcard in a Grade 2 event in Hungary, which was used by a boy from Hyderabad.
As the impact of UTR grows around the world, ITL was able to provide the players in India the opportunity of starting their rating as well. Having conducted UTR events for more than a year, most have realized the importance of building up their UTR early on. Especially if they are planning for college tennis.
ITL allows any academy to conduct ‘ITL powered‘ tournaments.
Simply contact us via our website for information related to Tournaments, UTR, ITF, Wildcards, Fitness or Sponsorships.
In summary, India Tennis League has been at the forefront of local tennis tournaments (and now ‘International’ with UTR). With players having a multitude of events to play their level of tennis can only go one way, and that is UP!
Who knows, they might even have a future Grand Slam champion in their midst?