Kirilenko no stranger to IndiaMarch 2nd, 2008 - 5:04 pm ICT by admin
(Bangalore Open Diary)
Bangalore, March 2 (IANS) Russian Maria Kirilenko is no stranger to India and will have an advantage over other foreign players in the $600,000 Bangalore Open tennis tournament starting Monday because of her familiarity with Indian conditions. The 21-year-old, one of the glamour dolls in world tennis, first visited India four years ago and that time she entered the finals at Hyderabad. But her next visit to Kolkata last year ended with the crowning glory at the Sunfeast Open, which eventually might have prompted her to say that she shares a special bonding with the country.
Draw ceremony a damp squib
As compared to last year, the draw ceremony of the tournament here Sunday was a dampener. The Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) last year conducted the draw ceremony with pomp and gaiety as the players drove up in vintage cars to the Vidhana Soudha (state assembly building) for the function.
But this year, though the event was upgraded to Tier II, there is a twist in the tale at the draw function. With no elected government in place, the function was organised in a little more subdued manner and the venue was shifted to the governor’s residence, Raj Bhavan, from the Vidhana Soudha.
However, Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur himself was an absent on the occasion and he deputed his advisor in his place.
Richard Williams moved by poverty in India
Richard Williams, better known as Serena and Venus Williams’ father, who is on his maiden visit to the country has been moved by the apathy towards the poor people here as he himself was a victim of need and racisim back in his home country US.
Richard Sunday announced that he with tennis legend Vijay Amritraj and the state government’s support is planning to a start a programme for the upliftment of the downtrodden here and will be visiting the country very soon for that purpose.
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