Hyderabad: There is good news for the city tennis fraternity. Surath Narendranath will be conferred with Dilip Bose award by the All India Tennis Association (AITA). This award is given to eminent coaches of the country as a token of their dedication towards the game. The award will be presented to Narendranath during the National Coaches Workshop in Goa which will be held from September 20 to 23.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to receive this award. It is a recognition by the tennis fraternity for my work as a coach. This award will motivate me to strive hard for better results,’’ said the former National hard court champion.
Ever since he took to coaching after his playing career, Narendranath has been actively involved with the Indian teams in various levels. “The coaching came naturally to me. Of course the game has changed a lot in the past few years. It is very competitive and strenuous. It is all about hard work and discipline,’’ he said.
The success of Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Sumit Nagal is a good sign for India. “They have been playing some good consistent tennis. I was very impressed with the way Sumit played at US Open. Although he lost to the tennis legend Roger Federer, he showed a lot of character. He played some amazing shots and in the process became the first Indian to take a set off Federer. The Indians are making a steady rise and hopefully, in the next few years, we could see some good results in international competitions,’’ he added.
Narendranath said that game has become more physical. “There are more rallies. The game has evolved tremendously. The courts have become slower. The balls have become heavier and it is a big challenge for any player to consistently perform,’’ said Narendranath, who was in USA for four months as coach of Ankita Raina.
The city coach credited Sania Mirza as one of the reasons for the game of tennis to grow in the country. “She showed the way. The young tennis players need to learn a lot from Sania, who had tremendous energy and enthusiasm. She worked her way to the top by sheer hard work. She is definitely a role model for any youngster.’’
Narendranath also pointed out that cities of Hyderabad and Pune have become hot bed of tennis in the country. “I’m amazed to see so much of tennis being played in these two cities. These players from these two cities need to follow in the footsteps of Sania to make a mark in international circuit. But I feel there are exciting times for tennis in the country.’’