Karman Kaur Thandi, an Indian tennis player, has embraced the idea of India hosting a WTA 250 event later this year.

The Chennai Open, an annual ATP 250 event that was last held in 2018, is set to return in a new guise later in 2022, as Vijay Amritraj, president of the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA), expressed hope for a new WTA 250 competition to be held after the US Open (September 2nd week) and before the Northeast monsoon.

It will also be India’s first WTA tournament since the WTA 125K series in Mumbai.

The 23-year-old, who last played in mid-February in Glasgow, was supposed to be part of the Indian side in the Billie Jean King Cup Asia-Oceania competition for the World Group play-off, but he was unable to compete due to a wrist injury. Karman, on the other hand, said that her rehabilitation is on track and that she would return to the competition later this month.

Karman spent the majority of her 2021 season on the European tour, where she frequently found herself in nail-biting three-setters. But the experience and confidence she earned from competing in “one of the toughest circuits in the world” helped her all the way to the final of the $25,000 ITF event in Ortisei, Italy, in November.

Speaking about the WTA 250 event which will take place later this year, Karman said: “Previously it was Mumbai. It is indeed good for Indian players because there is something happening in our own country. So it is a big, big thing for us to have a WTA 250 event. There are already two in the men’s so having this one will be a great opportunity for players as well.”

Right exposure and training at young age crucial

Karman Kaur Thandi emphasized the importance of a solid start and proper exposure for young athletes on Friday, with all resources under one roof.

Karman was in town for the RoundGlass Tennis Academy’s induction programme at the Chandigarh Club, where 15 aspiring players were chosen following selection trials held around the country.

Karman, who is due to return from her elbow injury layoff by the end of the month, praised the move, saying the focus must be on the athletes’ overall well-being.

“It gives me immense joy to be a part of this special occasion. The focus is also on the well-being of the players, their education, and the preparation to help them compete at a high level,” Karman said during an interaction.

The presence of senior coach Aditya Sachdeva, who is now the technical director of the RoundGlass Tennis Academy, will have a significant impact on the younger athletes, according to the 23-year-old.