Faridabad (Haryana): TennisJunction India successfully conducted its inaugural Corporate Invitational Tennis meet here in Faridabad today. The tournament turned up to be a big hit as there was participation of more than 25 corporate players. The event was planned to be more of a fun event than a tournament.
However, it did not fail to give glimpses of excellence as the players showcased their skills. There were people who could not participate as players but were present to cheer up the gathering.
The TennisJunction team was surprised with the motivation the players had as all the teams turned-up on time on the courts at 7:00 AM sharp. There seemed nothing stopping after that. There was fun and frolic all around and the people enjoyed the company of each other.
The tournament structure
The teams were split into two groups with five teams each that were to play each other once in a round-robin format. The top-two team from each round were planned to play the semi-final, the winners of whom setup the summit clash.
Each match (including the finals) were in the best-of-seven games - with the one winning four games first taking the match in his favor. In the event of matches deadlocked at 3-3, a tie-break was to be played with the team winning seven points each taking the match. In the event of 6-6, a deuce was to be played.
There was no entry-fee for the meet.
The TennisJunction team with support from ITF Certified Coach devised a 'Handicap Method' to make the tournament both enjoyable and competetive. The system ensured that each team - whether strong or weak - can make a mark and be competitive.
All the teams were rated 1-10 based upon their skills and experience that we saw while we know some of the players and saw the rest practising.
The handicap, with the devised formula, gave some extra points to weaker teams even before the start of each game. This made a huge impact to the game as the stronger team had to win more points as compared to the weaker team. This ensured that the stronger team played safe and the weaker team could take their chances as they needed lesser points to win the game as compared to the stronger team.
The First Game
The first matche proved to be eventful - With the new system in place and people not getting used to it, the second-ranked team lost the game 4-0 in just 15 minutes. This created a furore amongst the other teams and they became cautious.
They did the analysis, strategized the play and came prepared for the new pattern.
Stronger teams Crashed - Road to Finals
The weak links were quickly removed - which actually involved the top teams crashing out of the tournament. The semi-finals proved to be a tough affair.
The handicap system prevailing even in the semi-final and the final stages, the first seeds and the sixth seeds made their respective way to the final clash winning their matches.
The highlight of these matches was the first-ranked team as they fought almost all their matches even after giving a handicap of 1 to 2 points - meaning starting each match with 0-15 or 0-30 in other team's favour.
The Finals - WINNERS
The top seeded team of BalKrishan Bhatia & Vikas met the sixth seeds Vikram Veer & Suraj Chikkara giving a visual treat to the spectators in the finals. The match was conducted with a set of four umpires - which included the chair-umpire, a refree, and two line umpires.
The sixth seeds played flawless tennis throughout the tournament surprising the top seeds with scores that many did not believe. The first of the challenge came only in the finals when the two teams were tied-up at 2-2. VIkram Veer played excellent tennis shots in the fifth game breaking the serve of the first seeds, who had been serving very well till then.
The match ended 4-2, and the sixth-seeds winning the match and the tournament lifting the winners prize of an Adidas Track-suit and the runners-up were presented with an Adidas track suit bottom each. The prizes for the winners and runners-up were sponsored by Mr. Taneja who himself is a tennis enthusiast and contributed to the tournament.
It was a final that will be remembered, atleast between the corporates who were a part of the meet. The place, where not only they fought like professionals, but also where the young me the aged, stronger went the weaker, and finally, the skills were what excelled.
We, at TennisJunction team, were thrilled to see an enthusiastic participation from the folks of all walks of corporate life; a College Director, a Doctor, Corporate executives, an Advocate, the Income Tax Commissioner and businessmen. Seeing people des-tress out there on the court and enjoying the competitive spirit gave us a feeling of contentment that we are on-track to help build a tennis culture that benefits all.