Saturday, October 24, 2015

Saketh Myneni in Challenger final in Turkey - The School Of Power Tennis

Eighth seed Saketh Myneni pulled off two impressive wins over quality opponents to make the final of the €42,500 men’s Challenger tennis tournament in Turkey on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Saketh who had won his maiden Challenger singles title in Indore last year, first knocked out third seed Evgeny Donskoy of Russia 7-6(5), 6-4 in the quarterfinals that was interrupted by rain.
Donskoy had beaten Saketh in straight sets in the first round of the Kolkata Challenger last year, in their only earlier meeting in the professional circuit.
Thereafter, the 198th ranked Saketh beat Denys Molchanov of Ukraine, who had been ranked a career-best 169, in the third set tie-break in the semifinals. The 28-year-old Molchanov had also beaten Saketh in straight sets in a Challenger last year in Fergana, in their only previous meeting.
‘’It has been a great week so far. Competing with quality players has been a positive sign for me this year. I hope to finish strong’’, said Saketh, happy with the fine run that has already assured him of 55 ATP points in singles.
In the final, Saketh will challenge the sixth seed Farrukh Dustov of Uzbekistan.
In the doubles semifinals, however, second seeds Saketh and Divij Sharan saved a matchpoint before being beaten 6-4, 3-6, 11-9 by Alexandr Igoshin of Russia and Yaraslav Shyla of Belarus. The Indian pair had won the doubles title last week in Izmir.
In the $10,000 ITF women’s tournament in Jakarta, Dhruthi Venugopal in partnership with Haine Ogata of Japan was beaten in the doubles final by Beatrice Gumulya and Jessy Rompies of Indonesia.
The results:
€42,500 Challenger men, Agri, Turkey
Singles (semifinals): Saketh Myneni bt Denys Molchanov (Ukr) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(1); Quarterfinals: Saketh Myneni bt Evgeny Donskoy (Rus) 7-6(5), 6-4.
Doubles (semifinals): Alexandr Igoshin (Rus) & Yaraslav Shyla (Blr) bt Saketh Myneni & Divij Sharan 6-4, 3-6, 11-9.
$10,000 ITF women, Jakarta, Indonesia
Doubles (final): Beatrice Gumulya & Jessy Rompies (Ina) bt Haine Ogata (Jpn) & Dhruthi Venugopal 6-4, 7-6(4).

Thursday, October 1, 2015

C.V. Nagaraj tennis coaching - The Hindu

C.V. Nagaraj tennis coaching - The Hindu

CV Nagraj ­ dronacharya of Hyderabad tennis

Sep 29 2015 : The Times of India (Hyderabad)

CV Nagraj ­ dronacharya of Hyderabad tennis

Solomon Kumar

“Coaching is an everyday event. Not something we do just at practice or game days or in season. It is all year,“ said Bo Schembechler, former American football player, coach and athletics administrator.

It's been the same in tennis coach CV Nagraj's life too ever since he started the School of Power Tennis in 1991. The celebrated coach was recently conferred with the Dilip Bose `Lifetime Achievement Award' by the AITA in Kolkata.

Sport runs in Nagraj's blood.His father CD Venkat Rao was a university-level cricketer and mother Rajeswari a tennis player. Nagraj preferred his mother's sport but soon gave up playing as he felt his calling lay in grooming youngsters. “I did quite well as a player, but I gave up playing once I realised that Iwill not be able to make it to the international level. Also by then I had a brush with coaching and decided to take it full time,“ Nagraj told ToI at his coaching centre at the RRC ground.

Nagraj's first stint with coaching was when he was just 17. “In 1978-79, PN Misra asked me to help out at a coaching camp in Siddipet.Icontinued to play for several years but coaching had caught my imagination and it grew with the years,“ Nagraj said.

However, the transition was not as smooth as he would have expected. His first setback was when the club where he was plying his trade lost out a lot of players to a new facility that was started at the Gymkhana. Just because they had a qualified coach. “That prompted me to secure a degree in coaching rom the National Institute of Sports,“ said Nagraj.

In addition, Nagraj completed BPEd and then did his MPEd from Annamalai University in 1987. Al hough these degrees earned him a physical education teacher's post at HAL, he couldn't be at peace with himself in that role. He began to explore avenues and in 1991 decided to become a full-time coach. He started his school at the YWCA in Secunderabad.

Nagraj had to move out of YWCA five years later and RRC became the new and permanent address for his school. Since then, Nagraj has grown in strength as he has been able to produce 10 players who have gone on to represent the country. Apart from J Vishnu Vardhan, who participated in the 2012 London Olympic Games, four others played in the Davis Cup and five in the Junior Davis Cup.

Six hours in the morning and four in the evening at the coaching centre has been Nagraj's schedule for the last two-and-a-half decades. “My whole day is spent at the centre as there is a lot to be done for the players,“ he says.

Although it sort of weaned him away from his family, especially from his daughter during her growing up years, he managed to balance it as he didn't socialise much and also his residence was not too far from RRC.

Like in any coach's career, Nagraj's most and least memorable moments too concerned his wards “My most memorable moment was when Vishnu played at the Olympic Games,“ said Nagraj. The lowest point, obviously, is when a student gives up tennis. “I was really saddened when the likes of Susheel Narla and Anant Sitaram gave up tennis. They had so much potential and it seemed as if all my efforts had gone down the drain,“ he said.

Nagraj feels that drop-out rate in tennis is very high because parents cannot afford the expenses after a certain stage and also many of them use it as a means to get admissions in colleges etc.

“Money is a big issue. Even players like Vishnu and Saketh Myneni still struggle to raise funds to play in tournaments. It's not easy turning into a professional. Only 2 percent of those who go to a coaching centre turn professional,“ he said with a tinge of sadness.