Rohan Bopanna is angry at the All India Tennis Association yet again. Not a fan of the country’s tennis bosses for several years now, Bopanna has slammed the AITA for not nominating him for this year’s Arjuna Awards. Saketh Myneni has been recommended instead.
All India Tennis Association secretary general Hironmoy Chatterjee said there was no foul play and Myneni was nominated because he won “medals for the country.” Myneni, 29, won the mixed doubles gold in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon (South Korea) and silver in men’s doubles.
Speaking to Hindustan Times , Chatterjee hit back at Bopanna saying he was “ignorant” of the rules and the AITA was “doing its job.” Chatterjee said Bopanna will be considered for the Arjuna Award next year “on the strength of his 2017 French Open showing.”
Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski and India’s Rohan Bopanna hold the trophy as they celebrate winning their mixed doubles final match against Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Robert Farah of Colombia in two sets 2-6, 6-2 (12-10), of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, June 8, 2017.
In a letter written to the AITA and released to the media Saturday morning, Rohan Bopanna said: “Arjuna Award is one of the prestigious awards a sportsman receives in our country. It is not just the honour that that it carries in receiving it but it’s also an acknowledgement.
“A humble response to the hours, days and years an athlete puts into their craft to keep excelling while keeping their grit unbroken. It is recognition to an athlete’s patience and perseverance as they make it against all odds.
“I want to take this platform to congratulate Saketh Myneni on receiving this award. I couldn’t be more proud as I have seen him grow into the player and the man he is today.
“We professional tennis players put in a lot to bring laurels to our country. And no one could question otherwise. However, it is when the system (the Tennis Association in this case) functions sloppily that is not only disrespectful but also robs one of the hope of a deserving acknowledgement.
“I am calling out to the lack of professionalism and efficiency by AITA for not sending my nomination for the Arjuna Award before the deadline. I have witnessed many such excuses for the past decade (while I was eligible and my record didn’t falter) and then too, have never stood for it.
“AITA gained a lot of traffic in the media for claiming they would be nominating me for the Arjuna Award this year and for it to not materialize due to the disorder in the ‘Order’ makes me question this so much more.
“Especially since the criteria to be nominated apart from a deserving and consistent performance is also that more than one tennis player can be nominated for the esteemed Award.”