If financial resources can meet my talent half way, I am confident of bringing more glory to Indian Tennis: Vimalraj Jayachandran
Indian Tennis has long associated itself with names like Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna, Sania Mirza for their achievements and the numerous occasions that they have raised the Indian flag high. With Leander already announcing “One last roar” and Sania Mirza announcing that 2022 would be her last season, it is time for new players to take the mantle. And one such player is Vimalraj Jaychandran who is currently ranked 81 in National Doubles Ranking.
With a Career high International Ranking (ITF) of 2554, Vimal has also been the Khelo India University Gold Medalist and All India University Gold Medalist in the year 2020. The Quotes decided to sit with Vimalraj and the excerpts of the Interview:
1. Kindly share your journey so far with Tennis.
I was 9 when I held the Tennis racquet for the first time and ever since, I have been in love with the Sport. I gradually trained myself in the game with the help of my seniors and Coach. I quickly learned the nitty-gritty of the game and started playing professionally at the age of 14. Eventually, started winning national level matches and events boosting my confidence and career path in Tennis.
2. Kindly recall a couple of your prized moments in your Tennis career till now?
Clinching gold at Khelo India in 2020 certainly tops the chart. I still remember I played my Singles and I was struggling physically but still I was adamant to feel that vibe of playing the Khelo India Finals against Savitri Bhai Phule University. I was up against two really good players in the tournament and I successfully played the deciding Double’s tie and we won the tournament. I was then representing University of Madras.
Also defeating Davis Cupper Vijayant Malik in Asian Tennis tour and traveling to China and making my first international point (ITF) back in 2018 are memorable incidents of my professional career.
3. What are your future aspirations?
- To break into the top 300 ATP doubles ranking by December 2024.
- To win a Doubles Grand Slam Title by 2027.
- To win an Olympic medal for the country by 2030.
- To be ATP number 1 doubles player by 2030
4. Tennis is an expensive Sport. How do you balance the finances required to play Tournaments to fulfill your dreams?
My parents were supportive and I started participating in competitions and tournaments very soon. I consider myself lucky to be born in a family where initially, finances were not the deciding factor to pursue Tennis as a career. A few years down the lane, as is with life, despite things going downhill financially, my family stood up to the test of the times and sacrificed more than what they could to see my dream come true.
There were times when I had to give up playing due to financial constraints but as they say, a strong will can stand by the test of the times and here I am, with a vision of making it big in Tennis to win a Grand Slam in doubles. Not the one to give up on my dream, I have begun an apparel business to support my career as a Professional Tennis player.
While I continue to work toward my goals no matter what is thrown at me, tennis is an expensive sport and I need the generosity of a sponsor who can help with my needs of competing internationally so that I can give my 100% to the sport I love and raise the flag high of a Nation that has once given birth to celebrated Indian Tennis Players.
5. That is a tough path but a commendable one that you have chosen. What is the current situation on the financial front now?
You don’t come this far only to come this far, right? I cannot stop dreaming or even playing because of lack of finances. I am going to give it all that it takes for me to compete at bigger stages. In order to break into the top 300 ATP rankings by 2024, to qualify for Grand Slams by 2025 and to give a shot at Olympics, I need to play as many international tournaments as possible and for that I need generous sponsors.
Every International Tournament costs me at least 1,50,000 including the Tournament fees, travel and accommodation. If financial resources can meet my talent half way, I am confident of bringing more glory to Indian Tennis.
6. Any parting thoughts on how Governments can help Indian Athletes?
I personally think we can still do a much better job in encouraging Indian Athletes. While the Indian and State Governments have been helpful, the fact is that there is a lot to be done. The upcoming athletes need more support than the already established ones. For example, a successful Sportsperson in India garners endorsements, contracts with Sports Organizations and also land Government postings.
The struggle is real and hard for the athletes who are yet to announce themselves on the bigger stages. For example, for me to participate in a Tournament scheduled for December, I should play well and earn enough money to travel across the Continents, pay the Entry fees and take care of my travel and accommodation experiences.
Most of the time, it’s a hand-to-mouth situation that not just me but most players have to go through. It adds to the already piled-up pressure of the game and the stress of constant on the road away from the family stress. Adequate financial support during these times can take Indian Sports to a higher level than what it is already at now.
[…] ALSO READ || If financial resources can meet my talent half way, I am confident of bringing more glo… […]