STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Vishnu-Balaji undeterred by crowdfunding disappointment

Doubles pair N Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan believe they will tick a major item off their bucket list this year.

Published: 19th February 2018 04:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2018 04:29 AM   |  A+A-

Chennai Open Doubles Tennis Winner Sriram balaji and Vishnu vardhan at Nungambakkam. (D Sampath Kumar | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Doubles pair N Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan believe they will tick a major item off their bucket list this year. Playing at Wimbledon. The duo, who won the Chennai Open Challenger last week, have the math worked out and feel that the stars are aligning.

“The cut for Wimbledon doubles qualifiers last year was 233,” Balaji says. “After this tournament, I will be at 115 and Vishnu at 101. By that reckoning, we should get into the field.” But they have set their sights higher than that: the main draw.

“Our plan is to keep playing Challengers till June. We are not defending many points at that level so we believe that if we can keep performing and improving, we will climb up the rankings further,” Balaji adds. The aim is for both to be inside the top-80 (last year’s combined cut was 160) by June.  

Their meteoric rise is remarkable, considering that it was only in December that they started a two-month crowdfunding campaign to enable them to complete a full season on the Tour. They started it with the intention of raising close to $100,000. If they had secured that much, it would have given the two the luxury of travelling for close to 35 weeks with a full-time coach. They closed the campaign last month, having raised only $3,500.

While there is a hint of disappointment in Vardhan’s voice when he describes their campaign to raise money, he is happy that the Indian duo gave it a go in the first place. “We are not new to the circuit,” Vishnu says. “I am 30, Balaji is 27-28. We had tried potential sponsorship opportunities before, but nothing worked out. That was the reason behind this online (crowdfunding) campaign. It didn’t turn out the way we would have liked it to, but it’s not really a problem. Tomorrow, we shouldn’t be in a position to say, ‘maybe we should have tried that thing’.”   

Another thing they will be trying in 2018 is to make doubles their priority. “Till last year, both of us were prioritising singles, with doubles acting like a second wheel,” Vishnu explains. “This year, we have decided to make doubles our priority. We will still play singles, but doubles will be the main thing for us.”
They also have one eye on the upcoming Asian Games in Jakarta, even if it clashes with the US Open. They will make a decision closer to the continental bash, but they know what they will want to prioritise.

“It’s not like we will be defending points if we play the US Open, and at the same time, we don’t want to miss it either,” Vishnu said. “However, the Asian Games are held only once in four years, unlike the US Open. At this moment, the Asian Games is a priority for us.” If they continue winning, not many will argue against them.  

swaroop@newindianexpress.com



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp