BENGALURU: Tennis enthusiasts can finally swing their racquets again, but will have to mind the ticking clock. After more than two months, the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) stadium opened its doors on Tuesday for restricted hours in the morning and evening. About 20 members of the association walked in for practice on the first day. The stadium, which hosted some top players during the Bengaluru Open in February, is located inside Cubbon Park, due to which KSLTA finds itself in a spot.
As per State Government rules in view of the lockdown, parks can only open from 7 am to 9 am and again from 5 pm to 7 pm, meaning a maximum of four hours. The association is now exploring other options if the stadium can be accessed via a different route which will allow them to remain open during the daytime as well. Though some tennis academies and coaching centres in the state opened last week after the government’s nod, KSLTA did not resume operations immediately.
KSLTA yet to hear from govt
“We opened after a period of two months on Tuesday. But it was only in the morning and evening due to the park timings. We have written to the State Government seeking permission for access from Venkatappa Art Gallery gates during the daytime. If that can be done, it would be wonderful as players can practice for longer,” KSLTA joint secretary Sunil Yajaman said.
The association is yet to hear from the government. With cars not allowed inside the park, members must reach the stadium from the main gate on foot. “When the gates open, players need 10 minutes to reach the stadium. And from the stadium, they have to leave 10-15 minutes earlier before the gates close. They lose around 20 minutes. Though there is a two-hour window, we only have one-and-half hours,” Sunil rued.