All India Tennis Association is all set to nominate Asian Games medal winners Ankita Raina and Delhi-lad Divij Sharan for the Arjuna award and planning to send former Davis Cup coach Nandan Bal’s application for the Dhyan Chand honor.
The 27-year-old Tennis player Ankita won a women’s singles bronze medal in the Asian Games 2018 edition and also gave a strong performance and played a key role in the Fed Cup for the first time India got qualification for the World Group play-offs.
The 34-year-old Divij Sharan won the gold medal over Rohan Bopanna in the men’s doubles event held in Jakarta and became India’s top doubles player before Bopanna took back the position in 2019. Delhi-lad Sharan also won two ATP titles as Tata Open Maharashtra against Bopanna in Pune and St. Petersburg against Igor Zelenay in the 2019 season.
The All India Tennis Association (AITA) Secretary-General said that Ankita Raina and Divij Sharan are the most deserving and eligible persons for the Arjuna honor this year.
Ankita Raina came to spotlight during the 2018 Fed Cup with her gritty performance and she remained as the top player and unbeaten player in singles. From then she became India’s best singles player by winning 6 USD 25k level titles on WTA and ITF circuit and achieved career-best singles rank 160 in March 2020. Ankita also played eight matches in five days during this year’s Fed Cup and won two singles and three crucial doubles games with Sania Mirza for the first time to qualify India for the play-offs. Bopanna received the Arjuna award for Tennis in 2018.
All India Tennis Association (AITA) is still deliberating to send Bal’s application either to the Dronacharya award or Dhyan Chand award to honor his lifetime contributions, said Hironmoy Chatterjee, AITA. They are still contemplating which category will be suited for Nandan. However, Bal’s name will be sent for the Dhyan Chand honor, said Chatterjee.