punarayan wrote:... I would love to know where one can find the athletic kids in India to mold into future tennis player. Tennis playing kids are not neccessarily athletic, but taking gifted athletic kids and exposing them to tennis, might be a way to the future. Does one find them on a soccer field, a hockey field, and probably not on a cricket field!
There is some similarity between golf and tennis in India and both sports require a large amount of money to become good. Equipment is expensive, court fee and golf course fee are not cheap, good coaches cost money, and traveling to play in tournaments as a junior is beyond the means of common public in India. Golf is more expensive in India since there are perhaps no public golf courses (unlike USA).
Daniel Chopra made an important observation about golf in India. He grew up in Delhi and learned golf at Delhi Golf Club and became the world junior golf champion at 18 years of age (a good sports trivia question since India has not produced too many world junior champions in many sports). Daniel said that golf is played mainly by rich children in India and they are usually not hungry for success. India has produced good golfers - Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal, Jyoti Randhawa, Shiv Kapur to name a few - but they were not produced by the "system" in the same way the Leander Paes, Sania Mirza, etc were not product of the system.
punarayan is correct that India must look for the athletic types and then train them to become tennis players. Sunil Kumar is a product of this system. He was picked up through rural sports talent identification program and nobody in his family had played tennis until he joined a sports school to learn tennis.
Talent, athleticism, hunger for success and a host of other factors should be the guiding principles in choosing the young ones to turn them into future champions.
Hunger for success is not limited to people from humble backgrounds.