Tennis: To promote tennis in the country, the first India Bhutan Friendship Tennis Championship began in Thimphu yesterday.

Top Bhutanese tennis players along with players from Assam, Darjeeling, Nagaland and Kolkata are taking part in the weeklong championship that’s organised by the Bhutan Tennis Federation (BTF) with support from India-Bhutan Foundation.

BTF’s general secretary, Ugyen Wangdi, said the tournament was organised to give the local players exposure to the international level of the game. “This is our first move towards regional tournaments and we would like to take it further,” he said.

Currently there are three tennis courts in the capital. Ugyen Wangdi said the federation is working toward developing two more tennis courts in the vicinity of the federation’s office near Changlimithang. “For us to take tennis to the next level, we need all the support to help us develop the game in the country,” he said.

The tournament is organised in four categories – open men’s single, senior men’s single, men’s double and women’s single. The winners of the championship be given cash prizes worth Nu 200,000.

Meanwhile, in the first game yesterday, Abhinansu Borthakur of India defeated Thinley Samdrup in a straight set, 6-3, 6-0.   

Younten Tshedup