Pro Tennis League 2023: Vaishnavi Adkar, Arjun Khade Invite Biggest Bids at Auction
Vaishnavi Adkar and Arjun Khade drew the biggest bids in women’s and men’s categories at the Pro Tennis League 2023 auction conducted at the Davis Cup Lounge of the RK Khanna Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday.
Ahead of the fifth season of the tennis league which brings together current players alongside upcoming and former professionals, it is the opportunity to youngsters that remains the focus.
During the auction to pick players in Men’s Pro, Women’s Pro, Next-Gen Men’s and Next-Gen Women’s categories, each team was allocated a virtual budget of 1,00,00,000 points for the auctioning process. Moreover, one Master Player was allotted to each team prior to the auction.
Vaishnavi Adkar was the pick of the teams joining Mumbai Acers for 44 lakh points. After a bidding war between Lucknow Aviators, Indraprastha Warriors, Paramount Proec Tigers and Mumbai Acers, the India top-20 singles and No 17 in doubles player will ply her trade with the Acers.
The second-highest bid across the categories also came from the women’s professional pool of players. Sahaja Yamalapalli, who made her Billie Jean King Cup debut against Japan earlier in the year, was bought by Rebound Acers for 44 lakh points. There was a race for her signature between Indraprastha Warriors, Lucknow Aviators, Paramount Proec Tigers, Mumbai Acers and Rebound Acers before going to the Acers.
Other big draws were Sravya Shivani Chilakalapudi, who went to Paramount Proec Tigers for 40 lakh points and Riya Bhatia, heading to Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas for 35 lakh points. Bhatia had been the biggest bid at last year’s auction.
Among the men’s professional players that were up for auction, Khade – India’s top 10 in singles and doubles – went to Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas for 41 lakh points. It came as a surprise that the No. 17 singles player in the country drew bigger amount than a more seasoned Mukund Sasikumar (38.5 lakh points) or Karan Singh (36.5 lakh points) who was coming in fresh as a runner-up at the nationals.
Quartet of Paramount Proec Tigers, Lucknow Aviators, Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas, Mumbai Acers and Rebound Ace tussled for Khade’s services before he was eventually snapped by the Jodhpur-Meerut based Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas.
Siddhant Banthia, US Collegiate star and India’s top-20 player, was also a top bid with Mumbai Acers getting him for 36 lakh points.
In the Next-Gen categories, Delhi’s Road to PTL winner Vansh Bisht went to Sankara Stag Babolat Yoddhas, Mumbai’s Road to PTL champion Arush Nitture joined Mumbai Acers while the women’s Road to PTL winners Gauri Mangaonkar and Somya Arya are headed to Rebound Acers and DMG Delhi Crusaders respectively.
“As we conclude the players’ auction for the Pro Tennis League, I am thrilled to envision the exciting journey that lies ahead. This league isn’t just about winning or losing; it’s about building a platform where talents are discovered, nurtured, and celebrated. Through our commitment to excellence, we aim to provide the perfect stage for the next generation of tennis stars to shine. With this auction, we have not only formed teams but laid the foundation for dreams to come true. Together, we are creating a legacy that will inspire and empower the champions of tomorrow,” said Abhijeet Dangat, PTL Business Development Head.
“I want to thank all the franchises’ owners for being a part of this exciting endeavour,” he added.
The fifth season of Pro Tennis League is scheduled to take place between 7-10 December at the RK Khanna Tennis Stadium in New Delhi. The semi-finals and final will take place on the 10th December.