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Anand — the genial Indian

By K. Keerthivasan


Anand Amritraj... articulate as always. — Photo: V. Ganesan

CHENNAI DEC. 31. Anand Amritraj is just like his more famous brother Vijay. Articulate, smart and one who is with a vision.

Getting a break from his commentary stint with ESPN, Anand stepped out to watch the match between Michael Llodra and Albert Montanes. Asked whether his nephew's (Prakash) performance was a disappointment, the genial Indian replied, "Yeah, it was."

"I think Prakash did not rise to his own expecations. He said the lights were a problem. But I believe he played much below his potential," Anand said.

Anand's son Stephen (17) is also keen on making tennis his career. Currently studying in Duke University, North California, Stephen has three and a half years more to finish his college.

"In the meantime, I want him to play as many ATP and ITF Futures, Challenger tournaments. They both

(Prakash and Stephen) want to play for India. If they do well, they would be automatically be selected."

Anand acknowledged the pressure of being a champion's son is an advantage and a disadvantage.

"It is certainly a headstart. But at the same time, many comment like `are you going to become as good as your father'

will certainly add more pressure. It is a reality which Prakash and Stephen will have to deal with if they want to go up."

Meet Hordorf

He is the professor in Sports Marketing. He is part owner of Globus Sports Management and is also coach of Rainer Schuettler and Lars Burgsmuller. He even manages the defending champion of the Tata Open, Guillermo Canas.

Meet Dirk Hordorf, who is capable of handling multiple jobs with as much felicity as anybody else who has such an impressive curriculum vitae. He is a versatile man, no doubt. But how does he take such a heavy work load.

"It is not very difficult. We have professionals all over the world to handle," he said. He has been coaching for the last 10 years or so. Coaching is not science, it cannot fit into a laptop," he said.

"Every individual is different. The coach has to understand that before advising the players. Hordorf has also coached the 1997 Golf Flake Open finalist Alex Radulescu. Residing in Badhomburg in Germany, he feels the interest and the organisation of the event here have become better with every passing year.

"It is perfect, well organised. The food is good. It is a big improvement from the last year."

Determined pair

The two who made a mark last year reaching the doubles finals, losing to Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, are busy practising at one of the outside courts.

Tomas Cibulec and Ota Fukarek of Czech Republic are not exactly practising, but just relaxing, hitting the ball without the racquet, only with their legs and other parts of the body. "We are just having fun,"

says Cibulec. After the finals here last year, Cibulec-Fukarek pair played only one more tournament at Copenhagen. "I am ranked in the top 30, and he is ranked in the top 80, and as a result we have not been able to pair

together," said Cibulec. But the duo is confident of doing well here. "Our goal is to enter the top 10," said Cibulec.

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