Inaugural edition of the Bandodkar Panjim Gymkhana Open 2024 Gets Underway

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Panaji: The debut edition of the Bandodkar Panjim Gymkhana Open 2024, a state ranking tournament dedicated to the memory of Goa’s first chief minister, the late Dayanand Bandodkar, got underway at the iconic Gymkhana grounds in the state capital on Monday.

The tournament was inaugurated by chief guest and former India tennis player Natasha Palha Soares in the presence of Gaurish Dhond, vice president Panjim Gymkhana, Rajesh Khaunte, honorary secretary, Panjim Gymkhana, Tanmay Kholkar, secretary, Clube  Gasper Dias, Sameer Kakodkar, vice president Goa State Tennis Association (GSTA), along with other members of the Panjim Gymkhana’s managing committee.

144 tennis players have signed up to participate in the seven-day tournament, which is supported by the Goa State Tennis Association, Panjim Gymkhana and the DB Bandodkar & Sons group.

“I’ve witnessed a significant increase in the number of tennis players (in recent times), which is delightful. I believe it’s time to organise more state ranking tournaments to foster competitive spirit. The rise in the number of tennis academies in Goa compared to previous years is fantastic,” Natasha Palha Soares said at the inauguration ceremony.

“It is necessary that all stakeholders come together to take tennis forward professionally. We need to start lobbying with the government, people and industries to generate more overall interest and take the sport to the next level. Parents, too, are stakeholders and should aim to inculcate an interest in the sport in their children,” said Kakodkar, who is the state’s first chief minister’s grandson and a director of the DB Bandodkar & Sons group.

Speaking on the occasion, Gaurish Dhond, thanked the Bandodkar clan for taking the initiative to start a new state ranking tennis tournament. “This entire facility (Panjim Gymkhana) was started by the late Dayanand Bandodkar, who was an avid sports promoter. Sameer and the family is taking his legacy forward and we are grateful for that,” Dhond said.

In the tournament’s men’s singles matches, Kedar Tari beat Rajesh Bundela  6-3, Jai Gill defeated Krishna Volvoikar 7-5 in an evenly contested match, even as Sreenath Srinivasan vanquished Jason Pereira 6-0 on the event’s opening day. In other matches held in the girls u-14 event, Sofia Sanchez defeated Devyani Desai 7-5, while Naimah Sharma routed Renee de Menezes 6-0 and Saanj Kunde defeated Neeraja Damle 6-2.

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