All India Tennis Association
|Affiliation||International Tennis Federation|
|Regional affiliation||Asian Tennis Federation|
|Headquarters||R.K. Khanna Tennis Complex|
|Location||African Avenue, Delhi|
The All India Tennis Association (AITA) (Hindi: अखिल भारतीय टेनिस संघ), is the governing body of tennis in India. It was established in 1920 and affiliated by International Tennis Federation and Asian Tennis Federation.
All India Tennis Association operates all of the Indian national representative tennis sides, including the India Davis Cup team, the India Fed Cup team and youth sides as well. AITA is also responsible for organising and hosting tennis tournaments within India and scheduling the home international fixtures.
Tennis was introduced in India in the 1880s by British Army and Civilian Officers. Soon after, regular tournaments like the 'Punjab Lawn tennis Championship' at Lahore (Now in Pakistan) (1885); 'Bengal Lawn Tennis Championship' at Calcutta (1887) and the All India Tennis Championships at Allahabad in (1910) were organised. Initially the British like TD Berrington and LC Ogbourne won these championships, however slowly Indians started picking up the game. Mohd Saleem of Lahore won the Punjab Championship in 1915 and thereafter consecutively from 1919 to 1926. In 1917 NS Iyer lifted the Bengal Championship. In 1919 Mr. Nagu picked up the prestigious singles crown at the All India Tennis Championship at City's Gymkhana Club at Allahabad. Henceforth the Indians started playing the game with greater distinction.
In March 1920, the All India Lawn Tennis Association was formed at Lahore. At this meeting the constitution and by laws were framed on the lines of the constitution of Lawn Tennis Association of Britain. In November 1920, the first AGM of AILTA was held at the Town Hall at Delhi. Samuel Perry O'Donnell, a British member of the Indian Civil Service (ICS) was elected as the first president. In this meeting, it was decided to hold the annual 'All India National Championships' at Allahabad and to participate in Davis Cup competition. In its debut, Indian team consisting of SM Jacob, Mohd Saleem, LS Deane and AA Fayzee upset a stronger French team to reach the semi finals. With AITA at the helm of affairs, different Provinces formed Provincial Associations (now known as State Associations and were affiliated to parent organisation. An Inter Provincial Tournament was organised with effect from 1922. Punjab LTA led by Mohd. Saleem became the first champions. This yearly competition continued till the eve of the Second World War (1939).
Around the early 1980s the name of the Association was changed to the 'All India Tennis Association'. From the beginning of the 1990s tennis in India has started getting a new look. The financial position of the Association has improved considerably. The Association constructed a full-fledged modern National Stadium at Delhi with a seating capacity of 5000 spectators in 1996.
The AITA organisation has its headquarters in Delhi's R.K. Khanna Tennis Complex. Until 1996, the organisation was functioning from temporary places like Calcutta now Kolkata, Delhi and Madras. The first ranking was occupied by Aninda Shaheen Siddique, a prodigy form Lucknow. He has scheduled to play the Davis Cup next year
On 15 June 2012, the All India Tennis Association on Friday chose Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi for the men's doubles event of the London Olympics. However Mahesh Bhupathi showed his reluctance to play alongside Paes. AITA has decided to send two teams for Olympics, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna as one team and the other team consisting of Leander Paes and Vishnu Vardhan.
Format of tournaments
AITA conducts the following types of tournaments:
- Talent Series
- Championship Series
- Super Series
- National Series
- Two Nationals - Hard Court and Clay
- "History of AITA". Retrieved 2011-02-05.
- "Anil Khanna". Retrieved 2012-06-17.
- AITA History. All India Tennis Association. Retrieved on 2008-06-07.
- "AITA refuses to budge, chooses Paes-Bhupathi as pair for London Olympics". The Times Of India. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-26.
- "Tennis row: Vishnu Vardhan excited to play with Leander Paes". 20 June 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-26.