Chennai, Dec 15: Indian tennis ace Mahesh Bhupathi on Saturday said he would put more time in training youngsters to produce talents for the future at the Apollo Tyres Mission 2018 challenge.
Apollo tyres had created a corpus of Rs 100 crore for mission 2018 with the objective of developing the first Indian Singles Grand Slam champion by 2018.
"I had spend lot of time in training young tennis talent especially in Apollo Tyres Mission 2018. I am overwhelmed by the presence of large number of children at the camp. Their love for tennis is both inspiring and humbling", he said.
On the selection part, Bhupathi said that for selection, physical fitness and athletic ability were key criteria for him apart form the obvious tennis talent.
"Tennis at international level is becoming a furiously competitive and an increasing fast game and at that level it is more about survival of the fittest - physically and mentally", he added.
Apollo Tyres Corporate Marketing Avik Chattopadhayay said the challenge, aimed at selecting promising young tennis talent aged between 6-14 years, had visited Chandigarh and Ahmedabad this November and 21 children have been shortlisted from these two cities.
"Tomorrow the names of the children shorlisted from Chennai would be announced", he said.
An eminent panel of judges, led by Mahesh Bhupathi and his father CGK Bhupathi was carefully evaluating each child, he said.
Others in the panel included Rohan Bopanna, Prahalad Srinath, Sandeep Kirtane and Tony Beecroft (physiotherapist).