In response to the withdrawal of 69 foreign players from the $10,000 ITF Futures tournament in Lucknow, which starts today, the AITA has said it is common practice.
In an email on Sunday, AITAstated, “It is normal for players to give entries for a number of events during
the same week being held in different states. Players are permitted to withdraw up to a particular date from any event without facing any penalty. Therefore, withdrawals are a normal process and in the case of Lucknow also the withdrawals have been regular and any conclusion being arrived at that this is for security reasons is not based on facts and is totally ill-founded.”
It further said, “AITA fails to understand as to how the tournament director in Lucknow gave a wrong statement without even understanding the rules of ITF.”
On Friday, tournament director JS Kaul, had said, “Foreign players have citied security reasons for their withdrawal in their messages to the ITF. Their respective governments’ have told the players to participate in the event at their own risk.” There are three foreigners in the main draw in Lucknow (two direct and
one after qualifying).
Looking at records from March 2012 (no women’s ITFs were held in April), one will find a comparative drop in entries. The $10,000 events in Aurangabad and Mumbai had 16 and 23 foreigners in the main draw, respectively while the $25,000 tournament in Bangalore had 25. In March this year, two $10,000 events in Hyderabad saw eight and nine foreigners in the main draw, respectively. The meet which concluded in Chennai on Sunday saw four.