India is steadily moving forward in the highly competitive world of tennis and people need to be patient to see more results, especially in singles, says former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli.
The 31-year-old was in the capital to launch the second edition of Rendez-vous, a tournament for Indian boys and girls to earn a wild card for the junior French Open.
"It is a tremendous effort to promote Roland Garros, our Grand Slam. It's good to have these courts to understand the surface and technique. India is on the right path, you need to have patience. Everything has to be in place and AITA is doing a good job," Bartoli, who retired in 2013 and is now busy with her designing work, said.
Asked what the Indian kids need to do to be successful on the physically demanding clay courts, Bartoli quipped that had she known the secret, she would have won the French Open. On a more serious note, Bartoli emphasised on building stamina.
"Stamina is very important, it's crucial to bring these clay courts. Why Spanish players are good at clay is because 95 percent of their courts are clay. You need to play more competitions," she said.
Along with AITA President Anil Khanna and Sam Primaut, Director, French Tennis Federation (FFT) Bartoli unveiled the newly-laid clay courts at DLTA and also the French Open singles trophies -- the Coupe des Mousquetaires and the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.
Sam Primaut said India is an important region for them. "Marion will be an inspiration for boys and girls. India is a key market and a booming market. We want to be part of it.
India is part of bigger plans. It's just a beginning. If you can have doubles Grand Slam winners, someone will win singles also. We want to promote tennis. Let's get dirty and enjoy the tournament," he said.