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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday felicitated four budding tennis players from Odisha during the inauguration ceremony of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) US $ 15,000 tournament at Kalinga Stadium here.

The four players - Abhishek Mohapatra, Rutuparna Choudhury, Ameek Kiran Batth and Kabir Hans - received a cash prize of Rs 50,000 each from the Chief Minister.

Besides, players of other countries including India were also felicitated by Patnaik during the event.

"I am delighted that Odisha is hosting an International Tennis Federation Tournament for the first time. I am sure that it will greatly contribute to and strengthen our effort for making Bhubaneswar an international sporting destination," said Patnaik.

The Chief Minister also assured to develop facilities at Kalinga Stadium to host the Davis Cup, one of the most prestigious tournaments in world tennis.

All India Tennis Association (AITA) Secretary General Hiranmoy Chatterjee also pointed out the future possibility of Odisha hosting the Davis Cup.

"It should be a recognised venue to host international events such as Davis Cup. When I say recognised venue it means that it has hosted some international events in the past. Odisha has broken the ice by hosting the ITF Futures US $ 15,000 this year and the infrastructure they have created fits the requirement for future tournament," said Chatterjee.

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