first_img Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. atpATP ChallengerATP challenger circuitATP Challenger tournament First Published: September 30, 2019, 3:18 PM IST New Delhi: Sumit Nagal, with his fearless approach, impressed iconic Roger Federer at the US Open and then took it forward by making two finals on the Challenger circuit, but the youngster is flabbergasted that people are just “walking away” when he needs support.The 22-year-old won the Buenos Aires Challenger on Sunday night and jumped to a career-best rank of 135. The 26-place jump has consolidated his status as India’s number two singles player behind Prajnesh Gunneswaran (84). However, the paucity of funds meant that neither he had his coach by his side nor the physio, who could help him recover from the gruelling matches on red dirt in the Argentinian city.”I was all alone here. No one was with me to help out. One way, it has been great that I have been playing good tennis but it’s not easy to do it and I’m really sad,” Nagal told PTI from Buenos Aires.”The path is lonely despite doing well at the US Open. I qualified at 22 and led a set against Roger Federer but it still has not made impact anywhere. It’s really sad nobody is coming up to invest into tennis,” he added.Nagal figured in the government’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), receiving financial support for some time but was later dropped.The scheme offers a monthly financial aid of Rs 50,000 to athletes who are medal prospects at the Olympics.As of now, only doubles specialists Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan is getting support through TOPS and none of the country’s singles tennis players are a beneficiary.Multiple Grand Slam title winner Mahesh Bhupathi, who mentored Nagal after hand-picking him from a tennis clinic, said if a player of the caliber of Nagal can’t get enough support, then it’s failure of the system.”Sumit is obviously a special talent and it shows with what he has done in the last six months. When you see talent like him who are not nurtured and supported keeping in mind the coming Olympics or the next one, I consider it a colossal failure of the system,” Bhupathi fumed.”Then no one has the right to ask later why India doesn’t produce champions,” Bhupathi, who won eight Grand Slam trophies, added.Nagal gets support from Virat Kohli Foundation but it does not cover all expenses that a tennis player needs.”They are providing a good amount but as you can see in tennis you need a team like all the top 100 players have, coach, fitness, physio etc which adds up,” said Bhupathi.The estimated required annual budget for Nagal is around 220,000 euros (Rs 1.5 crore).The Jhajjar-born Nagal said he is surprised that despite zooming up close to top-100, support has not swelled enough.”I still have the exact budget which I had in 2018 when I was ranked 350. It’s that when I needed the most which is right now, I see people turning around and walking away.Bhupathi is well-connected and has been trying hard to get sponsors on board. But with corporate support not coming, he had decided to knock the doors of those who know something about creating champions.”Well only an athlete can understand talent in my opinion. So now I am trying to route it through Gopi (Gopichand) and Malav and hopefully they can advise the best way forward,” he said.Nagal said people only make promises but when the time comes, they look the other side.”I am still stuck. I have to find a way to get my coach on tour to help me. Most of the tournaments I did in summer was by myself. It’s funny how they say if you need any help let us know and when you actually ask them or write an email they don’t even bother replying to you,” he said. last_img read more

first_img6. Sydney Harbour Bridge ClimbAnother of the more unusual things to do in Sydney is to climb the Harbour Bridge. The highest point is 134 metres above sea level and anyone over the age of 10, who is willing and able, can scale to the top! The most spectacular time is twilight when the city begins to light up. The three and a half hour climb will leave you speechless as you reach the summit and witness the view across the harbour and the whole of Sydney. There are lots of options if you want a shorter (and less terrifying!) climb or want to complete the challenge at dawn instead. 8. Kayak up the SpitTo the right of Harbour Bridge, you’ll see Sydney Harbour Kayaks. If you fancy a day out on the water, messing about in boats in peace and tranquillity, then hire a kayak or two and paddle up stream. Go out at high tide, when you’ll be able to skim through eerie mangrove forests. Although you’re technically still in the city, you’ll feel a million miles away from civilisation. Rent by the hour from $20, or take a guided tour. 3. Sydney Seafood School and MarketIf you love seafood, then Sydney city breaks won’t disappoint. Head for the prestigious Sydney Seafood School where you can learn how to cook it, as well as eat it. You’ll get demonstrations by top chefs, hands-on cookery classes, a delicious meal, complimentary wine tasting and recipes to take home. Be sure to get up early and visit the seafood market next door (from 7am), where you can buy almost anything that lives in the ocean. 15. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair & the Royal Botanic GardenA blaze of colourful flowerbeds, curious bottle trees and palm groves await in Sydney’s Botanic Gardens but it’s the location which makes this a must stop on a Sydney city break. The gardens spread right up to the water’s edge, opposite the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. You can take it all in by having a seat on the famous stone bench, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, carved out of the rock for the governor’s wife back in the nineteenth century.Opening times: Opens daily at 7am (closing time depends on sunset – see website for seasonal times)Location: Mrs Macquaries RoadPrice: Free Search for flights to Sydney1. Sydney Opera HouseA trip here would not be complete without seeing undoubtedly one of the most well-known international symbols in the world, the Sydney Opera House. Whether you just want to snap the famous sails or see an opera, ballet or unique contemporary performance (there are 40 shows on a week!), this masterpiece of modern architecture is incredibly striking and a must for anyone on a city break in Sydney. 9. Harley motorbike toursIf you fancy a two wheeled trip with the wind in your hair, check out Troll Tours, who offer city excursions on Harley Davidson motorbikes. See the sights just outside Sydney like the nearby Blue Mountains or stop in at the wineries of Hunter Valley – only if you’re not in the driver’s seat of course! Three-wheeler trike tours are also available for up to three people. 13. Sydney FestivalEvery January, hoards of visitors descend on the city for this huge celebration of art, music, performance and world cultures. The programme is wide and eclectic each year, including many free shows, exhibitions and outdoor events in green spaces like Hyde Park. Famous names have performed at Sydney Festival in the past, from Björk to Sir Ian McKellen, and you can expect to see examples of local Indigenous arts, as well as international theatre and even circus shows. 7. The RocksThe Rocks are the place to come for arts venues, museums, cafes and restaurants including the historic Lord Nelson pub, which has been there since 1841. Buildings in The Rocks are the oldest in the city and made from local sandstone, giving the area its name. With breath-taking views and a Bohemian feel, this is the place to meet new friends and kick back in the East Coast sunshine. How to get to SydneyYou’ll most likely fly from London to Sydney, with the best connections from Heathrow Airport and with airlines like Emirates and Qantas. There are no direct flights from the UK to Sydney, so you’ll usually need to stop in Dubai, or Southeast Asian airports like Bangkok, Singapore or Manilla.Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport is 9km outside of the central business district and well-connected by transport links (the train is the quickest and cheapest option). A taxi ride will take about 20 minutes.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Mapcenter_img 11. Bondi BeachDon’t forget to schedule some time to bum around on Bondi Beach, the quintessential Aussie surfer’s paradise, around 7km from Sydney’s centre (30 minutes by public transport). You might spot a seal, check out the community events at the Bondi Pavillion or make like the locals and get up early for a run along the shore. There’s also the Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk, which promises some amazing Instagrammable views and more secluded shores along the way. 2. Sleep over at Taronga ZooWhether you have children or not, the idea of camping on a cliff edge in the centre of Taronga Zoo will excite kids and grown-ups alike. Here you can spend a wild night with the animals, in the comfort of safari-style tent. Before you hit the hay, you’ll be cooked a sumptuous roasted feast and experience up-close animal encounters. On waking to the roar of the lions you’ll get a tour of the zoo before the crowds descend. Book online well in advance. If you don’t manage to bag an overnight spot, the zoo still makes a cracking day out, and even features a rope-bridge adventure course!Opening times: (Normal daytime hours) (May to Aug) 9.30am – 4.30pm; (Sept to Apr) 9.30am – 5.00pmLocation: Bradleys Head, MosmanPrice: (Regular admission; online discounts available) Adults $46, Concessions $36, Children $26 5. Sydney Food TourScrumptious Sydney is one of the best cities in the world to eat in. The produce is fresh, the cuisine diverse. The reasons for the endless variety are Sydney’s “villages” where people from all over the world have settled, from Italians in Haberfield, to Turkish in Auburn, Lebanese in Punchbowl and Greeks in Marrickville. The aromas make it seem as though you really are travelling around the globe and with a themed tasting tour, you’ll be sent home with lots of foodie finds and recipes. 12. Go whale-watching in ManlyThe Northern Beaches of Sydney, across the Sydney Harbour estuary, are some of the most attractive shores around these parts and Manly Beach is prime whale-watching territory. A 30 minute ferry ride from the city and you can find yourself clambering up the rocky outcrop at North Head – the best place to go to see a humpback or southern right whale, or one of the 43 other species of whale that pass by this coast. Aim for late morning or early afternoon for the best chance to spy them. Whale watching tours also leave from Manly esplanade, with guaranteed sightings! 14. Museum of Contemporary Art AustraliaThis cutting-edge institution showcases the best of contemporary Australian art, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and input from the many different nationalities who’ve settled here over the years. There are often interesting temporary exhibitions and events, too, so check out the programme before your break in Sydney. You’ll find the building at Circular Quay, in a commanding Art Deco building that also marks a significant site in the nation’s history, being the point where the first British ships arrived back in 1788 and first met with indigenous Australians.Opening times: Mon to Tues 10am – 5pm, Wed 10am – 9pm, Thu to Sun 10am – 5pmLocation: 140 George Street, The RocksPrice: Free 4. Sydney ObservatoryFor one of the best views of Harbour Bridge, visit Sydney Observatory. You can see a Planetarium show and look through a solar telescope during the day, but the best time by far is at sunset when you can watch the twinkling lights come on across the city and illuminate the bridge. Combine it with an evening tour of the observatory to observe the starry Aussie sky and learn about the solar system. Why not take a peek through the observatories two telescopes, one of which is the oldest working telescope in Australia?Opening times: (Daytime) Mon to Sun 10am – 5pm (Night tours from 8.15pm but may vary; booking required)Location: 1003 Upper Fort Street, Millers PointPrice: (Night tour) $20-22, Concessions $18-20, Children $16-17; daytime visits free 10. Darling HarbourHang out at this cityside harbour area to catch the real buzz of Sydney. Explore the boats and submarines at the Australian National Maritime Museum, jump on a cruise of the harbour or simply watch the ferries go in and out, sipping an iced beer in one of the cafes or restaurants. Settle in at Cohibar for cool cocktails and a pumping atmosphere as the evening descends and the DJs crank up the volume.last_img read more