From fashionable to frisky, Ms Fadnavis breaks stereotypes

The Asian Age.  | Irfan Haji

Metros, Mumbai

As chief patron of the India-NZ Davis Cup tie, eyes boosting tennis here.

Amruta Fadnavis has not compromised on her normal life despite being the chief minister’s wife.

Mumbai: The curtains over Amruta Fadnavis’s multiple talents have awed those around her after Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) involved Ms Fadnavis as the chief patron of the February 3-5 Davis Cup tie between India and New Zealand in Pune. The wife of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was an avid tennis player during her academic days and is now a busy professional banker who hopes to prolong her association with the MSLTA even after the Davis Cup.

“Davis Cup is the largest tennis competition involving around 135 nations. It is seen as the World Cup of Tennis and rightfully so. It invokes national spirit. Maharashtra has won the challenge of hosting the event in the state after 10 years and 43 years after in Pune. Thanks to MSLTA for taking the initiative,” Amruta said here on Monday.

“The competition will bring a lot of interest in the game with biggest players like Leander Paes (who will be eyeing most Davis Cup doubles wins record) playing. I hope people will come to Balewadi to support Indian team and help them to be champions as they have been runner-ups thrice,” she added.

Thanks to MSLTA for giving me a chance. I would like to continue this association even after Davis Cup for as long as they want me to. We had government representatives here and I will request (husband) to work together for a tennis stadium in Mumbai and also mull possibilities of conducting big tournaments in the city,” she said.

Amruta was referring to Nitin Kareer (IAS officer), chairman of the Davis Cup, principal secretary to CM, Pravinsingh Pardeshi, patron of the Davis Cup and Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation MD, K.H. Govindraj who were present at the event. Govindraj said they hope to integrate sports and tourism together to promote both.

Mumbai hasn’t a stadium as per international standards to accommodate at least 4000-5000 crowd. The city last hosted an international event ten years ago at Cricket Club of India with makeshift stands.

Amruta put her sporty side up saying that tennis holds a special place in her life and she plans to resume playing it as she did during her academic days. “I have a special liking for tennis. I started playing tennis at the age of four and continued till 18 while in college. After that I didn’t get time to pursue it further. My daughter plays tennis regularly and now I am also planning to resume playing it at night as that is the only time I have at my disposal,” she said. When the Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf fan was asked about Agassi’s recent visit to Mumbai, she said, “I didn’t get the opportunity to meet him.