Sun, 28 May 2000

Allowance for Angie in French Open

JAKARTA (JP): The Indonesian Tennis Association (Pelti) met Saturday and approved financial assistance for junior girls singles hopeful, Angelique Widjaja, to compete in the French Open junior tournament next week.

Pelti spokesman Benny Mailili said Saturday that the organization decided not to provide airfare but opted to provide a cash allowance. However, he declined to mention the amount.

"I don't know how much allowance Pelti will provide. All I know is that the amount will be enough for Angie (Angelique's nickname) to compete in the tournament," he said.

On Friday, Pelti secretary general Soegeng Sarjadi said that Pelti would discuss financial assistance for Angie's journey to the tournament.

Angie's father Rico Widjaja had requested Pelti assist him with the financial burden for the 15-year-old player to compete in the prestigious tournament, for which it is an honor to qualify.

Angie qualified for the junior singles main draw of the French Open as she reached the ITF junior ranking of 38. Other Indonesian senior players who have competed in the Grand Slam tournament at the famous Rolland Garros stadium are Yayuk Basuki, Wynne Prakusya and Romana Tedjakusuma.

French Open organizers have confirmed that they will provide Angie with 2,000 Francs (US$273). Angie will also receive personal assistance from Pelti official in charge of athletes development Sudjiono Timan of 2,000 Francs.

Benny said that Pelti is negotiating with airline companies about the possibility of sponsorships for Angie and teammate Dea Sumantri to enable them to compete in international tournaments in the future.

"Pelti official in charge of promotion Martina Widjaja is still studying the possibility. Should they get sponsorships from an airline company, it would really help them to compete abroad more often," he said. (yan)