Chennai: Young Indian Davis Cup player Ramkumar Ramanathan has been awarded a wild card for the singles event of the Chennai Open, India's only ATP event on the World Tour.
Ramkumar, who has had a rough year of late, had toppled Somdev Devvarman in the 2014 Chennai Open.
"We have great faith in Ram. We believe he will go a long way in world tennis. Moreover, India's fans love him and will give him all the support that he needs," TNTA president MA Alagappan said in a release.
The singles field will be led by world number six and 2014 US Open Champion Marin Cilic along with world number 14 Roberto Agut from Spain, No 27 Albert Ramos-Vinolas (Spain), No 35 Martin Klizan (Slovakia) and No 48 Borna Coric (Croatia).
Former Top 10 players such as Tommy Robredo and Mikhail Youzhny also return to India.
The tournament will start on 2 January at the SDAT Tennis Stadium in Nungambakkam. It serves as an ideal warm-up event to the Australian Open.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, who is the defending champion and has won the ATP 250 tournament four times, has chosen to not return in 2017 and will be participating at the Brisbane Open instead.