Mumbai Open: WTA 125K event's future under threat after being skipped in 2019, could drop to ITF level
Mumbai Open, played at the $125K level on the women's tour, will not be taking place this year and its status remains under question for the future.
Aryna Sabalenk and Luksika Kumkhum won the two editions of Mumbai Open
Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA), the organisers for the event, have expressed inability to hold the event this year
WTA tournaments in India have had a short shelf life with events being staged in Kolkata and Hyderabad in the past
In what would come as a blow to tennis fans in India, the future of WTA $125K event in Mumbai looks uncertain. With the women's tour calendar skipping the tournament completely this year, it remains to be seen how it progresses forward or if it can maintain its status as a $125K series event.
The tournament played its first edition in 2017 at the Cricket Club of India thereby making it the first WTA tournament to be held in India in five years. The last women's tour tournament to be played in India was the Royal Indian Open in 2012 in Pune.
Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA), the organisers for the event, have expressed inability to hold the event this year and for the future it may drop to the ITF Women’s Circuit as a $50,000 or $75,000 event. “We are right now not in a position to take this event forward for this year, so we will consider doing it next year,” said Prashant Sutar, Mumbai Open tournament director, to Times of India on Wednesday.
Asked to comment on the future of the event completely, Sutar said: “We will come back. The only thing we are still evaluating is whether to continue with WTA 125k Series or go with $50,000 or $75,000. We will see whatever is best for the Indian players.”
The news would come as a disappointment for Indian women players such as Ankita Raina, Karman Kaur Thandi and Pranjala Yadlapalli who see the tournament as an opportunity to face top players in the world. In the two editions, Mumbai Open has seen the inclusion of rising talent Aryna Sabalenka, Britons Naomi Broady, Laura Robson, Yanina Wickmayer and veteran Sabine Liscki.
In December, Vijay Amritraj had claimed they're trying to get a WTA event to Chennai for 2020 calendar to replicate the tournament the city hosted featuring the men. Chennai Open was later shifted to Pune. “In the early part of 2020, we will try to do a WTA event in Chennai. I have already made the request. We are looking to do a similar kind of event that we did for the men (the ATP 250),” he had said at the time.
“I have already spoken to the WTA, they are very keen to come on board. In terms of money, to conduct the event, it will probably end up costing about half of the ATP event (the Chennai Open)... about Rs 6-7 crore. Talks have also been initiated with the state government,” he added.
There has been no update on the tournament and its viability since.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
IPL 2020: Former South Africa cricketer JP Duminy to join Star Sports' commentary panel ahead of new season
Making his debut on the world feed will be former South Africa all-rounder JP Duminy, who will be joined by a host of experts that include the likes of Harsha Bhogle, Mark Nicholas, Simon Doull and Ian Bishop.
Kings XI Punjab lost to Delhi Capitals in a super over on Sunday after the teams were tied at 157 at the end of the Twenty20 match.
FIR registered after fraudulent transaction of Rs 6 lakh detected in Ram Temple Trust's bank account
The issue came to light after a senior SBI official in Lucknow called the trust secretary Champat Rai to confirm if the trust had issued another cheque for transfer of Rs 9.86 lakh.