Pune: India's number one singles player Prajnesh Gunneswaran was on Friday handed a wild card entry into the main draw of the Tata Open Maharashtra ATP tournament, to be held here from 31 December to 5 January.
Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan will be the two wild card entrants while SK Mukund and Saket Myneni will have to go through the qualifiers.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will inaugurate the upcoming Tata Open Maharashtra to be played at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium.
"Tata Open Maharashtra is one of Asia's best ATP World Tour event and we want to continue to grow to become the best by having the best players, providing best infrastructure and give a platform to upcoming talents from the country like Prajnesh who has rightfully earned the wild card entry for the event," said tournament director Prashant Sutar.
The organisers have also announced that the tournament will be broadcast on Star Sports.
"The event has brought great value to all stakeholders. According to a SMG Evaluation Report of first season Tata Open Maharashtra is doing exceedingly well in traditional and social media both, which means it's being well received by fans and tennis lovers across," said Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association secretary Sunder Iyer.
The year 2018 has been good for Gunneswaran as he reached world no 104 in November from 243 at the start of the year. His rise comes at the back of two Challenger titles in China and Bengaluru.
The 29-year-old comes back to Pune after finishing runners-up at the KPIT Challenger held here less than a month ago. The bronze medal at the Asian Games was another feather in the Chennai-based player's cap.
Currently ranked 107, Gunneswaran will become the first Indian singles player in the main draw which has five players from top-50.
For all the world-class players, the tournament will just be the much-needed head-start for the upcoming season. The line-up includes defending champion and world no. 30 Gilles Simon from France, world no. 6 Kevin Anderson from South Africa, world no. 7 Marin Cilic of Croatia, world no. 25 Hyeon Chung from Korea and world no. 45 Malek Jaziri of Tunisia.
Updated Date: Dec 21, 2018 19:52:49 IST