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India’s only ATP 250 event (Chennai Open) has shifted it’s base from Chennai to Pune and will now be known as the ‘Maharashtra Open’. While this move has been welcomed by fans in the city of Pune, it has drawn strong reactions from the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Opposition leader of the state, MK Stalin, has deemed the move as shocking and slammed the state government for allowing it to unfold and not taking enough steps to prevent it.
In a statement released he said, “It is indeed shocking to know that the venue of ATP Tennis Tournament in South Asia ‘Chennai Open’ has now been shifted to Pune. This premier event was hosted by the city of Chennai in Nungambakkam SDAT Stadium for past 21 years and the exemplary conduct of this event brought laurels to the City not only by patrons and tennis fans in Chennai but also across the globe”. “Given the importance of the event, significant monetary contributions have been the made by the State Government,” he added.
Stalin also said, “Given the long association of this event with the city, now a question has arisen whether this event would be conducted in Chennai, the coming year. It is an unfair step by IMG to break this long standing association, thereby disappointing countless fans as well as tennis players of Tamil Nadu.”
Criticising the state government, he added, “With IMG stating that it is commercial interests which led to the shifting of the venue, the silence and inaction of Tamil Nadu Government in this issue is condemnable. Hence, I request Hon’ble Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy to take immediate actions to ensure that the association of the City of Chennai with the ATP Tennis Open stays alive,” Stalin said.