Having finished their pre-tournament practice stints and photograph and autograph sessions at the Nungambakkam Tennis stadium,players hoping to win their matches as well as the crowd over in Chennai will start the real thing on Monday,the opening day of the Chennai Open.
A quick look through the singles main draw of the tournament makes it hard to pick out a clear favourite who could sweep through the list on his way to the trophy. Russian Nikolay Davydenko is the top seed and the only top-10 player present among the bunch,but he is eminently beatable. Add to that the statistic of the top seed never having won the Chennai Open even in the years that it happened to be current world No 1 Rafael Nadal and the Russians status suddenly appears to occupy shaky ground.
Stanislas Wawrinka,Marin Cilic and Janko Tipsarevic are some of the seeded players capable of upstaging the world No 5 in Chennai,and they promise to show off their very watchable brand of tennis to those who gather to watch.
Seeds No 1 and 2 Davydenko and Wawrinka respectively dont get a chance to show off their wares on Monday,but Cilic gets a shot at Spains Alberto Martin on centre court on Day One.
Israels highest ranked player,Dudi Sela,plays Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo of Spain,while wild card Lukas Dlouhy faces Japans Go Soeda. The Indian interest would centre around the second match on centre court,as Prakash Amritraj will attempt to make his singles outing in his hometown last more than a single day. He plays fifth seed Rainer Schuettler of Germany.
Bopanna in final qualifying round
Rohan Bopanna will play Germanys Michael Berrer on Monday for a place in the main draw,after he won his second round qualifying match on Sunday. The Indian beat compatriot and once-promising junior Sanam Singh 6-3,6-4. Bopanna was the only Indian to make it to the final round of the qualifiers,as PC Vignesh,Rohan Gajjar and Srirambalaji Narayanaswamy all lost their second-round matches on Sunday.