January 4, 2022 6:59:00 pm
India’s Yuki Bhambri received a direct entry into the men’s singles main draw at the 4th Tata Open Maharashtra which will see some of the top players vying for honours here from January 31.
The 29-year-old is currently preparing for the Australian Open after recovering from an injury and will kickstart his campaign with a protected ranking at the prestigious event which is making a return after a COVID induced break.
World number 18 Aslan Karatsev and defending champion Jiri Vesely will also in action alongside seven other Top-100 players as South Asia’s only ATP Tour tournament gears up for a much-awaited comeback at the Balewadi Stadium.
With a stiff cut off at 149, the ATP 250 event will also see the participation of some of the experienced names as well as promising young guns such as Australia’s John Millman, Portugal’s Joao Sousa and teenage sensation Lorenzo Musetti of Italy.
“Despite the challenges and the pandemic, we are glad to see such a good response with players coming from the world over. We promise to bring yet another edition with a high-voltage action for the fans,” Prashant Sutar, Tournament Director, said in a release.
The 28-year-old Karatsev had a phenomenal 2021 as he became the first-ever player to reach the semi-finals on Grand Slam debut in Australia, bagged two singles titles, defeated tennis great Novak Djokovic as well as clinched a mixed-doubles silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 19-year-old Musetti, on the other hand, made headlines last year when he became the youngest player to break into the Top-100.
In his short career so far, the young Italian star has impressed everyone with his consistent match-winning performances against the top-10 players including Stan Wawrinka, Grigor Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori.
Millman, 32, will be another player to watch out as he had a breakthrough year in 2018 in which he defeated Roger Federer at the US Open and also entered the Top-50 in the world rankings.
Among others, runner-up Egor Gerasimov, all-time highest ranked Lithuanian star Ricardas Berankis, World No. 49 James Duckworth and Italian star Stefano Travaglia, who clinched his first ATP challenger title in Sibiu recently, will also make a return in Pune.
Former Youth Olympics champion Kamil Majchrzak, Moldova’s first-ever ATP singles title winner Radu Albot and World No. 62 Gianluca Mager are the other notable names from the acceptance list.
The qualifying draws will take place on January 30 and 31.