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Cilic to start as favourite at Cheni Open

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  2 Jan 2017 12:00 AM GMT

Cheni, Jan 1: Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramathan will spearhead the Indian challenge against a strong foreign field headlined by world No.6 Marin Cilic at the Cheni Open tennis tourment starting here from Monday. Last year's runner-up Bor Coric of Croatia, Spaniards Roberta Bautista Agut and Albert Ramos-Vinolas are also expected to be strong challengers.

With defending champion Stan Wawrinka opting to skip the tourment this year, Cilic -- who won the title in 2009 and 2010 -- is considered to be the frontrunner.

The Croat had enjoyed an excellent run of form in 2016. He claimed his maiden Masters title in Cincinti, defeating current Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in the fil.

At the 2016 Paris Masters, Cilic defeated Novak Djokovic for the first time in his career to reach the semi-fils, where he had lost to John Isner.

Bautista Agut also enjoyed a good run in 2016. The World No.14 won two ATP titles and also notched up a win over Djokovic.

Apart from Myneni and local lad Ramathan, Yuki Bhambri and Prajnesh Gunneswaran are the other Indians in the fray in singles.

In the doubles category, veteran star Leander Paes will take to the court with partner Andre Sa from Brazil.

Paes and Sa will face the Indian combition of Divij Sharan and Purav Raja in the opening round.

Rohan Bopan meanwhile, has joined up with local lad Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan.

Wild card entrants Myneni-Ramathan and Sriram Balaji-Vishnu Vardhan will also be seen in action. IANS

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