Chennai: Sumit Nagal, who recently became the first Indian to beat a seeded player in a Grand Slam tournament, will spearhead the Indian challenge in the men's singles competition of the Chennai Open ATP Challenger 100 tournament beginning on Sunday. The 26-year-old Nagal had entered the second round of the Australian Open last month after beating world no. 27 and number 31 seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan. He is currently ranked 121 in the world. Ramkumar Ramanathan and Mukund Sasikumar will be the other Indians in the fray in men's singles as they were among three players who were handed wild cards for the main draw.
Luca Nardi of Italy has been given the top billing as players from 14 countries will be taking part in the tournament in Chennai. Last year's winner Max Purcell of Australia will not be competing this time as he is featuring in other ATP events.
In the doubles category, India's Arjun Kadhe and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan are the top seeds.
The tournament is the first of the four Challenger series to be played in the country. The other three will be held in Bengaluru, Pune and Delhi.
The competition will be played on hard courts with 32 players in singles main draw and 16 in doubles. The total prize money will be USD 1,33,250.
Speaking during the tournament launch, Indian tennis legend and TNTA President Vijay Amritraj said, "This is proof that the conduct of international tournaments such as the ATP Challenger enable Indian players to excel on the world stage."
He also congratulated Rohan Bopanna on winning the Australian Open doubles title and reaching the summit of the ATP doubles ranking.
“I’m delighted to congratulate Rohan Bopanna on becoming the world's No.1 doubles player and winning the Australian Open title at the same time. Having chased his dreams for such a long time, this is an amazing achievement for Rohan, and even more creditable that it has come at the age of 43," he said. Agencies