Ramkumar Ramanathan has been handed one of the three wildcards while Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Sumit Nagal have got a direct entry in the main draw of the Tata Open Maharashtra ATP 250 event to be held in Pune from February 3-9.
This is the third edition of India’s only ATP World Tour event to be held in Pune. The dates of the tournament, which used to be a season-opening event, were moved to February after the introduction of the ATP Cup in 2020.
Announcing the wildcards for the third edition of the event, Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association president Bharat Oza said, “We have received a few requests for wildcard from top ranked players as they want to play the tournament while returning from Australian Open. So we want to wait till the final acceptance list before deciding the [other] two wildcards for main draw and two for qualifying.”
A total of 11 Indian players are expected to be participating in the tournament. India No 1 Prajnesh got a main draw spot following the withdrawal of Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak while Nagal made the cut from the alternative list.
Tournament Secretary Prashant Sutar said even Leander Paes, who is playing in his final year on tour, has requested for a wildcard in doubles.
Admitting that the dates of the tournament this year has not helped in attracting top stars, Sutar said they would speak to ATP to look for alternate dates for next year.
“We were offered this week or September. But it rains in Pune during September so we took these dates,” he added.
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