Tennis legend Leander Paes will be back in Pune to play his final ATP Tour event in India after receiving a wild card entry in doubles at the third edition of Tata Open Maharashtra which is scheduled to be held in Pune from February 3-9.

The 46-year-old Paes, who will partner Australian Mathew Ebden, will be up against another Indian player and defending champion Divij Sharan in the first round. Sharan, who clinched doubles title in the last edition with Rohan Bopanna, has teamed up with New Zealand’s Artem Sitak.

The announcement was made during the draw ceremony on Saturday in presence of Tournament Director Prashant Sutar, Treasurer Sanjay Khandare and Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association secretary Sunder Iyer. India No. 1 Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Italian Stefano Travaglia were also present during the draw ceremony.

“We are really happy to welcome the tennis legend back in Pune. He has serviced the nation and won countless laurels for the country. He has inspired many Indian youngsters. It will be great for Pune crowd to come to the stadium and watch the legend play one last time,” Sutar said.

The third edition of India’s only ATP Tour tournament will be the last appearance at this level for the eight-time doubles Grand Slam Champion Paes, who announced late last year that 2020 will be his farewell season on the circuit.

“It will be the last tournament for Paes in India. We decided to give him wild card entry as it is going to be tribute to what he has done for the country,” Iyer said.

Another ace Indian doubles player Rohan Bopanna, alongside local boy Arjun Kadhe, will face French pair of Antonie Hoang and Benoit Paire.

Meanwhile, in the singles category main draw, Gunneswaran will face Yannick Maden in the first round while the India No. 2 Sumit Nagal will be up against a qualifier.

In the qualifiers, both wildcard entrants went down in the first round.

India’s Saketh Myneni lost 3-6, 2-6 to fourth seed Nikola Melonevic while Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis was beaten by Lukas Rosol 6-4, 6-4.

Results of singles qualifiers

Roberto Marcora(Italy) bt Filippo Baldi(Italy) 6-3,6-2; Matthew Ebden(Australia) bt 1-Zhang Zhizhen(China) 6-3,6-2; 2-Blaz Rola (Slovenia) bt Malek Jaziri (Tunisia) 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 7-6 (2); 6-Robin Haase (Netherlands) bt Frederico Ferreira Silva (Portugal) 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4; 8-Lukas Rosol (Czechia) bt Ernests Gulbis (Latvia) 6-4, 6-4.