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Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan & Arjun Kadhe get wild-card for inaugural edition of Tata Open Maharashtra

Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan & Arjun Kadhe get wild-card for inaugural edition of Tata Open Maharashtra

Pune, Dec 23 (UNI) Tata Open Maharashtra organisers on Saturday announced the wild

card entries for the inaugural edition of the ATP 250 World Tour tournament to be held

from December 30 to January 6, 2018 at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium here.

Three Indian players Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Arjun Kadhe will get

a direct entry to the main draw.

The event was attended by Pravin Darade, Secretary, organizing committee, Kunal Kumar, Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation, Shravan Hardikar, Commissioner, PCMC and

Prashant Sutar, Tournament Director.

Bhambri, who is India’s top-ranked singles pro on ATP at 116 will lead the Indian challenge

at the event. The 25-year-old Delhi pro has been one of the consistent Indian players in last

one year. In November, Yuki won the KPIT-MSLTA Challenger event beating Ramanathan in

the finals.

At the Citi Open in Washington, Bhambri reached quarterfinals losing to Kevin Anderson in

three sets. On his way up, he beat Frenchman Gael Monfils in the round of 32 in three sets.

This will be his sixth appearance in the main draw of the Indian ATP event. His best result was reaching the quarterfinals in 2014 event losing to Vasek Popisil. Last year, he reached the

round of 16 making it through the qualifying rounds.

“I’ve had some good results this year and have played over 20 tournaments. The last time

I came to Pune I won the event so I’m looking forward to the event,” said Bhambri.

Ramkumar Ramanathan (142) comes to the main draw at the back of winning three titles

in ITF Futures event. The 23-year old from Chennai will make his fifth appearance in the main

draw of this event. His best performance here came in 2016 when he reached the quarterfinals.

In 2013 edition, ranked 789, he beat Somdev Devvarman, ranked 90 then, in the round of 32.

Kadhe, on the other hand, comes to this event winning his first ever Futures title. On his way

to the title, the Pune lad didn’t drop a single set and beat Australian Andrew Harris 7-5, 6-3 in

the final of the hard court event played in Thu Dau Mot City, Vietnam. At 18, he got his first taste

of the Indian ATP event playing the qualifying round of Chennai Open in 2012, losing to Kenny

De Schepper in the 1st round.

The wild card entry should be a great motivation for the Maharashtra no 1 who has been in

great form recently. In doubles, Kadhe won two ITF Doubles title in December itself. Alongside Mumbai lad Aryan Goveas, Kadhe beat the pair of Oleksandr Bielinskyi of Ukraine and Russia's Ronald Slobodchikov in the final of the Egypt Futures in Cairo. Before that, the same pair beat Adrian Exposito of Spain and Diego Matos of Brazil 7-5, 6-3 to clinch the doubles title in

$15,000 ITF Futures tennis, making it three titles for Kadhe in two months.

“Being top-ranked Indian players, Yuki and Ramanathan will lead Indian challenge in singles event at the Tata Open Maharashtra. On the other hand, Kadhe is an emerging talent and this

being his home ground, it would be an additional source of inspiration to do well here. We wish

all our wild-card entrants the best of luck,” said tournament director Prashant Sutar.

The organisers are leaving no stones unturned in making this inaugural event in Pune a great success. Not only they have announced a strong playing field, but they also have priced the

match tickets competitively at Rs. 150 only for attracting more crowd. They are also building a

fan park in the lawn adjacent to the Centre Court for greater fan engagement.

The Mhalunge Balewadi stadium is getting major infrastructure upgrade with increased

seating capacity, new locker rooms for players besides getting a revamp of the approach road

to the venue, thanks to the unstinted support of the Government of Maharashtra and Pune

Municipal Corporation.

The ATP 250 World Tour event will be broadcasted live on Sony SIX and Ten 2.

UNI XC-BM

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