India’s only ATP tour stop, the Tata Open Maharashtra will be one of three ATP 250 tournaments held in the week after the Australian Open.
India’s top-ranked singles player Prajnesh Gunneswaran will be leading the home charge after getting a direct entry to the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune - South Asia's only ATP Tour Tournament – following the withdrawal of Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak due to injury.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran is 123rd in the ATP rankings and will be looking to produce some solid displays in front of home fans after making it to the main draw of the Australian Open, where he lost to Japan’s Tatsuma Ito.
The withdrawal of Japan's Go Soeda due to injury has now paved Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s way into the main draw.
The upcoming edition from February 3 to 9 will be the 25th edition of the tournament with the qualifiers taking place on February 1 and 2. The 25th Tata Open will also be Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s third successive year in the tournament having taken part in each of the previous two editions as well.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran, though, won’t be the only Indian player hoping to make an impact with the likes doubles player Divij Sharan – who clinched the doubles title in the last edition of the tournament alongside Rohan Bopanna – and singles competitor Sumit Nagal also itching to make the main draws by winning their respective qualifiers.
Both Divij Sharan and Sumit Nagal will be keen to make a mark after underwhelming starts to the year for them in the Australian Open.
Apart from the 19 direct acceptances to the Tata Open; two special exempts, three wild cards and the four qualifiers winners make up the 28-man field. Past winners of the tournament include former World No. 1s Patrick Rafter and Carlos Moya.
No player has won the singles event more times than Stanislas Wawrinka’s four triumphs, while Indian legend Leander Paes leads the way for most doubles titles in the Tata Open Maharashtra having won it six times.
While last year’s winner Kevin Anderson won’t be participating to defend his title, there are plenty of international stars with pedigree who’ll be keen to make an impression. Frenchman Benoit Paire, currently ranked 21 in the world, will be one of the favourites along with Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis. Other famous names that are in the draw include Philipp Kohlschreiber and Ivo Karlovic.
The doubles event will see former Grand Slam doubles champions Robert Lindstedt and Jonathan Erlich as the main attractions. Robert Lindstedt will team up with Netherlands’ Robin Haase, who won the doubles event in the 2018 edition alongside countryman Matwe Middelkoop. Jonathan Erlich, meanwhile, pairs up with Belarusian Andrei Vasilevski.
Watch the Tata Open Maharashtra broadcast on Star Sports Select HD 2, and streamed on Jio TV and Hotstar. On social media, there will be a Facebook Live stream for centre court matches, restricted to the Indian subcontinent.