Rich, world class field for 22nd Aircel Chennai Open

India’s tennis fans are in for a grand treat this New Year with a rich pool of international stars, including four from Spain, three from Russia, two each from Brazil and Croatia, confirming their participation in the 22nd edition of the upcoming Aircel Chennai Open, the country’s longest running and most prestigious sporting tournament.

India’s tennis fans are in for a grand treat this New Year with a rich pool of international stars, including four from Spain, three from Russia, two each from Brazil and Croatia, confirming their participation in the 22nd edition of the upcoming Aircel Chennai Open, the country’s longest running and most prestigious sporting tournament.

 

The star-studded lineup will be led by the effervescent World No. 6 and the Croat in the form of his life, Marin Cilic, with World No. 14 Roberto Agut (Spain), No. 27 Albert Ramos-Vinolas (Spain), No. 35 Martin Klizan (Slovakia) and No. 48 Borna Coric (Croatia) adding to the lustre of the annual ATP event at the SDAT Tennis Stadium in Nungambakkam. 

 

Former Top 10 players Tommy Robredo (Spain) and Mikhail Youzhny (Russia) also return to India, the former after 12 years and the latter after two years, threatening to give the top seeds a run for the money. 

 

Robredo, who had gone as high as World No. 5 in 2006, is a player of high pedigree, having won 10 ATP singles and starring in Spain’s Davis Cup conquests thrice. The first and only time he played in Chennai in 2004, he teamed up with Rafael Nadal to win the doubles title. He is currently No. 57 and, even at 34, cannot be trifled with. 

 

Youzhny is a familiar and popular star in Chennai, having won the 2008 title after beating Nadal in straight sets. He pulled out in the second round with an injury during his last stint here but has been showing glimpses of his much feared all-round game in recent months. He also holds the distinction of consistently making it to the quarterfinals in all Grand Slams, along with mega stars Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

 

“This is an impressive lineup,” Tom Annear, Aircel Chennai Open’s Tournament Director, said. “Tennis fans in India can expect high quality tennis this year,” he added.

 

India’s campaign will be charged by local hero and Wild Card entrant Ramkumar Ramanathan, who shuttles between Barcelona and Chennai in pursuit of his tennis career. The 22-year-old rose to prominence in 2014 when he toppled Somdev Devvarman in the opening round of the 2014 Aircel Open. He has been a national champion and has been part of India’s Davis Cup team as well and is currently No. 2 in AITA’s rankings.

 

“We have great faith in Ram,” TNTA president MA Alagappan said. “We believe he will go a long way in world tennis. Moreover, India’s fans love him and will give him all the support that he needs.”

 

Players from as far and wide as Argentina, Belgium, France, Taipei and Israel will descend in Chennai for the season opener. They may all be tennis pros now but they have dabbled in various other sports and even in other vocations, with Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia (No. 78) acting in a couple of films as well. Agut has been an enthusiastic footballer while Coric is an intrepid boxer to date.

 

Radu Albot, who has become a mini star in Moldova with his tennis exploits, will be an exciting player to look out for. The World No. 97 from the tiny East European country has created a series of records, winning his country’s first ATP Challenger, first doubles title and even the first ATP World Tour event. ATP’s most improved player of 2015 Frenchman Benoit Paire will be another star who can cause a ripple in Chennai.

 

“It is great to see so many star players confirming their presence for the Aircel Chennai Open this year. We are quite sure that it will be a thrilling experience for the fans to see so many of their favourite stars live in action,” TNTA president MA Alagappan added.

About Aircel Chennai Open 2017

 

The USD$500,000 Aircel Chennai Open, owned by IMG and operated and organised by IMG Reliance, is India’s and South Asia’s only ATP World Tour event. Started in 1996, by IMG, a global leader in sports management and marketing, the event enters its 22nd years in Chennai, planting the southern metropolis as well as India on the global tennis map. Winner of the prestigious ATP’s Player Services Award of Excellence (2006) for its outstanding organization and wonderful hospitality towards the participants and ATP’s Best Marketing Award (2008), the tournament has acquired the status of a much sought-after tennis event for, both, players and fans alike on the International tennis circuit. The 22nd edition of the event in India, and the 20th in Chennai will be held from January 2 to 8, 2017 at the SDAT Tennis Stadium in Nungambakkam, Chennai. The tournament is conducted with the active collaboration of the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) and the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA).

 

 About IMG

 

IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion and media, operating in more than 30 countries around the world. IMG’s businesses include Events & Media, College, Golf, Tennis, Performance and IMG Academy, Fashion, Models, Clients, Consulting, Licensing, Joint Ventures, and creative management agency Art + Commerce.

In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, the world’s leading entertainment and media agency. Together, the companies offer an unparalleled client roster; world-class partnerships with sponsors, brands and broadcasters; and marquee assets across entertainment, events and fashion. 

 

 

About IMG Reliance

 

IMG Reliance Pvt Ltd, is an equal joint venture between Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), India’s largest and most recognized private sector company, and IMG Worldwide (IMG), the world’s leading sports marketing and management company. The joint venture company will develop, market and manage sports and entertainment in India. Its current assets include India’s premier fashion event, Lakmé Fashion Week and South Asia’s only ATP World Tour event, the Aircel Chennai Open. IMG Reliance has entered into agreements with the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) to create a new professional basketball league and manage all aspects of the commercial rights of the game in India and the All India Football Federation (AIFF), to improve, popularize and promote the game of football throughout India, from the grassroots to the professional level.

 

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For more information, please get in touch with:

 

IMG Reliance 

Leeladhar Singh, Media Manager – Aircel Chennai Open,  +91-7738216155 leeladhar.singh@ril.com

 

Artsmith Concepts and Visions

 

Udita Datta +91-9899708223 udita@artsmith.in

Samikshan Dutta +91-8377079442 samikshan@artsmith.in


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