ATP Chennai Open officially scrapped, to be replaced by 'Maharashtra Open'

The Chan
The Chennai Open was India's only ATP Tour-level event
Anuradha Santhanam

India's only ATP Tour level event, the Chennai Open, has officially been cancelled, AITA (All India Tennis Association) officials have confirmed.

The event will now be hosted in Pune, Maharashtra, with Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) officials outbidding the tennis bodies of Gujarat and Karnataka, who were also in the running.

The new event is going to be named 'Maharashtra Open'. “We welcome the world class ATP tournament to our state,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said. “We are happy to host the Maharashtra Open and sure that we will take it to newer heights by bringing in an elite field every year.”

MSLTA’s Hon Sec Sunder Iyer and Tournament director Prashant Sutar were equally ecstatic at the prospect of hosting the ATP tournament. “We have the best tennis infrastructure in the country. We will strive our best to make the world’s best players and our own, feel at home,” they said.

Attended by some of tennis' top ranked players, the Chennai Open has in the past seen 2016 US Open champion and three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka win four titles here, most recently in 2016, with 2017 Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic also a two-time winner here.

Former World No. 1 Carlos Moya, now the coach of Rafael Nadal, is a three-time finalist and two-time winner at the Chennai Open, which has been a feature on the circuit since 1996.

Only one Indian has ever made the finals of the ATP Chennai Open - former top-ranked player Somdev Devvarman, who lost in the 2009 finals to Cilic.

“We would like to thank everyone in Tamil Nadu, especially our innumerable fans, the Tamil Nadu government and the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association for making the Chennai Open such a grand success,” IMG-Reliance’s spokesperson said.

“We look forward to similar love from tennis fans in not just in Pune and Maharashtra but in every part of the country,” the spokesperson added. “We have created a tennis legacy and have also provided our young players the opportunity to not only play against the best but to also pick up crucial points in world ranking system,” he stated.

Reports indicate that tournament owners IMG also considered Singapore as a potential venue before eventually deciding on Pune. The WTA currently hosts its year-end finals in the island nation.

Edited by Anuradha Santhanam


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