Mumbai, November 10 :
Former top 100 players Kavcic Blaz of Slovenia and Albot Radu of Moldavia with Indian Davis cuppers Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramnathan, Saketh Myneni, Prajensh Gunneswaran apart from players from over 16 countries will make up a strong line-up for the fourth edition of the $50000 + Hospitality KPIT MSLTA ATP Challenger
organized by MSLTA and PMDTA at the Mhalunge-Balewadi Tennis Complex in the city from November 13- 18.
Among the many, the Indian names that stand out include Davis Cup stars Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramnathan – both Top-150 players, will find themselves seeded .
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Kishor Patil, President of PMDTA and Chairman of the organizing committee and MD & CEO of KPIT said; "I'm happy that our tournament which is being held for the fourth consecutive year has helped Indian players move up to newer heights and has enabled them to build their careers in tennis. It has always been our aim to promote Indian tennis players and Asian players through this event."
Mr. Patil further added, "Our 2014 champion, Yuichi Sugita of Japan won the event and went on to make it to the Top-100 in 2015 and is currently ranked 39 in the world; our own Yuki Bhambri bagged the title to propel into the Top-100. The event helped last year's finalist Prajnesh Gunneswaran to move into the Top-200 bracket and also grab a Davis Cup spot and the 2016 winner Sadio Dumbia moved into the Top-125. We hope that this event will help the winners to move into the coveted Top-100 bracket, this year as well."
The President of MSLTA Mr. Bharat Oza added "that the KPIT ATP which has been going for 4 consecutive years and Indian Players looked forward to the event and make valuable points, The event has really helped Indian Players and espcecially oy state players as it provides them with a platform to move further in rankings". MSLTA is contributing immensely to Indian tennis between January- December 2017. We have beaten a record of hosting 10 international events with Pune itself hosting 7 events the largest in the country.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Sunder Iyer, Hon. Secretary of MSLTA said; “The KPIT MSLTA Challenger has become popular worldwide and bigger and better players are participating regularly, making the event stronger every year. The cut-off this year is at a high of 304 which makes it a very strong Challenger at this level. We expect at least 8-10 players from India to make it to ATP draws in the main and qualifying draw, which in turn will provide them an opportunity to compete at a world class level and that too on the home turf."
Vishnu Vardhan, Saketh Myneni, Arjun Kadhe, Aryan Goveas have been given wild card for the main draw, while Jayesh Pungalia, Dhruv Sunish, Siddhant Banthia from Maharashtra and Suraj Prabodh of Karnatak received wild card fior the qualifying tournament, which will be played on Saturday and Sunday.
Commenting on the partnership with KPIT, he said, “Our relationship with KPIT has done wonders for our players and ATP has also acknowledged our efforts in conduct of the event and awarded ‘Live Streaming’ of matches which is a first for the Challenger.”
Rogerio Santos of Portugal has been nominated ATP Supervisor for the event, while Sheetal Iyer has been appointed as the Referee.
The qualifying round will be played on November 11 and 12 followed by the main draws which begins on November 13. The semi-finals and doubles final are scheduled for Friday, 17th November, while the Finals will be played on Saturday 18th November.
The winner of the KPIT Men’s Challenger will get richer by $7,200 (Rs. 4,80,000 approx) and gain 80 ATP points, while the runners up will get $4,053 (Rs. 2,70,000) and 48 ATP points.
Apart from the tournament proper, the event adds up a host of festive activities for all segments. On offer during the week will be a tennis carnival that features a District level junior tennis tournament, an Amateur Seniors’ League, daily contests exclusively for coaches and corporate tennis.
“A special Organizing Committee with Kaustubh Shah, Jayant Kadhe, Himanshu Gosavi, Mihir Divekar, Abhishek Tamhane, Ashwin Girme, Shekar Sonsale, Umesh Mane as members of the Committee, has been formed to ensure the success of the event”, Iyer added.
Kavcic, Blaz SLO 107
Albot, Radu MDA 113
Menendez-Maceiras, Adrian ESP 130
Bhambri, Yuki IND 142
Milojevic, Nikola SRB 147
Ramanathan, Ramkumar IND 150
Ymer, Elias SWE 189
King, Evan USA 209
Nedovyesov, Aleksandr KAZ 227
Gunneswaran, Prajnesh IND 229
Maamoun, Karim-Mohamed EGY 236
Krstin, Pedja SRB 244
Ivashka, Ilya BLR 249
Martinez, Pedro ESP 254
Brkic, Tomislav BIH 266
Clarke, Jay GBR 283
Blancaneaux, Geoffrey FRA 290
Yang, Tsung-Hua TPE 299
Doumbia, Sadio FRA 300
Miedler, Lucas AUT 302
Polmans, Marc AUS 303
Klein, Brydan GBR 304
2016: Sadio Doumbia (France) b Prajnesh Gunneswaran (India) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
2015: Yuki Bhambri (India) b Evgeny Donskoy (Russia ) 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)
2014: Yuichi Sugita (Japan) b Adrián Menéndez Maceiras (Spain ) 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 6-4
2016: Purav Raja/ Divij Sharan (India) b Luca Margaroli (Swi)/ Hugo Nys (France) 3-6, 6-3, [11-9]
2015: Gerard Granollers / Adrián Menéndez Maceiras (Spain) b Maximilian Neuchrist (Austria)/ Divij Sharan (India ) 1-6, 6-3, [10-6]
2014: : Saketh Myneni / Sanam Singh (India ) b Sanchai / Sonchat Ratiwatana (Thailand) 6-3, 6-2.