Mumbai : Russia’s No.1 player Evgeny Donskoy, a quarter-finalist at the Rio Olympics 2016 will lead the field in the USD 50,000 KPIT Men’s ATP Challenger to be organized at the Mahalunge Balewadi Tennis Complex in Pune from October 22-29 by AITA, MSLTA and PMDTA.
Seeded No. 2 will be Spain’s Ramirez Hidalgo, while the Indian challenge will be spearheaded by Saketh Myneni, besides Ramkumar Ramanathan and Sumeet Nagal.
This was announced by Kishor Patil, chairman of the organizing committee and MD of KPIT in the presence of Bharat Oza and Sunder Iyer, President and Hon. Secretary of MSLTA at a press conference on Friday.
The other Indians in the man draw hoping to make the most of this ATP Challenger at home will be National champion Vishnu Vardhan and Siddharth Rawat, who have been awarded wild cards by AITA. Maharashtra’s Dhruv Sunish and Jayesh Pungaliya will also have the opportunity of the playing on this big stage having been provided main draw wild cards by the organisers.
The other notable foreigners in the fray are Korea’s Duckhee Lee, Serbian Nikola Milojevic, Kazakh Dmitry Popko and Great Britain’s James Ward.
A USD 10,000 ITF Futures events for women has been included for the first time and will be held concurrently, along with a ball tapping record attempt by 500 tennis players.
Speaking to the media, Kishor Patil said, “We hope to make this into one of the biggest tennis events in the country in the coming years. I’m also happy that our tournament, which is being held for the third year in a row, has thrown up new champions every year.” The event is supported by Simply Delicious, HP, Fuego, Work Place, Dell EMC, Bhagirath Enterprises, Vector and BVG, City Pride, Radio One, Yonex.
Bharat Oza, President said that a $10000 women’s event was added to the $50000 KPIT ATP Challenger by MSLTA to help Indian women tennis players who have not played in India since February.
Sunder Iyer announced the organizers wild cards to India No 1Junior Dhruv Sunish of Maharashtra and Jayesh Pungaliya of Pune for the ATP Main draw in singles and Doubles National Champion from Pune, Anvit Bendre in the doubles. The AITA wild cards have been awarded to National Champion Vishnu Vardhan and Siddharth Rawat
Iyer also announced the ladies singles wild cards to Pune Junior Snehal Mane and top state junior Mihika Yadav.
The KPIT Men’s Challenger winner will award $7,200 (Rs.4,80,000) and 80 ATP points to the winner while the runners up gets $4,053 (Rs. 2,70,000) and 55 ATP points. The Winner in the $ 10000 event will get 18 WTA points and $1568 (Rs 1,050,000) and the runners up will get $980 (Rs 65000) and 10 WTA points.
Sheetal Iyer has been appointed as the referee for the ITF women’s event, while Carmelo Di Dio of Italy, one of the senior most ATP Supervisors, will be the chief of the ATP event. The men’s qualifying rounds will be played on October 22 and 23 and the women’s qualifying will start on Sunday.
The main draws will start 24 October. The Semifinals and Doubles final will be played on Friday, October 28, while the singles finals will be played on October 29.
Following is the Probable Seeding list with their ATP ranking
KPIT ATP Mens:
1) Donskoy, Evgeny (RUS) 95; 2) Ramirez Hidalgo, Ruben (ESP) 140; 3) Myneni, Saketh (IND) 155; 4) Lee, Duckhee (KOR) 157; 5) Ramanathan Ramkumar (IND) 227; 6) Milojevic, Nikola (SRB) 232; 7) Dmitry Popko (KAZ) 246; 8) James Ward (GBR) 247
Womens: 1) Prerna Bhambri; 2) Riya Bhatia; 3) Dhruthi Tatachar Venugopal; 4) Natasha Palha; 5) Prarthana G. Thombare; 6) Kyra Shroff; 7) Pranjala Yadlapalli; 8) Rishika Sunkara 696.