Mandya to host ITF meet from Nov 27; top names to take part

The tournament, viz ITF Mandya Open, will be held at the PET stadium and the qualifying rounds of the $10,000-prize money event will be held on November 27 and 28 while the main draw will start on November 29.

However, tennis enthusiasts in Bangalore will get a chance to see some top action with an ITF women’s tournament is scheduled to take place from December 6 at the KSLTA courts.

“This is an intitiative taken to spread the sport to other corners of the State and not just Bangalore,” tournament director Sunil Yejaman told reporters at a press conference in the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association hall here on Monday.

“Bangalore is seen as the mecca of tennis but we would like to change that. The PET stadium has amazing facilities . We have planned this event for a while now and it will be successful in terms of the kind of attention tennis gets. Right after this tournament we move to Bangalore for a $25,000 tournament and that is also going to be big,”.

Ukraine’s 18-year-old Anastasiya Vasylyeva, ranked 406 in the world, has been given the top billing while Slovakia’s Dalila Jakupovic, who lost to Poojashree Venkatesha in the 2009 ITF Women’s Open final in Bangalore, is seeded second, and will look to finish on top this time. However, with the Mandya-born Poojashree, seeded sixth in this tournament -- the highest seeded Indian in the event -- eyeing the crown, the task seems far from easy. The other Indians in the main draw are Chennai’s Rushmi Chakravarthi and Kolkata’s Shivika Burman.

Meanwhile, 15-year-old Spurti Shivalingaiah of Karnataka was given wild card for her impressive performance over the year in the Junior circuit. Three more wild cards will be named in due course.

“Everything has been taken care of. Three courts are already ready and one court is under construction and will be ready in the next couple of days. We need to have four courts in order to conduct an ITF event as per rules,” Yejaman said.

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