Manipal Open boost to KSLTA plans

“One of KSLTA’s main aims is to spread and promote the game in different parts of Karnataka,” said KSLTA secretary Sundar Raju at a press conference here on Tuesday evening. “Last year, we hosted a women’s ITF tournament in Mandya and this year, we thought we’d host a men’s tournament elsewhere.

“With the addition of Udupi (Manipal University courts), KSLTA is moving towards making every district of the State into an international tennis destination.

“At the same time, it also gives more opportunities for budding youngsters to take up the sport. Hopefully, more such centres will  come up and help us spread the game,” added Raju.

The qualifying rounds of the $10,000 event will be held on May 21 and 22 with the main draw beginning on May 23. In all, 20 players, including 11 Indians, have been given direct entries, while eight will make the main draw (round of 32) from the qualifying rounds.
Promising State youngsters Sagar Manjanna and Vinod Gowda have received wild cards, while two more wild cards will be decided by the All India Tennis Association (AITA).
Ranjeet Virali Murugesan, with an ITF ranking of 549, will lead India’s charge in the hardcourt event that is expected to witness participation from professionals from Russia, Japan, Korea, United States and Hong Kong.The seedings will be done on Thursday and plans are afoot to host a few of the early-round matches under floodlights.

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