Lee-Hesh not to defend title

“Paes and Bhupathi have decided to part ways at the end of this season. And Bhupathi would be pairing with Rohan Bopanna at the Chennai Open (commencing here from January 2 next year),” M A Alagappan, President of Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, said here.

Paes was to partner Radek Stepanek but the latter has not yet promised his entry to the tournament so far, informed Alagappan, who is also the Organising Committee Chairman of the Chennai Open.

So, it is likely that Paes would either skip the event or pair with someone to be announced later.

Paes and Bhupathi won the doubles title at the 2011 Chennai Open by defeating the Dutch-American pair of Robin Hasse and David Martin in the final.

Nearly a year after the pair had got together after nine years, there had been intense speculation that they may part ways again.

Paes and Bhupathi are the most successful Indian tennis doubles players with 23 Grand Slams between them.

Together they have won three major titles and only the Australian Open still eludes them as a pair.

Strong field

World number nine Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia and world number 10 Nicolas Almagro of Spain will feature in a strong line up of stars for the Chennai Open.

Somdev Devvarman, who is ranked ranked 85 in the world, remains the lone host player in the main draw.

At 98, the cut off rank for the main draw is the lowest in the history of this championship. The cut off when the tournament shifted from New Delhi to Chennai in 1997 was 177 and last year it was 114.

Following are the direct entrants: Janko Tipsarevic (Serbia-9), Nicolas Almagro (Spain-10), Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland-17), Marin Cilic (Crotia-22), Milos Raonic (Canada-31), Ivan Dodig (Croatia-36), Robin Haase (Netherlands-45), Fabio Fognini (Italy-48), Xavier Malisse (Belgium-49), Olivier Rochus (Belgium-67), Yen-Hsun Lu (Taiwan-82), Dudi Sela (Israel-84), Somdev Devvarman (India-85), Steve Darcis (Belgium-88), Pere Riba (Spain-89), Victor Hanescu (Romania-90), Blaz Kavcic (Slovenia), Sam Querrey (USA-93), Benoit Paire (France-94), Eric Prodon (France-97) and Andreas Beck (Germany-98).

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