Players want more Challengers

The long-standing demand of Indian players of hosting Challenger tournaments at home was finally granted this season. The players with their good performance abroad have shown they are ready to compete at a higher level and want such events on a regular basis at home.

True to their contention, the Indians have stepped up their performance in the ongoing series of Challenger events at home and viewed it as a step forward.

“After 2008 we are playing (back-to-back) Challengers in India, so it’s nice for all of us. Every single Indian player is committed to play all three. First week in Chennai we saw eight players in the main draw and four of them made it to the quarterfinal, Yuki won singles and doubles. Last week (in Kolkata) Sanam and Saketh won the doubles.

It’s not just the Indian presence but we are also trying to do well which does happen that often abroad. It’s a good step forward,” Somdev Devvarman, India’s No. 1 men’s player, said on  Monday.

The pressure of losing to his compatriots at home does not deter Somdev, who insisted he enjoyed playing in India. “Winning or losing does not come to my mind. I lost to Yuki, he played better than me on that day, it is no big deal.”

Yuki Bhambri said such tournaments help players improve their rankings.

“Each one of us has shown he is ready to play at this level. The more ATP events we have in the country, more players will be shooting up the rankings,” he said.

 “It’s so good to see a USD 100,000 in Delhi itself. Hope this is not just one-off thing and we are not having Challengers in the next five years."

Sanam Singh added: “Both and Yuki and Somdev are in top-150 but there are six or seven guys who are in 250 and 500, so even for them to have bigger tournaments here is awesome.”

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