Bengaluru Open from November 20

The ATP Challenger Tour will return to the city when the Bengaluru Open begins at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association Courts on November 20.

The logo for the $100,000 prize money event was launched on Wednesday. The tournament will see players from 20 countries vying for the top honours, which will include a cheque of $14,400 and 100 ATP Ranking points.

Leading the challenge will be world number 99 Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia while Yuki Bhambri (139) is India's top-ranked player to get into the main draw.

Joining them are Ramkumar Ramanathan (146) and Prajnesh Gunneswaran (262).

The likes of Saketh Myneni, who is on a comeback trail after a foot injury, Sumit Nagal, Vishnu Vardhan, Vijay Sundar Prashanth and Sriram Balaji will feature in the qualifiers unless they get a wildcard.

Suraj R Prabodh of Mysuru and Prajwal Dev will look to add some local flavour to the competition.

While most of the singles players will also feature in the doubles segment, all eyes will be on India's Divij Sharan, who would look to continue his fine form this season that saw him break into the top 50 in the ATP doubles rankings.

The Indian Davis Cup coach, Zeeshan Ali, speaking at the event launch, said the Indian players would require more such competitions if they are to break into the top 100.

"I am really happy that a Challenger event is happening in the country. This is an opportunity for the Indian boys to gather valuable ranking points at home," he said.

"India lack Challengers. Tournaments like this is a huge platform. A few more Challengers like this will help bridge the gap for the Indian players. It's not that our players don't have the talent to be ranked in the top 100. There are no opportunities. A few more tournaments like this will help them get closer to the top 100," stated the Indian Davis Cup coach.

Myneni, who was also present, said he would look to use this tournament to restart his career after the injury blip. "For me, it's a great opportunity to be back on the circuit. It's been a long season. I have been out for six months. I have been trying to work hard both on and off the field and trying to get my rhythm back. It's great to have a tournament at home and I will use the event to get my confidence back and will try to get back where I left off," said the Hyderabadi.

 

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