Anurag, Arjun headline National championships

Anurag Nenwani will be the top seed in the men's draw of 64. The focus will be on Arjun Kadhe, who has been performing well in the international circuit.

Arjun Kadhe has been been performing well in recent weeks in Chennai and Coimbatore.   -  M. PERIASAMY

Anurag Nenwani and Arjun Kadhe will be among those competing in the qualifying event of the Fenesta National tennis championship at the DLTA Complex from Saturday.

Even though Anurag will be the top seed in a draw of 64, from which eight qualifiers will make it to the men’s main draw, the focus will be on Arjun Kadhe, who needed a wild card to enter the qualifying event. Arjun had finished runner-up in the national championship and has been performing well  in recent weeks in Chennai and Coimbatore.

The fact that the system of wild cards for the main draw had been stopped by the national federation has not helped the cause of talented players. Two "special exempt" slots for the main draw have also been given to the toppers in the entry list of qualifiers, in a "merit" driven system.

Asian junior champion Nitin Kumar Sinha and Siddhant Banthia, will also feature in the event.

Dhruv Sunish, Sai Saran Reddy, Anirudh Chandrasekar, P. C. Vignesh, Saurav Sukul, Udayan Bhakar, Chinmaya Dev Chauhan, Prithvi Sekhar, Sivadeep Kosaraju, Abhishek Gaur, Parikshit Somani, B. R. Nikshep, Yugal Bansal will be some of the other leading players fighting for the qualifying slots.

Aarthi Muniyan, Kaavya Sawhney, Tanisha Kashyap, Muskan Gupta, Shivani Aminini, Sai Dedeepya, Prinkle Singh, Shivani Manjanna, Snehal Mane and Humera Shaikh are some of the players in the women's qualifying draw.

With all the 16 players in the women’s draw getting a bye, they will need to win two rounds to make the main event.

The final qualifying round will be best of three tie-break sets, and the earlier rounds will be decided on best of 17 games.

In 1999, the stylish left-hander Sunil Kumar won through an extended qualifying draw of 256 before becoming the national men’s champion at 16.

Sriram Balaji, Vishnu Vardhan, Yuki Bhambri, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Saketh Myneni had utilised the opportunity in the national championship to brighten their careers.

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