Bengaluru Open raises the bar

There is an increase of $50,000 in prize money (from last year) in the ATP tournament to be held from November 12.

Sumit Nagal won the Bengaluru Open last year.   -  PTI

The ATP Bengaluru Open will return in a bigger avatar, morphing into a $150,000 event, an increase of $50,000 in prize money from last year.

The tournament, which will be Asia’s biggest Challenger competition, is scheduled to be held from November 12 to 17 at the KSLTA courts here.

The 125 points on offer for the singles winner will be invaluable for those looking to make the cut for the 2019 Australian Open, more so for the Indian stars in Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and defending Bengaluru Open champion Sumit Nagal.

“A tournament like this is a huge stepping stone for players to get into the world’s top 100,” said India’s Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali. “With the Davis Cup also coming up against Italy in February and rankings being one of the criteria for selection, this tournament will be important.”

It was also announced that the KSLTA will conduct a national-level ranking tournament from October 22 to 27, the winner of which will secure a direct entry into the main draw of the Bengaluru Open.

Priyank Kharge, the Minister of Social Welfare, Government of Karnataka, and R. Ashoka, former Deputy Chief Minister, both of whom played significant roles to getting the tournament to Bengaluru, spoke on the occasion.