The Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) is set to play host to a $100,000 ATP Challenger tournament from November 20 to 26.
Bengaluru last held a Challenger in 2015 – a $50,000 event – and before that way back in 2003. Thus far only Delhi had hosted a $100,000 Challenger (2014 and 2015) and even that was shrunk to $50,000 in 2016 before it went extinct.
Confirming the development, KSLTA’s joint-secretary P. R. Ramaswamy, told Sportstar that the commitment is expected to be for the long-term and the tournament will be fully funded by the Karnataka Government.
“This is an effort by the Karnataka Tourism Department and its minister Priyank Kharge as part of their 'Brand Bengaluru' initiative to exploit tourism potential. We are very thankful,” Ramaswamy added.
It will no doubt be a fillip for the tournament-starved Indian players as well, for they have had to travel around the world in search of competition. After India had witnessed a record five Challengers in 2014, the number reduced to four in 2015 and two in 2016.
With the tournament scheduled to follow the KPIT MSLTA Challenger to be held in Pune from November 13 to 19, players can expect two quality weeks of tennis leading up to the ATP 250 in Pune in the first week of January.
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