Chennai Open Challenger: Nine Indians in the main draw

Nine Indians, including the country's top ranked player Prajnesh Gunneswaran, will be in contention for the title at the Chennai Open Challenger beginning on Monday.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran is top seeded at the Chennai Open Challenger.   -  Debasish Bhaduri

India’s new number one Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who made his Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open last month, will be the top seed in the $50,000 ATP Chennai Open Challenger event that kickstarts here at the SDAT Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium on Monday.

A win here in front of his home crowd could help Prajnesh, ranked 102, break into the top 100 for the first time in his career. The tournament will be a 48-player draw with 16 seeded players getting a bye in the first round and features nine Indians in the main draw.

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Two more Indians in Dakshinewar Suresh and Siddarth Rawat too have a chance to make it if they could come out on top in their respective qualifying matches on Monday against Russians Ivan Gakhov and Alexander Zhurbin respectively.

The lead sponsor of the tournament is the Government of Tamil Nadu with support from other companies like Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Limited, United India Insurance Company Limited, Shriram Capital Limited, GMR Group, Indian Oil Corporation Limited. Other partners are ACT Fibernet, Medway Hospitals and Yonex.