Chennai Open in a limbo

The event, owned by IMG and organised by IMG-Reliance, has been held in Tamil Nadu’s state capital for the last 21 years, but may not return in 2018, sources told Sportstar.

The Tamil Nadu Tennis Association had renewed the deal to conduct the tournament for another three years starting from the 2017 edition.   -  M. Prabhu

The future of the annual ATP Chennai Open is uncertain. The event, owned by IMG and organised by IMG-Reliance, has been held in Tamil Nadu’s state capital for the last 21 years, but may not return in 2018, sources told Sportstar.

The Tamil Nadu Tennis Association had in fact renewed the deal to conduct the tournament for another three years starting from the 2017 edition. When contacted, the organisers of the Chennai Open refused to comment.

But the event may yet remain in India with Government of Maharashtra’s sports department issuing Government Resolution (circular) — a copy of which is available with Sportstar — stating that Pune was ready to bid for the annual ATP 250 event in 2018.

“Since the ATP 250 will not be held in Chennai now, Maharashtra Lawn Tennis Association has suggested that this prestigious tournament can be held in Pune, since it has all international facilities,” it said.

Rajendra Pawar, Deputy Secretary, School Education and Sports, Government of Maharashtra confirmed the development. It is understood the tournament will cost Rs 20 crore and the Maharashtra government will back the bid.

But is to be noted that IMG reserves the right to pick the host city and a decision on the same is likely to be made during the course of the week.

Pune though has been in the thick of tennis action for a few years now. The Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association hosts India’s only ATP Challenger event, the $50,000 KPIT-MSLTA tournament, and will hold the fourth edition of the same this October. Also, in February 2017 it played host to the Davis Cup tie between India and New Zealand.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :