The Chennai Open – a WTA 250 International Women’s Tennis Championship 2022 – will be held at the SDAT Stadium in Nungambakkam between September 10 and September 18.

Players in the top 100 of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings will get a direct entry and Vijay Amritraj, president of the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, said India’s top two singles players – Ankita Raina (169) and Karman Thandi (494) – will get wildcards for the main draw.

“The aim is to have more Indian boys and girls playing in world tour events. We want to encourage youngsters to get their rankings up so that they can get direct entry into these events, and we won’t have to give wildcards.” Amritraj said.

Amritraj also hopes that Sania Mirza, torchbearer of Indian women’s tennis, will play the tournament, allowing the organisers to give her a befitting farewell.

Sania, earlier this year, had announced that the 2022 Wimbledon will be her last professional event in the circuit.

Ganesh Raman: Tennis coaching must impart self-belief in players

Amritraj is working with the Tamil Nadu government and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) to bring back the men’s tour event, which was successfully run in the city between 1997 to 2017.

“We’ll have to see the calendar movement. We are working closely with calendar committee, ATP and licence holders for it to take place in the 2023-24 season,” Amritraj said.

The ATP 250 event, held in early January, was used as a pitstop by many top players to get points and practice in humid conditions in the run-up to the Australian Open. The organisers are hoping to secure a similar dateline for next year’s event as well.

Tamil Nadu Sports Minister Siva V Meyyanathan, Principal Secretary Sports, Selvi Apoorva, IAS – present on the occasion – offered the state government’s support in the association’s efforts to bring back high-quality tennis events to the city.

(The Chennai Open WTA 250 tournament will be telecast live on Sony network and live streamed on Sony LIV)