Chennai will be back on the international tennis map for the first time since 2017 with a WTA 250 event to be held from September 26 to October 2.
The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M.K. Stalin gave the approval letter from the TN government to hold the event to Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj, who is also the President of the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association here on Saturday.
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The TN government will be the lead sponsor for the $250,000 event, the first time a WTA 250 Tour event will be held in India.
Speaking to The Hindu, Vijay Amritraj said, “we are grateful to the Chief Minister for his full support. He has been brilliant in giving us all the support and the pace at which we have been able to get everything sorted is incredible.”
“We just now need to get the final formalities, paperwork and protocols sorted with the WTA and the tournament owners,” he added.
Giving more details on the event, Amritraj said, “after my first meeting with the CM where he was very keen to host an international sporting event, we were able to find a slot, especially with events in China getting cancelled.”
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APG group based in Hong Kong is one of the tournament owners on the WTA tour and the TNTA will lease the event from the owner and has requested to move the event to Chennai from China.
“The work on getting the stadium ready is going on in full swing and we want to put TN on the global map and show the beauty of the state,” Amritraj added.
On the tournament format, Amritraj said, “It will be a draw of 32 for the singles with 24 direct entries, four wildcards and four qualifiers. We will have 24 entries in qualifying and 16 entries in the doubles section.”
Chennai hosted an ATP Tour 250 event in the first week of January from 1997 to 2017 before the tournament was shifted to Pune.