Only one Challenger event at home for India's men's tennis players

Indian juniors will have seven ITF tournaments in 2019, while the men and women have only one Challenger and ITF event respectively.

The Chennai Open Challenger will be the only big-ticket event for the Indian men's tennis players.   -  R. RAGU

The Indian junior tennis players will benefit from seven ITF junior tournaments at home in 2019. The men and women, however, will have only one tournament each -- the Chennai Open Challenger and $25,000 ITF tournament in Jodhpur respectively -- as per the All India Tennis Federation's (AITA) calender.

The men's circuit had three Challenger events last year, the one in Chennai followed by tournaments in Bengaluru and Pune. Yuki Bhambri finished runner-up in Chennai, while Prajnesh Gunneswaran bagged the Bengaluru Open in November. Prajnesh maintained momentum and was the runner-up in the Pune Challenger, where he lost to Elias Ymer.

He also won the Kunming Challenger in April and finished runner-up at the Ningbo Challenger. A fine show in the international circuit and a successful run at home saw him soar to a career-best ranking of 104.

As compared to the seven ITF tournaments last year, the women have only a solitary event this year, a $25,000 ITF tournament in Jodhpur from January 28. The comes after Ankita Raina became the first Indian since Sania Mirza to breach the top-200 barrier. 

Busy four months for juniors

The junior circuit begins with the grade-3 event in Chandigarh from January 7.
The qualifying event will be played on January 5 and 6. The three other tournaments are scheduled to be staged in Delhi from January 14, Kolkata from January 21, and Indore from January 28. The events in Delhi and Kolkata will be grade-2, while the one in Indore will be grade-5. The juniors will have three more events in March and April in Dehradun, Raipur and Madurai.