Vishnu Vardhan, Riya Bhatia are top entries at Nat'l tennis ch'shp

The men’s and women’s champions will be presented Rs. 300,000 each, and the runners-up will get Rs. 200,000 and there is also a provision of government grant for the national champions.

Vishnu Vardhan will be the player to beat in the men's category at the Fenesta National tennis championship, scheduled to begin on October 2.   -  R. Ravindran (File Photo)

In a rare occurrence, defending champions Vishnu Vardhan and Riya Bhatia head the entries list for men and women in the Fenesta National tennis championship, scheduled to be played at the DLTA Complex here from October 2.

The men’s and women’s champions will be presented Rs. 300,000 each, and the runners-up will get Rs. 200,000. There is also a provision of government grant for the national champions.

While many of the former champions like V. M. Ranjeet, Nitten Kirrtane, Mohit Mayur and Vijay Kannan would attempt to assert their game, there will be a bunch of hungry young men like Sasi Kumar Mukund, Sidharth Rawat and Karunuday Singh trying to write their name on the trophy.

It will be a very strong field in the women’s event as well, with Dhruthi Venugopal, Pranjala Yadlapalli, Zeel Desai, Eetee Maheta, former champion Rutuja Bhosale and four-time champion Prerna Bhambri figuring in the acceptance list.

Mahak Jain, Mihika Yadav, Snehadevi Reddy, Shweta Rana, Sai Samhitha, Nidhi Chilumula will be the other leading players, apart from Bhuvana Kalva who is one of the few players who has won an ITF women’s singles title.

The junior boys and girls events will also be held concurrently in the first week of the tournament while the second week will feature the under-16 and under-14 events.

Asian junior champion Nitin Kumar Sinha spearheads the juniors list, and is followed by Siddhant Banthia, Dhruv Sunish, Parikshit Somani and Abhimanyu Vannem Reddy who had won the French Open wild card event in Paris, apart from the former British under-14 champion Sacchitt Sharma.

Akanksha Bhan, Vaidehi Chaudhari, Tanisha Kashyap and Salsa Aher will be the leading players in the junior girls section.