Tata Sons comes on board; Maharashtra Open logo unveiled

Tata Sons signs five-year sponsorship deal and the ATP 250 event in Pune will be called Tata Open Maharashtra 2018. The tournament has attracted four top-50 players in Cilic, Anderson, Agut and Haase.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis unveils the official Tata Open Maharashtra logo along with tournament officials.   -  Special Arrangement

India’s leading ATP World Tour event , to be held early next year, will now be called the Tata Open Maharashtra 2018, after Tata Sons came on board via a five-year sponsorship.

Adar Poonawalla has come in as presenting sponsor, using the January 1-6, 2018 tournament at the Balewadi sports complex to showcase the Clean City Initiative.

Corporate association with tennis enabled the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) to announce decision to upgrade tennis facility at the Balewadi stadium and also launch five tennis academies across the state (Pune, Mumbai, Aurangabad, Solapur, Nagpur).

READ: ‘Brand Chennai Open helped bag top players’

The Maharashtra government is driving both ventures, besides a key role in putting together the ATP 250 event.

Prashant Sutar, Tournament Director, said: “The money collected from the tournament sponsorship will be used for upgradation of Balewadi tennis facility and five academies,”

The 2018 competition has attracted four top-50 players in Croatia’s Marin Cilic, South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut and Robin Haase from The Netherlands.

Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Maharashtra, launched the official Tata Open Maharashtra logo at the Sahyadri guest house, along with Tata Sons president (Infrastructure, Defence & Aerospace) Banmali Agarwala. “Maharashtra is enroute to becoming a sporting destination, specially in tennis. Pune has hosted a Davis Cup and an ATP Challenger event before this,” said the former.

The event is being hosted in the state for the first time, after it was moved from Chennai, where crowd-pullers like Cilic, Stanislas Wawrinka, Milos Raonic, Patrick Rafter, Carlos Moya and the inimitable Rafael Nadal have competed in the past.

The Tata Open Maharashtra 2018 qualifying rounds will be played on December 30, 31 2017 . The main draw starts January 1, 2018.

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