Tata Open Maharashtra: Bopanna-Ramkumar seeded second; Prajnesh, Arjun Kadhe handed wild cards

The Indian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan was seeded second in the doubles event of Tata Open Maharashtra while Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Arjun Kadhe were handed wild card entries into the singles main draw.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran

Prajnesh Gunneswaran progressed to the quarterfinals in the 2021 edition of the ATP 250 event.   -  R. Ragu

The Indian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan was on Saturday seeded second in the doubles event of Tata Open Maharashtra while Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Arjun Kadhe were handed wild card entries into the singles main draw.

The ATP 250 tourney will be held in Pune from January 31 to February 6, 2022.

Bopanna and Ramkumar, who won the title in Adelaide before the Australian Open, will open their campaign against the experienced American pair of Jamie Cerretani and Nicolas Monroe.

The Australian duo of Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith has been given the top billing.

Apart from Bopanna and Ramkumar, two more Indian pairs will be seen in action in the doubles with Yuki Bhambri and Divij Sharan receiving the wild cards along with Kadhe and Purav Raja.

In the singles draw, Prajnesh will take on fifth-seeded Daniel Altamaier in the opening round while Arjun will square off against former World No. 28 Joao Sousa. Bhambri and Ramkumar, also included in the singles main draw, will kickstart their campaigns against Slovakia’s Jozef Kovalik and eighth seed Stefano Travaglia, respectively.

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“We are happy to announce Arjun and Prajnesh as wildcards and it’s great to see four Indians in the main draw. Arjun is from Pune and Prajnesh has also been among the popular names at the tournament. Though the field is strong, I believe these wildcards will help Indians start stronger as we also aim to give our players much-needed opportunities through this event,” Prashant Sutar, Tournament Director of Tata Open Maharashtra, said.

“Both Arjun and Prajnesh are excellent players. Currently they are among the top Indian international players and having them at the Tata Open Maharashtra means they will have an opportunity to play against top players in home conditions. Due to limited events, our players don’t often get to play at home but now this is their chance and I’m sure they will make the most of it,” Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association secretary Sunder Iyer said.

In the qualifying singles, Mukund Sasikumar, who made his ATP main draw debut at the last edition here, and Manish Sureshkumar have received wildcards.

Sureshkumar will begin his campaign against Czech player Kopriva Vit and Sasikumar will play Celikbilek Altug of Turkey, who made his Grand Slam debut at the 2021 French Open.

The qualifying matches will begin on Sunday.

Top seed Aslan Karatsev, second seed Lorenzo Musetti, third seed Gianluca Mager and defending champion Jiri Vesely (4) have received byes in the singles opening round.

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