India’s top singles players -- Sumit Nagal, Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan -- will feature in the KPIT-MSLTA Challenger, which begins in Pune from November 11.
“With the new 48-player draw format, the cut-off this year is 550, which makes it very strong Challenger at this level,” Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) secretary Sunder Iyer said.
Of the 48 players, a total of 41 players will be given entry, while a couple of players will come through qualifiers and five will get entry through wild cards.
The organisers confirmed that the qualifying round will have only two matches, which will be played on November 11 alongside the main draw. The final will be played on November 17.
The singles winner will have a prize money of $7,200 and will also earn 80 ATP points, while the runner’s up will get $4,240 and bag 48 ATP points.
“This is the last Challenger event before the Australian Open. So, players who are on the fringe of the main draw at the Australian Open will try to hold their spots. For them, this tournament will be important,” KPIT’s CEO and Managing Director Kishor Patil, said.
India’s tennis ace Purav Raja -- who was also present at the media conference -- hoped that it will be an evenly fought contest between some of the top names.
Roland Herfel will be the ATP supervisor for the event, while Sheetal Iyer will be the ATP referee.
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