Gunneswaran, Ramanathan get wild cards for Tata Open Maharashtra

Prajnesh Gunneswaran, currently ranked 107, will become the first Indian singles player in the main draw which has five players from top-50.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran has won two Challenger titles in 2018.   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

India’s number one singles player Prajnesh Gunneswaran has been handed a wild card entry into the main draw of the Tata Open Maharashtra ATP tournament was on Friday.

The tournament, to be to be played at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium in Pune from December 31 to January 5, will see Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan as the two wild card entrants. Sasi Kumar Mukund and Saket Myneni will have to go through the qualifiers.

It has been a good year for Gunneswaran as he reached a career high world no 104 in November from 243 at the start of the 2018. His rise comes on the back of two Challenger titles — in China and Bengaluru.

The 29-year-old comes back to Pune after finishing runners-up at the KPIT Challenger held here less than a month ago. The bronze medal at the Asian Games was another feather in the Chennai-based player’s cap.

Gunneswaran, currently ranked 107, will become the first Indian singles player in the main draw which has five players from top-50.

For all the world-class players, the tournament will just be the much-needed head-start for the upcoming season. The line-up includes defending champion and world no. 30 Gilles Simon from France, world no. 6 Kevin Anderson from South Africa, world no. 7 Marin Cilic of Croatia, world no. 25 Hyeon Chung from Korea and world no. 45 Malek Jaziri of Tunisia.