Wawrinka, Anderson and Bhambri to star in Chennai Open

The Chennai Open will be Wawrinka’ eighth visit to Chennai, and he will be looking forward to claim his third title in a row and fourth overall.

Stan Wawrinka... aiming for three-in-a-row.   -  R. Ragu

South Africa's Kevin Anderson will be making his Chennai Open debut.   -  AP

Stan Wawrinka will return to defend his Aircel Chennai Open title in January 2016 as the event organisers announced the players who will participate in the ATP 250 tournament on Thursday.

The Chennai Open will be Wawrinka’ eighth visit to Chennai, and he will be looking forward to claim his third title in a row and fourth overall.

The runner-up of the 2015 edition, Aljaz Bedene of Great Britain, will also participate. The World No. 45 lost to the current World No. 4, 6-3, 6-4 last year.

Kevin Anderson, the World No. 12, will make his debut. The South African will start the new season on the back of a career high ranking in 2015 and also with a maiden entry in the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open, after defeating current World No. 2, Andy Murray.

Yuki Bhambri will lead India’s challenge in the tournament. Bhambri had broken into the top-100 and closed the year at an impressive 91.

 

Players in the Chennai Open apart from Wawrinka, Anderson, Bedene and Bhambri are: Benoit Paire, Roberto Bautista Agut, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Gilles Muller, Vasek Pospisil, Borna Coric, Lukas Rosol, Andreas Haider-Maurer, Santiago Giraldo, Nicolas Almagro, Yen-Hsun Lu, Marcel Granollers, Rajeev Ram, Evgeny Donskoy, John Millman, Taro Daniel and Illya Marchenko.

The wild card entries and qualifiers have not been announced yet as many players are still to confirm their participation.

Unlike earlier editions, the qualifying draw round of 32 is likely to be curtailed to 16.

The Chennai Open will be held from January 4 to 10, 2016, at the SDAT Tennis Stadium in Nungambakkam.

Speaking on the announcement, Tom Annear, Tournament Director, Aircel Chennai Open, said, “Every edition of this prestigious tournament has been inimitable and special for us. But this time around, we are celebrating 20 years of the event in Chennai, its home city and look forward to putting together an exceptional event, we are certain fans will enjoy. An outstanding player field is one feature of the event we’re proud to reveal to you today.”

The President of the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, M. A. Alagappan, said, “The Aircel Chennai Open has grown from strength to strength with each passing year, and continues to be an enduring and respected part of India’s sporting fabric. The world’s leading tennis players are once again going to set foot in the city and we express our appreciation to them because they are the reason behind successful tournaments, thrilling fans year after year.”

Ashu Jindal, Chief Operating Officer of IMG Reliance, which operates and organises the $480,000 event in India, said, “We are excited to present a highly competitive line-up of players yet again. The field includes Chennai’s favourite and World No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, World No. 12 Kevin Anderson and it is great to see Yuki make the cut for the main draw.”

Started in 1996 by IMG, the Chennai Open completed 20 successful years in Chennai, branding the city and India on the global tennis map. Chennai Open is South Asia’s only ATP World Tour event.