Zheng Saisai, Dalila Jakupovic confirmed as top seeds for Mumbai Open

India's Ankita Raina will also be among the main draw of the L&T Mumbai Open.

Organisers of the Mumbai Open at the CCI on Wednesday.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

China’s Zheng Saisai will be the top seed for the second WTA $125K L&T Mumbai Open, which begins at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) from Saturday.

While the 24-year-old — who is 47 in the World rankings — will be the top-ranked player in the tournament, last year’s runner-up, Dalila Jakupovic, will be the second seed. India’s Ankita Raina has also been drafted in the main draw.

The tournament will also see participation of USA’s Sachia Vickery, Serbia’s World No. 96, Olga Danilovic and German star, Sabine Lisicki. Addressing the media at the CCI on Wednesday, Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) secretary, Sundar Iyer, confirmed that there will be three wild cards and the final draw will be held on Thursday.

The organisers also claimed that since points from this event will help players in qualifying for the Australian Open, many known players have signed up. “There have been entries from 19 countries and the main draws will be held tomorrow once the withdrawal period is over,” Iyer said. In the main draw, 32 players from 19 countries will feature, wherein 22 players will get a direct entry and the remaining via the knock-outs and wild cards.

While the qualifying events will begin from Saturday, the main draw is scheduled to be held from October 29. Coincidentally, on the same day, the CCI will play host to the fourth ODI between India and the Windies.

“We will be having fewer games on the 29th morning. We have already written to the WTA, explaining the entire situation and they have agreed. Since the ODI will begin in the afternoon, we will keep the matches in the morning and that should help the players as well,” Iyer said.

With some of the regular players of the WTA circuit featuring in the tournament, the organisers hope that the standard of the game will also be high this time around. “Last year, we took up the challenge of bringing the WTA event to Maharashtra after a gap of 10 years and our team was successful in pulling off a great event. This year, we have set even higher standards and a grand stage has been prepared to welcome world’s leading women players,” Amruta Fadnavis, the chairperson of the organizing committee and wife of Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, said.