Maharashtra Open: Paire Leads A Depleted Draw, Possibilty Of An Indian Breakthrough?

Tennis News

The tournament features 5 Indians in the singles category, with Benoit Paire leading the draw this year. Leander Paes will play for the final time in doubles.

Written By Shaurya Rathore | Mumbai | Updated On:

Tata Open Maharashtra, the only Indian tournament in the ATP Tour, will commence at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium on Monday. The ATP 250 event has served as one of the season openers on the ATP calendar previously, with the tournament being held in the first week of January for the last two years.

Benoit Paire leads a lacklustre draw this year, as past champions like Kevin Anderson and Gilles Simon will not be playing in this edition. Paire had a mixed start in 2020, as the Frenchman reached the final of Auckland Open (losing to Ugo Humbert) but was ousted by Marin Cilic in the second round of the Australian Open.

40-year-old Ivo Karlovic is making a return to the tournament after becoming the oldest player to reach a tour-level final since Ken Rosewall in 1977 who was 43 at the time. In last year's edition of the tournament, Kevin Anderson beat Ivo Karlovic in the singles edition.

READ: Paes gets wild card in doubles at Tata Open Maharashtra in his last tournament in India

Indian Representation

The singles draw features five Indian players - Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Arjun Kadhe, Sumit Nagal and Sasikumar Mukund. This is the highest Indian representation in the ATP Tour-level event since its establishment in 1996, which used to be held in Chennai and New Delhi previously. Highest-ranked Indian player Prajnesh Gunneswaran will try to make a return to the top-100 in the ATP Rankings. 

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Leander Paes' final home tournament

The doubles draw features six-time champion and veteran player Leander Paes, who will play in the home soil tournament for the final time. Paes will pair up with Australia's Matthew Ebden. The doubles draw also features other Indian players like Rohan Bopanna-Arjun Kadhe, Purav Raja-Ramkumar Ramanathan and the second-seeded Divij Sharan, who will team up with New Zealand's Artem Sitak. Sharan, who won the previous edition with Bopanna against Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara in the doubles, will try to repeat last year's feat.

READ: Ram, Salisbury combine to win Australian Open doubles title

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