India's premier ATP event finds new home in Pune
Mumbai, July 20, 2017: India’s most celebrated tennis event, the ATP tournament which acquired heritage status as the ‘Chennai Open’, is all set to move to a new home.
IMG-Reliance,the right holders of the tournament along with Government of Maharashtra andMaharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA), announced this onWednesday, revealing Pune to be the new city to host the 2018 edition. It willhenceforth be called the ‘Maharashtra Open’.
“We welcomethe world class ATP tournament to our state,” Maharashtra Chief MinisterDevendra Fadnavis said. “We are happy to host the Maharashtra Open and surethat we will take it to newer heights by bringing in an elite field everyyear.”
The ChennaiOpen became an important fixture on India’s international sporting calendar,drawing top players from across the world for 21 long years. Many of them,including Rafael Nadal who has often spoken about its importance in his journeyto World No. 1, had made it their first stop every year.
“We wouldlike to thank everyone in Tamil Nadu, especially our innumerable fans, theTamil Nadu government and the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association for making the ChennaiOpen such a grand success,” IMG-Reliance’s spokesperson said.
“We lookforward to similar love from tennis fans in not just in Pune and Maharashtrabut in every part of the country,” the spokesperson added. “We have created atennis legacy and have also provided our young players the opportunity to notonly play against the best but to also pick up crucial points in world rankingsystem,” he stated.
MSLTA’s HonSec Sunder Iyer and Tournament director Prashant Sutar were equallyecstatic at the prospect of hosting the ATP tournament. “We have the besttennis infrastructure in the country. We will strive our best to make theworld’s best players and our own, feel at home,” they said.
India’sLeander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi forged their formidable partnership at theChennai Open, before they went on to conquer the world. Stan Wawrinka andMaricCilic, among the more notable players, also took baby steps in this quaintcity before going on to break into ATP’s elite Top 5 list.