Pune to replace Chennai as venue for "Chennai Open"

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Pune to replace Chennai as venue for "Chennai Open"

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SportsCafe Desk


Pune is all set to host what used to formerly be known as the Chennai Open as the 'Maharastra One' from next year after the tournament moves to Pune. The organizers of the ATP 250 event, played on hard courts, are trying to rope in players such as Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic for 2018.

The international event will give Punekars a chance to watch the world’s top tennis players including Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray in action. Though Tamil Nadu had been hosting the event, titled Chennai Open, for over two decades, the tournament is now set to move to Pune owing to the scarcity of sponsors and the political unrest that has gripped the state of Tamil Nadu.

Following this incident, Maharashtra government had pitched Pune's Balewadi Stadium as the venue for the ATP 250 World Series event which would make Pune one of the world’s 28 venues to host ATP competitions. Further, it has now been learnt that the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) is also mulling over relaying the match court ahead of the first edition of the tournament in January 2018 to help players prepare better for the 2018 Australian Open

Speaking of the development, Prashant Sutar, the project director of the tournament said, “Since players will be heading straight for the Australian Open from Pune, we aim to provide them with a similar surface,” reported Indian Express.

The event is being spearheaded by the Maharashtra government, led by chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis who has entrusted a committee, which will be headed by Fadnavis himself along with top officials from the CMO, chiefs of both the municipal corporations, along with MSLTA officials and members of school education and sports department, to oversee the event. Confirming the development, Sutar said, “It is a moment of achievement for the state and we are hopeful of bringing top-level players.”

As far as the participation of the Indian players for the tournament is concerned, the top three Indian players are expected to join the event as wildcard entries. Meanwhile, funds for the tournament are being sourced by CSR activities from multiple stakeholders, including Pune Municipal Corporation, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, IT and automobile companies, among others.

Finally, given that the Balewadi stadium has previously hosted international tournaments in the past, officials said that they would only have to work on the minor details of the sports complex for next year’s tournament. “The present condition of the court surface and other facilities are of international standards, which is why the sports complex could get all required approvals. We will be working on improving the landscape and undertaking few other works of renovation, giving it a world-class feel.”

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