The 2017 Chennai Open promises to be a world-class affair with two more tennis stars confirming their presence at the ATP season opener. Just a day after World No. 6 Marin Cilic announced his return, World No. 14 Roberto Agut of Spain and World No. 48 Borna Coric signed up for the event as well.
Agut, who has struck a personal rapport with Chennai’s fans, will be making his fifth straight appearance at one of his preferred tennis destinations.
He will start as one of the strongest challengers to Cilic, having been in tremendous form this year. He annexed two ATP titles, winning the Auckland Open in January and the Sofia Open in February to take his kitty to an impressive four. He made it to the fourth round of the Australian Open and the French Open as well, while also featuring in the finals of the Shanghai Masters.
“I have a special bond with the Aircel Chennai Open and India’s fans,”
The 28-year-old is the youngest player from Spain after Rafael Nadal to get into the Top 20, reaching as high as No. 13 in October. Agut, who lost in the 2013 finals to then World No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic despite winning the opening set, is hopeful of going all the way this year.
“I have been in good form this season and hope to carry the momentum and win my maiden title here. I like this tournament as it’s perfect preparation for the rest of my season,” he declared.
The other big draw, Coric, is an exciting young talent at just 19 years. The 2013 US Open boys’ champion will be making his third appearance at the Aircel Chennai Open. He went all the way to the finals in 2016 and feels he is primed to take the big one.
“I am quite excited at returning to India. After coming so close last year, I know I have a good chance of winning the title this year. I am focused and am looking forward to winning my first ATP title,” Coric said.
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A number of more top players are expected to be confirmed soon to make the 2017 edition of ATP’s only world tournament in South Asia and India’s heritage tournament a grand affair.
“Our goal is to give Chennai and India the best tennis fare possible,” TNTA president Mr Alagappan said. “I am happy that three top players have already confirmed their presence,” he added.
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