India's Yuki Bhambri has been given a straight entrance for the Maharashtra Open 2022 ATP 250 tennis tournament, which begins on January 31 at Pune's Balewadi Stadium. He will compete in main draw under his protected ranking, which allows ranked players to return after a minimum of six months off.
Yuki Bhambri, who was ranked 83rd in the world in 2018, competed in all four Grand Slams that was conducted that same year. After the US Open, he was sidelined for more than two years due to injuries. Yuki Bhambri, 29, made a comeback in 2021 in the Singapore Open and is set to compete in the Australian Open which will be held later in the month.
With a strict cut-off mark established at 149, other top-ranked Indian men's singles tennis players including Ramkumar Ramanathan (184), Prajnesh Gunneswaran (219), and Sumit Nagal (222) were unable to get direct access to the Maharashtra Open.
This year the fourth edition of the tournament and Maharashtra open is South Asia’s only main ATP Tour event. Nine of the world's top 100 men's singles players will compete in the Maharashtra Open 2022, including world No. 18 Aslan Karatsev of Russia and reigning winner Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic.
Last year, Aslan Karatsev, the highest-ranked singles player at the tournament, made history by being the first player to reach the Australian Open semi-finals on his debut.
The 28-year-old Russian defeated world No. 1, Novak Djokovic, in the semi-finals of the Serbia Open before losing in the final.
In addition to all the big names who will show up for the tournament other famous names in the competition include Australia's John Millman, Portuguese veteran Joao Sousa, and Italy's youthful phenom Lorenzo Musetti.
The Maharashtra Open was cancelled last year because of COVID-19. The qualifying matches for this year's event are planned for January 30-31, with the tournament ending on February 6.