For the first time after a span of 14 years, a WTA event in India will be held for the first time, it was announced recently. The event, Chennai Open WTA 250 will be held from September 12-18 this year, on the hard courts, at SDAT Tennis Stadium in Nungambakkam, featuring best players in country.
The tournament will also feature 32 singles and 16 double entries in the main draw. The remaining entries will come through qualifiers, which will be contested by 24 players, and will be held on September 10 and 11, on the hard courts of SDAT Tennis Stadium, featuring the best in the world and India.
Meanwhile, players in the top 100 of the WTA rankings will get a direct entry at the Chennai Open. India's top two singles -- Ankita Raina (world No. 169) and Karman Thandi (world No. 494) -- might be handed wild cards. Vijay Amritraj, president of the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, hopes that tennis ace Sania Mirza would compete at the Chennai Open.
Mirza, a six-time Grand Slam winner, is currently ranked 24 in the women's doubles. The Bangalore Open was the last WTA Tour tournament to be held in India in 2008. Serena Williams won the singles title there, while Chinese duo Peng Shuai and Sun Tiantian won the doubles crown.