Illustrious field for Aircel Chennai Open

chennai openChennai: The player field for the Aircel Chennai Open 2013 will see an impressive line-up of both Indian and International players. Apart from World No. 6 Tomas Berdych, World No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic, World No. 15 Marin Cilic, World No. 17 Stanislas Wawrinka, additions to the player field include World No 47 Benoit Paire, World No 56 Robin Haase, and World No 60 Yen-Hsun Lu among others.

Boasting prize money of USD $430,000, India’s and South Asia’s only ATP World Tour tennis event will be held at the SDAT Tennis Stadium in Chennai from 31st December 2012 to 6th January 2013.

Spear-heading the singles draw, will be 27-year-old Tomas Berdych. This is his second visit to Chennai. World No. 6 kicked off 2012 with a bang after winning the Hopman Cup for the Czech Republic with compatriot Petra Kvitová and then captured the title atMontpellier. The Czech continued his top form as he reached his career best at the US Open Championships 2012, where he stalled the progress of World No. 1 Roger Federer, defeating him 7-6(1), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to enter the quarter-finals.

Berdych further displayed his prowess in the game by seizing his second ATP title of 2012 by defeating top-seeded Jo-Wilfred Tsonga of France 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the Stockholm Open final; progressing to play at the BarclaysATP World Tour Finals. This was his third consecutive appearance at the season finale. Czech Republic’s No. 1 player also led the Czech team to victory against Spain at the Davis Cup Final held this past weekend.

Janko Tipsarevic, who will be playing at the Aircel Chennai Open for the fifth time, opened the 2012 season at Chennai winning the doubles title with Leander Paes. The 28-year-old Serbian made the fourth round of the Australian Open and reached a career-high ranking of number 9 in May, before bagging his third title of the season. He had a perfect close to the season by qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

Winner of the Aircel Chennai Open Singles title in 2009 and 2010, Marin Cilic is ranked No. 15 in the world. Cilic gained momentum by reaching the Munich final in April this year. In July, he captured his eighth ATP World Tour title at the ATP Vegeta Croatia Open Umag.

Stanislas Wawrinka, who will also be a part of this season’s draw in Chennai for the fifth consecutive year, is eyeing a winning start similar to 2011. After a good run at the Aircel Chennai Open 2012, Wawrinka confirms his return for another shot at the title. Wawrinka's greatest achievement till date has been the gold medal victory for Switzerland in the men's doubles event in Beijing Olympics, partnering multiple Grand Slam winning compatriot Roger Federer.

Fernando Soler, former Tournament Director and Head of Tennis, IMG Worldwide, said in a statement: “We look forward to delivering a very exciting week of thrilling tennis at the Aircel Chennai Open 2013. Having a strong player field with four from the world top 20, tennis fans in Chennai can certainly expect some great competition and solid tennis.”

Renuka Jaypal, National Brand Head, Aircel said, “With Aircel Chennai Open 2013, we are once again proud to bring the largest and oldest annual sporting extravaganza to the country. With young players such as Somdev Devvarman, reaching the international arena, the sport in India has gained immense popularity amongst the youth and with Aircel Chennai Open 2013, where some of the country’s best players would be playing against the top ranking international players, we hope to give our young audience a highly competitive and an action packed event.”

M.A. Alagappan, President of Tamil Nadu Tennis Association said, “Aircel Chennai Open, now in its 18th edition isundoubtedly South Asia’s premiersportsevent. We would like to place on record our appreciation of the excellent support of the Government of Tamil Nadu and all our sponsors. The tournament has been growing in popularity every year and this year’s confirmation from four of the top 20 players - Tomas Berdych, Janko Tipsarevic, Marin Cilic and Stanislas Wawrinka is a testimony to it. Presence of such prominent players will provide tennis enthusiasts some world class action right here in Chennai.”

Ashu Jindal, Chief Operating Officer, IMG Reliance said, “Aircel Chennai Open 2013 has one of the most competitive line-ups the tournament has witnessed. The promising fieldwith top-10 players like Berdych and Tipsarevic, the two time singles champion Cilic, and one of Chennai’s favourite champions Stanislas Wawrinka, illustrates the tournament’s position as the premier tennis event in this part of the world. We are extremely thankful to the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association for their relentless support and all our sponsors, who have helped to make this event a sporting extravaganza.”

By Indian Sports News Network