Federal Bank ITF Women’s Open: Ankita leads a contingent of nine Indians in main draw

Ankita Raina QNET OpenGurugram: Excitement is in the air as the second edition of the Federal Bank ITF Women’s Open W35 Gurugram gears up for an action-packed week of tennis from February 26 to March 3. Hosted by The Tennis Project, this prestigious event, which has received a certificate for exemplary player satisfaction from the ITF promises to be a thrilling affair with some of the best players having signed up for the US $ 25,000 prize money event that begins with a Pro-Am here on Saturday.

The tournament has attracted players from 16 countries including hosts India. As many as nine Indians including five direct entries have earned a spot in the main draw consisting of 32 players. The Indian contingent is led by the country's top-ranked player Ankita Raina, along with Sahaja Yamalapalli, Vaidehi Chaudhari, Srivalli Rashmikaa Bhamidipaty, and Zeel Desai. The event's main draw will feature renowned players, with six-time ITF title winner, Dalila Jakupovic of Slovenia, set to be the top attraction.

The qualifying draw which comprises of 48 players will enable a greater number of Indian talents to showcase their skills and earn a spot in the main draw. With only eight of them getting through to the main draw, the competition is expected to be intense. The first round of qualifying begins on Sunday.

Founder of The Tennis Project, former Davis Cupper and former captain of the Indian team for the Billie Jean King Cup, Vishal Uppal, expressed his enthusiasm for the tournament, stating, "The Federal Bank ITF Women’s Open W35 Gurugram celebrates the power and empowerment of women in sports. It's inspiring to see these talented athletes showcase their skills on the court, and we're proud to provide a platform for them to shine. I thank Federal Bank for their continued support and also the other sponsors for their valuable contribution in making this event a success."

MVS Murthy, CMO, Federal Bank said that they were excited to be the presenting sponsors. "Federal Bank is delighted to be associated with such a prestigious tennis event. We believe in promoting sports at all levels and are proud to support women's tennis through initiatives like the Federal Bank ITF Women’s Open W35 Gurugram. We look forward to witnessing some outstanding performances from the players."

Adding to the fervour and celebration of women’s tennis, a Pro-Am event will act as a curtain raiser where professional players will team up with corporate amateurs for an exciting display of tennis camaraderie, providing a special experience for both players and spectators alike.

A total prize money totalling US $ 25,000 awaits the participants, with the winner walking away with a cheque worth US $ 3935 and 35 valuable WTA points. The runner-up will not only secure a prize of US $ 2107 but also earn 23 WTA points, setting the stage for a fiercely contested final showdown.