Chennai: India’s Leander Paes will partner Serbian Janko Tipsarevic in the doubles draw of the Aircel Chennai Open 2012 to be held at the SDAT-Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium from 2-8 January 2012.
Paes and Bhupathi won the 2011 Aircel Chennai Open title when India’s most famous doubles pair reunited on the professional tour at the start of the 2011 season after a gap of nine years, to win a record fifth title in India’s only and South Asia’s leading ATP World Tour event.
The famed “Indian Express” announced in December they were parting ways, but home fans will see India’s top three doubles players in action in the 17th edition of the premier tournament with Bhupathi, No. 7 world ranking in doubles, and Rohan Bopanna (ranked No. 11) teaming up for the season with their sights firmly set on the London Olympics in July.
Paes, with a No. 8 world ranking in doubles, and Tipsarevic will start as favourites at the Aircel Chennai Open along with Bhupathi and Bopanna.
World No. 9 Tipsarevic is the highest ranked player in the singles draw and was a semi-finalist in the 2011 edition won by Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka. The Serbian is equally adept in doubles play with a world ranking of 85. He was a doubles finalist in the 2010 Aircel Chennai Open and a semi-finalist in the 2011 edition.
All the three top Indian doubles players qualified for the coveted ATP World Tour finals in London in November, with Bhupathi and Paes making it to the semi-finals.
Bopanna and his erstwhile partner Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi had lost in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Aircel Chennai Open, but the Indian had a good run in 2011, reaching a career-high doubles ranking of 9.
Karti P Chidambaram, Chairman Tournament Organising Committee and Vice President, AITA said: “We are extremely pleased to have received confirmation from ace tennis player Leander Paes for the Aircel Chennai Open. It will be an added advantage for all tennis enthusiasts to see Leander in action with World No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic in the doubles. We wish them good luck and are sure of some exciting game of tennis."
Fernando Soler, Tournament Director and Head of Tennis, IMG Worldwide, said: “This is exciting news for the tournament to be featuring some of the world’s top doubles players, and great news for home fans with the country’s three top doubles players in action along with India’s top singles player, Somdev Devvarman. The fans can look forward to some spectacular tennis and winning moments from them.”
Tickets for the prestigious event will be sold online via the official website www.aircelchennaiopen.org and www.bookmyshow.com, the tournament’s ticketing partner. The on-site sale of season tickets starts from 23rd December 2011 at the SDAT Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium, Chennai. Redemption of online ticket sales also begins from 23rd December 2011 at the venue. The organisers have announced that daily tickets will be sold at the venue on match days and 24 hours before online for respective match days.