Nedunchezhiyan-Balaji & Ramanathan-Mayur get wild cards into Chennai Open

Chennai: The young Indian doubles pairing of Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and N. Sriram Balaji along with Ramkumar Ramanathan and Mohit Mayur have been given wild card entries into the doubles main draw of the Aircel Chennai Open 2012 to be held at the SDAT-Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium from January 2-8.
Indian tennis fans are in for a special treat this New Year with the country’s top three doubles players – Mahesh Bhupathi, Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna - already having confirmed their  participation in the 17th edition of India’s only and South Asia’s leading ATP World Tour event.

For the four young players - Nedunchezhiyan, Balaji, Ramanathan and Mayur – it will be their maiden appearance at the Aircel Chennai Open. Left-handed Nedunchezhiyan, with a singles ranking of 556, is the highest-ranked among the four players, all of whom are well-established in the national circuit. As part of the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA)’s Advanced Players Program, the development of these players has been holistically supported by the TNTA and with this support they have trained at the Schüttler-Waske Tennis University in Germany and Sanchez-Casal Academy in Spain.

M.A. Alagappan, President, Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, said: “It’s heartening to know that four young players from Tamil Nadu will get an opportunity to showcase their talent on a truly international stage. These opportunities go a long way in developing the confidence of young players and I wish the boys the very best. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the government of Tamil Nadu for their continued support in the development of tennis in the state and the growth of the Aircel Chennai Open as one of the most premier and sought after ATP Tour event in South Asia. “

Karti P Chidambaram, Chairman, Tournament Organizing Committee and Vice President, AITA said: “The organizers are happy to award wild card entries to promising and deserving Tamil Nadu players. The Tamil Nadu Government and the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association have been the backbone to the success of the Aircel Chennai Open over the past 16 years. I wish the young players all the very best in the tournament.”

Fernando Soler, Tournament Director and Head of Tennis, IMG Worldwide, said: “The move not only helps promote homegrown talent, it also infuses more spectator interest. Chennai is known as the ‘cradle of Indian tennis’ and the passionate fans love their tennis.”

Ashu Jindal, COO, IMG Reliance, said: “We are pleased to offer wild card entries to the two promising Tamil Nadu pairings. I am confident they will gain a lot from this experience. I wish them the very best.”