The Indian duo of Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan were on Tuesday handed a direct entry into the doubles main draw of the fourth edition of Tata Open Maharashtra tennis tournament, beginning in Pune on January 31. (More Tennis News)
The pair, which won the Adelaide International ATP-250 event earlier this month, earned a spot in the main draw with a combined ranking of 156. The direct acceptance list consists of 14 pairs with a cut off ranking of 250.
In the 2019 edition, the Asian Games champion star doubles player Bopanna lifted the title with Divij Sharan while Ramkumar had a semi-final finish in the last edition with Purav Raja. Now Playing together, Bopanna and Ramkumar will look to carry forward their brilliant start to the year when they return to Pune.
The 2020 Australian Open finalists Max Purcell and Luke Saville have also been included in the doubles main draw. The 23-year-old Australian Purcell has paired up with compatriot Matthew Ebden, who will be returning to Pune after featuring in the last edition with Indian great Leander Paes. Saville will play alongside John-Patrick Smith.
Among the players who have secured direct entries in both singles and doubles main draws are teenage sensation Lorenzo Musetti, 2018 US Open semi-finallist Radu Albot, Ricardas Berankis and Stefano Travaglia.
Former world No. 49 Illya Marchenko will be among the 11 direct acceptance entries into the singles qualifiers as they will fight for four main draw spots. The Ukrainian star Marchenko had beaten two-time Olympic champion and the former world No. 1 Andy Murray last year to clinch the ATP Challenger Tour title in Biella, Italy.
With cut-off at 173, Aleksander Vukic, who registered his career’s first Grand Slam main draw win at Australian Open on Monday, and Christopher O’Connell are among the other players to feature in the singles qualifying rounds, which will be played on January 30 and 31.
South Asia's only ATP Tour tournament is returning after a two-year break, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, considering the current situation arising out of the Omicron variant of the virus, the tournament will be held inside a bio-bubble without spectators.