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Chennai Open

Chennai Open To Be Relocated, Renamed

The Chennai Open, the only ATP tournament to be held in India, is all set to get a makeover as it will move to a new home and get a new name.

IMG-Reliance, the rights holders of the tournament along with Government of Maharashtra and Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA), announcing this on Wednesday, revealed that Pune will be the new city to host the 2018 edition.  Virat Kohli Is The King In The Great Indian Coaching Drama: Four Ways In Which Kohli Tamed The Legends Of Indian Cricket! 

The tournament will henceforth be called the Maharashtra Open.

We welcome the world class ATP tournament to our state,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in a statement.

“We are happy to host the Maharashtra Open and sure that we will take it to newer heights by bringing in an elite field every year.”  5 Reason Why MS Dhoni Is Indispensable?!

The Chennai Open became an important fixture on India’s international sporting calendar, drawing top players from across the world for 21 years.

Many of them, including Spanish star Rafael Nadal who has often spoken about its importance in his journey to World No.1, had made it their first stop every year.

India’s Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi had also forged their formidable partnership at the Chennai Open. Stan Wawrinka and Marin Cilic, among the more notable players, also took baby steps in this tournament city before going on to break into ATP’s elite Top 5 list.  I Like To Perform When There Are Challenges – Ravindra Jadeja

Roberto Bautista Agut

Agut, Bopanna-Nedunchezhiyan Lift Chennai Open Titles

Chennai, Jan 8 (IANS) Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-4 to win the singles crown while India’s Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan beat compatriots Purav Raja and Divij Sharan 6-3, 6-4 to lift the Chennai Open tennis doubles title on Sunday.

It was Bopanna’s first Chennai Open title, He was a losing finallist in the 2006 edition of the tournament.

Bopanna-Jeevan broke their opponents twice in the first set to clinch sealing the first set 6-3.

Bopanna-Jeevan were broken early in the second set, to trail 0-2, but they eventually pulled level and took the initiative to go 5-3 up. Bopanna held his serve at 5-4 to secure the win in 1 hour and six minutes.

Earlier in the day, the World No.14 needed an one hour and 13 minutes to beat the unseeded Russian, ranked 99th in the world, and pocket $79,780.

It was Bautista Agut’s first title at Chennai, in his second final after having lost to Serbian Janko Tipsarevic in 2013.

The second seed broke Medvedev’s serve in the fourth game of the first set to surge to a 3-1 lead and soon wrapped up the first set in 33 minutes.

The 20-year-old Medvedev fought hard in the second set and was level at 4-4. But Bautista Agut broke his serve in the ninth game and then claimed the contest.

Medvedev was beset by cramps in the second set of the final, following his three-set victory in the semi-finals on Saturday. He summoned his trainer for a quick-fix solution but couldn’t muster the energy or fight to make a comeback.

Bautista Agut, on the other hand, was his usual calm and collected self as he became the first Spaniard to claim the Aircel Chennai Open since Carlos Moya won it in 2005. He kept the ball in play, inviting Medvedev to make the shots as well as the mistakes. He covered the court well and came up with successive forehand winners.

“I played a great match tactically,” Bautista Agut said, after taking the trophy in his hands and celebrating his triumph. “I was very solid and could play aggressively whenever I wanted,” he added.

“My game-plan was to keep him moving. I returned very well and that put pressure on his serve, and he started making moves,” he explained.

Medvedev refused to blame his defeat on the medical time-out though.

“I felt sore in my right leg and had to call my trainer. But I didn’t lose because of that. He played amazing tennis. He was very consistent and was a much better player. I didn’t have a single break point,” he pointed out.

Bautista Agut, however, only had good things to say about his losing opponent.

“He is a very good player. He is tall, serves well, and has strokes from the baseline. I am sure a great future lies ahead of him,” he said.

daniil Medvdev
daniil Medvdev

Chennai Open: Agut, Medvedev Enter Final

New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) Second seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain will take on Russias rising star Daniil Medvedev in the final of the Chennai Open tennis championship match here at the SDAT Stadium on Sunday evening.

World No. 14 Bautista Agut put up a clinical performance to humble fifth seed Benoit Paire of France 6-3, 6-3 in just over an hour.

Medvedev took the longer route into his maiden ATP World Tour final, coming back from one set down and saving a match point in the second to win 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2 against Dudi Sela of Israel.

Bautista Agut, who will be playing his second final here, believes that he faces a tough task in the final against Medvedev.

“Yes, it is going to be a difficult match. He is tall, has a good serve and a number of strokes from the baseline. I will come prepared and play my best tennis,” he said.

The 28-year-old Spaniard felt that he felt good after a long fought three-setter in the quarter-finals on Friday.

“I won because I played well, no. I played a solid game and did all the right things. I felt really good after spending so much time on the court last night,” he remarked.

Bautista Agut got an opportunity in the fourth game itself but Paire saved both the break points, riding on his big serve. He got another one in the eighth game and Paire helped him by hitting a simple overhead volley into the net. The set ended in just 30 minutes.

He got a break in the opening game of the second set itself. Paire lost his cool and suffered two more breaks to make it a total mismatch.

Earlier, Israel’s 31-year-old journeyman Sela looked like he had the match well within his grasp as he covered the court smartly and mixed his shots almost to perfection. His deceptive double-handed flicks often caught Medvedev guessing giving him the edge. When he saw an opportunity, he added extra power into his forehand drives too for maximum effect.

Sela got the upper hand in the seventh game when Medvedev missed an overhead volley. The next game proved to be the most absorbing, with both players engaging in long end-to-end rallies. Sela faced two break points but managed to save both of them. He held on to his serve to go 5-3 up.

Medvedev changed tack at this stage, attacking the ball a lot more aggressively and looking for winners. He held serve for 4-5 but couldn’t find a way to crack Sela to lose the set in 40 minutes.

The quality of tennis peaked in the second set, with both players lifting their games. Medvedev broke in the fourth game to jump into the lead 3-1. But Sela, against the run of play, came right back. They held serves till 4-4 before Sela got the much-needed breakthrough in the next game and looked set to wrap up the set and match too.

He was on match point too but Medvedev whipped out a forehand that barely caught the line. He took the next two points to save the game and set. In the eventual tie-breaker, Medvedev rode on his powerful serve to jump to 4-2 and annexed the next three points to win 7-2.

Sela perhaps still brooding over the missed opportunity, yielded his next game to go down 0-1. Medvedev took charge of the match and cruised away to 4-2. He got another break in the seventh game by which time Sela had all but given up.

Roberto Bautista Agut

Bhambri Beaten, Agut To Face Youzhny In Chennai Open Quarter-Final

Chennai, Jan 5 (IANS) India’s Yuki Bhambri was beaten 3-6, 4-6 by Frenchman Benoit Paire in the second round of the 22nd Chennai Open tennis tournament here on Thursday.

The 474th Bhambri wasn’t a match for the 47th ranked, who took an hour and 26 minutes to claim the match at the SDAT Stadium.

Bhambri fell behind from the onset of the contest.

He was broken in his very first service game and was pushed back early, trailing 3-0. Even though he held his serve from there on, he couldn’t reduce the deficit and relinquished the first set 3-6.

The second set also progressed in a similar fashion with Bhambri putting up a fight but coming up short in crucial phases of the proceedings.

Paire hit 11 aces, saved seven break points, and won 54 percent (80 of 149) of the total points played in the match.

Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut and Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny set up a quarter-final showdown by registering comfortable victories here on Thursday.

Agut, World No.14 and second seed, needed just one hour and 15 minutes to quell a spirited challenge from Brazil’s Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-3, 6-2.

The seventh seeded Youzhny was equally imperious, romping past Argentina’s Renzo Olivo 6-1, 7-5.

“He is a former Top 10 player and a tough opponent,” Agut said, speaking of their upcoming face-off.

“But I will make him work on the court and he will have to fight it out if he wants to beat me,” he added.

Agut didn’t show any signs of rustiness despite playing his first match after a two-month break. He dictated the proceedings by serving hard and unleashing strong backhand and forehand winners.

He broke Dutra Silva thrice, in the sixth game in the first set and the fifth and seventh games in the second set.

The 28-year-old Spaniard was pretty happy about his game.

“I felt great on the court, without any match practice,” Agut said, looking ahead to the new year.

“It was a little windy. But the conditions are good, the court is good, to play at night,” he added.

World No.57 Youzhny and Olivo traded breaks in the first three games before the former took charge of the match.

He broke Olivo in the fifth and seventh games to seal the first set 6-1 under 30 minutes.

The second set went all the way to the wire before Olivo, serving at 5-6 to save the match, double-faulted to hand the match to Youzhny.

Rohan Bopanna

Cilic Stunned, Bopanna Wins In Chennai Open

Chennai, Jan 4 (IANS) Top seed Marin Cilic was stunned 6-7 (5), 7-5, 5-7 by Jozef Kovalik in the second round of the Chennai Open tennis tournament here on Wednesday.

World No.6 Cilic was heavily tipped to win the hard court tournament but he was below his best against the 117-ranked Slovakian, going down in 2 hours 49 minutes at the Stadium Court.

Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, started on the wrong note, losing the first set in the tie-breaker against the qualifier.

It was always going to be a battle for Cilic after surrendering the first set. But he was expected to break Kovalik’s serve.

The Croatian pulled level claiming the second set but his inspired rival withstood intense pressure to which he was subjected.

Kovalik grew in confidence as the match progressed and snatched the deciding set 7-5 to claim a memorable victory.

Also on Wednesday, Indian men’s doubles tennis pair Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan won their first round clash, beating Brazil-Croatian pairing of Marcelo Demoliner and Nikola Mektic 6-4, 6-4.

But India’s other pairing of N.Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan were beaten by Swedish duo of Johan Brunstrom and Andreas Siljestrom 6-2, 6-4.

Bopanna-Nedunchezhiyan took 60 minutes to complete the victory at Court 1.

The Indian pair safely negotiated all the five break points on their serve and won two of the six break points they received.

Bopanna and Nedunchezhiyan will play against the American-Austrian pairing of James Cerretani and Philipp Oswald in the quarter-finals.

Yuki Bhambri

Bhambri Wins, Myneni Beaten At Chennai Open

Chennai, Jan 3 (IANS) Indian tennis player Yuki Bhambri defeated compatriot and local boy Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-1, 6-1, but Saketh Myneni’s was beaten 4-6, 3-6 by seventh seeded Mikhail Youzhny in the Round of 32 matches of the 22nd Chennai Open here on Tuesday.

Myneni fought hard but the 57th-ranked Russian was too much for the 192 ranked Indian who succumbed in 1 hour and 256 seconds.

The Russian managed to convert two of the eight break points received to pocket the match, winning 72 of 131 (55 per cent) total points played.

Bhambri displayed a compact, all-round game to overwhelm wild card Ramanathan in just 53 minutes at the SDAT Stadium.

The 24-year-old broke Ramanathan thrice in the first set and twice in the second, not giving him any chance to even put up a fight.

He played solidly from the back of the court, but kept looking for opportunities to rush towards the net to set up easy winners.

“I just didn’t take my foot off the gas. I knew that Ram is a tough guy to play, especially in Chennai, and I didn’t want to give him anything to fight back with,” said Bhambri.

“I am match sharp. But I need to be more consistent on the court. So the plan is to get more matches under my belt, do more preparation for the tougher games ahead,” he added.

Commenting on the game, Ramanathan said: “Bhambri played a smart, aggressive game. He got all his first serves in, while I had a very bad match. It was a bad day for me.”

“I started off badly, losing my first game itself. I got a whiff of a chance in the first game of the second set but Bhambri put pressure on me while I was defensive,” he added.

Earlier in the day, world No. 101 Aljaž Bedene of Great Britain pulled off a minor upset by defeating Spain’s No. 70 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-3 to keep the opening day trend of lower-ranked players ruling the roost.

Slovenia-born Bedene, who was the last player to gain direct entry into the main draw following the injury-induced withdrawal of Tommy Robredo, exhibited a compact, all- round game to get the better of the lanky Spanish veteran, once ranked World No. 23, in one hour 14 minutes.

Argentina’s Renzo Olivo and Taiwan’s Yen-Hsun Lu, however, broke the trend by romping to facile victories.

Olivo stormed past the tournament’s youngest player Casper Ruud 7-6 (3), 6-2 in just over 1 hour and 19 minutes, while Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan thumped Radu Albot of Moldova 6-2, 6-1 in just over an hour.

Tennis Stars Add Glitter To Chennai Open Fashion Show

Chennai, Jan 3 (IANS) India’s multiple Grand Slam champion Leander Paes and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s movie star and tennis sensation Damir Dzumhur set the ramp on fire when they walked for designers Lalit Dalmia and Pranjal Kadkade at the Aircel Chennai Open fashion show here organised by 6 degrees.

Russia’s upcoming star Daniil Medvedev, US’s Nicholas Monroe and Indian rookie Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan were the other tennis stars who successfully blended fashion with sports here on Monday.

Commenting on the show, Nikhil Hedge, founder of 6 Degrees, said: “We are extremely proud to be partner of the Aircel Chennai Open this year. This event gives a platform not only to tennis maestros but also to fashion professionals with flair of design sensibility.”

The 20th edition of the $500,000 Aircel Chennai Open got off to a great start here at the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) Stadium here on Monday.

Dudi Sela

Dudi Sela Wins In Chennai Open

Chennai, Jan 2 (IANS) Israel’s Dudi Sela beat Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Damir Dzumhur 6-2, 6-2 in the men’s singles first round of the Chennai Open tennis tournament here on Monday.

The 96th rank Sela was dominant from the beginning and easily overpowered his 77th ranked opponent.

Russian Daniil Medvedev, ranked 99th, was equally comfortable against Thiago Monteiro, winning 6-3,6-3, against the Brazilian who is ranked 17 rungs above him.

Steve Darcis of Belgium defeated Croatia’s Nikola Mektic 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the second round. The 86th ranked Darcis proved too much for the 74th rank Mektic.

Jozef Kovalik also maintained the day’s tempo, as the 117th placed Slovakian defeated 81st ranked Portuguese Gastao Elias 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-2.

In the men’s doubles section, Argentine Renzo Olivo and Austrian Jurgen Melzer defeated Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu and German Andre Begemann 4-6, 7-6 (3), 11-9.

Marin Cilic

Preview: Cilic To Start As Favourite At Chennai Open

Chennai, Jan 1 (IANS) Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan will spearhead the Indian challenge against a strong foreign field headlined by world No.6 Marin Cilic at the Chennai Open tennis tournament starting here from Monday.

Last year’s runner-up Borna Coric of Croatia, Spaniards Roberta Bautista Agut and Albert Ramos-Vinolas are also expected to be strong challengers.

With defending champion Stan Wawrinka opting to skip the tournament this year, Cilic — who won the title in 2009 and 2010 — is considered to be the frontrunner.

The Croat had enjoyed an excellent run of form in 2016. He claimed his maiden Masters title in Cincinnati, defeating current Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in the final.

At the 2016 Paris Masters, Cilic defeated Novak Djokovic for the first time in his career to reach the semi-finals, where he had lost to John Isner.

Bautista Agut also enjoyed a good run in 2016. The World No.14 won two ATP titles and also notched up a win over Djokovic.

Apart from Myneni and local lad Ramanathan, Yuki Bhambri and Prajnesh Gunneswaran are the other Indians in the fray in singles.

In the doubles category, veteran star Leander Paes will take to the court with partner Andre Sa from Brazil.

Paes and Sa will face the Indian combination of Divij Sharan and Purav Raja in the opening round.

Rohan Bopanna meanwhile, has joined up with local lad Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan.

Wild card entrants Myneni-Ramanathan and Sriram Balaji-Vishnu Vardhan will also be seen in action.

Saketh Myneni

Saket To Take On Youzhny, Ramkumar Draws Qualifier In Chennai Open First Round

Chennai, Dec 31 (IANS) India’s top-ranked singles tennis player Saket Myneni drew a potentially explosive clash against Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny in the opening round of the Aircel Chennai Open that gets underway at the SDAT Stadium here on Monday.

The country’s only other challenger in the singles, Ramkumar Ramanathan, got lucky though, drawing a qualifier for his first match of the new year.

In doubles, India’s top pair of Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan will take on Marcelo Demoliner of Brazil and Croatia’s Nikola Mektic while the other pair of Purav Raja and Divij Sharan will run into countryman Leander Paes and his Brazilian partner Andre SA.

As is the norm, all top four seeds — Marin Cilic (No. 1 seed, World No. 6), Roberto Bautista Agut (No. 2 seed, World No. 14), Albert Ramos-Vinolas (No. 3 seed, World No. 27) and Martin Klizan (No. 4 seed, World No. 35) — got first round byes. They will get into action only on Wednesday.

Saket, who was part of the draw ceremony looked unfazed when he realised who his opponent was. He conceded that he has to be on top of his game to drive past the highly consistent Youzhny.

“Yes, it is going to be a big challenge for me. He has been a top player for so many years,” he said.

“I have to bring out my best if I want to make a good start to 2016. I am looking forward to it,” he added.

The defending Asian Games mixed doubles gold medallist and men’s doubles silver meadallist is brimming with confidence after a highly successful year.

“I was out for two months following a surgery. I had a good off-season and I am ready for 2017,” he declared.

Ramkumar heaved a sigh of relief when he learnt that he was not up against a heavyweight on the first day itself.

But he also conceded that he has an anxious wait ahead as his opponent will be known only on Sunday evening.

“It doesn’t matter. I will try to do my best, like I always do,” he said.

He agreed that he would be aiming to pull off a few more upsets like he did last year.

“That’s what everyone wants to attain, right?” he asked.

“Let’s see how this year goes,” he added.