Pune: India's top-ranked singles players Yuki Bhambri and Ramkumar Ramanathan have been handed wildcard for the inaugural Tata Open Maharashtra tennis tournament scheduled to start in Pune next week.
Local lad Arjun Khade also received a wildcard for the tournament.
The only ATP tournament of India, which was earlier played in Chennai for past 21 years was shifted to Pune earlier this year. The tournament will be held from December 30, 2017, to January 6th, 2018 at Balewadi Stadium.
The tournament has become an important event in India’s sporting calendar, as top players from across the world participate in the tournament.
IMG-Reliance, the main organisers of the tournament, ended their contract with the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) earlier this year before shifting the tournament to Maharashtra.
Bhambri, who is India’s top-ranked singles player will lead the country's challenge at the premier event. Ramkumar Ramanathan, who is second ranked player in the country will be participating in this ATP 250 World Tour tournament for the fifth time.
Yuki Bhambri's best performance came in 2014, where he reached the quarterfinal before going down to Vasek Popisil from Canada.
Ramanathan's best performance in the tournament was in 2016 where he reached the quarterfinals before losing to Aljaz Bedene. In the 2013 edition, where he made his debut in the tournament, he beat Somdev Devvarman, ranked 90 then, in the round of 32.
Kadhe who is just 23 years of age has been handed direct entry to the main draw for the first time." It means a lot for me to get a chance to complete at this level and get a chance to play some good tennis and have some fun on the tennis court," said the youngster.
The Pune lad had earlier played in Chennai Open 2012 where he was knocked out in the qualifying round by Kenny De Schepper.