Top Indian players in fray at KPIT-MSLTA Challenger

Amanpreet Singh

Mumbai, Nov 1 (PTI) India's top singles players, including Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Sumit Nagal and Ramkumar Ramanathan will compete at the KPIT-MSLTA Challenger, which will be held in Pune from November 11.

The announcement was made by Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) Secretary Sunder Iyer and KPIT's CEO and Managing Director Kishor Patil.

Prajnesh, ranked 92, had ended a runner-up at the last edition.

Nagal, who has jumped to career-best rank of 129, had grabbed the headlines after taking a set off iconic Roger Federer in the first round of the US Open.

The tournament is the longest running ATP Challenger in India and now into its sixth year.

'With the new 48-player draw format, the cut-off this year is 550, which makes it very strong Challenger at this level,' said Iyer, who informed that of the 48 players, 41 players will be get direct entry, two players will come through qualifiers and five players will get entry through wild cards.

The qualifying round will have only two matches and will be played on November 11 alongside the main draw while the finals will be played on November 17.

The singles winner will take home USD 7,200 (Rs 5,10,000) and earn 80 ATP points, while the runner's up will get USD 4,240 (Rs 3,00,000) and 48 ATP points.

'Our tournament is placed strategically because the winner inevitably makes to the main draw of the Australian Open, so players who are on the fringe of the main draw at the Australian Open make it a point to enter the event in a bid to cement their spots,' said Patil.

Iyer said that injured Yuki Bhambri is eyeing to make a comeback through the Tata Maharashtra Open, which has been pushed from December 2019 to February 2020. PTI NRB ATAT