With the city set to host its first Challenger tennis tournament in more than a decade starting from February 3, India’s top men’s singles players Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri have confirmed their participation.

Devvarman, the current World No. 97, leads the list and the cut off for direct entries is 262 with Chinese Taipei’s Liang-Chi Huang occupying the last slot. Moldova’s Albot Radu (No. 160) and Russia’s Alexander Kudryavtsev (No. 237), both of whom qualified for the Aircel Chennai Open will also be featuring.

The other Indians in the fray include Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, the country’s third best singles player, Sriram Balaji and teenager R. Ramkumar, who had a sensational run at the Chennai Open. But, the cut off means that they would either be hoping for a wild card or trying their luck in the qualifying rounds.

24 direct entries

The 32-member player field will comprise 24 direct entries, four wild cards and four qualifiers. Wild cards, which will be decided before the qualifying gets underway on February 1, will be given to the “most deserving India and Tamil Nadu players,” said C.B.N. Reddy, secretary of the tournament host, the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA).

Considered the backbone of the professional game, the Challengers, after Chennai, will be held in Kolkata from Feb. 10 and New Delhi from Feb. 17. Kiran double bagels Nithya Sekar

G. Kiran Rani scored a double bagel over Nithya Sekar to enter the girls’ under-12 singles final of the YMCA-TTT junior State-ranking tennis tournament here on Friday.

Other results: Boys: Doubles: U-12 final: V.M. Sandeep & Anirudh Ramesh bt Nikhil Sadagopan & Nandhakishore 6-3, 6-0. U-16 semifinals: R.S. Mohit & Vikram Dhananjay bt S.V. Ananth & Deepak Senthilkumar 8-3; Ojes Theyjo & Vishnu Prasad bt V. Rohith & Siddharth Arya 8-5.

Girls: Semifinals: U-12: V.K. Adithi bt R. Pavana 4-6, 6-4, 7-5; U-14: Aditi Basker bt Shweta Kiran 6-2, 6-3; Sharon Samson bt Yuvasree 6-3, 6-3; U-16: Sharon Samson bt Ashraya Mahesh 6-4, 6-0; Aarthi Murali bt Rachna Aravind 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Hat-trick by Suresh

P. Suresh’s hat-trick powered St. Patrick’s to a 6-0 win over St. Bede’s in the Chola-MS Schools Football Premier League on Friday.

The results: St. Patrick’s 6 (P. Suresh 12, 22, 47, Lakshman Kumar 55, Jaisurya 57, Simeon 59) bt St. Bede’s 0; Westley 0 drew with Vidya Mandir 0.

Emphatic win for St. Patrick’s

St. Patrick’s defeated Yes Kay CA by a convincing margin of 94 runs in the CCCA-V. Rajamannar Memorial under-13 cricket tournament here.

The scores: St. Patrick’s CA 159 for five in 20 overs (S. Shyam Sundar 26, Samuvel Raj 30, S. Sanjay 44) bt Yes Kay CA 65 for seven in 20 overs.

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