Indian Davis Cup players Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna have received wild cards for the singles main draw of ATP Aircel Chennai Open tennis tournament to be held here from January 4-10.
Somdev, ranked 126, was the finalist here last year. He along with Sanam Singh has received the wild card for the doubles draw as well.
Former World No.1 Carlos Moya from Spain, who won here in 2004 and 2005, has received a wild card for both singles and doubles main draw. He will be partnering Indian teen sensation Yuki Bhambri, ranked 338, for the doubles.
Confirming his participation, Moya said: “My previous experience with the tournament is that I will be competing against a strong field. Spectators at the venue have been very supportive of me over the years, motivating me to perform to the best of my capabilities.”
Ravi Krishnan, Managing Director, South Asia, Senior Vice-President, IMG, said: Indian tennis stars and youth icons Somdev Devvarman, Rohan Bopanna, Sanam Singh and Yuki Bhambri serve as role models to the aspiring Indian youth, and it is important that they appear in the only ATP event in India.”
“Carlos Moya has been instrumental in putting this tournament on the global tennis map. In his comeback from injury, we are delighted to grant him a wild Card on what will be his seventh appearance at the event.
Karti Chidambaram, chairman of the organising committee said the decision on wild cards was unanimously taken by IMG, the Organising Committee and the All India Tennis Association (AITA).
“It is with great pleasure we welcome Carlos Moya for his farewell visit to our tournament,” Chidambaram said.
“The other two wild cards have been given to Somdev and Rohan taking into account their Herculean performances in taking India to the Davis Cup World group after a gap of 11 years. Somdev was runner-up of the tournament last year and we look forward to another scintillating performance from him.
“Yuki Bhambri, who has a very bright future, should learn a lot by playing with Moya. The second doubles wild card has been given to Somdev and Sanam after taking into account the potential shown by Sanam in recent tournaments in the USA,” he said.