A. Vinod

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Trivandrum Tennis Club is all set to conduct the $25,000 Kerala Open international women's tennis tournament here from Monday.

The main draw for the tournament featuring 32 players in the singles and 16 pairs in the doubles is expected to see some exciting action at least towards the later stages of the week-long event.

As expected, the draw for the singles released on Sunday by the ITF supervisor, Nitin Kannamwar, has put the 19-year-old Agnes Szatmari (Romania), ranked in the 283rd spot, as the top seed and the 287th-ranked American Lauren Albanese, yet to turn 18, just a notch behind the Romanian. Yanina Wickmayer (Belgium) will be the third seed.

Rushmi Chakravarthi, the fourth seed, will lead the Indian challenge in the tournament, which also features as many 19 players in the main draw including the eighth-seeded Sanaa Bhambri and all the four wild cards Sweta Solanki, Archana Venkatraman, Panja Maloo and Vishika Chhetri.

In the doubles, Szatmari who is to partner Italian Nicole Clerico has been given the top billing ahead of the combine of Lauren Albanese and Yanina Wickmayer and the Indian pair of Rushmi Chakravathi and Sanaa Bhambri.

The winner of the singles event is assured of a purse of $2,940 while in the doubles it would be $1,176.

Meanwhile, the qualifying rounds ended earlier in the day with Shweta Gadgeepa Kakhandki, Geeta Manohar, Stephanie MacFarlane (Australia), Unnati Purushotham, Kelsey Sundaram (U.S.), Rashmi Teltumbde, Anupama Rajur and Madura Ranganathan booking their places in the main draw.

The seedings:

Singles: 1. Agnes Szatmari (Rom), 2. Lauren Albanese (U.S.), 3. Yanina Wickmayer (Bel), 4. Rushmi Chakravathi (Ind), 5. Suchanan Viratprasert (Tha), 6. Cassandra Barr (Aus), 7. Marinne Giraud (Mri), 8. Sanaa Bhambri (Ind).

Doubles: 1. Nicole Clerico (Ita)/Agnes Szatmari (Rom), 2. Lauren Albanese (U.S.)/ Yanina Wickamyer (Bel), 3. Rushmi Chakravarthi/ Sanaa Bhambri (Ind), 4. Mariana Muci-Torres (Ven)/ Marinne Giraud (Mri).

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