Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: KSLTA is all geared up for the Sony Ericsson WTA Bangalore Open championship, which gets underway here on February 12.

"We are getting ready for the big event and all things are in place and you can look forward to some high quality tennis," said Mr. C.S. Sunder Raju, Director of the tournament and the secretary of the KSLTA.

Mr. Sunder Raju said U.S. based Shikha Uberoi and Tara Iyer have been awarded wild cards. All players for the main draw, including Australian Open champion Serena Williams, Sania Mirza and former World No.8, Alicia Molik of Australia are expected to reach here by February 10. Mr. Raju said that the online ticketing has been doing some good business and KSLTA expects about 45,000 spectators for the week-long championship. The KSLTA secretary thanked the State Government and the main sponsor of the WTA Bangalore Open, Sony Ericsson for their whole-hearted support.

Draw on Feb.10

Mr. R. Ashok, the State Health Minister and vice-chairman of the organising committee of the WTA Bangalore Open, announced that the draw would be held at the Vidhana Soudha on February 10 and Chief Minister, Mr. H.D. Kumarswamy will pick the draw.

The Minister also assured that adequate security arrangements would be in place during the championship.

Mr. Kevin Livesey, member, Board of Directors of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, said: "Sony Ericsson is delighted to back the Bangalore Open and as we did in the Madrid tournament, we are having purple courts and purple sides. The colour represents youth and energy and looks great on TV."

Bandh

Meanwhile, Karnataka Bandh, scheduled on February 12, has cast a shadow on the inaugural day of the WTA Bangalore Open Championship.

KSLTA has appealed to the bandh organisers to reconsider the decision in view of unnecessary hardship that the bandh would cause to the players and sports lovers.

Players in the main draw: Serena Williams (U.S.), Alicia Molik (Aus), Sania Mirza (Ind), Mara Santangelo (Ita), Jelena Kostanic (Cro), Romina Oprandi (Ita), Jarmila Gajdosova (Svk), Vasilisa Bardina (Rus), Tamarine Tanasugarn (Tha), Yung-jan Chan (Tpe), Yuliana Fedak (Ukr), Martina Sucha (Svk), Sandra Kloesel (Ger), Alberta Brianti (Ita), Olga Savchuk (Ukr), Melinda Czink (Hun), Yulia Beygelzimer (Ukr), Tzipora Obziler (Rus), Galina Voskoboeva (Rus), Kristina Barrois (Ger), Tatiana Poutchek (Blr), Mariya Koryttseva (Ukr) and Su Wei Hsieh (Tpe).

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