Three Indian players Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Arjun Kadhe have been handed a direct entry to the main draw of the ATP 250 World Tour tournament to be held from December 30 to January 6. Tata Open Maharashtra organisers today announced the wild card entries for the inaugural edition of the tournament to be held at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium.
Bhambri, who is India's top-ranked singles pro on ATP at 116, will lead the Indian challenge at the event. The 25- year-old Delhi pro has been one of the consistent Indian players in last one year.
In November, Yuki won the KPIT-MSLTA Challenger event beating Ramanathan in the finals.
At the Citi Open in Washington, Bhambri reached the quarterfinals losing to Kevin Anderson in three sets. On his way up, he beat Frenchman Gael Monfils in the round of 32 in three sets.
This will be his sixth appearance in the main draw of the Indian ATP event. His best result was reaching quarterfinals in 2014 event losing to Vasek Popisil.
Last year, he reached the round of 16 making it through the qualifying rounds.
"I've had some good results this year and have played over 20 tournaments. The last time I came to Pune I won the event so I'm looking forward to the event," said Bhambri.
Ramanathan (142) comes to the main draw at the back of winning three titles in ITF Futures event.
The 23-year old from Chennai will make his fifth appearance in the main draw of this event. His best performance here came in 2016 when he reached the quarterfinals.
In 2013 edition, ranked 789, he beat Somdev Devvarman, ranked 90 then, in the round of 32.
Kadhe, on the other hand, comes to this event winning his first ever Futures title.
On his way to the title, the Pune lad beat Australian Andrew Harris 7-5, 6-3 in the final of the hard court event played in Thu Dau Mot City, Vietnam.
At 18, he got his first taste of the Indian ATP event playing the qualifying round of Chennai Open in 2012, losing to Kenny De Schepper in the 1st round.
The wildcard entry should be a great motivation for the Maharashtra no. 1 who has been in great form recently. In doubles, Kadhe won two ITF Doubles title in December itself.
Alongside Mumbai lad Aryan Goveas, Kadhe beat the pair of Oleksandr Bielinskyi of Ukraine and Russia's Ronald Slobodchikov in the final of the Egypt Futures in Cairo.
Before that, the same pair beat Adrian Exposito of Spain and Diego Matos of Brazil 7-5, 6-3 to clinch the doubles title in USD 15,000 ITF Futures tennis, making it three titles for Kadhe in two months.