The twin legs of the Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger, which were under a cloud of uncertainty owing to the Covid-19 pandemic situation around the world, will be held as scheduled earlier from Feb 6 to Feb 20, the organising committee has confirmed.
The two back-to-back Challengers — called the Bengaluru Open 1 (from Feb 6-13) and Bengaluru Open 11 (from Feb 14-20) — hosted by the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) and played at Bengaluru, will carry a total prize purse of US$ 107,000.
While confirming the event, the President of Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association R. Ashoka, who is also the Minister for Revenue, Govt. of Karnataka, said: “We take pleasure in welcoming players and officials from over 20 countries for this prestigious event which we have been conducting since 2017. Unfortunately, we could not conduct the event last year owing to Covid-19 but we are extremely glad that the fourth edition of Bengaluru Open will see two back-to-back ATP Challenger events.”
“I hope these events will be extremely beneficial for Indian players, especially from Karnataka. We look forward to hosting the international players at Bengaluru for a fortnight of sensational tennis in the city,” he was quoted as saying in a release.
According to the acceptance list released by the ATP, two players in the top 100 — Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic and Stefano Travaglia of Italy — will be headlining the mega event.
Ramkumar Ramanathan, who is ranked 182nd in the world, and 2018 Champion Prajnesh Gunneswaran have earned a direct entry into the main draw consisting of 21 direct entries, three wild cards, six qualifiers, and two special exempts making it a draw of 32 vying for honours.
Missing in action will be Sumit Nagal recuperating from an injury, who had won the inaugural edition in 2017.
“We hope the Indian players, especially from Karnataka, make the best use of this opportunity. We will be conducting the fortnight-long event in a safe atmosphere following all the protocols issued by the MHA and the ATP. As a result, we are allowing spectators up to 50% of the Stadium’s capacity,” said Maheshwar Rao, Hon. Secretary, KSLTA.
“The list consists of most of the players who have played the Bengaluru Open in the earlier editions which goes on to say how Bengaluru has become a popular stop on the ATP Challenger Tour. The field looks very competitive,” said Sunil Yajaman, Tournament Director.
“The tournament is a perfect platform for National and International players, as well as aspiring local players, to compete at an International Challenger stage, and improve their ATP rankings, and compete at Grand Slams,” he added.
The ATP Challenger Tour is a series of international tennis competitions — the second-highest tier of tennis competitions after the ATP Tour and is administered by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
The 2022 ATP Challenger Tour calendar comprises 36 tournaments with prize money ranging from $37,520 up to $159,360.