Tennis: Bengaluru to host back-to-back ATP Challenger events in February

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Tennis fans in the country will a look to look forward to when the Bengaluru Open returns after the Covid break with two weeks of pulsating action as the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) will host two back-to-back ATP Challenger Events slated to begin from February 7 next year. The two events will offer total prize money of US$ 107,000 and will be played at the KSLTA Stadium here.

Helping the post-Covid return back to a full schedule, the KSLTA has organised several domestic events and an ITF Women’s Championship. Now they have decided to organise men’s events, with the back-to-back events being the first on the list.

“KSLTA has always been striving to create a platform to host global tennis events at Bengaluru and provide an opportunity for the players to thrive on the World Tennis Tour,” said R Ashoka, President, KSLTA, who is also the Minister for Revenue, Govt. of Karnataka.

“We have been fortunate to host WTA Tour Events, ATP World Doubles Championships, Davis Cup, ITF events but we are very excited to continue hosting ATP Challenger events which are pivotal for the growth of a Tennis player who is in pursuit of reaching the pinnacle. It only augurs well for the image of the city to continue to host ‘Bengaluru Open’ which would give a chance for players to come and experience the cosmopolitan culture of the city which would also be a treat for the citizens of Bengaluru.”

Sanctioning the events, Joanna Langhorne, Director ATP Challenger Tour, in a message said: “The ATP Challenger Tour is delighted to welcome the Bengaluru Open back to the calendar. After a difficult eighteen months on the professional tennis circuit, these events will provide much-needed playing opportunities at the start of our 2022 season,” she was quoted as saying in a release on Tuesday.

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.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran, backed by his victory in the 2018 edition, made it to the main draw of five consecutive Grand Slams while Sumit Nagal’s fairytale victory in the 2017 edition of the Bengaluru Open had helped him jump over 150 places and reach a career-best ranking of 125.

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