Somdev gets direct entry into Chennai Open | sports | Hindustan Times
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Somdev gets direct entry into Chennai Open

Somdev Devvarman, who has won two gold medals at the ongoing Asian Games in Guangzhou, has gained a direct entry into the main draw of the men's singles at the ATP Aircel Chennai Open Tennis tournament to be held from January 3-9.

sports Updated: Nov 25, 2010 22:03 IST

Somdev Devvarman, who has won two gold medals at the ongoing Asian Games in Guangzhou, has gained a direct entry into the main draw of the men's singles at the ATP Aircel Chennai Open Tennis tournament to be held from January 3-9.

The other direct entrants in the tournament are World Number 6 Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic and defending champion for last two years Marin Cilic (No 14) of Croatia.

Somdev, ranked 106, is the only other player apart from Leander Paes (in 1999) to qualify as direct entrant in the singles event for this ATP event in South Asia.

Somdev, a finalist here in 2009, is in superb form, winning back-to-back golds in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.

He created history by becoming the first ever Indian to win a gold in the men's singles event in Asiad after claiming the doubles title with Sanam Singh.

Addressing a press conference to launch the field of players, Ravi Krishnan, MD-South Asia of IMG, the owners and organisers of the tournament said "cut off of (ATP rank) 114 for the coming event is the strongest field ever in 15 years for the tournament. The field of 25 direct entrants include one player in top ten, four inside 50 on ATP ranking and another ten inside hundred and the rest of ten stars are ranked 101 to 114."

Richard Gasquet (France-rank 29), Serbian Janko Tipsarevic (49) and Xavier Malisse (Belgium-61), 2007 singles and doubles winner, are the other well known players to figure in the tournament.

Ravi Krishnan said the event would also feature all the top players in Indian tennis, who as a group have performed exceptionally well in ATP circuit and Davis Cup this season.

"The strength and depth of the field illustrates the tournament's position as the premiere tennis event in South Asia," he added.

He also put to rest speculation on change of venue, saying, "Chennai will be the venue for the next two years too, taking its long years of association with Tamil Nadu Tennis Association to 18 years."

For the first time, online ticketing facility would be introduced for the tournament which would also have hawk-eye technology ATP Referral System at the centre court.