World No. 6 Marin Cilic will spearhead a starry line-up for next year’s Chennai Open tennis championship. Ramkumar Ramanathan will be the India face in the ATP event.
A rich pool of international stars, including four from Spain, three from Russia, two each from Brazil and Croatia, have confirmed their participation in the 22nd edition of Chennai Open, the country’s longest running and most prestigious tennis tournament.
Apart from 2014 US Open champion, world No. 14 Roberto Agut (Spain), No. 27 Albert Ramos-Vinolas (Spain), No. 35 Martin Klizan (Slovakia) and No. 48 Borna Coric (Croatia) will add to the lustre to the annual event at the SDAT Tennis Stadium in Nungambakkam.
Former top 10 players Tommy Robredo (Spain) and Mikhail Youzhny (Russia) also return to India, the former after 12 years and the latter after two years.
Robredo, who had gone as high as world No. 5 in 2006, is a player of high pedigree, having won 10 ATP singles and starring in Spain’s Davis Cup conquests thrice. The first and only time he played in Chennai in 2004, he teamed up with Rafael Nadal to win the doubles title. He is currently No. 57.
Youzhny is a familiar and popular star in Chennai, having won the 2008 title after beating Nadal in straight sets. He pulled out in the second round with an injury during his last stint here but has been showing glimpses of his much feared all-round game in recent months.
He also holds the distinction of consistently making it to the quarterfinals in all Grand Slams, along with mega stars Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
India’s campaign will be led by local hero and wildcard entrant Ramkumar Ramanathan.
The 22-year-old rose to prominence in 2014 when he toppled Somdev Devvarman in the opening round of the Aircel Open. He has been a national champion and has been part of India’s Davis Cup team as well and is currently No. 2 in AITA’s rankings.