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Hewitt, Safin set to play in M'bai ATP

Aussie Lleyton Hewitt and Russian Marat Safin will be the top draws in September's Mumbai ATP Open tennis tournament.

sports Updated: Aug 23, 2007 01:32 IST

Two-time Grand Slam champions Lleyton Hewitt of Australia and Marat Safin of Russia would be the top draws at the USD 416,000 Kingfisher Airlines Mumbai ATP Open tennis tournament to be held at the Cricket Club of India next month.

Former Wimbledon and US Open champion Hewitt, ranked 16th in the World, and Safin, also a former world number one and winner of the Australian and US Opens will be joined by Marcos Baghdatis, the world no 18, and world no 13 Richard Gasquet in the September 24-30 tournament.

Cypriot Baghdatis had finished runner-up in last year's Australian Open while Gasquet was a losing finalist at Wimbledon earlier this year.

Twenty-six-year-old Hewitt, with 26 career singles titles, had finished in the top 20 rankings for the seventh year in a row last year while the 27-year-old Safin finished in the top 30 for the seventh time in the last eight years in 2006.

"Last time we had raw talent but this time we have colourful players," said tournament director Gaurav Natekar a of Globosport at a media conference on Tuesday.

Kingfisher Airlines' Chairman and CEO Dr Vijay Mallya promised that the tournament "would become bigger and better next year if everything goes according to plans".

"Last year there were some last moment withdrawals, but this time all these players have assured us they will be coming, I am told," said Mallya.

The qualifying rounds for the 32-man singles draw will be held on September 23 and 24. The doubles draw will have 16 pairs.

First Published: Aug 22, 2007 13:35 IST