Pune: The Official Draw Ceremony of the Men’s Singles competition of the ATP 250 World Tour event Tata Open Maharashtra took place today at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium, Pune. India’s top-ranked player Yuki Bhambri will play his opening encounter against local lad Arjun Kadhe.
In the doubles draw, defending champions Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Neduncheziyan will face compatriots Leander Paes and Purav Raja.
The ceremony hosted by Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj also had Tournament Director Tom Annear and Prashant Sutar, ATP Supervisor Miro Bratoev, ATP Tour Manager Arnau Brugues, MSLTA Secretary Sunder Iyer along with French tennis player Benoit Paire, and Indian duo of Paes and Bhambri.
The Main Draw ceremony saw top seed and world no. 6 Marin Cilic get a bye in the first round. India’s only ATP World Tour stop will also see defending champion and world no. 20, Roberto Bautista-Agut, world no. 41 Benoit Paire and 2017 US Open finalist South Africa’s Kevin Anderson getting a bye in the first round.
Local tennis fans will have a great experience catching the action live in the first round draw of India’s highest ranked player, Bhambri taking on Pune’s very own Kadhe. Bhambri, currently ranked 116th in the world will be looking to create an impact at this year’s tournament. Bhambri seemed to be in good spirits after the Main Draw was announced. He said, “I am thrilled to be participating here at the Tata Open Maharashtra and I feel it is a huge occasion for the city of Pune to be hosting an ATP 250 World Tour event. I am looking forward to playing against Arjun as we both know each other’s game.”
Wild card entrant Ramkumar Ramanathan will be playing against world no. 106 Roberto Carballes Baena in a tough first round encounter. In other major clashes, world no. 42 Dutch player Robin Haase will be starting his campaign against Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic in what could be one of the most mouth-watering first round contests at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium in Pune.
Frenchman Gilles Simon will be looking to bounce back from his disappointing form of last season as he starts the new season by taking on USA’s Tennys Sandgren.
In doubles, top-billed pair of R Lindstedt and Franko Skugor will take on Marton Fucsovics and M Kukushkin. Bhambri will join forces with Divij Sharan in taking on L Djere-Blaz Kavcic pair. Local boy Kadhe will pair with Frenchman Paire in facing the second-seeded Dutch pair of Robin Haase and M Middelkoop.
Tata Open Maharashtra is an ATP World Tour 250 series event hosted by Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) in association with Govt. of Maharashtra, Department of Sports and Youth Services, Govt. of Maharashtra and promoted by IMG-Reliance. The tournament will be played at Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium, Pune from January 1st to 6th 2018. For the last 21 years, the tournament was played in Chennai and was better known as Chennai Open.
TATA OPEN MAHARASHTRA – PUNE, INDIA DRAWS
 M. Cilic (CRO) – Bye
[WC] R. Ramanathan (IND) vs. R. Carballes Baena (ESP)
Y. Bhambri (IND) vs. [WC] A. Kadhe (IND)
M. Cecchinato (ITA) vs.  P. Herbert (FRA)
 R. Bautista Agut (ESP) – Bye
G. Simon (FRA) vs. T. Sandgren (USA)
Qualifier vs. Qualifier
Qualifier vs.  J. Vesely (CZE)
 R. Haase (NED) vs. B. Kavcic (SLO)
N. Jarry (CHI) vs. P. Andujar (ESP)
N. Kicker (ARG) vs. M. Fucsovics (HUN)
 [WC] B. Paire (FRA) – Bye
 M. Kukushkin (KAZ) vs. R. Albot (MDA)
L. Djere (SRB) vs. M. Copil (ROU)
Qualifier vs. R. Bemelmans (BEL)
 K. Anderson (RSA) – Bye
 R. Lindstedt (SWE) / F. Skugor (CRO) vs. M. Fucsovics (HUN) / M. Kukushkin (KAZ)
Y. Bhambri (IND) / D. Sharan (IND) vs. L. Djere (SRB) / B. Kavcic (SLO)
 R. Bopanna (IND) / J. Nedunchezhiyan (IND) vs. L. Paes (IND) / P. Raja (IND)
K. Anderson (RSA) / J. Erlich (ISR) vs. P. Herbert (FRA) / G. Simon (FRA)
R. Jebavy (CZE) / J. Vesely (CZE) vs. R. Albot (MDA) / T. Sandgren (USA)
B. Mclachlan (JPN) / A. Molteni (ARG) vs.  H. Podlipnik-Castillo (CHI) / A. Vasilevski (BLR)
[WC] N. Balaji (IND) / V. Vardhan (IND) vs. A. Shamasdin (CAN) / N. Skupski (GBR)
[WC] A. Kadhe (IND) / B. Paire (FRA) vs.  R. Haase (NED) / M. Middelkoop (NED)