India No. 1 Prajnesh Gunneswaran became the first Indian player in the third edition to make cut into the singles main draw of Tata open Maharashtra which is scheduled to take place at Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium in Pune from February 3 to 9. Prajnesh secured his place in the main draw after withdrawal of Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak.
World No. 123 Prajnesh, who recently played in 2020 Australian Open—his fifth successive Grand Slam appearance, was initially placed second behind Japan’s Go Soeda into the alternatives list. However, former World No. 47 Soeda also ruling out of South Asia’s only ATP Tour Tournament, Prajnesh received a direct entry into the tournament which is organised by Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) in association with the Government of Maharashtra. “Prajnesh’s entry marks Indian appearance in the singles main draw. It’s always nice to see Indian player competing in this tournament and we are organising this event with the sole intention that our Indian players benefit the most,” Prashant Sutar, Tournament Director of Tata Open Maharashtra, said.
The 30-year-old Indian, who has played in the last two editions of the tournament, will be eager to make an impact at home. “Many Indian players have impressed at Tata Open Maharashtra in the past editions. This is a great platform for Indians to perform with the support of the home crowd. We have very passionate crowd in Pune,” said Sunder Iyer, Secretary of MSLTA.
India's premier ATP 250 event will see the world’s top tennis players, such as Benoit Paire, Ivo Karlovic and Philipp Kohlschreiber, competing for the prestigious title. The qualifying rounds will be played on February 1 and 2.