Pune is all set to host the inaugural Tata Open Maharashtra at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium. World-class players from the Tennis fraternity will showcase their talent in the mega event. Star attraction is one of the main reasons why this tournament promises to be a great success. Players from around the world will battle for glory as the stage will also help budding talents to compete against the best in the business. Punekars can witness comprehensive wins and upsets with each player possessing the talent to beat another on a given day. Every tournament has favourites and here are 5 Singles players who can fare well in this tournament.
Marin Cilic (World No. 6)
The Croatian, who is also the top seed of the tournament will be a major crowd puller and he will certainly start as one of the favourites to win the Tata Open Maharashtra Singles title. He has achieved this feat twice in India when he went on to win the Chennai Open Singles title twice in successive years (2009 and 2010). The Croat has won the 2014 US Open and has 17 ATP Singles titles to his name. He is that one big fish, who has all the tricks and techniques in his armoury which will give his opponents a run for their money.
Kevin Anderson (World No. 15)
South Africa's Kevin Anderson is in the best form of his career and he will be eagerly waiting to convert this purple patch into something big. After storming into the finals of the US Open and losing to Rafael Nadal, he would look to go all the way and get his name on the Tata Open Maharashtra trophy. Another front-runner when we speak of the potential Singles title winner.
Roberto Bautista Agut (World No. 20)
In the quench of defending his Chennai Open 2017 Men's Singles title, the Spaniard will give his all in the inaugural Tata Open Maharashtra. Though he has some serious competition in the form of Marin Cilic, Kevin Anderson and others, the defending champion has got a lot of experience under his belt, which can help him sail smoothly in the tournament. He has so far won six ATP Singles titles to his name. Agut will surely grab eyeballs in this mega event.
Ivo Karlovic (80)
The 6'11' tall Karlovic has made three appearances at the Chennai Open. Though the results have not gone as per his standards, but this time, the Croatian professional will look to ace this tournament. This year, he has defeated both Cilic and Agut, and will be riding high on confidence and will look to continue the same momentum ahead. He once held the record for the fastest serve in professional tennis, clocking at 251 km/h (156 mph), before being surpassed by Samuel Groth in 2012. We can expect some mighty blows from his racket.
Gilles Simon (89)
If we talk about experience and deep understanding towards the game, then Gilles Simon's name surely comes on this list. On January 2009, the Frenchman attained a career-high 6th spot in the ATP singles ranking. He has also won 12 singles titles on the ATP World Tour. Looking at this record, one can't take him lightly because he has all the ability in him to beat the best players in the world on his day.
This ATP World Tour 250 series event will be 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 with the qualifiers taking place on the 30th and 31st December. The event will be broadcast LIVE on Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 2 HD.