The second edition of the Bengaluru Open is all set to see some pulsating action considering the field that has signed in for the richest ATP Challenger Tour event to be held at the KSLTA from November 12 to 17.
Two players – Radu Albot of Moldova and Russian Evgeny Donskoy ranked 89th and 99th respectively lead the strong field which was released by the ATP on Wednesday.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran (ranked 146th) is the lone Indian to get into the main draw of 32 in the $150,000 prize money event.
Jordan Thomson (Australia, No. 101), Ricardas Berankia (Lithuania, No. 131), Elias Ymer (Sweden, No. 133), Marc Polmans (Australia, No. 145) and Simone Bolelli (Italy (No. 147) make up the under-150 list. The cut-off for direct entry is rank No. 244 which personifies the quality of the field.
The main draw of 22 includes players from 19 countries while the players list in the Alternates consists of players from eight other countries, thus giving the semblance of a truly international event.
Called as the 'Machine' by fellow players, the 28-year-old Radu who will start the Bengaluru Open with the tag of the top seed, started playing tennis at the age of eight. He recorded his biggest win of his career when he beat No. 12 seed Carreno Busta in five sets to reach the third round of Wimbledon this year.
Evgeny Donskoy, meanwhile, who grew up idolizing Yevgeny Kafelnikov, was ranked 71st when he began the season and but had dropped in ranking owing to an injury. Australian Jordan Thompson who will be seeded third, will be looking for another success on Indian soil after his win at the Chennai Open in February this year.
The event apart from making the winner richer by USD 21600, will give a chance, especially the homegrown players to earn valuable ATP points and improve their ranking on the ATP circuit.
Defending champion Sumit Nagal will start as a qualifier, owing to dip in his ranking while the top seed for the last edition Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia has managed to get an entry in the main round with a ranking of 225.
The main draw of 32 comprises of 22 players who get a direct entry, four wild cards and four qualifiers with two from special exempted category making up the final numbers. One of the wild card would be given to the winner of the on-going Bengaluru Open Wild Card event.
Sunil Yajaman who is the Tournament Director was mighty pleased with the field. "There is a great depth in the quality of the field and it is a high cut-off draw," said Sunil. "It would be a treat for budding tennis players and sports lovers of Bengaluru" he added.
The acceptances for Main Draw (Read as Player, Country, Rank)
Radu Albot (MDA, 89); Andrej Martin (SVK, 187); Maverick Banes (AUS, 240); Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ, 242); Ricardas Berankis (LTU 131); Filip Peliwo (CAN), 188); Simone Bolelli (ITA, 147); Marc Polmans (AUS 145); Jay Clarke (GBR, 177); Mohamed Safwat (EGY, 205); Evgeny Donskoy (RUS, 99); Brayden Schnur (CAN, 222); Scott Griekspoor (NED, 223); Jordan Thompson (AUS 101), Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND, 146); Marco Trungelliti (ARG, 119); Quentin Halys (FRA, 152); James Ward (GBR, 215); Cem Ilkel (TUR, 233); Elias Ymer (SWE, 133); Blaz Kavcic (SLO, 225).