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Moya, Srichaphan lead field for Tata Open
November 27, 2003 18:04 IST
Former world No. 1 Carlos Moya of Spain will lead the star cast at the 2004 Tata Open tennis tournament, beginning in Chennai in the first week of January.
Announcing the list of 25 players for South Asia's only ATP series event, organisers said Moya, who had participated in the 1999 edition of the tournament, seems to have inspired his compatriots as nine more players from Spain will be vying for honours in the $400,000 event, being held for the eighth straight year at the Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium.
"With the cut-off set at 106 against 113 last year, the field is very deep in tennis talent and the field holds promise for some scintillating action on the courts," said Ravi Krishnan, Managing Director IMG-TWI South Asia and Senior International Vice-President, IMG, the event managers.
One of the world's top doubles players, Mahesh Bhupathi will compete in doubles.
India No. 1 Prakash Amritraj has been given a wild card to the singles main draw and will also feature in doubles along with his cousin Stephen Amritraj.
Paes, who is recovering from a brain lesion, has also been offered one of the four wild cards for the singles, but he was yet to accept it, Krishnan said.
Speaking on the occasion, Bhupathi described the field as a strong one with a good mix of youth and experience, citing the presence of players like Srichaphan and Moya.
Besides Srichaphan, who was the darling of the crowd last year, Moya, Schalken, Robredo, John Van Lottum (The Netherlands), Alebert Motanes and Albert Portas (Spain), Jean-Rene Lisnard (France) have already played in the event earlier.
Schalken, the Dutch No.1, on his second visit last year had pulled out of the tournament at the last minute due to injury.
Replying to a question Ravi Krishnan said the Andhra Pradesh government had evinced interest in organising the event in Hyderabad and initial discussions had been held.
Pressed whether the event would be shifted from Chennai in future, he said, "We are committed to keep the tournament here as long as there is support. Our first priority is to organise the ATP event."
The qualifying rounds will be held on January 3 and 4 with the singles and doubles final slated for January 11.