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Bandh disrupts Bangalore Open

Last updated on: February 11, 2007 15:42 IST

The state-wide bandh in Karnataka is all set to disrupt the already beleaguered Bangalore Open WTA tournament.

After the news of Australian Open champion Serena Williams' withdrawal early on Saturday, the 12-hour bandh on Monday has forced the organisers to delay the start of the tournament by a day.

The tournament will now commence on Tuesday, February 13.

The state-wide bandh has been called by Kannada organisations to express their resentment over the verdict on the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

"KSLTA (Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association) and the government of Karnataka have taken this decision collectively to reschedule the matches in view of the security and safety of the players, spectators and everyone associated with the tournament," said Sunder Raju, tournament director and Honorary secretary of the KSLTA.

The matches are likely to start at 0900 IST on the side-courts and 1000 IST on centre court.

"As per the original schedule, the last qualifying round was supposed to start at 10 am and the main draw at 12, and the evening session at 5 (pm)," said WTA supervisor Melanie Heuer.

Since most of the singles players will also play in the doubles, the organisers will have to work out the schedule so that the matches don't clash.

"It is a tight schedule. There is less flexibility to get in the singles and doubles, especially since there are only three courts.

"Right now we are treating it like a day rained out and should hopefully make-up by Wednesday," added Heuer.

Deepti Patwardhan in Bangalore