Fresh from their Davis Cup win over Pakistan, four Indians including Ramkumar Ramanathan and N Sriram Balaji will be in action in the Bengaluru Open slated to be held from February 12-18. India’s top singles player Sumit Nagal, who opted out of the Davis Cup, will also be seen in action, having earned a direct entry by virtue of his 137th rank. The cut-off for the Bengaluru Open was 257. At the Australian Open last month, Nagal had knocked out world number 27 Alexander Bublik in the first round of the main draw.
In the doubles, Ramkumar has partnered big-serving compatriot Saketh Myneni, while Balaji has teamed up with Germany’s Andre Begemann.
Ramkumar and Myneni won the doubles title in 2022.
World Ranked 78 Balaji and Begeman (WR 201) will be the third-seeded team in the 16-team draw with a combined rank of 279.
Myneni (WR 107) and Ramkumar (WR 210) are the sixth-best team in terms of their combined rank of 317.
The top-ranked team in the event will be of Frenchman Dan Added (WR 91) and Korea’s Yun Seong Chung (WR 167). They have a combined rank of 258.
Dan has claimed 11 double challenger titles, winning eight of them last year.
His partner Chung had won the Bengaluru Open doubles event last year with compatriot Yu Hsiou Hsu and would bid for his title defence.
Niki Poonacha (WR 147), who made a winning Davis Cup debut in Islamabad against Muhammad Shoaib, has joined forces with compatriot Rithvik Choudary Bollipalli (WR 159).
They have a combined rank of 306 and will be the fourth-seeded team in the ATP 100 Challenger event, which will be organised by Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association.
The Indian Davis Cuppers’ participation will be an added impetus for the Bengaluru crowd especially after their victory in Islamabad, tournament director Sunil Yajman said in a statement.
“The tournament will also provide the Indian and other top players the opportunity to earn key ranking points and move up the ATP charts,” he said.
“This year competition will be very close considering a very strong field will be aiming for the title,” he added.