Press Release – 1st November, 2019
Mumbai, November 1: Indian tennis stars, Prajnesh Gunneswaran, in-form player Sumit Nagal, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Saketh Myneni will be leading a strong Indian contingent at the KPIT MSLTA Challenger, organized by MSLTA and PMDTA, under the auspices of ATP and AITA, which will be played at the Mhalunge-Balewadi Tennis Complex in Pune from November 11 to 17, 2019.
The tournament, which is being played for the sixth consecutive year is the longest running ATP challenger in India and the event assumes importance for Indian players as it is the only Challenger to be played in the country this year. Players from over 20 countries make up a strong line up this year.
Mr. Kishor Patil, President of PMDTA and Chairman of the Organizing Committee and Co-Founder , CEO and MD of KPIT said, “ This is the 6th edition our event and while we are happy that we have been able to conduct this year after year it is unfortunate that there are very few events in India which have been able to sustain this kind of momentum. Our aim is to promote Indian tennis players and give at least 10 to 15 Indian players an opportunity to take a shot at garnering important ATP points. We have gone beyond just hosting the event once a year to hosting tennis clinics to get more Indians interested in the sport. Our goal is also to get more corporates involved, so we can see more such tournaments in the future”.
“Our tournament is placed strategically because the winner inevitably makes it to the main draw of the Australian Open, so players who are on the fringe of the Main Draw at the Australian Open make it a point to enter the event in a bid to cement their spots. Since it’s the last few Challenger events, many good players want to end their year on a winning note and many players want to acclimatize themselves for the Maharashtra Open, which is also played at the same venue. Over the last five years our champions have moved into the top 100 club with their wins here and we hope this year this event will help the winner to move into the coveted Top-100 bracket,” Mr. Patil added.
Mr. Sunder Iyer, Hon Sec of MSLTA said, “The KPIT MSLTA Challenger has become popular worldwide and bigger and better players are participating regularly, making the event stronger every year. With the new 48 draw format, the cut-off this year is 550, which makes it a very strong Challenger at this level”. This year we have 5 wild cards and only 2 qualifiers will get a chance to make it to the main draw”
“Our Challenger’s consistency on the ATP Challenger calendar has won us accolades from ATP too, we are happy. Having no other Challenger makes this event important and it is the need of the hour for our Indian players to compete at a world class level and that too on home turf.”
Roland Herfel has been nominated ATP Supervisor for the event, while Sheetal Iyer has been appointed as the ATP Referee.
Celebrated Indian Tennis Player Purav Raja who was in attendance added, “Indian Challengers mean a lot to Indian players, we have benefited a lot from these events and we need to see a lot more people like Mr Patil to come forward if we want to see the Indian players succeed”.
The qualifying round will have only two matches and will be played on November 11, alongside the main draw. The Finals will be played on Sunday, November 17.
The winner of the KPIT Men’s Challenger will get $7,200 (Rs 5,10,000) and gain 80 ATP points, while the runners up will get $4,240 (Rs. 3,00,000) and 48 ATP points. Apart from the tournament proper, the event adds up a host of tennis festive activities for all segments under the Pune Tennis Festival.
Following is the main draw list:
1 Gunneswaran Prajnesh IND 90
2 Nagal, Sumit IND 129
3 Duckworth, James AUS 133
4 Diez, Steven CAN 136
5 Jaziri, Malek TUN 150
6 Ramanathan, Ramkumar IND 193
7 Clarke, Jay GBR 194
8 Mukund, Sasikumar IND 236
Other Indians in the main draw
Saketh Myneni IND 259, Sidharth Rawat IND 528, Arjun Kadhe IND 554
PAST WINNERS: KPIT ATP CHALLENGER
2014: Yuichi Sugita (Japan) b Adrián Menéndez-Maceiras (Spain) 6–7 (1–7), 6–4, 6–4
2015: Yuki Bhambri (India) b Evgeny Donskoy (Russia) 6–2, 7–6 (7–4)
2016: Sadio Doumbia (France) b Prajnesh Gunneswaran (India) 4–6, 6–4, 6–3
2017: Yuki Bhambri (India) b Ramkumar Ramanathan 4–6, 6–3, 6–4
2018: Elias Ymer(Bel) b Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-2,7-5
2014: Saketh Myneni / Sanam Singh (India) b Sanchai / Sonchat Ratiwatana (Thailand) 6–3, 6–2.
2015: Gerard Granollers / Adrián Menéndez-Maceiras (Spain) b Maximilian Neuchrist (Austria)/ Divij Sharan (India) 1–6, 6–3, [10–6]
2016: Purav Raja/ Divij Sharan (India) b Luca Margaroli (Swi)/ Hugo Nys (France) 3–6, 6–3, [11–9]
2017: Tomislav Brkic/ Ante Pavic b Pedro Martinez/ Adrián Menéndez Maceiras 6-1,7-6(5)
2018: N Vijay Sundar Prashanth / Ramkumar Ramnathan b Hsieh Che Ng- Peng/ Yang Psu-Hua (Tpe) 7-6(3),6-7(5),10-7