The reigning US Open champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury will headline the star-studded doubles field at the fifth edition of Tata Open Maharashtra along with four Indians, including the defending champions Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan.
South Asia’s only ATP 250 event will take place at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune from December 31 to January 7.
The pair of World No. 3 Ram and Salisbury, the World No. 4, has entered Tata Open Maharashtra with a combined team ranking of seven. The three-time Grand Slam champion American-British duo enjoyed an incredibly successful 2022 season, winning the US Open title for the second time in a row and also won two ATP Masters 1000 titles before capping off the year by clinching the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin.
“We look forward to welcoming the reigning US Open champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury to Tata Open Maharashtra. It’s a strong field which also has four Indians including Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan, who won the title together last year. It’s always great to watch our players dominating at the tournament in front of home fans and we expect similar gameplay in the upcoming edition as well,” said Prashant Sutar, Tournament Director of Tata Open Maharashtra.
“I’m delighted to see four Indians in the main draw along with top stars from the tennis world, including champion duo, Ram and Salisbury. It’s going to be exciting. We have seen what Indians are capable of last year and I hope the upcoming edition will also give our players an edge, playing in front of home fans. Indians doing well at the big events like this has always been pleasing for us,” said Sunder Iyer, the Joint Secretary of All India Tennis Association and Secretary of MSLTA.
Among other notable foreign stars to receive direct entries are: American duo Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow, who won their first ATP Tour doubles title together at the 2022 Southern California Open in San Diego, and French duo of Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul. The former World No. 24 Sander Gille and former World No. 28 Joran Vliegen also made the cut with a combined ranking of 121.
The Tata Open Maharashtra, owned by IMG and managed by RISE Worldwide, will be conducted by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) for the fifth year in Pune. The tournament, sponsored by Tata Motors, serves as a lead-up to the Australian Open—first Grand Slam of the season.
Bopanna and Ramkumar, who clinched the title last year, will play along with different partners this time. The two-time champion Bopanna, who is also the top-ranked Indian doubles player in the world at 19, will team up with Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp. Ramanathan, on the other hand, will join forces with Mexico’s Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela.
Saketh Myneni and Yuki Bhambri are the other two Indians to feature in the doubles main draw. Playing together, Myneni and Bhambri have won six titles on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2022.
The 16-team draw will have two wild card entries, which are yet to be announced.
The former US Open champion Marin Cilic and the last edition’s runner-up Emil Ruusuvuori will lead a strong field in the singles main draw, which also includes 17 Top-100 players.
The qualifying event will begin on December 31 while the main draw will be played from January 2-7.