Karnataka star SD Prajwal Dev has been given a wild card into the singles main draw while the reigning Wimbledon champion Max Purcell will spearhead the doubles field at the DafaNews Bengaluru Open 2023, to be held from February 20 to 26.
The No. 1 Karnataka tennis player, Dev became the second wild card entrant after Sumit Nagal at the fifth edition of the prestigious ATP Challenger event, which will be organised by the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) at the KSLTA Stadium in Bengaluru.
“It’s always great to see Indian presence at the DafaNews Bengaluru Open; this is our tournament and a platform for Indian players. We have always supported and promoted Indian talent through this event and Prajwal is an outstanding player. I’m equally delighted to see six Indian names in the doubles draw which also features Wimbledon champion. This showcases the high quality of the tournament. Our doubles players have always produced memorable shows here and I’m confident that this trend will continue in the upcoming edition as well,” said Sunil Yajaman, Tournament Director of DafaNews Bengaluru Open and Joint Secretary of KSLTA.
Dev, who finished runner-up twice last year in the ITF events, will be eager to make his mark during his fourth appearance at this tournament.
Talking about the opportunity, the Mysuru-born player said: “I’m very excited to be playing the DafaNews Bengaluru Open 2023. Being a local lad, it is the most important tournament for me personally. I would like to thank KSLTA and the organisers for giving me this opportunity. The challengers event is very important for the Indian players since we are playing at home where we are aware of the conditions and also get a lot of support. I hope I and the rest of other Indian players make the most of this opportunity.”
In a highly competitive doubles field, Purcell, also the two-time Australian Open finallist, has partnered with Marc Polmans with a team ranking of 246. The in-form Australian duo had a great start to the year, winning the Challenger title in Burnie, Australia earlier this month.
The two-time champion Ramkumar Ramanathan will lead a strong Indian presence in the doubles main draw which consist of two all-Indian pairs in Purav Raja-Divij Sharan and Anirudh Chandrasekar-N Vijay Sundar Prashanth.
Ramkumar, who has partnered with Italian Francesco Maestrelli, lifted the title of this tournament in 2022 and 2020 while playing along with Saketh Myneni and Raja respectively.
Another Indian Arjun Kadhe will also battle it out for the title along with his Austrian partner Maximilian Neuchrist.
Qualifiers will be played from February 19 and 20 while the main draw begins on February 20.