Four Indian pairs apart from veteran Leander Paes will compete in the doubles championship of the ATP Chennai Open as the organisers on Wednesday awarded wild cards to four leading players from the country.
India’s number one singles player Saketh Myneni has been given wild card along with Ramkumar Ramanathan. The other wild card has been given to the pair of N Sriram Balaji and national champion Vishnu Vardhan.
Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan will lead India’s challenge as seventh seeds in the ATP 250 event, beginning at the SDAT Tennis Stadium in Nungambakkam on January 2.
Bopanna, ranked 28 in the world, had partnered Nedunchezhiyan earlier this year for the Chengdu Open in China, where they reached the quarter-finals.
The other Indian pair which has got direct entry is of Purav Raja, world number 65 and Divij Sharan (63rd ranked).
Paes, seven-time Olympian and 18 Grand Slams winner will be India’s biggest attraction in doubles and he has been seeded third with Brazilian partner Andre Sa.
Jonathan Erlich of Israel (ranked 51) and Scott Lipsky of the USA (ranked 48) will begin the season opener as the top seeds and favourites for South Asia’s only ATP world tournament.