Chennai Open wild cards for Bhambri, Nedunchezhiyan

Chennai, Dec 24 : India's Yuki Bhambri (No.195) and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (312) along with Kyle Edmund (377) from Britain have been granted wild card entry into the main draw of the singles at the ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament, it was announced here Tuesday.

In doubles, the pairs of Sriram Balaji-Ramkumar Ramanathan and Karen Khachanov-Saketh Myneni have been awarded wild cards in the tournament beginning Dec 30.

Bhambri and Nedunchezhiyan join Somdev Devvarman who had entered the singles draw as a replacement for injured Jurgen Zopp from Estonia.

The 21-year-old Bhambri from Delhi was granted a wild card after winning the play-off tournament in Shenzhen, China. He could not win the singles tournament, bowing out in the semi-finals, but triumphed in the doubles with New Zealand's Michael Venus. In 2013, he also won a Challenger event in Traralgon, Australia and a Futures title in New Delhi.

Nedunchezhiyan, the 25-year old from Tamil Nadu impressed by his 50th singles win of the season on the ITF circuit and also touched a career high singles ranking of 305 in October 2013.

The duo of Balaji and Ramanathan from Tamil Nadu received support from TNTA and are coming together for the first time to play doubles at the Chennai Open.

Balaji won his second singles title of the season at an ITF men's Futures tennis tournament in India. He also has more than a dozen ITF doubles titles this year under his belt.

Ramanathan is one of the most promising junior tennis players in the country and emerged the Junior National champion in 2009 and 2010. He won two ITF singles titles in 2013 in India and Cambodia and is currently enjoying a career high doubles ranking of 413 after winning three doubles titles.

The second doubles pair, Khachanov and Myneni from Russia and India, is also coming together for the first time.

At 17 years of age and 6'6" tall, Khachanov is already being touted as a star of the future. This year, he beat Albert Ramos and Janko Tipsarevic en route to the Moscow quarterfinals. It was his second ATP World Tour tournament and the third senior-level event of his career.

The 26-year-old Myneni who enjoys a career high doubles ranking of 301, picked up four ITF singles titles in 2013 apart from two doubles titles.

Edmund is ranked 377 after having jumped over 100 places in the ATP rankings this season. The 18-year-old is considered to be among Great Britain's top five tennis players.

As a junior, Edmund won two junior doubles titles at the 2012 US Open and the 2013 French Open with Portuguese partner Frederico Ferreira Silva.

Cutting off at 89, the strong player field will see World No. 8 Stanislas Wawrinka, World No. 15 Mikhail Youzhny, World No. 16 Fabio Fognini and World No. 26 Benoit Paire.

--IANS (Posted on 24-12-2013)

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