The Chennai Open, the only Indian tennis tournament to be part of the ATP World Tour, will now reportedly be shifting away from the city. According to PTI, Pune will now be the city that hosts an ATP Tour tournament.
According to PTI, Tamil Nadu Tennis Association official said that it cannot “meet the commerical demands” of IMG, who are the main organisers of the event. The official also stated that the development is “not a setback.” “We are premier state association and will remain,” the TNTA official asserted. On the other hand, TNTA Secretary General CBN Reddy said that an official announcement may be made on Thursday.
The Tamil Nadu government has been supporting the event for the past 21 years and IMG had even extended their contract with the TNTA for three more years recently. The state associations of Karnataka and Gujarat are also in the race but the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association has reportedly emerged as favourites to win the bid.
If the MSLTA wins the bid, the tournament will be hosted in the Balewadi Sports Complex, that has hosted the USD 50,000 Challenger event since 2014 and is well-equipped to host an ATP 500 series event.
MSLTA has been successfully hosting a USD 50,000 Challenger event since 2014 and the tennis facility at the Balewadi Sports Complex is well-equipped to host an ATP 250 event.
AITA Secretary General Hironmoy Chatterjee said, “The tournament is IMG’s property and they have every right to host it where they find it more lucrative.”
India have traditionally struggled to host even ATP Challenger tournaments. The Delhi Open, for example, has not been held despite AITA promising to host the event. The Sports Ministy had recently refused to sponsor ITF and ATP tournaments, saying it was Federation’s responsibility to raise funds and organise tournaments.