We have shown to world, India can pull off big events despite COVID-19 challenge: Tata Open Organisers
Pune, Feb 7 (Tennis News) A strict bio-bubble for the players, two separate dedicated hotels for officials and linesmen, 600 tests over 10 days and a drastically reduced workforce, were key factors in successful hosting of Tata Open Maharashtra, the organisers said on Monday.
Not a single main draw player got infection and no match was cancelled in the ATP 250 event, country's biggest tennis tournament.
The organisers say given the massive withdrawals witnessed at the India Open badminton tournament and the way Indian women football team was forced out of the Asian Cup, they certainly felt the pressure.
"These incidents happened and we were under pressure to deliver. But we were determined to pull it off. Now we can boast about an incident-free and successful event for the world to see and prove critics, who demean India most of the time, wrong," Sunder Iyer, Secretary of Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA), told PTI.
"The successful hosting of the event has given a positive message to the world about the reopening of the sports events. We don't need to cancel any sporting event, we just need to find a way to do it." "Not only this, the big message is that India can successfully host big tournaments," Iyer, who is also a AITA joint secretary, said.
India's Ramkumar Ramanathan and Rohan Bopanna won the men's doubles title while Portugal's Joao Sousa annexed the men's crown.
Fans were also allowed in the stands during the last three days.
The MSLTA cut down the number of people working for the tournament to about 100-130, including housekeeping, security and logistics team as compared to usual 300 in pre-Covid era.
The volunteers were also less in numbers - from 55-60 to 18-19.
"The players stayed in one hotel while we settled in another. A different hotel was dedicated to the balls men, the linesmen. Everybody working in the vicinity, near and around the players, who are in direct contact with each other, are all in the bio-bubble and were regularly tested," "We carried out over 600 RAT tests and RTPCR a during the last 10 days," informed Iyer. The result was that one German player, who was in the qualifying event, and only 4-5 MSLTA officials contracted infection but no main draw player was affected.
The German player was replaced by an alternate and the officials were quarantined and isolated immediately.
Tournament Director Prashant Sutar said hosting the Tata Open was not only crucial for the sporting fraternity and the players but also for many a different people, who work in unorganised sector.
"The sports industry is a major contributor to economic and social development. The cancellations and postponement of events adversely affected the players, coaches, and others involved.
"The event generated a revenue of about Rs 15-16 crore in terms of prize money, production, media broadcasting, catering, event management companies, people in security and medical services.
"The sound guys, light guys, carpenters, plumbers got work. The sigh of relief these people, got was evident from their enthusiasm for work.
"One of the guys came to me and said that he had barely received Rs 20,000-25,000 in the whole year, but I was able to earn a lakh from this tournament. Close to 20 officiating people earned about 14-15 lakh collectively," said Sutar.
The organisers felt that India's image had taken a massive hit during the second wave of the pandemic when pictures of floating dead bodies were widely circulated but now the country has proved that it can cope with the COVID-19 challenge.
Also Read : Sakkari seeking chances to enter top 5 at St. Petersburg Open
News Source : PTI
Majchrzak knocks out second seed Musetti from Tata Open, Vesely also bows out
Pune, Feb 4 (Tennis News) It turned out to be a day of upsets at the Tata Open Maharashtra as Kamil Majchrzak knocked out second seed Lorenzo Musetti while defending champion Jiri Vesely also exited along with two more seeded players here on Friday.
Returning extremely well and using the drop shots quite effectively, the 95th ranked Majchrzak from Poland eked out a 6-2 7-6(5) 6-4 win over the world number 66 Musetti in two hours and 13 minutes to advance to the semifinals.
The top seed and world number 15 Aslan Karatsev has already exited the event after a loss in the second round at the hands of qualifier Elias Ymer.
Majchrzak will now clash with Finland's 22-year-old Emil Ruusuvuori, who shocked the title holder from Czech Republic 6-3 6-4 in his quarterfinal.
While the Finnish served and returned with authority, Vesely struggled for accuracy. It was Ruusuvuori's second win over the Czech having beaten him in Antalya, Turkey in 2021.
Qualifier Ymer continued his giant-killing run with an impressive 6-4 7-6(4) win over eighth seed Stefano Travaglia and set up the semifinal with Joao Sousa, who sent back fifth seed Daniel Altmaier 6-2 6-3.
"When I serve well, I am tough to beat. There are not much tactics but I always have a plan to follow," said Ymer after his match.
Ruusuvuori is now the only seeded player left in the fray.
From India's perspective, the home challenge shrunk further with the semifinal defeat of N Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan in the men's doubles event. They lost 2-6 4-6 to top seeded Australian pair of Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith.
Rohan Bopanna and Rankumar Ramanathan will play their semifinal on Saturday.
After his match, Majchrzak revealed that he developed the habit of playing drop shots in his early tennis days.
"I like to play drop shots since childhood. I used to play to finish points but on the Tour I can't do it, I need a follow-up shot for winner," said the 26-year-old Majchrzak, who is coached by Sweden's Joakim Nystrom, a 13-time winner on the Tour.
Meanwhile, Musetti rued the missed chances against Majchrzak.
"He was serving really good. I am very upset. It was close, I won a very great second set and was leading the third. I could win, I have that feeling. I am sad. I will try to be better next week," a dejected Musetti said.
"He started to play very aggressive. In final game he was 15-40 but served very well. I could do nothing. I had chances but that is tennis. I learnt a lot from this match." Talking about the conditions, the 19-year-old Italian said it did not suit his game.
"Not the best surface, I like more slow balls. The ball was coming really fast, it was flying a little bit. Physically I was good but his serving was really good," he said.
Musetti faced a breakpoint in the sixth game after going up 40-15 and dropped serve when his cross court forehand went wide. It was the Polish player's returns, along with excellent court coverage, that opened up the opportunity.
Majchrzak came out serving next game at love to lead 5-2.
Serving to stay in the set, the young Italian began with a forehand error and ended with a backhand error.
The unforced errors continued to flow from Musetti's racquet as he was trying too hard but he managed to hold his serve in the beginning of the second set, coming out with two big serves at 30-all.
Majchrzak, though, was not only returning well as he also came out serving extremely well to keep the match under his control.
Serving at 2-3 and up 40-30, Musetti served a double fault but returned well to win the deuce point but again unforced error made it back to deuce.
Musetti got his first break opportunity in the next game when he found a passing single backhand winner at 30-all but netted the forehand on next point to let go of the advantage.
In the absence of a break, the second set went into a tie-breaker, in which Musetti led 4-2. Soon he had three set points. He wasted the first two but Mazchrzak double faulted on the third to make it one-set all.
The Italian teenager managed to contain his unforced errors and also served well in the decider. Serving first, he stayed ahead, holding his serves comfortably.
Majchrzak also kept it simple and apart from his huge serves, his use of drop shots to cut short points and intermittent charge at the net was pretty impressive.
In the ninth game, at 30-30, Musetti hit a backhand long to face the first break chance of the third set but used his backhand slices well to stave off the danger.
Majchrzak returned a backhand on far right of Musetti to earn another break chance, which was converted when the Italian made a return error.
Serving for the match, the Polish player saved two break chances with serve and volley before closing the match with a back hand volley winner on his third match point.
News Source : PTI
Tata Open Maharashtra: Ramkumar, Arjun ousted in opening round
Pune, Feb 1 (Tennis News) India's Ramkumar Ramanathan and Arjun Kadhe were ousted in the opening round of Tata Open Maharashtra tennis tournament here on Tuesday, after hard-fought three-setters against their respective opponents.
While Ramkumar suffered a 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 3-6 defeat against eight seed Stefano Travaglia, local boy Kadhe lost 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (6-4), 6-2 to Joao Sousa.
The fourth edition of South Asia's only ATP-250 Tour event is organised by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association.
Both Ramkumar and Travaglia looked in good touch as they played aggressively in an intense first set.
At 4-4, the Chennai-born player responded well and hit back hard to make it 6-5 before the set went into tie-breaker. Travaglia sealed the set with his big serves.
The top-ranked Indian took control of the second set with a 4-2 lead. He then snatched it quite comfortably in the end with a brilliant serve to level the scores at 1-1.
However, the World No. 93 Travaglia made a strong comeback in the decider to take 5-3 lead. Serving for the match, the Italian didn’t let the momentum slip to pocket the set as well as the match.
Earlier, the 28-year-old Kadhe made former World No. 28 Sousa work hard for each point in the nail-biting first two sets which went into the tie-break.
However, the Indian’s challenge came to an end after the Portuguese took the charge of the game in the final set and completed a win convincingly.
"It was a tough match, he’s (Sousa) a world class player. It was a really close second set, one or two points I could have played better and won that match," Kadhe said after the match.
In other round-of-32 singles matches, sixth-seed Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland outclassed last edition’s semi-finalist Egor Gerasimov in straight sets 6-0, 7-6 (13-11).
The 22-year-old Ruussuvuori later ended the day with one more win to seal a place in the doubles quarter-finals, partnering Italian Gianluca Mager. The pair upstaged the fourth-seeded Australian duo of Marc Polmans and Matt Reid 6-4, 6-4.
Bernabe Zapata Miralles and Aleksandar Vukic also advanced to the second round with contrasting victories in their respective matches.
Spanish player Miralles, who made his Grand Slam debut at the French Open last year, had an easy task against Denis Novak as he secured a 6-4, 6-1 win without breaking a sweat.
However, 25-year-old Australian Vukic recovered well in time after being a set down to complete a thrilling 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) victory. Vukic is now set to face second-seed Italian rising star Lorenzo Musetti on Wednesday.
On Monday, India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran suffered a hard-fought opening round defeat 6-7 (5-7), 2-6 against the fifth seed Daniel Altmaier.
Also Read : Simon and Tsonga record first victories of the season at Montpellier
News Source : PTI
Tata Open Maharashtra partners with ShareChat and Moj to promote the tournament
(Tennis news) Social media platforms ShareChat and Moj have announced their partnership with the Tata Open Maharashtra. The partnership will allow the social media channel’s communities to access content around the sport with a special category of ‘Tata Open Maharashtra’ to be created under the sports tab in SharChat.
After a one year break, Tata Open Maharashtra has begun on January 31st at Balewadi Stadium in Pune and will go on until February 6th. Organized by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association, international players such as world number 15 Aslan Karats and defending champion Jiri Vesely are participating for the singles title alongside Lorenzo Musetti and Portugal's Joao Sousa.
The tournament is operated by RISE Worldwide in India and owned by IMG. The Indian contingent features Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Arjun Kadhe in singles and three pairs will be seen in action in doubles led by Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan. The tournament will be broadcast on The Star Sports Select channel and Disney+ Hotstar.
“The tournament has always attracted the audience with top-notch and nail-biting tennis action with the participation of top names from the world and enjoys a great viewership in India. We are delighted to have a partnership with ShareChat and Moj for creating exciting content around the tournament to engage more audience. It would be a great collaboration for promoting tennis through this platform and motivate the audience. Through this partnership, we will be trying to reach out to a much larger audience, especially millennials and Gen Z." said Prashant Sutar, Tournament Director of Tata Open Maharashtra.
Commenting on the partnership, Shashank Shekhar, Sr Director Content Strategy and Operations, ShareChat and Moj said, “We are delighted to partner with Tata Open Maharashtra and give ShareChat and Moj communities the opportunity to witness a prominent tennis tournament. ShareChat & Moj are the perfect platforms to revel in sports and connect with tennis fans pan India.”
Tata Open Maharashtra 2022 to be broadcasted on Star Sports
(Tennis news): The wait is finally over for tennis fans as exciting tennis action is set to be back in India after a one year absence as the Tata Open Maharashtra on Monday announced Star Sports as the official broadcaster for its fourth edition to be held at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune. The prestigious tournament will be telecasted live on Star Sports as the main draw will start from today January 31, and the event will go till February 6.
One of Asia's longest-running tennis tournaments, the Tata Open Maharashtra, organised by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association, will witness top international players including world number 15 Aslan Karatsev and defending champion Jiri Vesely vying for the singles title alongside seven other Top-100 players of the world, like teenage sensation Lorenzo Musetti and Portugal's best tennis player of all time Joao Sousa among others.
The tournament is owned by IMG and operated by RISE Worldwide in India. “We are glad that such a prestigious tournament is returning to India and will be hosted once again despite the challenges of the pandemic. Continuing the tradition and popularity of this tournament over the years, we are delighted that this year too, it will bring a treat for the fans as around 70 top players from 23 countries will be in action. And with the live broadcast, tennis enthusiasts will not be missing thrilling action and can watch it from the comforts of their home” said Prashant Sutar, Tournament Director of Tata Open Maharashtra.
Fans can enjoy the LIVE action of South Asia’s only ATP tournament on the Star Sports Select channel as well as it will be LIVE streamed on Disney+ Hotstar. Star Sports, which has been showing the tournament on its network for around 12 years, including the last three editions of Tata Open Maharashtra. Star Sports will live telecast the event for close to 50 hours across the week-long tournament.
The Indian challenge will be led by Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Arjun Kadhe in singles and three pairs will be participating in doubles led by Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan. They have been handed a direct entry into the main draw despite a strong line-up of international players.
World No. 18 Karatsev is the headline of the 4th Tata Open Maharashtra
(Tennis news) Defending champ Vesely and India’s Bhambri receive direct entry into single main draw for the Tata Open held in Pune. World number 18 Aslan Karatsev and defending champion Jiri Vesely will be eyeing the title alongside seven other Top-100 players as South Asia’s only ATP Tour tournament Tata Open Maharashtra gears up for a much-awaited comeback with an action-packed fourth edition, scheduled at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune from January 31 to February 6.
The Tata Open is one of Asia’s longest running tennis tournaments and will be in its 26th year, as they will return after a year’s break due to COVID-19 pandemic. The Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) will be hosting the prestigious tournament, which is sponsored by Tata Group, in association with the Government of Maharashtra.
The 28-year-old Russian Karatsev had a phenomenal 2021, he became the first-ever player to reach the semi-finals on Grand Slam debut in Australia, bagged two singles titles and his highlight of last year would be defeating tennis great Novak Djokovic, he also went to win the mixed-doubles silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Hailed as Russia’s “secret weapon” by teammate and World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev during their team’s 2021 ATP Cup triumph, Karatsev will be eager to carry forward a sensational run and make his mark on debut at Tata Open Maharashtra and by winning this prestigious tournament.
“We are thrilled to announce the return of this prestigious tournament. It has a rich legacy of having top players from across the world participating in it and the upcoming edition will be a testament of the same tradition. Despite the challenges and the pandemic, we are glad to see such a good response with players coming from the world over. We promise to bring yet another edition with a high-voltage action for the fans,” said Prashant Sutar, Tournament Director of Tata Open Maharashtra.
With a stiff cut off at 149, the country’s premier ATP 250 event will also witness some of the experienced names as well as promising young guns from the tennis world such as Australia’s John Millman, Portugal’s best tennis player of all time Joao Sousa and teenage sensation Lorenzo Musetti.
The 19-year-old Musetti made the headlines last year when he became the youngest player to break into the Top-100. In his short career so far, the young Italian star has impressed everyone with his consistent match-winning performances against the Top-10 players including Stan Wawrinka, Grigor Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori. India’s Yuki Bhambri will also kickstart his campaign in the main draw with a protected ranking. After recovering from an injury, Bhambri is currently preparing for the upcoming Australian Open.
Czech Republic star Jiri Vesely, who ended his 5-year long wait for a singles title in the last edition, will be presenting a strong challenge on his comeback into the city. Former Youth Olympics champion Kamil Majchrzak, Moldova’s first-ever ATP singles title winner Radu Albot and World No. 62 Gianluca Mager are the other notable names from the acceptance list.
The qualifying draws will take place on January 30 and 31.
“We had worked really hard to bring back this tournament. I would like to thank all the stakeholders for their continuous support, throughout. We are aware of the challenges ahead but we are ready to tackle them all, strategically. MSLTA have successfully conducted a few tournaments recently and I believe we can pull this off too. Safety of the players as well as others involved is of prime importance to us and, as organisers, we will not compromise on that. We will be strictly following the government’s Covid-19 guidelines to bring yet another successful edition,” MSLTA Secretary Sunder Iyer said.
Martina Trevisan emerges victorious in one of the longest Women’s matches in Open era
(Tennis news) In Men’s singles, Frances Tiafoe defeated showman Benoit Paire in a highly entertaining two set match at Indian Wells. Paire did give something for the crowd to cheer about with his volleys and athleticism. Frances broke Paire in the ninth game which proved to be crucial in taking the first set as the young american kept winning the crucial breaks. Paire threw his racquet and also hit the ball away at the end of the first set as the crowd booed him. In the second set, Frances kept his calm as he recorded his second victory over Paire in two matches. Frances defeated Paire 6-4, 6-4.
Kei Nishikori completed a hat trick of wins over Joao Sousa who came in through the qualifiers. Sousa looked the better player in the first half of the match as he took the set and then broke Nishikori in the beginning of the second set. A set and break down, Nishikori climbed right back and leveled the scores then went on to take the second set which brought the match to a set each. In the final set Nishikori continued where he left off as he won the final set to face Daniel Evans in his next match. Nishikori defeated Sousa 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 6-2.
Martina Trevisan took over four hours to record a victory over Marie Bouzkova in the 7th longest match of the Open Era. Bouzkova took the first two games in the first set but Martina with the help of some powerful forehands covered the distance and went on to win the opening set. In the second set, the grunts became louder and the rallies intensified in the tiebreak when Bouzkova even after two hours covered the whole court to win the first point.
Bouzkova found the right angles from her forehand and backhand as she raced to 4-2 in the tiebreaker where at one point Martina screamed when Bouzkova hit a backhand winner from the net. Bouzkova saved two match points in the set as she went on to win it and the clock was timed at two hours and twenty minutes with a set to go. In the final set, Travisan let her forehand dictate the terms as Bouzkova was visibly tired from the gruelling contest and on her third matchpoint, Travisan hit a forehand winner to finally close out the match. Travisan defeated Bouzkova 6-4, 6-7( 8-10), 6-4.
Qualifier Astra Sharma played big time tennis to defeat former world number 19 Donna Vekić in the opening round. Astra began well by taking the first set and was hit back as Donna took the second set, in the final set Astra did not let her opponent’s experience affect her strokes and finished with the match to set up a second round clash against Daria Kasatkina. Astra defeated Donna 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
It was a battle of height as both Amanda Anisimova and Katrina Scott stood at 5 feet 11 inches and the score lines were also identical. Amanda delivered a huge blow to the 17 year old as she conceded only two games in a match that finished under an hour. Amanda defeated Katrina 6-1, 6-1.
In women’s doubles, Zhang Shuai and Sania Mirza lost in a three set duel. The final set saw both the teams inches away from victory as Shuko and Ena defeated Zhang and Sania 4-6, 6-3, 15-13. Simona Halep and Elena-Gabriela Ruse had a pleasant outing as a doubles pair when they defeated seventh seed Andreja Klepač and Darija Jurak. Halep and Ruse took the first set and it looked like Andreja and Darija taking the second set, they were close but it was not enough as the semifinalists in Chicago faced an early defeat here.
Also read: Sloane Stephens beats Heather Watson in marathon match at Indian Wells opener