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Bengaluru Open qualifiers from today

Bengaluru, Nov 9: The Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger kicks off with the first round of qualifying matches at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association here on Saturday. Over 120 players are expected to go through the grind for the four qualifying spots available for the main draw of the US $ 150,000 prize money event.

The main draw will comprise of 32 players with the break-up being the top 22 players (entries based on world rankings), four wild card entries, two special exemption entries and four qualifiers for the men’s singles category. The draw ceremony would be held at KSLTA on the morrow.

Radu Albot of Moldova and Russian Evgeny Donskoy ranked 89th and 99th respectively are the top players in the top-100 to make it to Bengaluru Open. Prajnesh Gunneswaran (ranked 146th) is the lone Indian to get into the main draw of 32. Jordan Thomson (Australia, No. 101), Ricardas Berankia (Lithuania, No. 131), Elias Ymer (Sweden, No. 133), Marc Polmans (Australia, No. 145) and Simone Bolelli (Italy (No. 147) are the all in the under-150 ranking list.

The winner will take home US $ 21,600 and more importantly 125 ATP points which will help the winner to improve his ranking drastically. The doubles winners will earn US $ 9300 as well as 125 ATP points.

The KSLTA was abuzz with activity with the players going through their paces. Amongst the noted players to land in the city was defending champion Sumit Nagal who wasted no time in getting on to the court for practice. “Playing in higher altitudes is tough and one has to get used to and the earlier the better,” said Sumit who was confident of a good show. “I haven’t tasted the success that I had desired at the beginning of the year but I am confident about my game,” said the Delhi lad while adding, “the Wild Card comes as a relief and I thank the KSLTA for awarding it to me.”