Despite earlier reports of the ATP Pune Open officials trying to rope in one of the top tennis players in the world for the competition, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will remain missing from the tournament.
The ATP Pune Open, which was earlier held in southern India as the Chennai Open and is now also called the Tata Maharashtra Open, is the country’s only ATP competition. It was shifted to Pune, a western city in India in 2018 and the 2019 edition will be its second. And after a very successful first season, there were talks that the authorities were looking to rope in one of the Big Four – Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or Andy Murray – but they haven’t been successful.
According to a report in New Indian Express, Marin Cilic and Kevin Anderson will, however, be a part of the competition, as was the case last season too. Cilic, who has a career-high of three in the world rankings and was the 2014 US Open winner will add a lot of value to the Pune Open, which will also have Anderson, a two-time Grand Slam runner-up.
The news report goes on to explain the reason for the non-presence of the Big Four to the costs associated with bringing them over for the competition.
A source said, “They are all very expensive for us. The field is likely to be similar to that of last year. What I can say now is that last year’s big names will be back.”
Last year, joining Cilic and Anderson were the likes of Roberto Bautista Agut, Benoit Paire, Robin Haase, Jiri Vesely, Mikhail Kukushkin and Pierre-Hugues Herbert, while the likes of Jeremy Chardy, Ivo Karlovic and Lukas Lacko had withdrawn from the competition.
Unseeded Gilles Simon had gone on to lift the title by beating Anderson in straight sets in the final.
What the organisers at the Pune Open will hope is for one of the younger brigade, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, David Goffin or Stefanos Tsitsipas to join the main draw of the tournament.
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