Wawrinka gets wild card, organisers excited about Lee-Hesh return

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

CHENNAI - World No.21 Stanislas Wawrinka from Switzerland has received a wild card entry for the 2011 Aircel ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament to be held here from Jan 3 to 9.

Announcing this here Wednesday, Ravi Krishnan of IMG who own the property, said: Originally, Wawrinka had indicated that he would be taking that particular week off, but subsequently, he changed his mind and requested for an entry. The organising committee agreed to allot him one of the three wild cards that were available.

Wawrinka was runner-up to Croatian Marin Cilic in the singles last year and that, besides his world ranking, weighed in his favour.

Even otherwise, on the strength of his ATP ranking, Wawrinka was entitled for a direct entry in the 32-man main draw. We are of course extremely pleased to have him here, given his stature, said organising committee chairman Karti P Chidambaram.

As regards the other two wild cards available with the organising committee, Chidambaram said they would be decided in due course.

Wawrinka joins the likes of 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych, the highest ranked player in the draw at No.6, Marin Cilic (14), Richard Gasquet (29), Jeremy Chardy (45) and Janko Tipserevic (59), in the main draw.

Chidambaram also confirmed the participation of Leander Paes, 37, and Mahesh Bhupathi, 36, who will be pairing up for the first time in this tournament since 2002 when they won the doubles title.

Let us hope that it will be start of a re-run of their golden period, said Chidambaram, referring to the period when Paes and Bhupathi were the top ranked doubles team before they split up.

Paes and Bhupathi have already publicly stated their intention to team up in 2011 with an eye to winning the Australian Open to complete an individual career Grand Slam in doubles. Their preparations will begin with the Chennai Open.

The two first paired in 1996 and, three years later, made it to the finals of all four Grand Slams while winning the Wimbledon and French Open. With different partners, Paes and Bhupathi had also won the US Open.

Paes has so far won 12 Grand Slam doubles titles (six each in mens and mixed doubles) while Bhupathi has 11 to his credit (four in mens and seven in mixed).

Filed under: Tennis

will not be displayed