Pune (Maharashtra) [India]: India’s top-ranked tennis player Yuki Bhambri will play his opening draw of the Maharashtra Open against local lad Arjun Kadhe.
In the doubles draw, announced on Saturday, defending champions Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Neduncheziyan will face compatriots Leander Paes and Purav Raja.
Meanwhile, top seed and world no. 6 Marin Cilic was handed a bye in the first round.
Defending champion and world no. 20, Roberto Bautista-Agut, world no. 41 Benoit Paire and 2017 US Open finalist South Africa’s Kevin Anderson were also given a bye in the first round for India’s only ATP World Tour stop.
Wildcard entrant Ramkumar Ramanathan will be playing against world no. 106 Roberto Carballes Baena in a tough first round encounter.
In other major clashes, world no. 42 Dutch player Robin Haase will be starting his campaign against Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic in what could be one of the most mouth-watering first-round contests.
Frenchman Gilles Simon will be looking to bounce back from his disappointing form of last season as he starts the new season by taking on USA’s Tennys Sandgren.
In doubles, the top-billed pair of R Lindstedt and Franko Skugor will take on Marton Fucsovics and M Kukushkin.
Meanwhile, Bhambri will join forces with Divij Sharan in taking on L Djere-Blaz Kavcic pair.
Local boy Kadhe will pair with Frenchman Paire in facing the second-seeded Dutch pair of Robin Haase and M Middelkoop.
The Maharashtra Open is to be held from December 30 to January 6, 2018, at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium, Pune. (ANI)