Chennai: Double defending champion Marin Cilic of Croatia and 2010 Wimbledon finalist Czech Tomas Berdych have confirmed their participation in next year`s Chennai Open, the only ATP World Tour event that India hosts.
Cilic, winner of the titles in 2009 and 2010, will have the chance of conquering the singles title thrice consecutively.
Berdych reached a career high ATP ranking of 7 early last month and was a semifinalist at the 2010 French Open. He defeated Roger Federer to reach his first ever Grand Slam final against world number one Rafael Nadal at the Wimbledon Championships this year.
Though Cilic is not as consistent as Berdych, he started the year on a solid note, winning the Chennai Open, beating Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland and then registered a career high ATP ranking of 9 in February.
His best Grand Slam performance was reaching the semi-finals in the 2010 Australian Open. Cilic won his first Chennai Open title in 2009 defeating Somdev Devvarman.
M A Alagappan, President of Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, said "I am delighted to learn that Cilic and Berdych will be participating in Aircel Chennai Open 2011. Cilic has won the title in 2009 & 2010 and will be aiming to perform a hat trick in 2011. Cilic has endeared himself to the Chennai crowd, who support him as if he were a local boy."
Ravi Krishnan, Managing Director IMG South Asia and senior vice-president, IMG Worldwide said, "We are glad to have Marin defend his title again and Berdych joining an elite list of top 10 players ho have previously graced the courts in Chennai."