Chennai: Acceding to the request of Beijing
Olympic gold medallist and last year`s finalist Stanislas
Wawrinka from Switzerland, organisers of the 2011 Aircel ATP
Chennai Open tennis tournament and IMG, awarded one of the
three wild cards to the world number 21.
"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," Ravi Krishnan of IMG said.
Wawrinka finished runner-up in the singles event last
year and besides that, his World ranking helped him in getting
a wild card entry.
"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
The other two wild card entries would be decided soon.
Normally, two wild cards are given to Indian players, and
Sanam Singh is one of the strong contenders this year.
Wawrinka would add to the star field that includes 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 and Mahesh Bhupathi in the tournament, to be held here
from January 3 to 9.
"Let us hope that it will be start of a re-run of their
golden period," said Chidambaram referring to the "Indian
Paes and Bhupathi would be pairing in this tournament for
the first time since 2002.