Bopanna, Bhambri get singles wild card for Chennai Open

Chennai: On the basis of their talent and impressive results over the course of the year, Indian tennis players Rohan Bopanna and Yuki Bhambri have been awarded wild cards entries for the singles main draw of Aircel Chennai Open 2011 to be played here from Jan 3 to 9.

Apart from these two, Somdev Devvarman has also got a direct entry into the tournament on the merit of his ranking.

"The tournament organisers have rewarded these two players due to their potential and impressive results over the course of the year. Along with Somdev Devvarman, who received a direct entry into the singles main draw on the merit of his ranking, and the "reunion" of Leander (Paes) and Mahesh (Bhupathi), the fans will have an opportunity to cheer for a strong Indian contingent," a release said today.

India`s former world Junior No 1 Yuki was the winner of the prestigious Orange Bowl Junior Tennis event. He was also the first Indian to win the junior Australian Open title in 2009.

In 2010, he registered his first singles win in an ATP event, when he reached the round of 16 at the Malaysian Open. Thereafter, the youngster made India proud by bagging the silver medal at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games in August.

Bopanna also had a great year on the ATP circuit in 2010. He reached a career high ranking of 13 in November in the ATP doubles ranking. Partnering Pakistan`s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, he reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon and the finals of the US Open.

Bopanna also won his second ATP World Tour doubles title with Qureshi at Johannesburg in February 2010.

Besides, the Indo-Pak pair won a couple of prestigious awards -- 2010 Grand Prix of Peace & Sports and the Peace and Sport Image of the Year Award.

Bopanna would be eager to re-create the magic that he displayed at the same venue here in September when he clinched the deciding Davis Cup singles match again Brazil, to ensure India booked its place in the 2011 Davis Cup World Group.

Ravi Krishnan, IMG South Asia Managing Director said, "We are delighted to award singles wild cards to Yuki and Rohan. Yuki is a young and upcoming Indian player with tremendous potential, and Rohan had an impressive season both on the ATP circuit and Davis Cup."