Top seeds Venise and Emily may look to win ITF Gulbarga Open

Gulbarga: Top seed Venise Chan and second seed Emily Smith will be striving to win the USD 10,000 ITF Gulbarga Open Women`s Futures, beginning here tomorrow.

Though Gulbarga has earlier hosted ITF Mens tournaments during 2002 and 2007, this is the first time a Womens event is being conducted here. The event has attracted players from 10 countries.

The Indian interest starts with the 3rd seeded Kyra Shroff, highest ranked Indian at 531 after Sania Mirza on the world ranking list.

Karnatakas top junior Spurti Shivalingaiah, former National champion and Olympian Rushmi Chakravarthy, Vaishnavi Reddy and Sai Samhita, the four wild cards for the tournament, complete the main draw of 32.

Local lass Shalaka Manjunath has qualified for the main draw. Emily said she was looking forward to working hard this week and get maximum matches.

Third seed Kyra Shroff said: "It is a tough field but I am feeling confident."

Players from Hong Kong, Great Britain, Korea, Taipei, Thailand, Japan, France, Ukraine, China apart from hosts India are participating.