ATP Tata Open Maharashtra: Marin Cilic top seed at sole South Asian ATP competition in 2023

The Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) will host the Tata Open Maharashtra for the fifth consecutive year in Pune.

Marin Cilic in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/Australian Open)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Dec 7, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The fifth edition of the Tata Open Maharashtra, the only ATP 250 tournament in South Asia, will begin on December 31 at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune with a strong singles field led by world number 17 Marin Cilic and 16 other top-100 players. The Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) will host the Tata Open Maharashtra for the fifth consecutive year in Pune. The tournament is owned by IMG and managed by RISE.

The tournament’s last two iterations took place during the first week of February. By competing in Pune, the players can now prepare for the season’s opening Grand Slam—the Australian Open. The competition will be held at MSLTA’s facilities with assistance from the Maharashtra government and will be sponsored by Tata Group.

“Hosting Tata Open Maharashtra is a great pride not just for Maharashtra but also for the country. The upcoming edition will be a celebration of five glorious years of tennis in Pune. The tournament returning to January first week is really satisfying for us as organisers because there will be more exciting competition in the presence of bigger names and this singles acceptance list reflects the same. We are looking forward to welcoming all the players, officials and the fans to make this fifth edition even more special,” said Prashant Sutar, Tournament Director of Tata Open Maharashtra.

Cilic, the 2014 US Open winner, has won this competition twice, in 2009 and 2010, and he also advanced to the semifinals in 2018. He would seek out a new trophy to add to his collection. In addition to Croatian Cilic, the singles main draw will include five other top-50 players: Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands (ranked 35), Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland (ranked 40), Sebastian Baez of Argentina (ranked 43), Jenson Brooksby of the United States (ranked 48), and Alex Molcan of Slovakia.

The cut-off for direct entry is 115, and 11 additional top-100 players are in the fiercely competitive field. In the 2022 season, Zandschulp participated in all four Majors, losing to Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon pre-quarterfinals and the Roland Garros Round of 32. His best performance of the season, the Munich ATP 250, saw him finish in second place.

“We are proud to say that we have left no stone unturned in making the tournament a success for all the stakeholders. It’s a competitive field this year with a lot of international talent coming to Pune. I am sure the players, their coaches and the officials will have a good time in Pune,” said Organising Secretary Pravin Darade.

Runner-up in the prior edition Baez participated in three ATP 250 events in the first half of the season, winning in Estoril and placing second in Bastad and Santiago. Ruusuvuori made good progress throughout the year, winning three matches against top-20 players. Brooksby also had respectable success, making it to two finals (at Dallas and Atlanta), and he intends to compete all the way in Pune. The southpaw Molcan made it to the finals in Lyon and Marrakech, where he defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime, who was ranked in the top 10. While the main draw will be played from January 2–7, the qualifying event will start on December 31.

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