Pune ATP Challenger loses sheen as $25000 sliced from prize money
Hospitality factor removed leading to the downgrading of the event
Pune: Defending champion Yuki Bhambri and other Indians were robbed off a good chance to make handful of ATP ranking points as prize money of the KPIT ATP Challenger has been cut by $25,000 owing to the refusal of title sponsors to foot hospitality bill that for the last two years helped Pune to offer $75,000 prize money tournament.
For the last two years, the Pune ATP Challenger was listed as $75,000--$50,000 plus $25,000 hospitality--event which accordingly offered better ATP ranking points than any $50,000 event.
Though the title sponsors have remained tight-lipped about the slice in prize money, the November 19-24 event has been listed on the ATP Challenger Tour with $50,000 as prize money.
The cut in the prize money will percolate downwards as the ATP ranking points will also get reduced accordingly at every step. The Pune Challenger also had to advance by a week as Bangalore ATP Challenger increased its prize money from $125,000 to $150,000 offering more ranking points and wanted more suitable dates—a request that was readily accepted by the ATP.
The KPIT Pune ATP Challenger provided ideal platform for Indian players to earn ATP points towards the end of the season before the international tennis goes in for the well-deserved Christmas break.
Reigning Champ Nagal gets Wildcard
Defending champion Sumit Nagal, who had scripted the biggest title win of his career last year, was on Monday awarded wildcard for 2018 Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger. His win in Bangalore had pushed him up to break into career-best ranking of 213 and an entry into the Australian Open, year’s first Grand Slam tournament.
Moderate success then on saw Nagal dropped to of 310 on the ATP Tour that would have necessitated him to play the qualifiers of the upcoming US $150,000 event to be held at the KSLTA Courts from November 12 to 17.
`This is the second wildcard with the first one being awarded to Suraj Prabodh, who emerged as the champion in the Bengaluru Open Wild Card AITA ranking tennis event. Two more wildcards would be
announced in due course.
“I am really happy to be back in Bengaluru and playing one of my favourite Challenger on the Tour,” said the 21-year-old Delhi player.
“This year, being a bigger event, he needed a wildcard to make it to the main draw. We think he deserved it for that his performance last year. We also feel that he is a bright future for Indian tennis,” said Sunil Yajaman, Tournament Director.