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Friday, January 27, 2023

WTA Chennai Open kicks off with qualifying rounds, 5 Indians in fray

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Chennai: Big time tennis action returned to the city after the Men’s ATP Tour event, as the first ever WTA 250 Chennai Open
Women’s tournament began at the refurbished SDAT Tennis Stadium with the qualifying rounds on Saturday.

A total of 24 players, including five Indians, are in the fray and kicked off their campaign to qualify for the main draw. India’s Rutuja Bhosale, Riya Bhatia, Sowjanya Bavisetti, Sai Chamarthi and Lakshmi Prabha Arunkumar are part of the qualifying draw and will attempt to join India’s top two players Ankita Raina and Karman Kaur Thandi in the main draw.

India’s No. ranked singles player Rutuja Bhosale takes on 12th seed En-Shuo Liang, India’s No. 4 Riya Bhatia faces sixth seed Justina Mikulskyte, and India’s No. 5 Sowjanya Bavisetti meets 11th seed Kyoka Okamura in the first round of the 24-player qualifying draw.

Two local favourites from Tamil Nadu, Sai Chamarthi and Lakshmi Prabha Arunkumar, are also in the qualifying draw and face the top seed.

Chamarthi takes on second seed Nao Hibino and 16-year-old Lakshmi Prabha Arunkumar faces top seed Yuki Naito. Players need to win two qualifying matches to secure one of six qualifying spots for the main draw of the tournament, which begins on Monday.

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