Prize money will also be awarded to the qualifying losers.
The cream of Indian men’s and women’s players will be vying for top honours in the AITA Ranking Rs 22 lakh prize-money JVPG Anirudh Desai All-India Open Tennis Tournament at the Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana from Monday. The events will be conducted in the men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles sections.
The men’s draw will be headed by defending champion and India No. 7 Siddharth Rawat of Uttar Pradesh followed Pune's 24-year-old Arjun Kadhe, who is ranked 10, as second seed. Current national champion Dalwinder Singh and runner-up Suraj R. Prabodh are also included in the main draw.
In the women’s singles, Mahak Jain from Madhya Pradesh, who is ranked seventh, is the top seed, as defending champion Riya Bhatia, who is ranked fifth, has withdrawn from the championship. The organisers said they were not aware of the reason why Riya has pulled out of the tournament.
The 16-year-old Mahak has represented India in the US Open Junior Tennis Championship 2017, The Junior Championship 2017, the Wimbledon and the Australian Open 2017 Juniors.
The men and women’s champions will receive a handsome prize of Rs 2 lakh each while the runners-up will get Rs 1 lakh each. Prize money in the singles will be offered from the first round itself, with the first round losers also gaining Rs 12,000 each. Prize money will also be awarded to the qualifying losers.
This is the only tournament in the country to hold a mixed doubles event along with a doubles competition for men and women, with all three events offering a winner’s purse of Rs 50,000 each. A ‘Fastest Serve’ competition will also be held during the course of the meet.