Pune, Nov 6 (UNI) Strong contender Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei, who had shocked Indian ace Sania Mirza in the Qatar Asian Games, will be the top draw in the seventh edition of the USD 25,000 NECC-ITF women's tennis championship which gets underway at the synthetic Deccan Gymkhana courts here from November 10 to 17.
The championship boasts of a strong field featuring Great Britain's Naomi Cavaday (193), Indian born NRI respresenting USA Neha Oberoi (287) and Sandy Gumulya of Indonesia (306), the Federation Cup winner.
Tournament director Anand Tulpule, while briefing media persons here today, said the Indian challenge in the championship, which has been preponed by a week, will be spearheaded by talented youngster and the newest to join the Indian Federation Cup team Tara Iyer (305) along with Rushmi Chakravarthi, the Bhambri siblings -- Sanaa and Ankita, Isha Lakhani and Sandhya Nagraj.
The prize money has been increased from USD 10000 to USD 25,000. Top women's tennis players from the country and across the globe will be seen in action. The championship is being sponsored by National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC), under the auspices of the ITF, AITA and MSLTA.
This year, the qualifying rounds have been upgraded to a draw of 48 from the regular draw of 32 to give the Indian players more opportunity to play in the event, while the cut-off ranking for direct entries is 623. There would be a tough qualifying in store this year.
The winner will receive 25 WTA points and a prize money of USD 2940, while the runners-up will receive 17 points and a prize money of USD 1666. The semi-finalists will get 11.5 points and a prize money of USD 1078, the quarter-finalists seven points and prize money of USD 686 and the pre-quarter finalists seven points and prize money of USD 490. The first round winner will receive 3.5 points and prize money of USD 490, while first round loser will get one point and USD 294. The doubles event winner pair will get USD 1176, the runners up USD 686, the semifinalists USD 392, quarterfinalists USD 196 and the first round USD 98.
The names of six wild carders will be announced shortly, Mr Tulpule added. The ITF has designated Ms Sheetal Iyer, a silver badge referee, as the supervisor for this tournament. She will be assisted by other silver badge and white badge officials from India.
The main draw of the event will be played from Monday, while the qualifying rounds of the event will begin on Saturday.
The semifinals and finals will be shown live on Doordarshan.
Following is the list of main draw players: 1. Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) 127, 2. Cavaday Naomi (GBR) 193, 3. Uberoi Neha (USA) 287, 4. Gumulya Sandy (INA) 306, 5. Iyer Tara (IND) 359, 6. Disderi Silvia (TA) 380, 7. Bratchikova Nina (Rus) 391, 8. Chakravarthi Rushmi (IND) 403, 9. Jones Sacha (NZL) 411, 10. Lakhani Isha (IND) 430, 11. Zhang Ling (HKG) 479, 12. Bhambri Sanaa (IND) 506, 13. Bhambri Ankita (IND) 512, 14. Wannasuk Nungnadda (THA) 521, 15. Muci-Torres Mariana (VEN) 553, 16. Tananta Lavinia (INA) 582, 17. Nagaraj Sandhya (IND) 599, 18. Benamar Sherazad (FRA) 623.