Chennai Open defending champion Malisse confirms participation

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Mumbai, Nov 22 (UNI) Defending Champion and winner of a rare double in 2007, Xavier Malisse of Belgium has confirmed his participation for Chennai Open 2008.

The 13th edition of the tournament will be held from December 31, 2007 to January 6, 2008 at the SDAT Stadium in Nungambakkam, Chennai.

Known for his enormous forehand and great power, the tall Belgian last year set the Chennai crowd alight with some sparkling tennis all through the week. He had a dream run beating World No 2 Rafael Nadal in semis and Austrian Stefan Koubek 6-1, 6-3 in singles final and then partnering with his country mate Dick Norman, he went on to defeat the Spaniard duo of Rafael Nadal and Bartolome Salve Vidal in the doubles final 7-6(4), 7-6(4), thus achieving a rare double, a release issued here today stated.

Returning to Chennai Open, Xavier Malisse said, ''It feels great to be back to the place where it all began. I won back to back both singles and doubles title in 2007 and I really enjoyed playing at Chennai. I have had a spate of injuries this year and was not able to give a consistent performance. I like the surface at Chennai and I am extremely confident that I would be able to make a successful comeback and be able to defend my title.'' UNI

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