Chennai, Dec 21: Curtain is rolling up on another edition, the 13th, of South Asia's only ATP world tour tennis event Chennai Open to be held here from December 31 to January 6.
Event Manager IMG will kick off the annual tennis bonanza, in which the likes of world no 2 Rafael Nadal, Marcos Bagdhatis, Russian Mikhail Youzhny will be vying to kick off the 2008 season winning the title here, with a charity auction on December 30. The 'Rolex Charity Evening' will see tennis memorabilia autographed by the alltime super star of tennis Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova, among others. This pre-tournament action, as it were, will have a touch of charity, with the proceeds of the auction to be donated to the NGO 'Tanker Foundation' Kidney Research Foundation' and Balavidyalaya School for Deaf.The event will be hosted by Rolex brand ambassador Vijay Amritraj along with the star studded player field for the competition.
Commenting on the event, the former Indian tennis legend Vijay, who was the man behind the ATP world tour event coming to his hometown Chennai said I am delighted that once again Rolex is supporting the Chennai Open and hosting the charity show making a difference in the lives of so many children and adults.'' Tanker Foundation Trustee Dr Georgi Abraham also welcomed the event saying ''we are delighted at this gesture of reaching out to the less-privileged people who need desperately need financial help.'' The Nungambakkam tennis stadium, which has been hosting the top class tennis action all through, first as Gold Flake Open and then as Tata Open before the Tamil Nadu government stepped in and formed a consortium of sponsors, is also being spruced up.
However, Chennai, known as the cradle of Indian tennis being the home of legends like R Krishnan and his son Ramesh, and the three Amritraj brothers, besides some current young crop of players on the national circuit, will be missing the Indian heroes Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupati, who are reportedly not participating.
Blurbs on television and hoardings in this city are already drawing attention, beckoning the tennis fans to savour some of the best tennis talent in the world.