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Chennai Open: Had a Good Run for 21 Years, says Chairman Karti Chidambaram

The move to take it out of the city might have been a bit emotional for the tennis fans in the city but Chennai Open chairman and Tamil Nadu Tennis Association Vice President Karti Chidambram remained practical, saying that the decision to move the Chennai Open was a commercial one and that Chennai had a good run for 21 years.

Arjit Dabas | News18 Sports

Updated:July 21, 2017, 12:49 PM IST
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Chennai Open: Had a Good Run for 21 Years, says Chairman Karti Chidambaram
(Getty Images)
New Delhi: Chennai Open was India’s premier tennis tournament, giving the country a first hand experience of some of the biggest names in world tennis. The likes of Rafael Nadal, Carlos Moya, Pat Rafter, Ivan Ljubicic, Stan Wawinka, Marin Cilic have all been a part of the tournament to improve their preparation for the Australian Open.

The move to take it out of the city might have been a bit emotional for the tennis fans in the city but Chennai Open chairman and Tamil Nadu Tennis Association Vice President Karti Chidambram remained practical, saying that the decision to move the Chennai Open was a commercial one and that Chennai had a good run for 21 years.

“We had a long run but you have to understand that these tournaments run on commercial basis, and so the people have decided to move for purely commercial reasons. We weren’t able to get a sponsor on board after Aircel left. Sponsorship was the main source of revenue for us. Government was supportive but we simply didn’t have the resources.” Karti said in an exclusive chat to News 18.

Recalling his favourite moments, Karti added that seeing Ramkumar Ramanathan grow and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan win the doubles was among his most memorable moments from the tournament. “Ramkumar was born when the tournament started, these two players have grown up in the city and I have had chance to closely follow their rise in tennis.”

He also expressed his happiness that the tournament is staying in India and said that Pune is the perfect city to host it, “Speaking from a tennis point of view, it’s also good to rotate the venues. Pune is a very tennis oriented city.”

But he was quick to point out that despite the big ticket event moving out of the state, Tamil Nadu will continue to remain the premier state for the sport in the country.

"TNTA will continue to be the premier tennis organization, we will continue to support and churn out players. Half of the Davis cup team is made up of players from the state – the likes of Ramkumar, Balaji, Prajneesh. We are going to conduct more futures and at least two big challengers in the state,” he said, while signing off.
| Edited by: Arjit Dabas
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