Marin Cilic leads the field for the 22nd Aircel Chennai Open

The season opener in Chennai, India will be led by Grand Slam champion Marin Clic in their 22nd edition of the tournament.

Marin Cilic leads the field for the 22nd Aircel Chennai Open
Marin Cilic winning the Aircel Chennai Open trophy for the second time in his last appearance in 2010 (Photo: Dibyangshu Sakar/Getty Images)

Marin Cilic, the world number six and 2014 US Open Champion is set to make a return to India. He will also be joined by world number 14 Roberto Bautista Agut, number 27 Albert Ramos-Vinolas, number 35 Martin Klizan and world number 48 Borna Coric for the Aircel Chennai Open which takes place at the SDAT Tennis Stadium in Nungambakkam come the New Year. 

Familiar foes return 

Two former top ten players in Tommy Robredo and Mikhail Youzhny will make their returns to India next year. After a 12 year absence, the Spaniard has decided to start his season in Chennai, with the Russian coming back after two years away. 

Robredo, a former world number 5, is a high profiled player having won ten titles on the ATP circuit and going on to win three Davis Cup titles. His only appearance came back in 2004, where he and Rafael Nadal teamed up to go all the way in the doubles. 

Tommy Robredo and Mikhail Youzhny, who are to make their returns shake hands after their 2010 US Open match (Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)
Tommy Robredo and Mikhail Youzhny, who are to make their returns shake hands after their 2010 US Open match (Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)

For Youzhny, he is one of the most popular players in India after going on to win the trophy back in 2008 defeating Nadal. His last visit did not end too well with him having to pull out of his second round match. 

"This is an impressive lineup," Tom Annear, Aircel Chennai Open's Tournament Director, said. "Tennis fans in India can expect high-quality tennis this year," he added. 

Indian hopes

India's biggest hope will be the 22-year-old hero and wildcard Ramkumar Ramanathan, who travels between India and Chennai in order to pursue a successful career. Ramanathan made his name in 2014, where he defeated fellow Indian Somdev Devvarman. He is currently part of the Indian Davis Cup team and has been for a number of years. 

Ramkumar Ramanathan, Chennai Open wildcard in Davis Cup action against Spain (Photo: Sajjad Hussain/Getty Images)
Ramkumar Ramanathan, Chennai Open wildcard in Davis Cup action against Spain (Photo: Sajjad Hussain/Getty Images)

"We have great faith in Ram," TNTA president MA Alagappan said. "We believe he will go a long way in world tennis. Moreover, India's fans love him and will give him all the support that he needs."

Diverse Nationalities

The season opener will see players from a range of countries partake. Argentina, Belgium, France, Taipei and Israel will be represented in the draw. 

"It is great to see so many star players confirming their presence for the Aircel Chennai Open this year. We are quite sure that it will be a thrilling experience for the fans to see so many of their favourite stars live in action," TNTA president MA Alagappan added.