Chennai: Davis Cupper Vishnu Vardhan and talented teenager Yuki Bhambri were on Thursday awarded wildcard entries by the organisers of the Chennai Open, ensuring that at least three local players will compete in the singles draw of the country's only ATP Tour event.
India's number one player Somdev Devvarman will get a direct entry into the main draw on the basis of his ranking. Promising Belgian David Goffin is the third player to get a wildcard for the event, starting January 2 at the SDAT Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium in Chennai.
World number nine Janko Tipsarevic and world number 10 Nicolas Almagro are the major international attractions in the hard court tournament. The 345th-ranked Bhambri had lost to Russian Alexander Kudryavtev in the opening round in the 2011 edition, in which he competed on a wildcard entry.
World number 318 Vardhan has fallen in the qualifying stage in the previous two editions.
Goffin, ranked 174 in the world, has been rewarded with a wildcard after his impressive streak in the previous edition where he rose from the qualifiers to the pre-quarterfinals before going down to Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, the eventual champion.
"It gives us immense pleasure to give Yuki, Vardhan and Goffin wildcards for the singles main draw. At the Chennai Open we have always endeavoured to provide Indian players the platform to compete at the highest level and I am confident these young players will make good use of the opportunity," MA Alagappan, Chairman, Organizing Committee of the event, said.