Bengaluru, Jan 31 (IANS): Former World No. 10 Lucas Pouille and last year's champion Chun-hsin Tseng will be among the key attractions at the fifth edition of the Bengaluru Open 2023, which is scheduled to be held from February 20 to 26.
The prestigious ATP Challenger event will be organised by the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) at the KSLTA Stadium, here. Qualifiers will be played from February 19 and 20 while the main draw begins on February 20.
"Bengaluru has always been a favourite destination for tennis players from across the world. We are delighted to see a similar response this time around too as some of the top names will be seen battling for the title.
The Bengaluru Open has always served as a stepping stone for players to enter the ATP Tour or Grand Slams. We are celebrating the fifth edition of the tournament and I'm sure the upcoming edition will bring more exciting action and a treat for the Indian tennis fans," said Sunil Yajaman, Tournament Director of Bengaluru Open.
The French tennis star Pouille registered the biggest win of his career at the 2016 US Open when he stunned great Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.
Besides making it to the semi-finals at the Australian Open in 2019, the 28-year-old also made quarter-finals appearances at the Wimbledon and US Open in 2016. He has won five ATP Tour titles.
Pouille and the World No. 110 Tseng will be part of the 32-player singles main draw. Besides 20 direct entries, with a stiff cut off of 230, the main event will also have three wildcards, six qualifiers and three special exemptions.
Taiwanese Tseng, 21, on the other hand, lifted the title of Bengaluru Open 1 in 2022 after beating Borna Gojo in the final. Two back-to-back Challenger events took place last year.
Former World No. 39 Mikhail Kukushkin and the 2020 champion James Duckworth, who was once ranked 46 in the world, will be among the other top players to compete at the tournament. British Ryan Peniston and Czech youngster Dalibor Svrcina will also feature in the singles main draw.
Peniston made the headlines last year when he shocked the then World No. 5 Casper Ruud in straight sets on his ATP main draw debut at the Queen's Club Championships. The 20-year-old Svrcina made Grand Slam debut in Australia earlier this month.
Dimitar Kuzmanov, who finished runner-up in the Bengaluru Open 2 last year, will also take aim at the coveted title on his return to the city.