Chennai: World no. 7 and US Open former champion Marin Cilic and defending champion Gilles Simon will be playing in the second edition of Tata Open Maharashtra to be played at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium in Pune.
Tennis fans can herald 2019 watching five top-50 players in world No. 6 Kevin Anderson (South Africa), world No. 7 Cilic (Croatia), world No. 25 Hyeon Chung (Korea), world No. 30 Simon (France) and world No. 45 Malek Jaziri (Tunisia) among a slew of other international stars at the event.
As defending champion, Simon will have a star-studded line-up to challenge his supremacy that will include Anderson, Cilic and Chung. Though in the last edition, the 33-year old Frenchman got the better of Cilic (semifinal) and Anderson (final) en route his title. It would have been a double delight for Simon had he won the doubles final along with his first time partner and countryman Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
The return of Cilic, Simon, Anderson, Paire among many other players prove that the players have loved what they have seen and it swells our chest with pride to welcome back all of them including first-timers to Pune, said Prashant Sutar, Tournament Director.
Cilic on the other hand comes to the event at the back of yet another impressive season that included wins over Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. A set down in the finals at Queen’s Club, Cilic went on to win the next two to capture his 2nd title and 18th overall at the event beating Djokovic. He also made his third Grand Slam final appearance losing to Roger Federer at the Australian Open.