The Aircel Chennai Open 2013 has confirmed participation from two-time Aircel Chennai Open singles champion Marin Cilic, currently ranked World Number 15, and World Number 17 Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland. The Aircel Chennai Open tennis tournament is scheduled from December 31st 2012 to January 6th 2013 at the SDAT stadium, Chennai.
The confirmation from these two Top-20 players along with participation from World No.6 Tomas Berdych and World No.9 Janko Tipsarevic ensures that the Aircel Chennai Open 2013 will have one of the strongest player fields in the tournament’s history.
The 6’ 6” Croatian won the prestigious Aircel Chennai Open singles titles in 2009 and 2010. He was in the 2012 field as the 4th seed, but suffered a patella tendon injury which ruled him out of the Aircel Chennai Open as well as the season’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open. After recovering, the right-hander gained momentum by reaching the Munich final in April this year. In July, he captured his eighth ATP World Tour title at the ATP Vegeta Croatia Open Umag.
24-year-old Cilic, who has begun five previous seasons in Chennai, registered his career high ATP ranking of 9 on February 22, 2010 with his best-ever performance in a Grand Slam, reaching the semi-finals in the 2010 Australian Open. He won his first Chennai Open title in 2009 defeating India’s Somdev Devvarman and followed it in 2010 beating Wawrinka in the final.
Confirming his participation in the tournament, World No. 15 Marin Cilic said, “I am delighted to be back in Chennai, especially since I could not participate in last year’s event due to an injury. I have chosen to start my five previous seasons here and have had great success as a lead up to the Australian Open. It is always a pleasure to play in Chennai, a city that has grown to become a home away from home for me.”
Wawrinka, who will also be a part of this season’s draw in Chennai for the fifth straight year, is eyeing a winning start like in 2011. After a good run at the Aircel Chennai Open 2012, Wawrinka confirms his return for another shot at the title. Wawrinka's greatest achievement till date was when he won the gold medal for Switzerland in the men's doubles event in Beijing Olympics, partnering multiple Grand Slam winning compatriot Roger Federer.
Hiten Joshi, CEO of Tamil Nadu Tennis Association said, “It is a privilege to have Marin Cilic – a two-time winner of the Aircel Chennai Open singles title – back for the 2013 edition. Also it will be good to see Wawrinka back in action this year. The crowds in Chennai love and support them as if they were local boys! We look forward to watching Cilic and Wawrinka showcase their skills this year”.
Commenting on the announcement, Ashu Jindal, Chief Operating Officer, IMG Reliance said, “We are glad to confirm Marin Cilic and Stanislas Wawrinka’s participation in the tournament. Other than being one of the world’s best tennis players, Cilic has done very well in previous editions of the tournament and feels at home playing here. Wawrinka has always been a favourite here and the crowds at the stadium have always cheered for this Top Swiss player. We are confident that Cilic and Wawrinka’s presence will give fans an excellent opportunity to enjoy some great tennis.”
The Title Sponsor for the tournament is Aircel and the event is supported by a consortium of sponsors in the Platinum and Gold category.