Chennai, Dec 28: Indian hope Somdev Devvarman has drawn a qualifier in his first round of the singles event at the Aircel ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament to be held here Dec 30-Jan 5.
The draw ceremony was held here Saturday along with the unveiling of the trophy that will be presented to the winner of the $450,000 tournament.
World No. 26 Benoit Paire and Devvarman, along with Renuka Jaypal, National Brand Head, Aircel, M.A. Alagappan, President of Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, Karti P Chidambaram, Chairman Organising Committee and Vice President AITA, and Tom Annear, Tournament Director unveiled the trophy.
Top seed and 2011 champion Stanislas Wawrinka, the World No.8 from Switzerland, has drawn a bye in the first round and will take on the winner of the match between Germans Benjamin Becker and Julian Reister.
Also enjoying a first round bye was second seed Mikail Youzhny of Russia who awaits the winner of the match involving Dudi Sela of Israel and Slovakian journeyman Lukas Lacko.
India’s Yuki Bhambri, a wild card entry in the top half of the draw, will take on Spaniard Carreno Busta in the first round while the second home wild card Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan has drawn Jiri Vesley of Czech Republic and is placed in the bottom half with Devvarman.
In the doubles competition, the Indo-Pak pairing of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam Qureshi, the top seeds, face the strong French-Swiss tandem of Paire and Warinka, while second seeded Leander Paes and his Italian partner Fabio Fognini drew Croatians Marin Draganja and Ante Pavic.
The home team of N.Sriram Balaji and Ramkumar Ramanathan, the wild card entry, clash with Americans Rajeev Ram and Scott Lpisky in the first round.