India’s top singles player Ankita Raina will run into fourth-seeded Tatjana Maria of Germany in the first round of the singles main draw in the Chennai Open WTA 250 tennis tournament, beginning from Monday.
Raina got a spot in the main draw courtesy a wild card along with the country’s No.2 singles player Karman Kaur Thandi, who has been drawn to meet eighth-seeded Chloe Paquet of France in round one.
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The draw ceremony for the WTA tournament being held in Chennai for the first time was conducted in the city on Saturday afternoon and saw the top-seed Alison Riske-Amritraj (USA), the world No.29, getting Anastasia Gasanova as her opponent in round one.
Second-seeded Varvara Gracheva will start her campaign against a qualifier while the third-seeded Magda Linette (Poland) opens with a match against Japan’s Moyuka Uchijima.
The India No.1 Ankita, ranked No. 139 as of August 29, recently lost in the final of an ITF tournament in Britain. She faces a battle against 35-year old German Maria, a mother of two, ranked 85 on the WTA list and a semifinalist at Wimbledon in July.
Meanwhile, Thandi, ranked 365, meets Paquet, who is 111 on the rankings list and would aim for a strong performance given the gulf in the ratings.
Former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard of Canada, who is on a comeback trail and received a wild card into the singles of the Chennai Open, will face Joanne Zuger of Switzerland in her opening match.
She is expected to be among the big draws in the tournament especially following the withdrawal of the in-form Caroline Garcia.
International tennis action returns to the city after more than five years with the WTA tournament.
The event lost a couple of its top players when Frenchwoman Garcia, the world No.17, and Belgian Elise Mertens withdrew due to scheduling challenges and injury respectively.
Key first round matches: Alison Riske-Amritraj (X1) vs Anastasia Gasanova, Qiang Wang (X6, China) vs Yanina Wickmayer, Magda Linette (X3) vs Moyuka Uchijima, Rebecca Marino (X7, Canada) vs Anna Blinkova, Chloe Paquet (X8) vs Karman Kaur Thandi, Tatjana Maria (X4) vs Ankita Raina, Rebecca Peterson (X5, Sweden) vs Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva, Varvara Gracheva (X2) vs Qualifier.
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