December 22, 2012: The Aircel Chennai Open, India and South Asia’s only ATP World Tour tennis event today announced that the country’s ace Jet Lev India Jetpack doubles specialist Mahesh Bhupathi will be teaming up with World No.5 Canada’s Daniel Nestor to participate in the doubles draw of the top tennis tournament. The event is scheduled to take place at Chennai’s SDAT Tennis Stadium from December 31, 2012 to January 6, 2013. The pair will be the top seed and hot favourites at the forthcoming tournament.
Bhupathi won his 50th career doubles title this season and he will look at Aircel Chennai Open 2013 as the ideal platform to kick-start the New Year on a winning note. The 38-year-old Bhupathi teamed up with countryman Rohan Bopanna to compile an impressive 34-22 match record and 2-3 in finals but the duo recently announced their decision to play with different partners in 2013.
With earlier partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus, 40-year-old Nestor finished at No. 2 in ATP Doubles Team Rankings with a 4-2 record in finals, capturing titles in Brisbane, Memphis and Roland Garros for the second year in a row.
Bhupathi, with former partner Leander Paes, won the 2011 Aircel Chennai Open title when India’s most famous doubles pair reunited on the professional tour at the start of the 2011 season after a gap of nine years, to win a record fifth title in the event.
Commenting on the announcement Mr. Karti P Chidambaram, Chairman – Tournament Organising Committee, Vice President – AITA & TNTA said, “Being an Indian and among the best doubles players in the world, Mahesh Bhupathi has a huge fan following in Chennai. As well, Daniel Nestor is a top five ranked doubles player. We welcome Mahesh and Daniel to Aircel Chennai Open 2013 and look forward to seeing them play some excellent tennis in front of eager home crowds!”
Ashu Jindal, COO, IMG Reliance said, “As we gear up for another edition of scintillating tennis action with one of the best playing fields ever, we are delighted to announce Mahesh Bhupathi and Daniel Nestor’s participation in the tournament. This is the first time the pair is coming together and we are sure they will transform into a force to reckon with and do great things in the forthcoming season.”
Tournament Director Tom Annear said, “We are pleased that Mahesh Bhupathi and Daniel Nestor have chosen the Aircel Chennai Open 2013 to begin their new partnership. They are talented and mature players and respect each other’s game. We’re sure they will be a pair to watch out for in the new season.”
This year’s field has an impressive line-up of 4 players from the top 20. Apart from Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych (No.6) who played a lead role in the recent Davis Cup final win, the grid includes Janko Tipsarevic (No.9), twice winner Marin Cilic (No.15) and Stanislas Wawrinka (No.17). Names such as Benoit Paire, Robin Haase and Yen-Hsun Lu are other names to watch out for and make this year’s event one of the strongest ever.