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Old 11-26-2012, 04:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Will IMG move India´s only ATP event to another location?

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CHENNAI: Come 2014, and Chennai Open may become history.

With the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association's (TNTA) contract with International Management Group (IMG), the promoters of the event, ending with the 2013 edition, there's a possibility that the annual carnival may move out of the country.

According to sources, IMG had got offers from Turkey and China, and the TNTA was trying its best to hold it back. IMG-TNTA ties go a long way back, and with the event stepping into its 18th edition in 2013, it's the goodwill card that the local association is trying to play in its desperate bid to ensure that the marquee event stays in Chennai.

For the IMG deal to come through, TNTA will have to pledge to host the tournament for the next five years.
"We are in talks with IMG so that Chennai doesn't lose out on this premier event. For this, we need to promise to host the event from 2014-2018," said TNTA president M A Alagappan on Thursday.

IMG, on its part, played it safe when quizzed about the chances of the contract renewal. "Negotiations are on, so it would be premature to make any comment," Ashu Jindal, chief operating officer of IMG, said.

Chennai Open is India's only ATP event, and it has seen stars like Boris Becker, Patrick Rafter, Carlos Moya and Rafael Nadal taking part. Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi won their first doubles title in Chennai as well and in recent times, Somdev Devvarman became a household name after making the final of the event in 2009.

But with events like Brisbane International, Hopman Cup and the Doha Open happening in the same week, some top players choose to use those tournaments as preparation for Australian Open, which takes place in the last week of January. Last year's champion Milos Raonic, for example, will be playing in Brisbane instead of defending his title in Chennai in 2013.

With the diminishing star value, sponsorship is becoming a problem for the state tennis association. Aircel, the title sponsor for the last three years, hasn't renewed its contract for the 2014 edition TNTA, though, is not losing hope. "While we heavily bank on Aircel, we also need additional sponsors to come in," said Alagappan
http://articles.timesofindia.indiati...tnta-atp-event
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