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01-04-2010, 04:08 PM #1
Amritraj missing from Chennai Open draw ceremony
The absence of veteran Vijay Amritraj at the draw of the ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament here Saturday for the first time in over a decade raised a few eyebrows. However, the organisers were quick to dismiss speculation that Amritaj, unhappy that his son Prakash did not receive a wild card, chose to skip the function.
"In the past, Vijay was the chairman of the organising committee and attended the draw ceremony in that capacity. This year, it is Karti Chidambaram (vice-president, All India Tennis Association). You can speculate as you wish, but the roles have changed," Ravi Krishnan, managing director (South Asia) of the International Mamagement Group (IMG), told IANS.
The draw was rather abrupt unlike in the past, when Vijay Amritraj held centre-stage with his analysis of the draw besides fielding questions from the media with his customary charm and wit.
The 26-year old Prakash Amritraj has been receiving a wild card entry into the main draw of the Chennai Open since 2002, but this year, he had to play the qualifying tournament.
"It is the prerogative of the organisers to award wild cards. Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna were selected," said Krishnan.
When asked about Bopanna being selected ahead of 17-year old prospect Yuki Bambri, who is presently participating in the qualifying tournament, Krishnan said: "There was a lot of discussion about this. Perhaps, the organisers thought that it was fit to honour Bopanna for his Davis Cup performances."
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