India’s leading ATP event early next year will be called the Tata Open Maharashtra 2018, following Tata Sons deciding to associate with the competition via a five-year sponsorship. Adar Poonawalla has come in as presenting sponsor, using the January 1-6, 2018 tournament at the Balewadi sports complex to showcase the Clean City Initiative.

Corporate association with tennis enabled the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) to announce decision to upgrade tennis facility at the Balewadi stadium and also launch five tennis academies across the state (Pune, Mumbai, Aurangabad, Solapur, Nagpur). The Maharashtra government is driving both ventures, besides a key role in putting together the ATP event.

Prashant Sutar, Tournament Director., informed: “The money collected from the tournament sponsorship will be used for upgradation of Balewadi tennis facility and five academies,” The 2018 competition has attracted four top-50 players in Croatia’s Marin Cilic, South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, Spain’s Roberto Agut and Robin Haase from The Netherlands.

Mr. Devendra Phadnavis, Chief Minister, Maharashtra, launched the official Tata Open Maharashtra logo at the Sahyadri guest house, along with Mr Banmali Agarwala, Tata Sons President (Infrastructure, Defence & Aerospace). “Maharashtra is enroute to becoming a sporting destination, specially in tennis. Pune hosted a Davis Cup, ATP Challenger before this,” said the former.

The event is being hosted in the state for the first time, after it was moved from Chennai, where crowd-pullers like Cilic, Stanislaus Warwinka, Milos Raonic, Patrick Rafter, Carlos Moya and the inimitable Rafael Nadal have competed in the past. Rated as an ATP 250 series competition, promoted by IMG-Reliance, the Chennai Open has moved on. The Tata Open Maharashtra 2018 qualifying rounds will be played on December 30, 31 2017 . The main draw starts January 1, 2018.