New Delhi, July 20: Pune is likely to grab the hosting rights of India's only ATP 250 event, Chennai Open, from next year with the backing of the Maharashtra state government.
The state associations of Karnataka and Gujarat were also in the race but Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) has emerged favourites to win the bid as the government has passed a resolution to support the event.
Chennai has been hosting the event since 1996 and legends such as Rafael Nadal have been part of the tournament, which is organised in the lead up to the Australian Open.
MSLTA officials did not deny or confirm the development but sources in the association claim that Pune is going to be the next host of the tournament.
"IMG, the owners of the tournament were even considering Singapore as one of the possible venues but we wanted to keep it in India, keeping the interest of the Indian players in mind. It is India's event and it should remain in the country," the source said.
MSLTA has been successfully hosting a USD 50,000 Challenger event since 2014 and the tennis facility at the Balewadi Sports Complex is well-equipped to host an ATP 250 event.
Tamil Nadu Tennis Association Secretary General CBN Reddy said they will make an official announcement tomorrow on the development.
AITA Secretary General Hironmoy Chatterjee said, "The tournament is IMG's property and they have every right to host it where they find it more lucrative."