Pune, December 30: India's top-ranked player Yuki Bhambri was drawn to play his opening encounter against local lad Arjun Kadhe in the ATP 250 World Tour event Maharashtra Open, which kicks off in Pune on January 1.
In the doubles draw, defending champions Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Neduncheziyan will face compatriots Leander Paes and Purav Raja.
The ceremony hosted by Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj also had tournament director Tom Annear and Prashant Sutar, ATP supervisor Miro Bratoev, ATP Tour manager Arnau Brugues, MSLTA Secretary Sunder Iyer, along with French tennis player Benoit Paire and the Indian duo of Paes and Bhambri.
Singles Qualifiers 1st Round -— Tata Open Maharashtra (@MaharashtraOpen) December 30, 2017
Court 3: India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran stamps his authority after beating his fellow countryman, Jayesh Pungliya (6-4, 6-1).#AdvantagePune #TataOpenMaharashtra #Qualifiers
The main draw ceremony saw top seed and World No 6 Marin Cilic get a bye in the first round. India's only ATP World Tour stop will also see defending champion and World No 20, Roberto Bautista-Agut, World No 41 Benoit Paire and 2017 US Open finalist South Africa's Kevin Anderson getting a bye in the first round.
Bhambri, currently ranked 116th in the world will be looking to create an impact at this year's tournament. "I am thrilled to be participating here at the Maharashtra Open and I feel it is a huge occasion for the city of Pune to be hosting an ATP 250 World Tour event. I am looking forward to playing against Arjun as we both know each other's game."
Wild card entrant Ramkumar Ramanathan will face World No 106 Roberto Carballes Baena in a tough first-round encounter. In other major clashes, World No 42 Dutch player Robin Haase will start his campaign against Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic in what could be one of the most mouth-watering first round contests at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium in Pune.
Frenchman Gilles Simon will be looking to bounce back from his disappointing form of last season as he starts the new season by taking on USA's Tennys Sandgren.
2⃣ Days to go! 🎾— Tata Open Maharashtra (@MaharashtraOpen) December 30, 2017
Join the countdown with @rohanbopanna and @JeevanN2010 as the dynamic duo are excited to defend their crown at #TataOpenMaharashtra. 👑🙌#AdvantagePune #ATP250 #ATP #Tennis pic.twitter.com/I1ZOd81GPJ
In doubles, top-billed pair of R Lindstedt and Franko Skugor will take on Marton Fucsovics and M Kukushkin. Bhambri will join forces with Divij Sharan in taking on L Djere-Blaz Kavcic pair. Local boy Kadhe will pair with Frenchman Paire in facing the second-seeded Dutch pair of Robin Haase and M Middelkoop.
 M Cilic (CRO) - Bye
[WC] R Ramanathan (IND) vs R Carballes Baena (ESP)
Y Bhambri (IND) vs [WC] A Kadhe (IND)
M Cecchinato (ITA) vs  P Herbert (FRA)
 R Bautista Agut (ESP) - Bye
G Simon (FRA) vs T Sandgren (USA)
Qualifier vs Qualifier
Qualifier vs  J Vesely (CZE)
 R Haase (NED) vs B Kavcic (SLO)
N Jarry (CHI) vs P Andujar (ESP)
N Kicker (ARG) vs M Fucsovics (HUN)
 [WC] B Paire (FRA) - Bye
 M Kukushkin (KAZ) vs R Albot (MDA)
L Djere (SRB) vs M Copil (ROU)
Qualifier vs R Bemelmans (BEL)
 K Anderson (RSA) - Bye
 R Lindstedt (SWE) / F Skugor (CRO) vs M Fucsovics (HUN) / M Kukushkin (KAZ)
Y Bhambri (IND) / D Sharan (IND) vs. L Djere (SRB) / B Kavcic (SLO)
 R Bopanna (IND) / J Nedunchezhiyan (IND) vs L Paes (IND) / P Raja (IND)
K Anderson (RSA) / J Erlich (ISR) vs P Herbert (FRA) / G Simon (FRA)
R Jebavy (CZE) / J Vesely (CZE) vs R Albot (MDA) / T Sandgren (USA)
B Mclachlan (JPN) / A Molteni (ARG) vs  H Podlipnik-Castillo (CHI) / A Vasilevski (BLR)
[WC] N Balaji (IND) / V Vardhan (IND) vs A Shamasdin (CAN) / N Skupski (GBR)
[WC] A Kadhe (IND) / B Paire (FRA) vs  R Haase (NED) / M Middelkoop (NED)
Source: Press release