Back in 1996, Swedish star Thomas Enqvist and Mark Petchey played the first game of this tournament’s history, when it was known as the India Open and held in April on the outdoor hard courts of Delhi. Enqvist went on to win the Open, and doubles legend Jonas Bjorkman won the Doubles event with Nicklas Kulti.
1997 onward, the event was shifted to Chennai, and continued to grow into the prestigious tournament it is today.
To be held from Jan 5-Jan 11 2015 at Chennai’s SDAT stadium, this ATP250 tournament will continue to host a formidable set of top-20 players, along with plenty of up-and-coming talents to give tennis fans plenty to cheer for.
- Defending Champion Stanislas Wawrinka is a 2-time winner, and along with Moya (2 titles, 1 final) is the most successful Singles player in the history of the tournament. Since Chennai 2014, Wawrinka has gone on to capture his first Grand Slam title (Australian Open) and is now a reigning Davis Cup Champion and World no. 4. He has confirmed his participation for 2015—his seventh consecutive year in Chennai.
- Marin Cilic is another 2-time Chennai Champion. He is now the US Open Champion, making 2014 the first year since 2003 where two players won their first Grand Slam titles.
- Rafael Nadal, holder of 14 Slam titles, reached the 2008 final after defeating his idol Carlos Moya in a 3.5 hour semi-final match. Nadal was demolished in the final by Russian Youzhny.
- Ex-winners include Aussie Pat Rafter, Byron Black, claycourt star Guillermo Canas, original Thai superstar Paradorn Srichaphan, Moya, Croatian Ljubicic, Xavier Malisse (Singles and Doubles in ’07), Milos Raonic and Janko Tipsarevic.
- Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes won the 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2011 Doubles titles. Paes went on to win the 2012 title with Tipsarevic.
- The only Indian to reach the Singles final is Somdev Devvarman against Cilic in 2009.
- The Kingfisher Airlines Tennis Open was the only other tournament in India (Mumbai) from 2006-07, which the likes of Tursunov, Gasquet, Berdych, Del Potro, Hewitt and Moya frequented.