Chennai: Four tennis players from Tamil Nadu have been given wild card entries into the doubles main draw of the Aircel Chennai Open, slated to be held from January 2-8.

Depending on the draw, the young Indian doubles pairing of Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and N Sriram Balaji along with Ramkumar Ramanathan and Mohit Mayur would be fighting against their senior professionals Leander Paes and Janko Tipservic and Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna in the doubles event.

Following the split between Paes and Bhupathi, Indian tennis fans are in for a special treat this New Year with the country's top three doubles players - Mahesh and Rohan pairing up, while Leander having Janko Tipservic as his partner. All three Indian stars have already confirmed participation in the event.

For Jeevan, Sriram, Ramkumar and Mohit it will be their maiden appearance at the Chennai Open.

Left-handed Nedunchezhiyan, with a singles ranking of 556, is the highest-ranked among the four players, all of whom are well-established in the national circuit.

As part of the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association's Advanced Players Program, the development of these players, including overseas training at Schuttler-Waske Tennis University in Germany and Sanchez-Casal Academy in Spain, has been supported by the TNTA.

MA Alagappan, president, Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, said: "It's heartening to know that four young players from Tamil Nadu will get an opportunity to showcase their talent on a truly international stage. These opportunities go a long way in developing the confidence of young players and I wish the boys the very best."

Fernando Soler, Tournament Director and Head of Tennis, IMG Worldwide, said: "The move not only helps promote home grown talent, it also infuses more spectator interest. Chennai is known as the 'cradle of Indian tennis' and the passionate fans love their tennis."

(Agencies)