Aurangabad: Players from 16 countries, including hosts India, would be seen in action at the Endurance-MSLTA USD10,000 Women’s ITF Tennis Championships which will be played and organized by the Endurance MSLTA Marathwada Tennis Centre here from March 5 to 10.

The Indian challenge is to be led by Prerna Bhambri, ranked 662nd in the world, while the other Indians who have made the main draw include Sharmada Balu (748), Nidhi Chilumula (765), Ashvarya Shrivastava (780) and Kyra Shroff (861), tournament director Sunder Iyer said on Friday.

“We have received an exceptionally high cut off for the event, as this is the first event in the ITF India swing of three events. The Aurangabad event will be followed by Mumbai and then the USD 25000 event at Bangalore,” he added.

Slovakia’s Dalila Jakupovic, ranked 408, Peangtarn Plipuech of Thailand (453), Deniz Khazaniuk of Isreal (458), Nicole Clerico of Italy (512) and Anja Prislan of Slovakia (518) are some of the top international players who have entered, he said.

“We are glad to be associated with an international women’s event and support the cause of women empowerment through sports and promote the game of tennis in Aurangabad,” said EMMTC chairperson Varsha Jain.

National doubles winner Ankita Raina of Gujarat, MSLTA Vision player Prarthana Thombare of Solapur – who participated in the Australian Open Junior this year, Natalia Khanejio and Vania Dangwal have been given the main draw wild cards.

The qualifying matches will be played tomorrow onwards while the main draw matches are to start on March 5. The semifinals and finals would be held on March 9 and 10.

Asia’s lone woman gold badge referee Sheetal Iyer has been designated as the ITF supervisor of the event.

The title winner will get 18 WTA points and USD 1568, the runner up will get 10 WTA points and USD 980. The doubles winners will get 18 WTA points and USD 637, while the runners up will get 10 WTA points and USD 343.