Bangalore:Now the Bangalore Open has for the past couple of years been our showpiece international Tennis event. And now, there's more money and prestige involved. The tournament has been upgraded to Tier II status, and there's prize money worth $US 600,000 up for grabs.
It's not just the tennis fraternity, which is celebrating the up gradation of the Bangalore Open to a Tier-II Tournament from this year. Stars from other sports had come out for the launch of the event that will take place in March.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee Pankaj Advani said just the other day somebody asked me what's on your wish list for 2008 and I said Bangalore should host an international sporting event. With the announcement of the Bangalore Open going to start on March 3rd I think my wish is going to come true.
When asked Vijay Amritraj The Bangalore Open being upgraded - what does it mean on the ground? He said It's means it's a stronger field, more prize money, more points and gives the best players in the world an opportunity to come and play a major event in my home country. At $600 000 in prize money which is a lot more than any other tournament in the country, men or women - and the points also - 300 WTA points if you win the tournament - so I think the incentive is already there which makes the field much stronger but then again it makes the competition much stronger so to win will be much more difficult.
Big names are expected - particularly since it does not clash with any other women's event - and while the final names will be announced only after the cut off date of January 21st, Sania Mirza is expected to be here and what will be the biggest women's tennis event in south and South East Asia.
Former Davis Cup Captain Vijay Amritraj said that among the women events there is no comparison - this is the number one event in the country by far - and by sheer magnitude of prize money we are bigger than all the other events as well, men or women.