Scud set to fire in Indian Open - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Scud set to fire in Indian Open

28/12/2002 07:23:48 PM Comments (0)

Asian tennis sensation Paradorn Srichaphan and fit-again Mark Philippoussis will light up the season-opening $US400,000 ($A715,000) ATP Indian Open in Madras on Monday.

It was at the same event last January that Paradorn kickstarted his amazing run which lifted him into the top 100 for the first time and saw him end the year ranked 16th in the world.

Granted a last-minute entry for India's biggest tennis event, the 23-year-old Thai stunned a competitive field to reach the final where he lost to Guillermo Canas of Argentina.

Paradorn, who went on to add the Asian Games gold medal to his first two ATP titles at Long Island and Stockholm, returns to India hoping to continue where he left off last season.

"It was here that it all started, so this tournament is pretty important and emotional for me," the soft-spoken Thai said.

"A win here would be just the start I need in the new season."

Philippoussis, nicknamed 'Scud' for his missile-like serves, returns to the circuit after a four-month lay-off due to a knee injury sustained during the US Open in New York in August.

The Australian, who slipped from his career-best ranking of 11th in 2000 to 83 this year, starts the new season hungry to get back to the top and gain a berth in his country's Davis Cup squad.

A fully-fit Philippoussis is expected to take the second singles spot behind world number one Lleyton Hewitt in Australia's first round clash against Britain in Sydney in February.

"I am really looking forward to playing in India for the first time," the Scud said.

"I have heard great things about the tournament through other players and, hopefully, I can get a good start to the new year here."

Canas, ranked 15th in the world, returns to defend the title on the hard courts of the Nungambakkam stadium against a strong 32-man field that includes another top-20 player, Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands.

"Winning the last time in front of an enthusiastic crowd was very special," said the Argentine, who went on to take the Masters series crown in Toronto in July.

Home favourites Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathy will team up with different partners in the doubles despite winning their fourth Indian Open title 12 months ago.

Paes has paired with David Riki of the Czech Republic, while Bhupathy will take the court with Australian doubles specialist Todd Woodbridge.

All matches will be played under floodlights to beat the heat in this southern Indian coastal city.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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