WTA Chennai Open: French star Caroline Garcia, Belgium’s Elise Mertens pull out

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Indian
No.2
Karman
Kaur
Thandi
received
the
third
wild
card
and
would
join
the
country’s
top
player
Ankita
Raina
and
former
US
Open
finalist
Eugenie
Bouchard
(Canada)
in
the
singles
main
draw.

With
the
main
draw
set
to
get
underway
at
the
SDAT
Tennis
Stadium
on
Monday
(September
12),
Garcia,
ranked
No
17
in
the
world
prior
to
the
US
Open,
had
to
pull
out
of
the
event
due
to
scheduling
challenges,
a
release
from
the
organisers
said.

The
Frenchwoman
reached
the
semi-finals
of
the
US
Open
before
going
down
to
Tunisian
Ons
Jabeur
in
straight
sets
on
Thursday.

Garcia’s
decision
to
withdraw
would
mean
that
American
Alison
Riske-Amritraj,
ranked
29
before
the
start
of
the
US
Open,
is
likely
to
be
the
top-seed
in
the
singles.

Mertens,
a
former
world
No
12
and
a
US
Open
semi-finalist,
has
pulled
out
due
to
injury,
the
release
said.
The
Belgian
lost
in
the
first
round
of
the
women’s
singles
at
the
US
Open
and
pulled
out
of
her
subsequent
doubles
first
round
match
due
to
injury.

Tournament
Director
Hiten
Joshi
said
he
was
disappointed
with
the
withdrawal
of
the
two
players
but
hoped
to
see
them
in
India
in
the
near
future.

“We
are
very
disappointed
that
Caroline
and
Elise
have
had
to
withdraw
from
the
tournament.
We
wish
them
all
the
best
for
the
rest
of
their
season
and
hope
they
come
to
play
in
Chennai
very
soon,”
he
said.

Despite
their
pull-out,
Joshi
said
the
tournament
had
some
quality
players
and
the
fans
could
look
forward
to
interesting
action.

As
a
result
of
the
withdrawals
of
Garcia
and
Mertens,
Canadian
Carol
Zhao
and
Greece’s
Despina
Papamichail
have
moved
into
the
main
draw.


Five
Indians
in
qualifying
draw

Five
Indian
players
will
be
trying
their
luck
in
the
qualifying
rounds
for
the
WTA
250
event
which
will
begin
on
Saturday.

The
Indians
in
the
fray
are:
Rutuja
Bhosale,
Riya
Bhatia,
Sowjanya
Bavisetti,
Sai
Chamarthi
and
Lakshmi
Prabha
Arunkumar.

They
would
be
aiming
to
join
compatriots
Ankita
Raina
and
Karman
Kaur
Thandi
in
the
main
draw.

India’s
No.
3
ranked
singles
player
Rutuja
Bhosale
will
take
on
12th
seed
En-Shuo
Liang,
No.
4
Riya
Bhatia
will
battle
against
sixth
seed
Justina
Mikulskyte
and
the
country’s
No.
5
Sowjanya
Bavisetti
will
meet
11th
seed
Kyoka
Okamura
in
the
first
round
of
the
24-player
qualifying
draw.

Two
Tamil
Nadu
players

Sai
Chamarthi
and
Lakshmi
Prabha
Arunkumar

would
also
be
seen
in
action.
Chamarthi
would
run
into
second
seed
Nao
Hibino
while
16-year-old
Lakshmi
Prabha
would
face
top
seed
Yuki
Naito.
Players
need
to
win
two
qualifying
matches
to
secure
one
of
six
qualifying
spots
in
the
main
draw.

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