This tournament has been India's largest tennis event since 1996. The event has attracted some of the best names in the tennis circuit since its inception and the number of repeat players bears testament to the popularity of the event.
The event has featured stars of the tennis world and some of the players to grace the courts here include Rafael Nadal, Boris Becker, Carlos Moya, Richard Krajicek, Patrick Rafter, Yvgeny Kafelnikov, Byron Black and India's own Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi.
The event was started in 1996 as the McDowell Open in Delhi. In 1997, it was moved to Chennai as the Gold Flake Open and the name was subsequently changed to the Tata Open in 2002 following a change in the title sponsor. From 2005-2009, the Chennai Open was co-sponsored by the Tamil Nadu Government. The event now has a new title sponsor - Aircel, and is called Aircel Chennai Open. Support for the event also comes from the Tamil Nadu Government along with a consortium consisting of Indian Bank, United India Insurance and Murugappa Group under the Platinum category.
Aircel Chennai Open 2015
Tennis fever took over the SDAT Tennis Stadium at Nungambakkam on the opening day of the Aircel Chennai Open 2015 as the curtains went up on the 20th anniversary of India's only and South Asia's premier ATP tour event. Enthusiastic tennis fans were in their seats bright and early as the first ball was hit. Featuring some of the biggest names in the sport, this landmark edition was not one to be missed.
After 6 days of scorching the courts, top seed and defending singles champion Stan Wawrinka spelt straight sets magic, taking down Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene to win his third singles final at Aircel Chennai Open in a match that lasted just over an hour. With this win, Wawrinka successfully defended a title for the first time in his career, and became the first back-to-back winner in Chennai since Marin Cilic in 2009-10. With this win, Wawrinka has written his name firmly in history books, becoming the first player to win the title thrice!
In the doubles final, Yen-Hsun Lu and Jonathan Marray got the better of top seed Leander Paes and Raven Klaasen. With the 5000-strong crowd rooting firmly for the top seeds, Lee-Raven came a cropper losing the title in straight sets, but starting their partnership on a strong footing for the season ahead.
Apart from the electrifying matches on the court, the players took part in various activities off court to mark the 20th year of ACO in India. Star players Feliciano Lopez, Somdev Devvarman and other top performers enthralled audiences when they took to the ramp at the Performax opening fashion show along with show stopper Shriya Saran.
Players were seen showing off their skill behind the bar and in the kitchen too! Feliciano Lopez learnt how to make cocktails at the official Player Party hosted by Bols, and competed with the Bols bartender. At a pasta and pizza cook-off hosted by hospitality partner, Hyatt Regency, Guillermo Lopez claimed the title with a lead of just 0.5 points!
As a part of the celebration, the organisers held an exclusive trophy tour in the lead up to the tournament where they visited Chennai's most prominent landmarks including 12 schools, 14 colleges, 6 IT Parks, 5 Public Parks & locations and 3 Tennis Academies over a course of two weeks. While fans young and old grabbed the fantastic chance to witness the premier ATP tennis symbol - The Trophy - in their own neighbourhood and take pictures with it, the Tour also offered people a chance to participate in exciting quiz sessions and an Aircel Fastest Serve Challenge to win loads of exciting prizes.
To commemorate fantastic achievements, unforgettable moments and offer Chennai's tennis lovers an opportunity to travel back in time and relive two decades of magic, the organizers created an exclusive Aircel Chennai Open Museum in the stadium in honour of the 20th anniversary celebrations.
In the spirit of festivity, ACO along with real estate partner, Casa Grande organised a tennis clinic for 150 aspiring youngsters to hone their skills with personal interactions by professional Indian and international tennis players. NGO partner, Magic Bus invited 350 children to participate in the Kid's Tennis Clinic which was a super hit despite the scorching sun above!
Casa Grande also announced the launch of Casa Grande Aspiring Stars, an initiative to encourage and sponsor young sporting talent in India. The programme will nurture deserving young players in sports by funding their coaching, equipment, nutrition and other essential needs.
All in all, Aircel Chennai Open 2015 was truly one for the books with a larger-than-life line up of players and entertainment both on and off the court.
Aircel Chennai Open 2014
The Aircel Chennai Open 2014, was the 19th edition of South Asia's only marquee ATP event. It was held at the SDAT stadium in Chennai from December 30th 2013 to January 5th 2014.
The event attracted some of the finest names in tennis including ATP Singles World No. 8 and 2011 winner Stanislas Wawrinka, ATP Singles World No. 15 and 2008 champion Mikhail Youzhny, ATP Singles World No.16 Fabio Fognini and defending champion Janko Tipsarevic. It was the second time that three former champions formed a part of the playing field. As in the previous years, the Indian contingent was represented strongly with the country's highest ranked player at No.90, Somdev Devvarman leading the charge. Ramkumar Ramanathan received entry from the qualifying draw while Yuki Bhambri and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan entered as wild cards.
Celebrating his 300th match win at the event, Wawrinka played true to his top billing as he triumphed over seventh seeded Frenchman Eduard Roger-Vasselin 7-5, 6-2, in the singles final
Meanwhile, the Swede-Dane duo of Johan Brurnstrom and Frederik Nielsen won the doubles title defeating Croatian pair of Marin Draganja and Mate Pavic 6-2, 4-6 (10-7) in the final.
Aircel Chennai Open 2013
The 18th edition of the Aircel Chennai Open, which saw an inspiring display of tennis as South Asia's only ATP event, was held from December 31st 2012 to January 6th, 2013.
The star-studded field for the tournament comprised ATP Singles World No. 6 Tomas Berdych, ATP Singles World No 9 Janko Tipsarevic, previous ACO champions Marin Cilic (ATP Singles World No. 15) and Stanislas Wawrinka (ATP Singles World No. 17) as well as ATP Doubles World No. 5 Daniel Nestor. The Indian contingent for the event included Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri, Prakash Amritraj in singles and Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna in doubles. Both the singles and doubles fields in 2013 were arguably the most competitive line up the event has ever had.
Second seed Janko Tipsarevic beat Roberto Bautista-Agut 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 to capture his first Aircel Chennai Open title on his sixth visit to this hard-court tennis tournament. In the doubles event, unseeded Stanislas Wawrinka and Benoit Paire beat Andre Begemann and Martin Emmrich 6-2, 6-1.
Aircel Chennai Open 2012
2012 hailed the 17th edition of South Asia's only ATP event, held from January 2nd to January 8th.
Leading the star studded field for the event was Janko Tipsarevic and Nicolas Almagro, world numbers 9 and 10 respectively. They were joined by returning champion Stanislas Wawrinka and 2011 ATP Newcomer of the Year, Milos Raonic.
There was a strong India contingent top seeded doubles pair Mahesh Bhupathi & Rohan Bopanna as well as singles wildcards Vishnu Vardhan and Yuki Bhambri and doubles wildcards Balaji & Nedunchezhiyan and Jayaprakash & Ramanathan.
Milos Raonic edged out top seed Janko Tipsarevic 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 to take the singles crown in a marathon match that lasted three hours and 16 minutes. He defeated second seed Nicolas Almagro on his way to clinching his second career ATP title. In the doubles event, the first time pair of Leander Paes and Janko Tipsarevic defeated fourth seeds Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram 6-4, 6-4, marking Paes' sixth doubles victory in Chennai.
Aircel Chennai Open 2011
Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic, Stanislas Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet led the star-studded field for the 16th edition of the Aircel Chennai Open. There was strong Indian interest via the direct appearence of Somdev Devvarman and wild cards Yuki Bhambri and Rohan Bopanna in singles, the much awaited reunion of Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes as the first seed, and second seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (the Indo-Pak Express) in doubles.
Stanislas Wawrinka won the Singles title by beating Xavier Malisse 7-5, 4-6, 6-1. He beat the top seeded Tomas Berdych in the semi-final 6-4, 6-1. In the doubles event, top seeded Indian pair Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes defeated Robin Haase and David Martin 6-2, 6-7 (3), 10-7 to win the title.
Aircel Chennai Open 2010
2010 saw the 15th year of South Asia's only ATP World Tour event. The event now with a new title sponsor Aircel has become 'Aircel Chennai Open' and is supported by The Government of Tamil Nadu and a consortium of committed sponsors and partners.
The star-studded field for the Aircel Chennai Open 2010 comprised ATP Singles World No. 8 Robin Soderling, ATP Singles World No 13 and Defending Champion Marin Cilic, ATP Singles World No. 21 Stanislaus Wawrinka, French Open Champion and Former World No. 1 - Carlos Moya, 2009 finalist and India's No. 1 Somdev Dev Varman and World Junior No. 1 Yuki Bhambri. The field in 2010 was arguably one of the most open and competitive line up the event has ever had.
Marin Cilic became only the second player to win back-to-back Chennai Open titles. He beat Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6(2) 7-6(3) in a tense and fitting final. The doubles title was won by second seeded team Marcel Granollers and Santiago Ventura after they beat Yen-Hsun Lu and Janko Tipsarevic 7-5 6-2.
Chennai Open 2009
The 14th edition of the Chennai Open saw an inspiring display of tennis from an Indian in the singles draw for the very first time. Wild card Somdev Devvarman beat the likes of Carlos Moya and 6'10" Ivo Karlovic before Marin Cilic ended his streak in the final.
Marin Cilic beat the Indian 6-4 7-6(3) to win his second ATP career title. Eric Butorac and Rajeev Ram clinched the doubles title, beating Jean-Claude Scherrer and Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3,6-4.
The event was held from 5th-11th January 2009. Other top players in singles included Nikolay Davydenko, Stanislas Wawrinka, Janko Tipsarevic, and Marcel Granollers. The two doubles top seeds were Bhupathi/Knowles and Dlouhy/Paes.
Chennai Open 2008
The Chennai Open 2008, was the 13th edition of the ATP event being held in India. Held from the 31st of December 2007 to the 6th of January 2008. This year saw World No.2 Rafael Nadal leading the charge along with 3 other top 20 ranked players- Marcos Baghdatis, Carlos Moya and Mikhail Youzhny.
2008 showcased some exhilarating tennis. One match in particular stood out- the semi-final clash between World No.2 Rafael Nadal and World No.17 and Chennai favourite Carlos Moya turned out to be the longest 3 set match in ATP and Chennai Open history with Nadal coming out on top with a 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 victory.
Mikhail Youzhny clinched his 4th ATP title taming a clearly exhausted Rafael Nadal in the finals with a 6-0, 6-1 score line. The doubles final saw the Ratiwatana twins Sonchai and Sonchat, claiming their 2nd ATP title defeating Marcos Baghdatis and Marc Gicquel in a gripping 6-4, 7-5 victory.
Chennai Open 2007
The 2007 event was the twelfth ATP event held in India, the tennis-crazy city of Chennai having played host to the event during the past ten years. The tournament was supported by the Government of Tamil Nadu and a group of committed sponsors and partners.
Chennai open 2007 - Xavier Malisse created history in the Chennai Open Championships by being the first to win both the singles and doubles title back to back. Malisse's dynamism and flawless strategy helped him rule the Chennai Open Championship. He took over Koubek in straight sets 6-1, 6-3. The Belgian scored six aces in the match, and his consistent, hard hitting forehand helped him dictate points all along. He later partnered with Dick Norman to win the doubles title too. In a tough fight with Rafael Nadal and Bartalome Salva-Vidal, the Belgian pair raced out and closed the match 7-6(4), 7-6(4).
Chennai Open 2006
The 2006 event was the eleventh ATP event held in India, the tennis-crazy city of Chennai having played host to the event during the past nine years.
This year too the field was of a high-calibre with World #5 Carlos Moya, Paradorn Srichaphan, Rainer Schuettler and Jonas Bjorkman fighting it out for the singles title. The singles crown was won by Ivan Ljubicic who edged out Carlos Moya in a closely fought encounter 7-6(8-6), 6-2. The pair of Michal Mertinak(SVK) and Petr Pala(CZE) clinched the doubles title, beating Prakash Amritraj (IND) & Rohan Bopanna(IND) 6-2,7-5.
Chennai Open 2005
The 2005 event was the tenth ATP event held in India, the tennis-crazy city of Chennai having played host to the event during the past eight years. The tournament was the first edition in a new avatar; called the Chennai Open and supported by the Government of Tamil Nadu and a group of committed sponsors and partners.
This year too the field was of a high-calibre with World #5 Carlos Moya, Paradorn Srichaphan, Rainer Schuettler and Jonas Bjorkman fighting it out for the singles title. The singles crown was won by Carlos Moya who edged out Paradorn Srichaphan in a closely fought encounter 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(5). The pair of Rainer Schuettler and Yun Hsun Lu clinched the doubles title, beating Mahesh Bhupathi & Jonas Bjorkman 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(4).
Tata Open 2004
The 2004 edition of the Tata Open, held from January 5th to 11th, featured a strong playing field headed by the defending champion Paradorn Srichaphan. Former world no. 1 Carlos Moya also made his return to Chennai and other players included world no. 17 Sjeng Schalken, world no. 21 Tommy Robredo and world no. 22 Felix Mantilla.
In a match worthy of a final, the top seed, Carlos Moya from Spain, beat second seed and the defending champion Paradorn Srichaphan from Thailand, in a pulsating three-setter to win the Tata Open 2004 title. In a match that went to the wire, the unlucky loser was the Thai, who was playing his third consecutive final at Chennai. In his first final at Chennai, Moya won 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5).
In the doubles final, Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram went down fighting in a three setter to Rafael Nadal & Tommy Robredo 6-7(3-7), 6-4, 3-6.
Tata Open 2003
The fight for this year's honours was led by defending champion Guillermo Canas, 2002 runner-up Paradorn Srichaphan, Sjeng Schalken, Juan Ignacio Chela, Andrei Pavel and Rainer Schuettler.
The battle for the singles title saw last year's semi-finalist Karol Kucera reach the finals after ousting Canas in the 2nd round. In the other half of the draw Srichaphan, now a local favourite, steamrolled to the final without dropping a set. In this irrepressible form, even Kucera's vast experience and composure could not come up with an answer to Asia's best, Srichaphan winning 6-3, 6-1.
The doubles saw Indian favourites Lee-Hesh return with new partners, but not much luck. Mahesh, together with Todd Woodbridge stumbled at the semis. Leander, partnering David Rikl, managed a 2nd round exit. In a hard fought doubles tie, Julian Knowle & Michael Kohlmann overcame Frantisek Cermak & Leos Friedl 7-6(1), 7-6(3).
Tata Open 2002
With a new title sponsor - The Tata Group, the best international tennis player field ever in India, and the most informed fans in the country, the Nungambakkam tennis stadium courts in Chennai hosted an unforgettable week of smashing tennis action at the Tata Open 2002 held from December 31st 2001 and January 6th 2002.
This year's event saw Thomas Johansson, Fabrice Santoro, Andrei Pavel, defending champion Michal tabara, runner-up Stoliarov and Dominic Hrbaty battle it out for the singles title. In the end, top seed Guillermo Canas battled it out with the 22-year old 'Thai-ger' Paradorn Srichaphan. The Argentinian won a match that was closer than the score would indicate - 6-4, 7-6, though it was the Thai player who endeared himself to the crowd and proved he was a player to watch out for.
The doubles event saw Paes & Bhupathi lifting their fourth doubles title in Chennai, winning 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 against the Czechs, Fukarek & Cibulec.
Gold Flake Open 2001
The Gold Flake Open 2001, held from January 1st to 7th, marked the start of a fresh ATP Champion's Race, attracting one of the ‘deepest' fields in the history of the event. Headed by the world no. 4 Magnus Norman, the event featured Argentinian Franco Squillari, who finished the year at no. 14 and Frenchman Cedric Pioline. But for local crowds, the return of the top Indian doubles pair of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi was the real highpoint. The ace duo were back at the very place that their glorious run started with their first ATP tour title in 1997.
The finals was contested, however, by the new breed of international tennis stars. In a match that ended in a closely fought tie-breaker, Michal Tabara beat Andrei Stoliarov 6-2, 7-6(7-4), with both players playing their first ever ATP final. In the doubles, the Indian duo fell at the semis, paving the way for Byron & Wayne Black to win their first ATP doubles title together, accounting for Barry Cowan and Mose Navarra 6-3,6-4.
Gold Flake Open 2000
The Gold Flake Open 2000, held from January 3rd - 9th, attracted a field of international players stronger than ever before, with four players in the top 25 of the ATP tour rankings. This reflected the growing importance of the event amongst the players. The field included world number two Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia, world no. 13 Cedric Pioline of France, defending champion Byron Black of Zimbabwe and India's own Leander Paes.
Once the event began, the top seeds except Pioline toppled early. World no. 38 Frenchman Jerome Golmard emerged triumphant in his first tournament after a seven month injury break, beating surprise finalist Markus Hantschk of Germany 6-3, 6-7(6-8), 6-3 to claim the winners cheque of US$ 54,000.
Julien Boutter of France and Christophe Rochus of Belgium beat India's new heroes Prahlad Srinath and Saurav Panja 7-5, 6-1 to win the doubles title in straight sets.
Gold Flake Open 1999
The greatest tennis show in India returned to Chennai between April 5th and 11th, 1999. Adding glitter to this year's field were two top ten players - recent world no. 1 and reigning French Open champion ‘King' Carlos Moya of Spain and Karol Kucera from Slovakia. Other big guns included Swede Thomas Johansson, American Jonathan Stark and the previous year's runner up Michael Tillstrom. Last but not the least, Indian favourites Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi were back to try and win their third straight Gold Flake Open doubles title.
In the end, dark horse Byron Black of Zimbabwe emerged triumphant in the singles with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 victory over German Rainer Schuttler and took home the winner's cheque of US$ 58,000. The doubles title was retained for the third year running by the Indian duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory over second seeds Wayne Black of Zimbabwe and Neville Godwin of South Africa.
Gold Flake Open 1998
The US$ 430,000 Gold Flake Open, the only ATP Tour World Series event in India, was played over a week from 6th to 12th April 1998 at Chennai. The event featured some of the biggest names in tennis including top seed Patrick Rafter, fourth seed Boris Becker and doubles legends Woodford and Woodbridge.
The singles final saw the return of the defending champion, Michael Tillstrom who faced top seed Patrick Rafter. Rafter played some outstanding tennis throughout the entire event, dropping just one set en route to the final, and took the singles title with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Tillstrom.
The doubles event began with the shock upset of tournament favorites and top seeds Woodbridge & Woodforde by Arnaud Clement & Jerome Golmard in the second round. Mahesh Bhupathi & Leander Paes provided the home crowd the excitement, retaining their doubles crown with a 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 victor against Olivier Delaitre & Max Mirnyi.
Gold Flake Open 1997
From April 7 to 13, 1997, India hosted the Gold Flake Open - a truly international World Series ATP Tour event in Chennai. The tournament featured the reigning Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek and the Wimbledon finalist Malavai Washington along with world no. 7 Thomas Enqvist of Sweden and India's Olympic medal winner Leander Paes.
The singles draw saw many seeds fall en route to the finals, which was contested by fifth seed Alex Radulescu and sixth seed Michael Tillstrom. Radulescu beat third seed Washington in the qurter finals, but went down fighting 4-6, 6-4, 5-7 to Tillstrom, whose victories in the earlier rounds included fourth seed Jonathan Stark and Andrei Pavel, who had earlier beaten the top seed.
The doubles title was lifted by the third seeded Indian pair of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, who beat the unseeded duo of Oleg Ogorodov & Eyal Ran 7-6 (4), 7-5 in a keenly contested final.