Wild card for Somdev, Berdych top seed in Chennai Open

India's No.1 singles player Somdev Devvarman was today accorded a wild card entry while World No.6 Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic has been given the top billing in the 18th ATP Aircel Chennai Open commencing here next month.

Devvarman, who had pulled out of the previous edition because of a recurring shoulder injury, has been given the first of the two wild cards for the event to be held at the SDAT Tennis Stadium from December 31 to January 6.

The playing field, sans defending champion Milos Raonic of Canada, will see both the India and International playersin action including Berdych, World No.9 Janko Tipsarevic, two-time former singles champion and World No.15 Marin Cilic and World No.17 Stanislas Wawrinka in addition to Benoit Paire, Robin Haase and Yen-Hsun Lu.

This will be 26-year-old Berdych's second visit to the tournament, who led the Czech team to victory against Spain at the Davis Cup Final held this past weekend.

Tipsarevic, who will be playing at the Chennai Open for the fifth successive year, made the fourth round of the Australian Open and reached a career-high ranking of nine in May before bagging his third title of the season.

He had a perfect close to the season by qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

Cilic, the 6ft 6inch Croatian, won the singles titles here in 2009 and 2010. He was in the 2012 field as the fourth seed but suffered a patella tendon injury, which ruled him out of the tournament as well as the season's first Grand Slam, the Australian Open.

Cilic gained momentum by reaching the Munich final in April this year. In July, he captured his eighth ATP World Tour title at the ATP Vegeta Croatia Open Umag.

Switzerland's Wawrinka, who will also be a part of this season's draw for the fifth straight year, is eyeing a winning start like the previous edition.

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