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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Winter Nationals Report, Photos; ATP Chennai Open Has Virginia Connection

Julie Wrege of The Tennis Recruiting Network was in Scottsdale Arizona for the 16s and 18s finals and filed this report on the four matches today. There is also a featured photos album for the Winter Nationals here.

The 2009 professional tennis tours kick off Monday in Auckland New Zealand, Brisbane Australia (where Bernard Tomic has a wild card), in Doha Qatar (where Nadal, Federer, Murray and Roddick are competing), and in Chennai India (where two-time NCAA champion Somdev Devvarman has been given a wild card to compete in his hometown event).

Indian tennis has been regularly in the news the past few weeks, but not just to congratulate Yuki Bhambri on his Orange Bowl victory and rise to the No. 2 spot in the ITF junior world rankings. The Indian government has adopted a new policy that allows only those holding passports from India to represent the country, which means that U.S. passport holders Sunitha Rao and Shikha Uberoi won't be on India's Fed Cup team, and Prakash Amritraj, who grew up in Southern California, isn't eligible for future Davis Cup ties.

That decision and the lead up to the Chennai Open has produced quite a few stories on the state of Indian tennis. In this interview with Leander Paes, Devvarman is touted as the country's next star, and in this article, Devvarman talks about his training with Andy Roddick.

In an interesting matchup of junior vs. college tennis in today's first round of Chennai qualifying, wild card Sanam Singh, a sophomore at the University of Virginia, defeated Bhambri 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. For complete results, visit the ATP's Chennai Open page.