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TOP PLAYERS TO FIRE UP NEW SEASON BATTLING FOR GLORY AND HONOUR AT AIRCEL CHENNAI OPEN 2014

Multiple ATP World Tour Title holders Stanislas Wawrinka, Mikhail Youzhny, Fabio Fognini, defending champion Janko Tipsarevic, confirm participation

Impressive lineup marked by lowest ever cut off in history of tournament

Chennai, 21 November 2013: Setting new benchmarks in offering the world’s top tennis stars an outstanding platform to compete in the sport, the 19th edition of the Aircel Chennai Open will present an exceptional lineup of top talent marked by the lowest ever cut off in the history of tournament.

Cutting off at 89, the strong player field for the region’s most exciting and hard fought tennis tournament will see an inspiring array of players and include thrilling talent such as World No. 8 Stanislas Wawrinka, World No. 15 Mikhail Youzhny, World No. 16 Fabio Fognini, and Defending Singles Champion Janko Tipsarevic. The 2014 edition marks only the second time in the history of the tournament where three returning singles champions form part of the playing field.

Other leading players who will add excitement to the event include France’s Benoit Paire, Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, Spaniards Marcel Granollers & Roberto Bautista-Agut, and Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vesselin.

2014 will mark the 19th edition of India and South Asia’s premier ATP World Tour tennis event that boasts prize money of USD 450000. From 30th December 2013 to 5th January 2014, the tournament will offer tennis fans an opportunity to enjoy scintillating tennis action at Chennai’s SDAT Tennis Stadium.

At the forefront of the singles draw will be 28-year-old World No. 8 Stanislas Wawrinka, who will be visiting Chennai for the sixth consecutive year to vie for the crown. Wawrinka has had a terrific 2013 season, qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and giving a tough fight to the world’s leading players. The Lausanne native reached the semi-finals of the season finale in his debut and though he fell to winner Novak Djokovic, he finished the year on a high, compiling a career-best 51-23 match record on the season – including nine wins against Top 10 players. Last year, Wawrinka wowed onlookers when he partnered Frenchman Benoit Paire to lift the tournament’s 2013 doubles title in a match that lasted less than an hour.

Defending Champion, World No. 36 Janko Tipsarevic had a dream start to 2013 when he captured the fourth ATP World Tour title of his career, defeating Roberto Bautista Agut in three sets 3–6, 6–1, 6–3 in Chennai. Janko exhibited consistent performance reaching five quarter-finals including the US Open, six semi-finals, and two finals including the one at Aircel Chennai Open and winning his first title of the season in Stuttgart.

The 2013 season started for World No. 15 Mikhail Youzhny on an incredibly positive note as he recorded his 400th career ATP World Tour-level singles win over Benjamin Becker in Doha. He finished runner-up in Halle final losing to Roger Federer and after that became the first Russian champion in 18 years at Gstaad, defeating Robin Haase. Reaching the US Open quarterfinals for the third time, beating Haas in round three and Hewitt in round four boosted Youzhny’s confidence. He went on to win his second ATP World Tour crown of the season and lifted the 10th trophy of career with victory over fellow 31-year-old David Ferrer at the Valencia Open 500. It was Youzhny’s 10th career title and first victory over a Top 5 opponent since 2010, when he upset Novak Djokovic in the Rotterdam semi-finals. He also added to the impressive title count of players over 30, in 2013, becoming the fourth such player to win multiple titles this year. He became the Chennai Open’s 2008 singles champion when he routed Spain’s Rafael Nadal 6-0, 6-1 in the final.

Italy’s Fabio Fognini, the current World No. 16, will be another player to watch out for at the forthcoming tournament. The right-handed player finished the past two seasons inside the Top 50 of the Emirates ATP Rankings and 2013 has been best Fognini’s best year thus far. He won 13 straight matches over three weeks and catapulted into the Top 20. His victories saw him capturing his first ATP World Tour title at the Mercedes Cup with a comeback win over Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber. Fognini then went on to defeat players such as Tommy Haas and Nicolas Almagro to reach the German Tennis Championships final. The 26-year-old clinched the ATP World Tour 500 title and broke into the Top 20 by saving three match points against Federico Delbonis. He replicated that feat against Gael Monfils in the semi-finals of the Vegeta Croatia Open Umag just days later to reach his third final in as many weeks. Though his run ended when he lost to Tommy Robredo, Fognini reached a career-high No. 16 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

The Italian has impressed the tennis community on all three surfaces, particularly at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, where he recorded back-to-back Top 10 victories against Tomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet en route to the semi-finals. Armed with a collection of strong victories and in top form, it will be interesting to watch him play at the Aircel Chennai Open 2014.

World No. 26 Benoit Paire, who reached the semi-finals of the tournament last year, will be back in Chennai yet again. Last year, Paire teamed up with Wawrinka to win the tournament’s doubles crown.

Exciting international names in the main draw such as Canada’s Vasek Pospisil (No. 32), Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vesselin (No. 52), Spaniards Marcel Granollers (No. 38), Roberto Bautista-Agut (No. 59), Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (No. 63), and Pablo Carreno Busta (No. 65), and China’s Yen-Hsun Lu (No. 66) are other names to watch out for and make this year’s tournament an intensely exciting affair.

The Alternates list of the tournament includes World No. 90 and India’s ace player Somdev Devvarman. Other proficient players comprise 27-year-old World No. 99 Sergiy Stakhovsky who stunned Roger Federer by defeating him at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, and Japan’s Go Soeda who beat Wawrinka at Chennai in 2012.

Speaking on the announcement, Tom Annear, Tournament Director, Aircel Chennai Open said “We at the Aircel Chennai Open are once again looking forward to delivering a world class event that the City can be proud of and that tennis fans throughout the region can truly enjoy. Being the opening event on the ATP tour calendar, and with four of the World’s top-30 ranked players already committed to compete, we expect the 2014 tournament to be one of the strongest and most exciting in recent memory.”

Anupam Vasudev, Chief Marketing Officer, Aircel said, “Aircel has hosted the India’s premier tennis tournament, the Aircel Chennai Open for 4 successful years and are delighted to continue with this association in our 5th successive year. The Aircel Chennai Open has played an important role in growing the popularity of Tennis in India, particularly amongst our key target audience -Young India & the youth. This year, once again the Aircel Chennai Open has attracted amongst the world’s finest players and promises to be an exciting season of tennis.”

Mr. M.A Alagappan, President of Tamil Nadu Tennis Association said, “Now in its 19th edition, the Aircel Chennai Open has grown into South Asia’s premier sporting extravaganza. We would like to express our gratitude to the Government of Tamil Nadu and all our sponsors for their support. We would also like to thank the players, thanks to whose presence, we witness exciting action and great sportsmanship at display. The presence of prominent players such as Stanislas Wawrinka, Mikhail Youzhny, Fabio Fognini, Benoit Paire and Janko Tipsarvic will provide tennis enthusiasts some world class action.”

Ashu Jindal, Chief Operating Officer, IMG Reliance said, “Aircel Chennai Open 2014 continues to offer a highly competitive players line-up. We are pleased that the cut off this year is the lowest in the history of the tournament. The field includes one of Chennai’s favourite champions Stanislas Wawrinka and Janko Tipsarevic apart from Mikhail Youzhny, Fabio Fognini and Benoit Paire, who have had fantastic playing seasons. We thank the many organisations and individuals who support us at every stage of the tournament, especially the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association for their relentless support and all our sponsors, who have helped make this event what it is today.”

The Title Sponsor for the tournament is Aircel and the event is supported by the Government of Tamil Nadu and a consortium of sponsors.

About Aircel Chennai Open 2014

The USD 450,000 Aircel Chennai Open, owned by IMG and operated and organised by IMG Reliance, is India’s and South Asia’s only ATP World Tour event. Started in 1996, by IMG, a global leader in sports management and marketing, the event has completed successful years of existence, branding Chennai and India on the global tennis map thus creating a legacy of sorts of promoting international tennis in India. Winner of the prestigious ATP’s Player Services Award of Excellence (2006) for its outstanding organization and wonderful hospitality towards the participants and ATP’s Best Marketing Award (2008), the tournament has acquired the status of a much sought-after tennis event for both players and fans alike in the International tennis circuit. The 19th edition of the event in India and 18th in Chennai will be held from December 30, 2013 to January 5, 2014 at the SDAT Tennis stadium in Nungambakkam, Chennai. The tournament is conducted in Chennai under the aegis of the All India Tennis Association (AITA) and is organised with the active collaboration of the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) and Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA).

About Aircel Limited

Aircel is one of India’s leading pan India operators. It won 3G spectrum in 13 circles and BWA spectrum in 8 circles and has successfully launched 3G services which is the fastest 3G roll out ever in the Indian Telecom Space. Aircel has been constantly innovating products and services and is credited with making 3G affordable to masses by launching Pocket Internet Smart which offers best value 3G packs. Aircel Pocket Internet Smart gave a boost to 3G adoption in the country as it is a true value for money product that allows consumers to access unlimited 3G data at extremely affordable prices. Aircel has positioned itself as a data led telecom player and has addressed the multi-functionality of a mobile phone in many innovative ways which are Industry firsts, be it the Aircel Pocket Internet, Pocket Internet Games and Facebook Voice Updates on Aircel. Aircel is also a preferred telecom network to launch Apple iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. Recently, the company has become the proud recipient of coveted awards such as Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards (AREA) 2012 South Asia by Enterprise Asia, ‘Excellence Award for Security in Telecom 2012’ by Data Security Council of India (DSCI) an institution setup by NASSCOM® and ‘Best in class Learning and Development Awards’ for ‘Innovation in Learning’ and ‘Best Training Venue’ by World HRD Congress 2013. For more information, please log onto our website www.aircel.com and follow us on Twitter @AircelNews

About IMG Tennis

For nearly four decades, IMG Tennis has led the industry in the areas of player representation, tournament management, tour marketing, television-related initiatives, and teaching academies. The company’s rich heritage in tennis dates back to 1968 with the signing of its first tennis client, Rod Laver, by Mark H. McCormack. IMG Tennis anticipates the trends, nurtures the talent, and maximizes the opportunities for players, organizations, corporate marketers, and fans of tennis. IMG represents many top players on both the WTA and ATP Tours, along with a bevy of future stars poised to make their mark on the professional game. IMG also prides itself on representing many of the legends of the game. IMG’s roster of tennis clients includes Novak Djokovic, Bjorn Borg, Lindsay Davenport, Chris Evert, Mary Joe Fernandez, John McEnroe, Monica Seles, Maria Sharapova, and Venus Williams.

About IMG Reliance

In 2010 Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), India’s largest and most recognized private sector company, and IMG Worldwide (IMG), the world’s leading sports marketing and management company, announced the formation of an equal joint venture to develop, market and manage sports and entertainment in India. The joint venture company, IMG Reliance Pvt. Ltd., will create and operate major sports and entertainment assets in the country. In its first initiative, IMG Reliance entered into an agreement with the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) to create a new professional basketball league and manage all aspects of the commercial rights to the game in India. IMG Reliance signed a 15-year agreement with the AIFF, to improve, popularize and promote the game of football throughout India, from the grassroots to the professional level. IMG Reliance has also created a scholarship program to identify and train talented young Indians from sports including – basketball, soccer and tennis–at IMG’s world-class sports training facilities at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Florida.

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Ali Asgar to play the character of ‘Bua’ in ‘Jeannie Aur Juju’

Ali Asgar, who plays the character of Vicky in Jeannie Aur Juju, will be seen playing the role of a female character once again but this time as Vicky’s ‘Bua’. The audience will be in for a comic surprise to see the dual characters, performing differently with loads of humor and entertainment.

Ali, who is popular for portraying female roles, considers the transformation from one character to another quite easy. Playing a female character is not a big challenge for him. The time and effort which goes on make-up and costume change, does not affect Ali. He reads his script and instantly adapts to any role he is presented with. It will be interesting to watch Ali as he constantly shifts between the two roles and he knows his job well.

While speaking with Ali, he said, “Bua is full of life, she is jovial, funny, loving, unmarried and lives life king size. It was a pleasant experience to play two characters simultaneously. The viewers will enjoy watching Bua, as she bonds with Jeannie and others.”

Interestingly Bua’s character has a connection with the fantasy world of ‘Jinland’ as she loved a Genie in the past. Jeannie and Jia are on a mission to find Bua’s love interest from Jinland and reunite them.

To catch all the fun and excitement, tune into SAB TV’s Jeannie Aur Juju,

Monday– Friday at 9:30 pm only on SAB TV!

Rajendra Ganotra is the Editor of Spicy Stars Mumbai

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