New Delhi, Oct 7

AS the old guard takes the backseat, Indian tennis will be looking for new faces as the Fenesta Open National Tennis Championships starts here Monday at the R.K.Khanna Tennis Complex.

With the All India Tennis Association (AITA) deciding to sideline rebel Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna till 2014 and Leander Paes not getting any younger, this will be a chance for some of the talented youngsters to take the national court.

And yet, the next generation of Indian tennis players defending champion Yuki Bhambri, runners-up Vishnu Vardhan, Sanam Singh, Divij Sharan will be missing the action since they are busy with the ATP Challenger Series in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

In their absence, Tamil Nadu's Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan has been given top billing while Uttar Pradesh's Siddharth Rawat has been seeded second and Andhra boy P.C. Vignesh has been seeded third.

This will be the best oppurtunity for 24-year-old Jeevan to impress the selectors.

In the women's section, Rishika Sunkara is the top seed while Ankita Raina of Gujarat is second. Andhra girl Nidhi Chilumula has got the third billing.

Ankita had a good run at the Bidar Open, where she reached the semi-finals losing to eventual winner Wing Yau Venise Chan of Hong Kong.

Delhi girl Prerna Bhambri, 20, has been seeded fourth and will look to carry her recent form into the national championship. She last week won the Gulbarga Open defeating China's Yi Zang in straight sets bagging a prize purse of $1,568.

The men's champion shall win a prize purse of Rs.1.50 lakh while the runner-up will take home Rs.1 lakh. The women's winner will win Rs.1 lakh and the runner-up Rs.65,000.


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