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The WTA tour tournament to air LIVE and Exclusive on ESPN STAR Sports

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Bangalore, February 10, 2006: ESPN STAR Sports, Asia’s number one sports broadcaster, will telecast LIVE & exclusive the Bangalore Open, the WTA tour tier III tournament to be played at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association Signature-Kingfisher Stadium from February 13, 2006. Sania Mirza, the World number 32, will be leading the Indian contingent at the tournament.

R C Venkateish, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said, “Bangalore Open will see some of the best in Women’s tennis battle for supremacy. India will witness 14 of the top 100 tennis stars exhibiting their talent in one of the biggest tennis tournaments of the country.”

“After showcasing the Chennai Open and Australian Open in January, this certainly adds to our bouquet offering top tournaments and series in the world of international sports. We aim to deliver international quality production and package for all tennis enthusiasts in India. The following for the sport is on the rise with the likes of Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and more recently Sania Mirza doing India proud in world Tennis. ” Added Venkateish.

Touted to be Asia’s largest tennis spectacle, Bangalore Open 2006, a Tier III tennis tournament, is organised by Globosport, the sports management company set up by Mahesh Bhupathi under the auspices of the Government of Karnataka. With the explosion of talent in women's tennis in India, the Bangalore Open 2006 will allow Indians to see a new generation of Indian women take on the best in the world in their own backyard.

Mahesh Bhupathi, Managing Director, Globosport, said, “We are extremely pleased to be associated with ESPN STAR Sports for Bangalore Open 2006. Being a premier tournament, we are indeed delighted that the leader in international sport will be showing the tournament live, providing India’s tennis fans a chance to see some of the game’s best in action. We are certain that the international quality of production and telecast will bring in more viewers across the country.”

Bhupathi added, “It has been our continuous effort to create a platform for India to witness high-voltage tennis. Looking at the acceptance list, the Bangalore Open is sure to create an atmosphere of healthy competition for the players. Sania Mirza leading the Indian contingent will set the pace for the

greatest tennis Bangalore will witness. The unrelenting support of The

Government of Karnataka will make this tournament one of the biggest India will ever see.”

The tennis courts of Bangalore will be a battlefield for the best of talents from around the world during the tournament, the fourth WTA tour tournament in the country. The Bangalore Open 2006 is sure to witness flaring passions, with old scores to settle. Melinda Czinks who defeated India’s Sania Mirza at the Sunfeast Open in September is back. Mirza will also be renewing rivalry with old time opponent, the former World Junior No 1, Shahar Peer. Sybille Bammer (ranked No 77), Kaia Kanepi (ranked No 98) will be returning to India, after the Sunfeast Open. With over 16 countries in the main draw, the Bangalore Open is most definitely going to be the largest ever showcase of international tennis talent in the county.

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