Mumbai: The Women's Tennis Association is all set to introduce USD 125,000 tier event in India in November with four out of the top 50 ranked players in the world expected to be a part of the inaugural edition, scheduled to be held in either Mumbai or Pune.
"The USD 125,000 WTA Challenger is to be held in the first week of the off season for the players. The top ten players won't be taking part but four out of the rest of the top 50 ranked players are expected. It would be a strong field," WTA Executive Director for Asia-Pacific Region, Peter Johnston, said at a media conference on Friday.
The WTA Players Council, including Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki, has welcomed the introduction of the new category, which is one rung below the lowest prize money event in the calendar - USD 220,000 WTA events, according to Johnston.
"This will be right after the season-ending Istanbul WTA championships (from October 23). The field will be very deep and the singles main draw would be 32-strong," said Johnston, who also indicated that there would be a doubles event too.
Event organisers -- Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) -- have roped in promoters 'NetSurf' for the championship in which six wild cards would be awarded to help Indian players and other racqueteers from the region to enter the main draw.