PROFESSIONAL tennis players from all around the world will flock to the Playford City Tennis Centre this summer after it was announced as a host for a brand-new pro tour event.
The City of Playford Tennis International will officially take place later this year, after 22-time grand slam champion and former Australian doubles star Todd Woodbridge announced the new tournament on social media last week.
The men’s ATP Challenger tournament is expected to attract some of the world’s top 100 players, while the female International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Futures competition will aim to bridge the gap between junior tournaments and the top line women’s professional tour.
The prize purse of the men’s event totals US$75,000 and offers players ideal preparation for the 2018 Australian Open, while the ITF Futures female event carries a US$25,000 prize and gives female players their first opportunity to earn world ranking points.
Tennis SA chief executive Steven Baldas said the state’s tennis governing body is excited to bring a professional tournament to the Playford area.
“We sincerely thank the City of Playford for its enthusiasm and support of this opportunity,” he said.
“It is the perfect way for us to showcase the brand-new Playford City Tennis Centre on an international stage, and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of its first event at this level.”
Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said the tournament provides a way for the local community to rub shoulders with the world’s best.
“It’s fantastic for tennis and fantastic for Playford; we get to see world-class players coming to our local community, as a lead-up to the Australian Open,” he said.
“Now that our new tennis centre is open, Tennis SA and Tennis Australia have been keen to see marquee events come to this fantastic new facility.”
The City of Playford Tennis International will take place at the Playford City Tennis Centre from December 30 to January 7, 2018, with the field for the tournament being announced later this year.