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Home   News   Wells:   What to Expect At Alberta’s First Challenger Event

Wells:   What to Expect At Alberta’s First Challenger Event

Feb 14, 2018
written by: Susan Wells
written by: Susan Wells
Great fans and great volunteers make great tournaments.  Plan on the Calgary National Bank Challenger in October.

At long last, Alberta will host a Challenger level tennis tournament this October 13-21.  It will be held at the Osten & Victor Alberta Tennis Centre, a state-of-the-art facility in beautiful southeast Calgary.

Calgary joins four Quebec cities, Vancouver, Toronto and Winnipeg as host Canadian cities for Challenger Tour events.  Canada now boasts one ATP 1000 event (the Rogers Cup in Montreal and Toronto), eight Challenger events (including one in Calgary!), and nine Futures events  (International Tennis Foundation).  The prize money for the Calgary National Bank Challenger is $75,000 (plus hospitality), which is about average for the  over 300 Challenger events held every year around the world.

“It’s the largest indoor professional event in Canada (by prize money). It will have a number of activities throughout the week giving the event a real community and festival feel. We will have a free family weekend, free admission to the free weekend, pro-am, kids day, club day, kidsport day, University Challenge, Pro Am and much more.”

Danny Da Costa, General Manager, Osten & Victor Alberta Tennis Centre

Who will play?

Organizers expect to attract players ranked between 50-250 in the world.  Hopefully, the event will attract some of Canada’s Davis Cup Squad, such as Pospisil, Peliwo, Schnur, Auger-Aliassime, Polansky, Dancevic, and Diez.

Current players on the Challenger Tour include Canada’s Vasek Posposil.  Vasek has played Challenger events in Europe this season to regain his high ranking of 25th (he is now at 85th).  He recently won back-to-back Challenger events in Rennes, France, then in Budapest, Hungary.

Denis Shapovalov, Canada’s NextGen Star, began playing Futures tournaments at age 16, Challengers at 17, then the World Tour at 18.  In 2017 he won Canadian Challenger events in Drummondville and then Gatineau before his spectacular performance at the Roger’s Cup in Montreal. What a year for Denis that started with the Challenger Tour!

Felix Auger-Aliassime is another recent Challenger Tour winner.  The 17-year old Canadian won two Challenger events in 2017  (Lyon, France, and Seville, Spain). With these wins he became the third player in history to win multiple Challenger titles by the age of 17, joining Rafael Nadal and Richard Gasquet.  Felix is currently the youngest player in the top 200 ATP world rankings, ranked 153.

Where in Calgary?

The Osten & Victor Alberta Tennis Centre is a new state-of-the-art, public tennis facility located in southeast Calgary and opened in 2013.  It features 8 indoor courts, 5 outdoor courts, a fitness centre, and food and beverage.  Approximately 500-1000 seats will be available for fans at the Challenger event, including corporate boxes.  Tickets will go on sale in the next 3-6 weeks.

Volunteers needed now! 

The  organizing committee has placed a call for volunteers.  They need approximately 100-120 people for a wide range of positions, and 30-50 ball kids.  The volunteer list already has 70 names!

Want to help write tennis history in Alberta? Send in a Volunteer Application form to shuang@albertatenniscentre.ca.

Just want to get more information? Sila would be happy to answer any questions you may have. She can be reached at 587.393.1601.

Tennis may offer THE greatest professional tour of any sport.  As a result, we as fans (and volunteers, and players) enjoy relatively easy access to world class tennis experiences.  Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of ATP pro tennis this October in Calgary.