The Calgary National Bank Challenger will be double the fun come November.
That’s because the annual international tennis tournament has added a women’s event to the tour stop at the OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre.
Organizers of the Calgary Challenger broke the news Tuesday that the ATP Men’s Challenger 80 will be accompanied by an International Tennis Federation World Tennis Tour Pro Circuit women’s bracket.
“We are excited to have a combined men’s and women’s pro event in Calgary,” said tournament director Danny Da Costa, who doubles as CEO of the Alberta Tennis Centre. “Hosting a women’s event in Calgary is an important step towards providing more opportunities for females in the sport of tennis and supporting ATC’s diversity and inclusion strategy.”
The ITF women’s $25K event, bringing to the city many of the best up-and-coming female players on the planet, has been made possible by a generous donation from Calgarian Robert Rivard and his family. Rivard is a keen player and supporter of the Alberta Tennis community. He is a retired lawyer, as well as an ATC member and director.
“The women’s ITF event will create great opportunities for young women to be inspired by the females playing in our event,” Rivard said.” It is our hope that the Challenger will translate into more girls playing and enjoying the sport of tennis.”
The addition of the women — between 80 and 100 — means the Calgary Challenger, which was already the ATP Challenger Tour’s largest indoor tournament in Canada, will become the only combined professional indoor tennis tournament in Canada.
A total of 80 to 100 men are already in line to serve up action in the event.
It has always been our plan to bring a women’s event to Calgary,” Da Costa said. “However, this recently became a reality as a result of our Alberta Tennis Centre expansion, which is taking place this spring, and the generous donation from our board member, Bob Rivard.
“This is huge for the women’s game as it provides more opportunities for women to gain experience internationally,” Da Costa continued. “We will have some local players playing in the qualifying of the event, and hopefully, the event will inspire a new generation of female players in Canada and Alberta.”
This year’s edition will be the opening serve of a three-year renewal between the ATP and the tennis centre in southeast Calgary, and it marks the third instalment of the tourney on the second-tier circuit of pro tennis, a feeder to the ATP Tour.
Ticket prices will start at $15 per day and they will go on sale beginning Monday, April 4. To purchase tickets, visit: http://calgary.nationalbankchallenger.com or https://calgary.nationalbankchallenger.com/tickets/
For more information about the ATP Challenger Tour, visit https://www.atptour.com.