By Steen Kirby for TennisEastCoast.com
In last year’s Tallahassee Challenger, veteran American Donald Young defeated American Wayne Odesnik 6-4 3-6 6-3 in the singles final and the team of Vasek Pospisil and Bobby Reynolds defeated James Ward and Go Soeda in the doubles final 6-2 6-4.
If past champions such as current ATP top 10 players John Isner, Jo Wilfried-Tsonga and Mardy Fish are any indication, the Challenger is a great place to catch some of tennis’ future stars before they make it big time and see veteran players on their way back to the top.
Notable players in the field this year include world no. 56 Yen-Hsun Lu, world no. 81 Igor Kunitsyn, ATP Delray Beach Finalist Marinko Matosevic, charismatic Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, hard serving Aussie left hander Carsten Ball, Canadian Davis Cup hero Vasek Pospisil, 2011 ATP Houston defending champion Ryan Sweeting, ATP world tour veterans Mischa Zverev, Benjamin Becker and Alexander Kudryavtsev, veteran Americans Bobby Reynolds, Jesse Levine, Alex Kuznetsov, Tim Smyczek, Wayne Odesnik, Michael Russell and up and coming Americans Steve Johnson, Devin Britton, Rajeev Ram and Jordan Cox.
In addition to a great field of players, the Tallahassee event is held in an extremely up close and personal setting with some of the nicest tournament staff around. Opportunities to meet, get autographs and interact with the players abound and the Challenger also gets the community involved with events such as a Pro-Am and kid’s clinics. Tickets are very affordable and the Saturday/Sunday qualifying rounds are free to attend. As an added bonus, all tournament proceeds go to charity. If you are in the North Florida/South Georgia area and you like Pro Tennis, come on down to the Challenger. Otherwise, keep it tuned here to tenniseastcoast.com for the latest. It should be a great one!
ATP Challenger Tour
USTA Pro Circuit Tallahassee
Venue: Forest Meadows Athletic Center
Prize Money: $50,000
Draw: 32 Singles/16 Doubles