14 March 2014
Tennis South Africa (TSA) confirmed on Thursday that three consecutive weeks of international tennis will be played at Sun City resort in North West province during May and June this year.
Three back-to-back men’s and women’s tournaments will take place between 24 May and 13 June, with a total prize purse of R650 000 on offer.
The Futures tournaments are part of the International Tennis Federation’s Pro Circuit and the first level of professional play, just below the ATP Challenger Tour. They’re a crucial stepping stone for many players aiming for careers on the ATP and WTA World Tours.
Each tournament will include a 64-player qualifying draw, a 32-player singles main draw and 16-pair doubles man draw for both men and women, with world rankings point on offer.
The perfect venue
Hardy Botha, the tournament director from series promoters Egalite Promotions, said Sun City was the perfect venue to host the series.
“Over the years, Sun City has played host to some top international tennis events, including the award-winning ATP SA Open in 1994, as well as the 2000, 2002 and 2003 Nike Junior Tour International Masters,” Botha said.
“The resort has everything the players need in one location. Coupled with good weather conditions, Sun City at that time of year has very scenic and beautiful surrounds. It promises to be a great three weeks of tennis.”
Developing local players
Tennis South Africa vice-president Gavin Crookes said TSA believed that hosting Futures was the best way forward to develop local players for the international circuit.
“The importance of our country hosting Futures events cannot be stressed enough,” he said. “Futures are the entry level for aspiring professional players, and local hopefuls will have the opportunity of playing for important world ranking points in their own backyard at a fraction of the cost of playing abroad.”
Crookes also said that the level of tennis at Futures level was always impressive. “The Futures players are hungry to prove themselves and success at Sun City will help them enter into or improve their world rankings. Inevitably, as a result, the battles on court are fierce and give rise to some really world class tennis being played.”
- Qualifying: 24/25 May
- Main Draw: 26 to 31 May
- Qualifying: 31 May/1 June
- Main Draw: 2 to 7 June
- Qualifying: 7/8 June
- Main Draw: 9 to 13 June