Fredericton was all set to host an International Tennis Federation professional women’s event in March 2020, but COVID-19 arrived four days before.
Announced on June 22, at the press conference, Fredericton will finally be hosting the Graystone ITF Challenger driven by Volvo from October 9- 16, 2022.
Thanks to our 3 year sponsorship commitment from Graystone and Volvo NB this event is scheduled for Oct. 9-16, with follow-up events slated for both March 2023 and 2024.
This will be the first pro tennis tournament in New Brunswick since the Moncton Men’s Challenger in 2008, and the first international women’s event in Atlantic Canada. “We were so down when it got cancelled, but I think this has rejuvenated all of us,” tournament director Rufus Nel said. “With a three-year commitment, there’s some sustainability and hopefully we can make an agreement with Tennis Canada to continue beyond that.”
There will be up to 32 players in the two-day qualifying draw trying to snag one of four spots in the 32-player main draw. Most of them will be ranked between 100 and 300 in the world. “It’s not the top 40 or anything,” Nel said, “but there will definitely be players who were maybe top 20 or 30, got injured or laid off tennis for a while, now are making a comeback and need to earn some points. These are the type of tournaments they have to start playing in again.”
“I remember when that event got cancelled how disheartened all of us were,” Fredericton Mayor Kate Rogers said. “I don’t think any of us imagined we would have to wait this long for it to come back, but I think we’ll be even more excited because we’ll realize how special it is to be able to gather and attend events like this.”
There will be US$25,000 in prize money up for grabs.
Ticket sales for the Graystone ITF Challenger driven by Volvo will go on sale in mid August.
For more information and future updates, please visit www.graystonevolvochallenger.com
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