Durban - Local tennis has been boosted by the news that Tennis South Africa (TSA) has secured the rights to bring an ATP Challenger tournament to the country in 2020.
The ATP Challenger 50 event will take place at the new tennis complex at North-West University (NWU), Potchefstroom - from the March 9.
Challenger events are the second highest level of international men's ATP tennis tournaments, after the ATP Tour (250, 500 and Masters events). The last ATP Challenger to take place in South Africa was hosted in Soweto in 2013.
The event has been made possible thanks to an innovative commercial joint venture between TSA and Henico Schalekamp, Corporate Finance Partner at PKF Octagon, as well as support from the ATP.
TSA and Schalekamp will partner to co-fund the event, with the objective of growing and elevating the profile and stature of the tournament in future years.
Schalekamp is excited to have helped bring an ATP Challenger event to South Africa: "As a passionate tennis player I have been keen for some time to help grow our sport and invest in international tournaments to South Africa. I have been very impressed with the work being done at Tennis South Africa over the last few years and now seems the right time to get involved in my personal capacity. Both TSA and I have big plans for this event and together we hope to take it from strength to strength in the coming years."
Sheldon Rostron, Head of Sport at NWU welcomed the news: "It is an honour and privilege to be part of a prestigious event like this. We see the growth and strides taking place in TSA and we are excited to host the event, as well as contribute to tennis in our country. This partnership is hopefully one that will help create sustainable world class events, as well as attract more events like this to South Africa, for players in our country."