Indian Wells is about to hit its straps, but it’s not all about the Californian desert this week. There’s plenty more tennis in the USA, and around the world.
Challenger 175, Phoenix, USA
The first of the new 175 category on the Challenger tour, takes place at the 119 year old Phoenix Country Club. And what a great initiative, as a host of top line players who have exited Indian Wells, have decided to get some matches here.
The field is stronger than a lot of ATP250’s, and stronger than the 500 at Acapulco a few weeks back.
Matteo Berretini, Diego Schwartzman, Richard Gasquet, are joined by Aussies, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Alexei Popyrin, and Christopher O’Connell as direct entries with three other Aussies Rinky Hijikata, Aleks Vukic and Luke Saville in qualifying. The latter will play each other. Should be a huge week in Arizona.
Challenger 75, Vina Del Mar, Chile
Hugo Dellion of Bolívia takes the top seed for this new event on the Chilean coast.
He’s had a decent start to the year with a few good Challenger tour results. Currently just inside the top 100, he’ll be looking to consolidate that in a field that isn’t stacked.
Challenger 50, Szekesfehervar, Hungary
There’s a lot of players in this draw who will be looking to find some form, as there doesn’t appear to be many standouts in the field. Number 1 seed is held by Hungarian Fabian Marozsan, ranked 163. Leading into last week, he had only won 4 matches for the year. However, he turned that around in Antalya, taking his second Challenger title. He’ll be hoping to repeat that in his home country.
Sadly, and inexplicably, there are no WTA or ITF tournaments in the USA, meaning players who are no longer competing at Indian Wells, essentially have nowhere to play, as the two biggest events are as far away from California as possible.
ITF W60 Pretoria, South Africa
Harmony Tan of France will hold the top spot in Pretoria, as she tries to get her ranking into the top 100. Unfortunately for her, the giant killing run to the 4th round of Wimbledon, earned her no points, meaning she’s stuck playing ITF events. She’ll be joined by 5 others in top 200, so it won’t be an easy week.
ITF W60, Canberra, Australia
All surfaces are covered during the Aussie Pro tour, and we’re back on the clay this week.
Just three top 200 women, all Aussies, Olivia Gadecki, Jaimee Fourliss, and Priscilla Hon. Olivia and Jaimee have had great seasons so far, and are at, or close to, their career high ranking. It wouldn’t surprise to see another match up on finals day.
ITF M25, Canberra, Australia
The men are also in Canberra, and will be searching for some valuable ranking points before the Australia Pro tour wraps up shortly. Dane Sweeney takes top position in the draw, while Marc Polmans takes the bottom place as second seed. Tristan Schoolkate, Philip Sekulic, and Matthew Dellavedova will be among the chasing pack, hoping to capture a home title.