Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Women's professional tennis tournament set for inaugural year in Winnipeg


CIBC Wood Gundy Challenger will hit first ball July 21 at Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club

Toronto, June 25, 2013 – Tennis Canada and Tennis Manitoba announced Tuesday the launch of a new women’s professional tennis tournament in Winnipeg. The CIBC Wood Gundy Challenger, an International Tennis Federation-sanctioned event on the ITF Pro Circuit with total prize money of $25,000, will take place from July 21-28 at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club.

“We are very proud to be announcing the addition of the CIBC Wood Gundy Challenger in Winnipeg,” said Gavin Ziv, director of national events, Tennis Canada. “Winnipeg is an emerging tennis market, and this event will provide local fans with a great chance to see some talented professionals up close. It also will offer Canadian women another valuable opportunity to earn rankings points and ply their craft against top international players on home soil.”

The CIBC Wood Gundy Challenger joins five other women’s ITF Pro Circuit events on the 2013 Canadian national competitive calendar. It will be Winnipeg’s first professional-level women’s tournament since 2000, and comes a year after the city’s inaugural Manshield Tennis Futures, a $15,000 men’s event, which will see its second edition take place August 17-25 at Sargent Park Tennis Garden.

“Tennis Canada provided our province with an unbelievable opportunity to stage a world-class event,” said Mark Arndt, executive director, Tennis Manitoba. “We are extremely thankful that CIBC Wood Gundy has aligned itself with the tournament thus offering our region’s top-ranked players a chance to measure up against some of the best in women’s professional tennis.”

Prior to the official start of the event, a local women’s qualifier will take place July 18-20 to give players from Manitoba a chance to compete for a spot in the tournament. Qualifying action will then occur July 21 and 22, with main draw action commencing on July 23 and a champion crowned on July 28. Admission to the tournament is free all week.

The Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club will also be a hub of Canadian junior tennis during the tournament. A Rogers Rookie Tour event for beginners is set for July 21, while on July 23-25 Manitoba and Saskatchewan’s best juniors will compete for spots in the national junior championships at the Prairie Regionals. A U12 and U14 Tennis Canada training camp will also occur July 22-24.

In addition, fans on-site can visit the Little Aces Tennis Zone to pick up a racquet themselves, and other scheduled events include the Sharon Pollack Classic fashion show on July 22, Player and Sponsor Appreciation Night on July 23, and CIBC Wood Gundy Client Night on July 24.

For more information about the CIBC Wood Gundy Challenger, please visit the tournament’s official website at www.winnipegchallenger.com.

About Tennis Canada
Founded in 1890, Tennis Canada is a non-profit, national sport association with a mission to lead the growth of tennis in Canada and a vision to become a world-leading tennis nation. We value teamwork, passion, integrity, innovation and excellence. Tennis Canada owns and operates the premier Rogers Cup presented by National Bank WTA and ATP World Tour events, eight professional ITF sanctioned events and financially supports 11 other professional tournaments in Canada. Tennis Canada operates junior national training centres/programs in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Tennis Canada is a proud member of the International Tennis Federation, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the International Wheelchair Tennis Association, and serves to administer, sponsor and select the teams for Davis Cup, Fed Cup, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and all wheelchair, junior and senior national teams. Tennis Canada invests its surplus into tennis development. For more information on Tennis Canada please visit our Web site at: www.tenniscanada.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Media Contacts:
Mark Arndt, Tournament Chair & Executive Director, Tennis Manitoba
Office: 204-925-5660 / Cell: 204-799-2224, or mark@tennismanitoba.com

Sarah Grossman, Manager, Communications and Media Relations, Tennis Canada
416-650-7922, or sgrossman@tenniscanada.com

Nicole Watts, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations, Tennis Canada
416-665-9777 ext. 4092, or nwatts@tenniscanada.com