Naples Challenger debuts in November
The Naples Challenger - a $50,000 men’s pro tennis tournament - will debut in Collier County Nov. 20-26 at the Naples Bath & Tennis Club, which also will be the site of a two-day qualifier Nov. 18-19. The event will attract ATP pros ranked between 80th and 250th in the world.
We want to make this tournament totally different. We want to make it a great event, not only from the tennis standpoint, but nine days of activities that will be scheduled in and around the tennis.
Fabricio, Carl Fiorentino and the Tennis Naples’ Craig Bouchard have hooked up to form ITG, which stands for International Tennis Group. The new Naples ATP stop officially is posted on the tour’s calendar.
There will be a singles main-draw field of 32 players, with a 32-player qualifying event. There will be a 16-team doubles draw.
Fabricio explained that the singles main draw would consist not only of 22 “direct acceptance” players and four qualifiers, but also four wild-card entries and as many as two special exempt spots that would be held open for players unable to compete in the qualifier because of a schedule conflict with a still-in-progress tournament elsewhere.
While the event will have a $50,000 purse, it carries added weight for players earning points because it also has the “plus-H” designation. When a $50,000 Challenger event provides housing for its top players, it allows the competitors to earn ranking points as if they were playing in a $75,000 tournament.
“That’s important,” Fabricio said. “That’s why you’ll have the higher-ranked players wanting to come to Naples to play.” Fabricio is the director for the Naples Challenger. He currently runs four similar tournaments each year in his native Ecuador. One of these has been ongoing for 12 years and is considered one of the best-run events internationally.
“Carl (Fiorentino) is from Miami and he’d been to my country a few times to watch his son play,” Valdivieso explained. “He liked the way I ran things and liked what he saw. So he asked if there was any way we could get something going in the States.”
Fabricio said the Tennis Naples complex on Airport-Pulling Road is an ideal venue.
Fabricio thinks this will be good for Naples, It will bring a lot of players in who have never been here before. We will have many activities going that will make it a great event. It doesn’t have to be NASDAQ to be a great tournament.”
The tournament office is at the Naples Bath and Tennis Club. If you need more details about the event and information on tickets please e-mail to Fabricio Valdivieso at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Carlos Perez at email@example.com