Bendigo, 20 October 2010 | Tennis Australia

National and International tennis players will descend on Bendigo this November for the WM Loud Bendigo International, part of the Australian Pro Tour.

Returning to Bendigo from Saturday 27 November to Sunday 5 December, the event will host some of Australia’s rising stars and international players readying themselves for the Australian summer of tennis ahead.

City of Greater Bendigo Cr Rod Campbell said Bendigo is positioning itself as a major regional sporting destination.

“The Bendigo Bank Tennis Centre is an outstanding facility and the City of Greater Bendigo is excited with the possibility of having both elite and upcoming tennis players both from Australia and around the world competing in Bendigo”, said Cr Campbell.

“This tournament was an outstanding success last year and we expect this year to be even better.”

Tournament Director Mark Handley praised the City of Greater Bendigo and the Bendigo Tennis Association, for their ongoing support of the event.

“The City of Greater Bendigo and the Bendigo Tennis Association have been instrumental in promoting the game of tennis,” Handley said.

“Bendigo previously hosted Pro Tour events in 1995 and then from 1999 to 2005, and in 2009 hosted its first combined Pro Tour event.

“Since its re-development Bendigo now has a sporting complex that not only provides amazing facilities for the players but also gives residents the opportunity to watch a world-class tournament for free, while showcasing Bendigo to a worldwide tennis audience.”

As well as offering the public the chance to see future stars of the game in their own backyard, the WM Loud Bendigo International will be a host destination during the nationwide Australian Open Trophy Tour.

The Australian Open Trophy Tour will give tennis fans the opportunity to have an up close look at the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup (Men’s trophy) and Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup (Women’s trophy).

The tour kicked off from Melbourne Park on Tuesday 5 October and will visit a host of destinations over the next few months, before finishing the journey at Melbourne Park on 17 January, day one of Australian Open 2011.

Past winners of the WM Loud Bendigo International include former world No. 8 and last year’s women’s singles Champion Alicia Molik, and Matt Ebden who won the men’s singles championship.

Ebden also recently won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games, and Anastasia Rodionova (who played in last year’s tournament) won two gold and a silver medal.