Bendigo, 18 November 2011 |

Bendigo locals will welcome an exciting line-up of Australian and international tennis players to town this weekend for the WM Loud Bendigo International, the final leg of the 2011 Australian Pro Tour, taking place at the Bendigo Bank Tennis Complex from 19 to 27 November.

Qualifying will begin on Saturday and the main draw on Tuesday, giving fans the opportunity to watch a world-class field competing for USD$40,000 in prize money and valuable ranking points.

Australia will be represented in the women’s draw by Casey Dellacqua (WA), world No. 155 and 2011 French Open mixed doubles winner, world No. 193 Isabella Holland (Qld) and Victoria’s own Olivia Rogowska and Sally Peers.

The men’s draw will include Esperance Pro Tour winner, Benjamin Mitchell (Qld), joined by James Lemke (Vic), Matt Reid (NSW), Michael Look (Qld) and 2011 Junior Wimbledon winner Luke Saville (SA), all looking to perform well ahead of the Australian summer.

International players in contention include New Zealanders Sacha Jones and Michael Venus, Japan’s Misa Eguchi, China’s Ze Zhang and Emily Webley-Smith and Richard Gabb from Great Britain.

Tournament Director, Melissa Jelliff praised the City of Greater Bendigo and the Bendigo Tennis Association for their ongoing support of the event and Australian tennis.

“Residents of Bendigo and the Bendigo Tennis Association have been strong supporters of this tournament and instrumental in promoting the game of tennis.

“The tennis complex not only provides amazing facilities for the players but also gives residents the opportunity to watch established players alongside emerging national and international talent who could be in the mix at next year’s Australian Open,” said Jelliff.

The City of Greater Bendigo Mayor, Cr Rod Fyffe is proud to host the event for the third consecutive year and encourages the community to get along to support Australian tennis.

“Greater Bendigo is proud to host the prestigious WM Loud Bendigo International. This event is a wonderful opportunity to watch professional tennis players from around Australia and the world here in our own city.

“I encourage everyone to take this opportunity to visit the Bendigo Bank Tennis Complex during the tournament and enjoy some top class tennis,” said Cr Rod Fyffe.

Bendigo Tennis Association is also looking forward to the event and is gracious of the opportunities the tournament creates for the local community.

“The Bendigo Tennis Association sees the hosting of a Pro Tour tournament as an integral component to our strategic plan, allowing the local community to see some of the nation’s best up and coming talent, giving local players the opportunity to participate in an elite tennis event and confirming Bendigo as a significant regional tennis partner,” Bendigo Tennis Association Executive Officer Leon Retallick said.