Sydney, Australia, 21 February 2013 | Tennis Australia

The ATP Challenger Tour heads to Sydney Olympic Park next week for the Nature’s Way Sydney Tennis International, the next stop on the Australian Pro Tour circuit.

In 2013 the Nature’s Way Sydney Tennis International will feature a $50,000 ATP Challenger event for men and a $10,000 ITF event for women.

The first ATP Challenger event ever held at Sydney Olympic Park will boast a strong local line-up, including Australian Open 2013 contenders James Duckworth (Gordon, NSW), Ben Mitchell (Worongary, Qld) and Luke Saville (Barmera, SA), and recently crowned ATP Challenger champions Matthew Barton (Collaroy, NSW) and John Millman (Carina, Qld).

Duckworth and Barton will battle it out with fellow New South Welshmen Adam Feeney (Tumbi Umbi), Greg Jones (Manly) and Matt Reid (Dural) in the race to claim their first ATP title on home soil.

The Aussie line-up will be joined by a quality international contingent headed by world No. 138 Yuichi Sugita (JPN).

Tournament Director Cate Parsons said the inaugural ATP Challenger event at Sydney Olympic Park was an exciting addition to the 2013 Australian Pro Tour series.

“We’re very excited to host the first ever ATP Challenger event at Sydney Olympic Park,” she said.

“This event gives emerging players the chance to compete against quality opposition for a share of $50,000 in prize money and world ranking points, and the Australians will be out in force next week for their shot at the title.

“We have a very strong field assembled for the event, including 2013 ATP Challenger titleholders Matthew Barton, winner of the Charles Sturt Adelaide International in South Australia, and John Millman, who took out the McDonald’s Burnie International in Tasmania earlier this summer.”

Vying for a share of $10,000 in prize money in the ITF women’s event will be Jessica Moore (Williams, WA) and Azra Hadzic (Keysborough, Vic), alongside rising stars of the sport from China, Japan and Serbia.

“The women’s event will feature a very strong international field, with a large contingent of players travelling to the tournament from China and Japan,” Parsons said.

“Both the men’s and women’s fields promise an exciting week of tennis and we encourage all fans to head out to Sydney Olympic Park to show their support for the next generation of tennis stars.”

Qualifying for the men’s event gets underway this Saturday, with women’s qualifying to commence the following day. Main draw action starts Monday 25 February (men) and Tuesday 26 February (women).

Finals for both events will be held on Sunday 3 March, and entry is free for all spectators.