Bendigo, Australia, 18 April 2013 | Tennis Australia

Bendigo will create Australian Pro Tour history this October when it hosts two back-to-back $50,000 women’s ITF tournaments.

The two new-look tournaments, each featuring 32-player draws, will swing into action the weeks commencing 21 October and 28 October 2013, replacing the successful men’s and women’s William Loud Bendigo International.

In the past, the Australian Pro Tour has attracted the likes of Australia’s top 10 female players including Jarmila Gajdosova, Casey Dellacqua, Ashleigh Barty and Olivia Rogowska.

Executive Officer of Bendigo Tennis Association Leon Retallick was today joined by Tennis Australia Tournaments and Competitions Coordinator Jason Simmons and City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Lisa Ruffell to make the announcement at the Bendigo Tennis Association.

“We’re excited by the opportunity to boost the women’s schedule and host two $50,000 ITF events in Bendigo. Tennis Australia has worked hard with our Pro Tour venues to create the highest level tour possible,” Simmons said.

“The location, facility and dedicated staff and volunteers make this the ideal venue for these top tier tennis events and will kick start the summer of tennis for professional players, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.”

“To have a group of elite female talent from Australia and the world compete here in Bendigo is a fantastic opportunity,” Executive Officer Leon Retallick added.

“The players will experience a higher level of competition as they play for a larger prize purse and world ranking points, while local fans have the chance to watch these athletes in action.”

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Lisa Ruffell said these international tournaments would become an important feature on the city’s calendar.

“Greater Bendigo has become a sought-after destination for important sporting and major events,” Ruffell said.

“Major events of this type are very important for our local economy.  They put our city on the map and provide local residents with an opportunity to see top class events in their own city, increasing our region’s liveability.”

The last time the Australian Pro Tour held a women’s $50,000 ITF tournament was in Bendigo in 2005.

In addition to these two ITF tournaments, the Bendigo Tennis Association will also deliver a showcase of other tennis events, including a men’s and women’s Silver Australian Money Tournament (AMT) from 22-26 October, along with a junior ranking points tournament from 2-5 November.

The men’s ITF calendar will relocate to Melbourne Park and Traralgon for these successive weeks.