Australian Pro Tour returns to Port Pirie
A strong field is expected to assemble for next week's men's and women's 2014 Nyrstar Port Pirie Tennis International Pro Tour event.
Luke Saville (Cobdogla, SA) and Alex Bolt (Murray Bridge, SA) are expected to headline a strong field for the men’s event at the 2014 Nyrstar Port Pirie Tennis International to be held from 24 February to 2 March.
Saville and Bolt, who both hail from regional South Australia, will be looking to set up their year with a strong showing at South Australia’s only regionally-based Pro Tour event.
Former Port Pirie junior Daniel Hobart will be hoping he can earn himself a spot in the main draw through qualifying which starts on 22 February.
Hobart, 15, has been on the verge of breaking through for his first ATP Tour point over the past month and will be dreaming of reaching that milestone in his home town.
Other Australian’s set to join the strong men’s field include Matthew Barton (NSW) and Australian Open Play-off winner Jordan Thompson (NSW) who recently returned from France after being part of the Australian Davis Cup squad.
American world No.238 Jarmere Jenkins is also set to play the event for the first time and will be hard to stop after coming off a strong performance at the Charles Sturt Adelaide International in early February, where he made the quarterfinals.
Japan’s world No.281 Yasutaka Uchiyama will also be a strong contender for the 2014 title.
The women’s field for the event has a very strong international flavour with Japanese players Misa Eguchi and Hiroko Kuwata expected to headline the field which also includes world No.321 Zuzana Zlochova of Slovakia.
Australian 19-year-old Viktorija Rajicic (Vic) will be the highest ranked Australian player in the field and she will be keen to get her 2014 campaign off to a strong start in Port Pirie.
Other Australian players making their way to the Nyrstar Port Pirie Tennis International include youngster Azra Hadzic (NSW) and Jess Moore (WA).
South Australian juniors Chloe and Petra Hule will be looking to work their way through the qualifying draw to earn a place in the main draw, starting on Tuesday.
Local fans will have the opportunity to attend the free event and watch local the likes of Saville, Bolt and Eguchi as well as a crop of up-and-coming tennis stars where they battle it out for a share in USD$15,000 prize money and valuable world ranking points.
“The Nyrstar Port Pirie Tennis International is one of the longest running Pro Tour events in Australia, the local community gets right behind the event and are the main reason for its longevity and success,” said Tournament Director Ty Allen.
“It is the only event in South Australia where we have the men and women both playing at the same venue and provides a great atmosphere for people wanting to watch world class tennis.”
The Nyrstar Port Pirie Tennis International is part of the 2014 Australian Pro Tour, a series of professional tennis events that bridge junior events and the WTA Tour and ATP Tour, providing an opportunity for players to earn their first world ranking points.