London | Is Loughborough where Murray makes his comeback?
The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has announced the creation of two new $100,000 ATP Challenger Tour events the first of which is to be staged to be staged in Glasgow from April 28 – May 6 at the Scotstoun Tennis Centre while the second will be staged at the Loughborough University Tennis Centre at Loughborough University from May 19 – 27.
Hopefully we can see some high-level performances from our Brits at these eventsLeon Smith
Both tournaments will be staged on indoor hard courts, featuring a 32 singles main draw and 32 qualifying draws with 16 doubles teams. These events will provide invaluable ATP ranking points and quality playing opportunities for British players.
It is heavily rumoured that the Loughborough University event has been organised to to help aid Andy Murray’s recovery from injury in the run-up to Wimbledon.
Talks have been going on for a while between the LTA and Murray’s management company about staging such an event.
The former British and world number one had surgery last January on a troublesome hip injury and is expected to resume practice soon but will need some match practice as he prepares for the grass court season and more especially Wimbledon where he will target a third title. He wants to avoid the hardcourts and the clay surface so indoors would suit him best as he prepares for his comeback.
The LTA Head of Men’s Tennis and Davis Cup captain Leon Smith said: “It’s great news that we’re creating more playing opportunities for British players in the UK.
“These Challenger events are invaluable in providing high-quality match experience as well as the opportunity to build up important ATP ranking points.
“Hopefully we can see some high-level performances from our Brits at these events.”
The university’s Tennis Director, Helen Reesby, added: “We are absolutely delighted to be hosting an ATP Challenger $100k event at Loughborough University, in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association.
“Following on from the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters in November, we look forward to welcoming and showcasing some of the best players in the world once again, for what I anticipate will be another outstanding week of tennis.”
An announcement of tickets details will be made later.