ATP Dallas Tennis Classic Set for Las Colinas
By JAY BETSILL
Special to DFW.com
Posted 2:38am on Friday, Feb. 03, 2012
With DFW having such a rich tennis history, I have often wondered aloud to any of my friends that would listen as to why there is no ATP event in the Metroplex. The WCT Finals were in Dallas from 1972-1989 producing champions such as Laver, McEnroe, Connors, Borg, Ashe, Lendl and Becker. The 1992 Davis Cup at the Tarrant County Convention Center in Fort Worth featuring the Dream Team of Sampras, Courier, McEnroe and Agassi still ranks as one of the greatest sporting events I have attended. And the annual Challenger of Dallas at T Bar M Racquet Club (Feb. 4-11, tickets available here) is always a fun time.
The summer of 2010 brought a little hope DFW tennis fans as the Cowboys Tennis Classic to feature Andy Roddick, Serena Williams, John Isner and Maria Sharapova was scheduled for July 10. It was cancelled with little to no explanation and never made up.
News came this week that DFW was getting another men's pro tournament with the inauguralDallas Tennis Classic set for March 12-18 at Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas. The event that has traditionally been played in Sunrise, Fla. will be a ATP Challenger Tour tournament with prize money of $125,000.
"We believe that adding another professional tennis event in the Metroplex is great for the tennis fan base in North Texas," Zoltan Papp, tournament director said. "Traditionally, this event has drawn many of today's top ranked players. We hope to continue that tradition by bringing many of the top 50 players in the world to this year's event."
Unlike other Challenger events, Top 11-50 players will be allowed in the Dallas event without a wildcard as it falls between the high-profile BNP Paribas Open and Sony Ericson Open on the calendar. Look for a strong field as the Sunrise event in 2010 featured six of its top eight seeds ranked in the Top 20.
Four Seasons may be known as the site of the annual HP Byron Nelson Championship, but the resort is no stranger to hosting professional tennis events. In 1998, the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Champions event drew big crowds of Dallas fans as the final featured a shootout between John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. And after attending every Nelson since 1996, I can only imagine the scene for this year's tennis tournament.
For further information and to purchase tickets, visit dallastennisclassic.com.
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