From the Desk of the Tournament Director - On August 1st at 9:00 am, women’s professional tennis will return to North Texas in the form of the Fort Worth Pro Tennis Classic! Held at beautiful Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center located on TCU’s campus, this event will attract some of the best collegiate, national, and international athletes in search of WTA ranking points as the third stop of four USTA Pro Circuit hard-court tournaments - headlining the summer hard-court stretch leading up to the US Open.
Recently resurrected in 2012 after a short time off the calendar, the FWPTC is now entering its fourth consecutive year and enjoys its status as the only Pro Circuit event with a 128-player singles qualifying field - giving local and national aspiring tennis players the opportunity to acquire 1 of 8 qualifying spots in our main draw. This means a lot of phenomenal tennis played out over its first four days, and that is before the main draw even gets a chance to begin!
This year’s combined qualifying and main draw fields comprises of players representing an impressive 23 nations, some of whom are arriving after our fellow Pro Circuit event in Austin held the week prior. Leading this year’s field is world #357 Lou Brouleau of France; #472 Tori Kinard is the top-ranked player from the United States entered in Fort Worth, and #4 seed overall.
Ranked #631 Maria-Fernanda Alves of Brazil is also entered here - she lost 2-6, 3-6 in the first round of this week’s WTA Brasil Tennis Cup to 2014 Fort Worth Pro Tennis Classic singles champion and current #65 Tatjana Maria. Tatjana has enjoyed tremendous success since the first title of her comeback here (taking a short break off the tour to give birth to her daughter in 2013), going on to reach the third round of Wimbledon this past June before losing to eventual quarterfinalist Madison Keys!
Collegiate ties run deep in our entry field - several of our players have played, are playing for, or going to be playing at national powerhouses such as USC, Texas A&M, and Duke. We also have two players from Vanderbilt University who were on the 2015 NCAA Championship team, so there is no lack of talent and firepower from top to bottom.
TCU’s Horned Frogs will also be on hand to try and make a statement! Incoming freshman and world #768 Marie Norris gained direct acceptance into the main draw, along with senior Mia King as one of several wildcards. Sophomore Alexis Pereira and junior Caroline Wegner will try to earn their spots in the main draw through qualifying. Good luck to the Frogs!
Matches begin each day at 9:00 am, with most taking place on the Bernard J. “Tut” Bartzen Varsity Courts which are equipped with stands and misting fans for optimal comfort and viewing. There is also a concession stand on site serving lunch sandwiches and fruit and drinks at a nominal price.
Finally, a Community Night event dubbed “Play with the Pros” will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Tuesday, August 4th, after the day’s matches have taken place. Open to adults, teens, and children 5 years and up, this will feature local coaches and Pro Circuit competitors leading on-court activities as everybody gets to enjoy tennis through drills and games. Snacks, favors, drinks, and pizza will be provided, and all of this is free to enjoy! To sign up, email Sharon Keenum at email@example.com.
Don’t miss out on your chance to experience great tennis in your hometown this upcoming week! Watch and play (on Tuesday night) with the best, as admission is also free all tournament.
By Jonathan Pham