KOBLENZ, November 29, 2016
The first players have announced their participation in the inaugural Koblenz Open, which will be held from 15 to 22 January 2017 at the Conlog Arena in Koblenz. The €43,000 ATP Challenger event will follow the footsteps of the Heilbronn Open, which also took place during the second week of the Australian Open but came to an end in 2014. The Koblenz Open will be the second indoor tournament of the Challenger series on German soil, joining the Bauer Watertechnology Cup in Eckental, which takes place in November. The winner will receive 80 ATP ranking points.
With Kenny de Schepper and Constant Lestienne, two Frenchmen will be part of the line-up. Former World No. 62 De Schepper is back on his way into the top 100. The big-serving 29-year-old from Bordeaux captured one ATP Challenger title in 2016, winning the 11th edition of the Torneo Città di Como in September.
Lestienne will return to the courts after he had been suspended for seven months and fined $10,000 after being found guilty of betting on 220 tennis matches through online accounts between February 2012 and June 2015. None of the bets placed involved matches in which the 24-year-old was playing, so he will be able to give his comeback to the tour in Koblenz. Lestienne clinched one ATP Challenger title in Ostrava as well as one ITF Future title in France this season.
Three local players will receive wild cards into the main draw: 18-year-old Florian Broska, World No. 603 Jan Choinski and 21-year-old Benjamin Hassan.
“This is a great opportunity at the beginning of the year,” told Choinski during the tournament’s official press conference earlier this month. “I will try to be prepared as good as possible for the tournament in order to gain as many points as possible and to start the season in a positive way.”
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