PUERTO REAL, November 29, 2014
At the promenade of Puerto Real the Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) presented a new ATP Challenger event to be held at Villanueva Lawn Tennis Club next year. The tournament will be played on natural grass, which is unique not only in Spain but also throughout Southern Europe. It is supposed to take place in June, in preparation for Wimbledon.
The presentation ceremony two weeks ago was attended by the mayor of Puerto Real, Maribel Peinado, deputy sports Provincial de Cádiz, Juan José Marmolejo; RFET president, José Luis Escañuela; the sports director and captain of the Spanish Davis Cup team, Gala León, President of Villanueva Lawn Tennis Club, Oliver Günther amongst others. The president of the Spanish Tennis Federation said that the Challenger event will hopefully turn into the “Wimbledon of the South” in the coming years. “We are pioneers in creating a tournament on grass in Southern Europe. We are also studying the possibility of establishing a collaborative relationship with Wimbledon,” Escanuela told. The new Spanish Davis Cup captain Gala León was happy to have a tournament of this special character organized by the RFET. “It is a great initiative and support for players with a ranking between 100 and 300 and it is also a good preparation for thos players, who will play the qualification to Wimbledon,” she pointed out. The president of the Andalusian Tennis Federation, Juan Miguel Navas, said: “It is an honor for Andalucía to welcome the first tournament on grass to be played in Spain.”
Oliver Günther, president of Villanueva Lawn Tennis Club, which will host the event, was “proud of the achievements”. The ceremony was also attended by the mayor of Puerto Real, a seaport with a population of about 40.000 inhabitants located on the northern shore of the inner lobe of the Bay of Cádiz. The capital of the province is only about 20 kilometers away. Besides Seville, it will be the second ATP Challenger event taking place in Andalucía.