ITF World Tennis Tour heads to Tauranga
The Eves Open - ITF World Tennis Tour - Tauranga
International tennis is coming to Pāpāmoa this summer, with the announcement today of an ITF World Tennis Tour event that will be held in the popular coastal holiday spot in the lead up to Christmas.
The EVES Open – World Tennis Tour: Tauranga is a professional event for men and women with official ATP and WTA world ranking points up for grabs, as well as a total prize pool of $70,000.
The event will be hosted by Tennis New Zealand from December 18-24 2022.
The ITF World Tennis Tour is part of the professional tennis circuit , with events played in more than 50 countries in 2021. The tour aims to attract the stars of the future, with the games’ biggest names making their start at this level. The event will attract a strong international contingent and will also provide valuable opportunities for emerging professional tennis players in New Zealand.
Title sponsor EVES Real Estate is delighted to be supporting international tennis in Tauranga, chief executive officer Heath Young says. “We’re huge supporters of sport and events in our region and having professional tennis in town to inspire our young local players is going to be incredible. We can’t wait to work with our event partners at Tennis New Zealand to bring the EVES Open to the people of Tauranga – what a perfect way to kick off summer.”
Tennis New Zealand chief executive Julie Paterson says she is thrilled to have events at this level back on the calendar, after a hiatus over the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “The last World Tennis Tour professional events in New Zealand were held just prior to lockdown in 2020. They provided a huge boost to our Kiwi players and attracted some top international talent to our shores,” Paterson says. “It’s great to have such a strong international tennis season back in New Zealand across December and January, with the World Tennis Tour, ASB Classic and a home Davis Cup tie. I know our players are motivated to perform in front of their home crowd after such a long period playing away from home.”
The World Tennis Tour events held in New Zealand in January and February 2020 attracted several athletes now entrenched in the top tier ATP and WTA tours, including the current world number 30, Lorenzo Musetti of Italy, who competed at the World Tennis Tour event in Te Anau that summer.
A notable feature of the EVES Open – World Tennis Tour: Tauranga is the prize pool split, with the men competing for US$15,000 and the women US$25,000. It will be one of the first professional tennis events in New Zealand to offer more prize money to women.
Paterson says circuit rules do not allow events with prize money above US$15,000 for men in December, however there is no such rule for women. “It's great to be able to offer additional prize money and ranking points for female athletes at this event and we hope it’s a sign of things to come for sport events in New Zealand.”
The prize pool split was also a motivating factor for EVES Real Estate, sponsorship and events manager Vicki Semple says. “We’re 100 per cent behind women’s sport and proud to be involved with an event that provides incentives for female athletes to succeed.”
The EVES Open – World Tennis Tour: Tauranga will be held from December 18-24 at Venture Developments WBOP Tennis Centre, Gordon Spratt Reserve, Pāpāmoa. Play will begin from 11am each day, with entry free to spectators. The event is also supported by TECT and Tauranga City Council.