ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA -- Two new WTA 125K Series events will take place in the United States in 2018, as part of the Oracle Challenger Series, which has just been announced and launched by Oracle Corp., in conjunction with the WTA and the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals).
The Oracle Challenger Series will consist of four new professional tennis tournaments – two WTA 125K Series events and two ATP Challenger Tour events – which will be presented as two combined women’s and men’s events.
The first tournament will be contested in Newport Beach, CA, from January 20-28, 2018, at the Newport Beach Tennis Club. The second tournament will take place at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, CA, home of the prestigious BNP Paribas Open, between February 24 and March 4, 2018.
Each event will pay equal prize money for a total of $150,000 per tournament. Additionally, the top two female and male Americans with the highest accumulated points at the events will be awarded wild cards into their respective singles main draws at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open, which will be held from March 5-18, 2018 in Indian Wells.
“We are thrilled that Oracle is making this commitment to grow the pathway for young emerging national and regional talent here in the USA to reach their goal of competing on the WTA Tour. This will lead to great things for tennis in America,” said Steve Simon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the WTA.
“Tennis players in the United States need more chances to compete at home and more chances to earn a living from the sport,’’ said Oracle CEO Mark Hurd. “Oracle is committed to American tennis and these events are designed to provide opportunities for players to make meaningful gains in both prize money and ranking points on their home soil. We hope to continue to grow the number of events annually in the years ahead.’’
“Our players in the United States are eager for more opportunities like this,’’ said Chris Kermode, ATP World Tour Executive Chairman and President. “We’re so pleased to partner with a company like Oracle to further promote and develop tennis in the United States.’’
The Series builds on Oracle’s commitment to help support American tennis at both the professional and collegiate level. Earlier this year, Oracle unveiled the Oracle US Tennis Awards, two $100,000 grants awarded annually to assist young players as they transition from college into the professional ranks.
Oracle also is working with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) to host the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships, which began on Wednesday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and another resort-area location. The Oracle-sponsored event is the culmination of the fall collegiate tennis season and features the nation’s top 64 men’s and women’s singles players and top 32 men’s and women’s doubles teams.