REDWOOD SHORES, CA, USA -- Continuing its support for American tennis, Oracle announced today it is adding a Houston event to the Oracle Challenger Series at the George R. Brown Tennis Center at Rice University on November 10-18, 2018 in conjunction with the WTA and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
The Oracle Challenger Series launched earlier this year with events in Newport Beach and Indian Wells, Ca., with the mission of providing new opportunities for up-and-coming American tennis players to secure both ranking points and prize money.
"Houston is a terrific addition to the Oracle Challenger Series, coming shortly after the event we announced in Chicago for September,'' said Oracle CEO Mark Hurd. "Tennis players in the United States need more chances to compete at home and more chances to earn a living from the sport."
"Oracle is committed to creating more Challenger events to give the nation's best players the opportunities to be successful," Hurd continued. "We're also hosting the events at some of the best venues in the country where fans can get an up-close look at some outstanding tennis.''
The Houston tournament will be a joint WTA 125K Series/ATP Challenger Tour event, and pay equal prize money ($150,000 per event) for a total of $300,000. Both the women's and men's draws will consist of 32 singles players, 16 qualifying players and 16 doubles teams. The event will be free and open to the public.
"We're thrilled to welcome the Oracle Challenger Series to the George R. Brown Tennis Center in Houston this November," said Efe Ustundag, Head Men's Tennis Coach at Rice University.
"Having a combined professional tournament at our venue is a terrific opportunity to continue growing the sport in our city, and we look forward to welcoming all of the players and fans for a fantastic event," added Elizabeth Schmidt, Head Women's Tennis Coach.
The 2018-2019 Series will begin in Chicago (September 2-9, 2018) and continue in Houston, culminating at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open, the largest WTA and ATP World Tour combined two-week event in the world, held annually at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
The two American women and two American men who accumulate the most points over the course of the Series will receive wild cards into their respective singles main draws in Indian Wells.
The Oracle Challenger Series also looks to make a positive impact on the communities where its events are held, and will be donating $5,000 to the local Houston chapter of the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network. The NJTL provides free or low-cost tennis and education programming to more than 225,000 under-resourced youth in the United States.
The Oracle Challenger Series builds on Oracle's commitment to support U.S. tennis at both the professional and collegiate level. Oracle sponsors the Oracle US Tennis Awards, two $100,000 grants awarded annually to assist young players as they transition from college into the professional ranks.
In addition to sponsoring the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, Oracle also hosts the Oracle ITA Masters tournament in Malibu, California and the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships which will be held at the Surprise Tennis Center in Surprise, Arizona in 2018.
For more information about the Oracle Challenger Series, visit oraclechallengerseries.com.