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National Bank Challenger to bring top talent to Calgary tennis event

Some of tennis’ top competitors will be vying for glory in Canada’s largest combined indoor tennis tournament this November at the Osten and Victor Alberta Tennis Centre.

The National Bank Challenger is returning to Calgary for its second year as a combined men and women tournament, and to build excitement for the Challenger, a part of the CORE Shopping Centre is being transformed into a tennis court.

Visitors to the second floor of the CORE will have a chance to try tennis for themselves, and will also have a chance to get free tickets to the Challenger which starts on Nov. 5.

“We’re really excited to have a great week of tennis,” said Danny Da Costa, Calgary National Bank Challenger Tournament Director.

“This event’s only been around for four years, and to have the level of—the caliber of—players that we’re attracting is indicative of the type of event we’re running here.”

He said that the CORE tennis preview was a way to re-engage Calgarians with the excitement of tennis.

“A lot of people are aware of tennis, but maybe they feel like the tennis is not accessible to them. This ball promotion is really a way to get people playing tennis, trying the game,” said Da Costa.

“Tennis is very affordable, and it’s very accessible to everyone.”

He said that the excitement for the Challenger was growing, with multiple local retailers and restaurants taking part in promoting the tournament. Visitors to the CORE will also have a chance to try out the tournament’s claw machine for Challenger swag, and to learn more about the event.

The tournament is also holding a free admission day to the Osten and Victor Alberta Tennis Centre on Nov. 4, where visitors can meet the competitors.

The 2022 National Bank Challenger generated $2.2 million for the local economy, and was 92 per cent sponsored by companies that are from or have major presences in Calgary.

Lineup of players who have competed at the highest levels of tennis

This year features 128 competitors from over 30 nations worldwide, making it one of the biggest international sporting events by representation to be hosted in Calgary.

Among the athletes that the tournament will see this year includes the return of of Dominik Koepfer, who has had victories over stars Andy Murray, and Milos Raonic, to defend his 2022 championship.

The men’s side will also be headlined by France’s Benoit Paire (formerly 18th in the world), Canada’s Vasek Pospisil (formerly 25th in the world), and Portugals Joao Sousa (formerly 28th in the world).

On the women’s side, last year’s champion Robin Montgomery will be joined by the US’ Sabine Lisicki (formerly 12th in the world).

Calgary’s own Alexia Jacobs and Cleeve Harper will be returning from their studies at American universities to compete in the Challenger. An additional two local wildcards will be given out prior to the start of the competition.

The full roster of players, along with ticket sales, can be found at calgary.nationalbankchallenger.com.