From Tenerife To Thailand, Challenger Season Set To Begin
From tropical islands, to remote settings, to the world’s largest cities, the ATP Challenger Tour knows no bounds as the 46th Challenger season is set to get underway this week.
The season will unfold with five tournaments, including in New Caledonia, Australia, Thailand, Argentina, and Portugal. Across several time zones, you could open the new year by watching live Challenger matches for 24 hours non stop.
One event to keep your eyes on will be the season-opening Noumea Challenger. A short walk from the Coral Sea, Noumea is a piece of tennis paradise with breathtaking views. The French territory located in the south Pacific will host a Challenger event for the 17th year and for the first time since January 2020.
Ligue de Tennis de Nouvelle-Calédonie, host site of the Noumea Challenger. Credit: Open SIFA Nouvelle-Calédonie
Cristian Garin, Hugo Grenier, Zsombor Piros, and Benoit Paire are among those who will compete at the Noumea Challenger.
In Canberra, Australia, the Italian youngsters Matteo Arnaldi, Francesco Passaro, and Luca Nardi aim to start the season on a strong note. Marton Fucsovics, Hugo Gaston, and Luca Van Assche are also in the Canberra field.
Also featured on the early-season schedule is the Spanish island Tenerife, which will host three Challenger events in the first six weeks, including a Challenger 100 event starting 16 January.
Challenger events are divided into five categories: Challenger 50, 75, 100, 125, and the new premium 175 tournaments. After not holding a Challenger for six years, Belgium will once again attract tennis fans for the Challenger 125 BW Open, set to begin 24 January.
Challenger Tour: Five To Watch In 2023
Next month, the indoor hard court event in Cherbourg, France will celebrate its 30th anniversary. The Challenger 75 event is one of the five longest-running events in Europe (Istanbul, Segovia, Sevilla and Tampere). Past champions in Cherbourg include former World No. 4 Sebastian Grosjean (1999) and 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov (2011).
Several tournaments will mark their first edition in the early part of the season, such as the Piracicaba, Brazil Challenger and the indoor hard court event in Rovereto, Italy.
The United States will host a trio of hard court events spanning across January and February: Cleveland, Rome (Georgia), and a debut tournament in Waco, Texas.
In February, the Challenger Tour will return to Vilnius, Lithuania. The host venue, the SEB arena, provides world-class facilities and is the largest indoor tennis complex in central Europe. After making their debut in October, the Lithuanian capital city is prepared for another great tournament.
Other countries featured on the Challenger schedule over the next eight weeks include India, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, Chile, and Bahrain.
A projected 195 events will be played on the Challenger Tour this season, which would pass the record 184 tournaments played in 2022. As the players earn frequent flier miles, ranking points, and prize money, you can sit in the comfort of your home and watch the 2023 Challenger season for free on Challenger TV. And perhaps visit a tournament if there is a Challenger in your neck of the woods.