Phoenix Challenger Announces Expanded Draws, Broadcast TV Coverage
It’s one of the ATP Challenger Tour’s crown jewels and next week the Arizona Tennis Classic will take on even greater importance in the tennis calendar.
The prestigious Challenger 125 event always attracts some of the best fields on the circuit, with players looking for additional match play between the ATP Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami. But this year, with the cancellation of the BNP Paribas Open, the tournament in Phoenix has been thrust into the spotlight.
Slated to begin Sunday, the event will feature an enhanced eight-day schedule with expanded draw sizes, increased broadcast TV coverage in the United States and a stacked field of today’s ATP stars. As the only tournament on the men’s calendar next week, all eyes will be on Phoenix.
On Wednesday, it was announced that the singles draw size would expand from 48 to 56 players and qualifying from four to eight competitors. With the goal of accommodating those affected by the cancellation of Indian Wells, the 56 main draw players will be comprised of 41 through the original entry list, six wild cards and four qualifiers. The five remaining spots will be filled from an on-site sign-in list using the most recent FedEx ATP Ranking.
The tournament will kick off on Sunday, with qualifying to be completed in addition to the start of the main draw. In the meantime, players have the opportunity to continue practising at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, while utilising the on-site facilities and services.
Top 100 stars Frances Tiafoe, Jannik Sinner, Miomir Kecmanovic, Richard Gasquet, Steve Johnson, John Millman and Gilles Simon are among those confirmed to compete in Phoenix. Wild card announcements will be forthcoming.
In addition, Tennis Channel has announced wall-to-wall broadcast TV coverage of the Arizona Tennis Classic. The U.S. network announced that its production truck would be making its way to Phoenix for 60 hours of live match coverage. It will provide unprecedented TV exposure for a Challenger in the United States. Starting on Monday at 2pm ET, the network will show seven days of live tennis, concluding with singles and doubles finals on March 22. You can also watch free first ball to last coverage via the ATP Challenger Tour live streaming platform on ATPChallengerTour.com.
Held at the historic Phoenix Country Club, the Challenger event is making its second straight appearance on the calendar following its relocation from Irving, Texas. Last year, Matteo Berrettini lifted the trophy and went on to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, finishing in the Top 10 of the year-end FedEx ATP Rankings.
Established in 1899, the Phoenix Country Club is one of just seven Challenger venues to be founded before the turn of the century. Today, the facility also hosts a PGA Tour Champions event at its 18-hole golf course.