Stage set for tennis challenger in Bahrain today
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Twenty-four players will today be vying for six spots in the men’s singles main draw of the Bahrain Ministry of Interior Tennis Challenger 2024, part of the ATP Challenger Tour.
Qualifying for the tournament proper will be held today with the first-round matches starting from 11am.
The winners of the 12 head-to-heads will move on to the second round of qualifiers, with the victors of those matches securing places in the men’s singles main draw, which gets underway tomorrow.
All the matches are to be held at the Public Security Officers Club in Gudaibiya.
The top seed for qualifying is Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria, who will be facing Lilian Marmousez of France in the opening stage.
Bahraini wild card Elyas Abdulnabi is also in the fray for the qualifiers.
He will be facing Marat Sharipov of Russia in round one, and will be hoping to join countryman Yousef Yusuf in the tournament’s main stage.
Ahead of today’s start, a Press conference was held last night at the tournament venue, during which the draw took place.
In attendance were organising committee head Shaikh Khalid bin Rashid Al Khalifa, ATP Challenger Tour senior manager Zuzana Konrad, other officials and players.
“It’s going to be very interesting,” said Shaikh Khalid. “I wish all the best to the players. Unfortunately, there will only be one winner, but winning is not just the goal.
The goal is to have a successful tournament.
“All who are passionate about tennis are welcome and that is the key to the success of the tournament.”
The singles’ top seed in the main draw is Christopher O’Connell of Australia, while Fabio Fognini of Italy is the second seed.
Vit Kopriva of the Czech Republic is seed number three, his compatriot Jakub Mensik is fourth, and Richard Gasquet of France is the fifth seed.
The sixth seed is Lukas Klein of Slovakia, seventh Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the eighth seed is Elias Ymer of Sweden. The Bahrain Ministry of Interior Tennis Challenger offers US$164,000 in prize money.
The ATP Challenger Tour is the second-highest tier of tennis competition, behind only the ATP Tour.
In last year’s tournament, Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia, then ranked 141st in the world, was crowned singles champion after defeating Shelbayh 6-1, 6-4 in the final.
Kokkinakis joined India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan as the tournament’s singles title winners in the competition’s two editions.
The doubles champions were Patrik Niklas-Salminen of Finland and Bart Stevens of the Netherlands in 2023, and the Portuguese duo of Nuno Borges and Francisco Cabral in 2022.
A scene from the tournament venue