It is always a very expected moment by tennis fans: the release of entry list, 3 weeks before the start of the tournament. Once again, Play In Challenger is lucky and some of the greatest worldclass tennis players will be present on Tennis Club Lillois Lille Métropole, from 23 to 29 March.
Always to be considered with cautious, since players can withdraw until the very beginning of the tournament, the just released entry list is exciting and lets expect a very nice 3rd edition of Play In Challenger.
Let’s start by Antoine Hoang. The young French player hit the headlines last year in Roland Garros, after reaching the third round, with notably a victory over Fernando Verdasco. He participated in the two first editions of Play In Challenger, and will be clearly among the favorites this year to capture the title.
Another French player to be followed: Quentin Halys. Semi finalist last year, he will try to do even better this year. Former winner of Petits As, who especially reached in January Australian Open main draw, he will be eager to confirm its good start of the season.
Getting used to Play In Challenger, and « local players» of the tournament, Constant Lestienne and Maxime Janvier are also announced. Arthur Rinderknech, one of the French revelations since the start of the year (winner in Rennes and Calgary Challengers, runner-up in Drummondville), will also be one of the attractions of this edition.
From international players, Austrian Dennis Novak will be the first top 100 to participate in Play In Challenger (85th). German Dustin Brown is back this year. Player with Jamaican roots will without any doubt ensure the show and will delight his numerous fans. Serbian Viktor Troicki, already there last year, is also expected. Winner of the Davis Cup in 2010 (against France…), winner of ATP Cup in January, with his good friend Novak Djokovic, ranked 12th in 2011, the Serbian player is just a star of the ATP World Tour. Isreali Dudi Sela will be also an attractive player. Ranked 29th in 2009, year where he reached 4th round in Wimbledon, he offsets his modest size (1,75m) by a fantastic ball touch and an exceptional eye. Uzbek Denis Istomin will be another star to be followed. Ranked 33rd in 2012, he reached several times 4th round in Grand Slam, and won 2 ATP titles. He is a major ATP player, who will be present on courts from 23rd March.
Young Russian rising star, Roman Safiullin, who recently lifted the trophy in Cherbourg Challenger, will have to be watched carefully. Do not forget German Yannick Maden, semi finalist 2 years ago, runner-up last year…it may be his turn this year. At last, Dutch Robin Haase and Belgium Ruben Bemelmans, well known in Tennis Club Lillois Lille Métropole, since defending its colors for several years during First Division French Team Championships, will evolve nearly at home.
Let’s note the presence of French-American Maxime Cressy. Born in Paris, then having played in US University tour, the 22 years old player is in very good shape, since he captured his first victory in Challenger 2 weeks ago, in Drummondville (Canada).
At last, regarding « young guns », we will have to retain the name of two rising stars: the great French hope Hugo Gaston, and Australian Max Purcell, who just reached at 21 final of Australian Open in doubles.
Globally, 23 nationalities are expected for this new edition, with 15 former top 100 players, and 8 former top 50. Let’s still wait a few days, before attending the first matches…
Play In Challenger, from 23 to 29 March in Tennis Club Lillois Lille Métropole, rue du mal assis, Lille
Free entrance from Monday 23 to Thursday 26 March (including night session/100th anniversary)
Friday 27 March: 5 € (2 € under 12 years)
Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 March: 10 € (5 € under 12 years)
Afterwork on Wednesday 25 and Friday 27 March, from 6.30 pm to 9.00 pm: 15 € (8 € under 12 years)
Weekly pass for FFT licensees (including one afterwork, to be chosen between Wednesday 25 March and Friday 27 March) : 20 €
Information and booking on www.playinchallenger.com
Tel : +33 3 20 38 47 00