Decisions have been taken and wild cards of the second edition of Play In Challenger have just been given! Lucky players are … Elliot Benchetrit, Geoffrey Blancaneaux, Rayane Roumane, Evan Furness, and Kenny De Schepper for main draw, and Yannick Mertens for qualifyings!
4 young rising French players and 2 experienced ones: here are in a word the profile of wild card beneficiaries for this second edition of Play In Challenger. Let’s discover these players, with already some interesting performances for all of them…
Let’s start by the youngest of them, with Rayane Roumane, only18, but full of talent. As of today, he is the last French winner of Petits As (in 2014), worldwide reference for 13/14 years. Several injuries unfortunately left him regularly off the courts, but he already attracted the eyes of a lot of tennis ‘experts, at such a point that he was invited by Rafael Nadal to do training at home, in Mallorca. The bull of Manacor declared he has a « great potential» !
Three other young French players of 20 will have to be followed very closely: Geoffrey Blancaneaux, Elliot Benchetrit, and Evan Furness. The first of them is of course well known thanks to his victory in Roland Garros junior in 2016 (where he defeated in final Félix Auger-Aliassime…). He already captured 5 Future tournaments, showing that the transition to « senior» is on a good way. Elliot Benchetrit hit the headlines last year in Roland Garros, where, beneficiary from a wild card, he won a set against Gaël Monfils in the first round. He reached semi final in Mouilleron le Captif challenger in last November. Evan Furness, as to him, is hot since the start of the year, with already 2 Future tournaments captured.
Kenny De Schepper is more experienced. This tall left-handed player especially reached the 4th round in Wimbledon 2013 and hit the 62nd ranking in 2014. He won Open du Nord (former name of Play In Challenger) in 2012.
At last, Yannick Mertens knows very well facilities. Indeed, this Belgium player represented for many years colors of TCLLM, and captured twice Open du Nord (in 2014 and 2016). He will play at home …
Play In Challenger (ATP Challenger tournament 54 160 $ + H)
From 18 to 24 March at Tennis Club Lillois Lille Métropole, 22 rue du Mal Assis in Lille
Free entrance from Monday 18 March to Thursday 21 March
Friday 22 March : 5 euros (2 euros for children under 12)
Saturday 23 March and Sunday 24 March : 10 euros (5 euros for children under 12)
Week pass for FFT licensees : 20 euros (one afterwork offered, on Wednesday 20 March or Friday 22 March)