There’s no need to watch TV for pro tennis this week. Simply turning to central Pennsylvania should do just fine.
The Koser Jewelers Tennis Challenge is in full swing this week at Hempfield Recreation Center, bringing top players from around the world together to compete in the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event. Always a player and fan favorite, the event is especially interesting this year as it takes place just weeks before the US Open.
Qualifying began on Sunday, with main draw action beginning Tuesday.
With the event’s timing in relation to the US Open, this year’s tournament has attracted a number of players with tremendous tennis resumes. Irina Falconi, who has played in each of the four Grand Slam tournaments at least twice, is one of those players. She joins Pennsylvania natives Alexandra Mueller (a former Koser champ) and Julia Cohen, among others with impressive world rankings, who are also entered into the main draw.
The doubles side also has a strong draw and a group of interesting storylines. One of those storylines is the team of Lindsay Graff and Veronica Corning, who competed against one another in June’s US Open National Playoffs and are now teamed up as doubles partners.
On Sunday, USTA Middle States will host a USTA Member Appreciation day, which will feature photo opportunities, giveaways, and information on how to get involved. Spectators at the event are encouraged to stop by the USTA booth to connect with Middle States and share their #Love2Play stories.
Hempfield Rec has hosted a women’s USTA Pro Circuit event in May from 2008 to 2013, with this being the second straight year it has hosted a 25k event.
The event has become more and more popular each year in the community, as nearby families have hosted players, and businesses have stepped up to support and sponsor the competition.
This is the only USTA Pro Circuit women’s event taking place in Pennsylvania. Last month, a $10,000 men’s Futures was held in Pittsburgh.
Singles Past winners
August 2013 – Madison Brengle
May 2013 – Aliso Kleybanova
May 2012 – Piia Suomalainen
May 2011 – Robin Anderson
May 2010 – Alexandra Mueller
May 2009 – Laura Granville
May 2008 – Kristie Ahn
For updates from the event, follow @HempfieldRec on Twitter. You can also see photos from the Sunday final on Middle States’ Facebook page after the event. Fans can also get additional info from the tournament here.