The Challenger Tour’s inaugural stop in Calgary has culminated with a compliment from winner Ivo Karlovic. The 39 year old has become the oldest player in history to win a title on the Challenger Tour and in so doing has remarked that the Acadia Tennis Centre in Calgary is “unbelievable”. Calgary should take great pride in this feedback given the number of establishments this man would have played in during his lengthy career.
I had attended early round matches this past week and can attest that the organization was excellent in the context of this being the first major event run from this facility. The quality of play was outstanding but attendance was lacklustre. Canadian top ranked players Filip Peliwo and Brayden Schnur graced the courts making an impact on the draw with early round wins. The 2016 junior player of the year, Casper Ruud, stood out magnificently with consistency and power from the ground. Borna Gojo may have surprised himself with a spot in the semis having come from qualifying. For those fans looking for free pro tennis, qualifying rounds served up incredible value.
Next year I anticipate sponsors to follow up on their financial commitment by filling their boxes and showcasing the event. Local tennis enthusiasts who this year witnessed jaw dropping racquet skill and athleticism will next year undoubtedly share the merits of a ticket.