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Mextenis León Open Wins 2023 Challenger Of The Year
The 'Mextenis León Open', in León, Mexico, has been awarded 2023 Tournament of the Year on the ATP Challenger Tour.
This year, a comprehensive rating system was established on the Challenger circuit, giving players the opportunity to evaluate and grade each tournament they compete in, based on various criteria. After a successful inaugural edition, the Mextenis León Open received the highest rating of all 196 Challenger tournaments. Located in the heart of Mexico, it is the fourth award winner from the country since 2015.
“Our commitment with the players, ATP, fans and sponsors will be always our priority," tournament director Jose Antonio Fernandez said. "We will keep working harder than ever to deliver this kind of experience to our players."
This year's León Challenger, held in April, was won by the-then 19-year-old Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard, who captured his maiden title at that level in front of a packed crowd. The 6'8" Frenchman struck 21 aces in the final and played five tie-breaks across his semi-final and title match in Mexico.
The ATP Challenger Tour also recognises the Vitas Gerulaitis Cup in Vilnius, Lithuania, as the top tournament in the Europe/Africa region. The European nation celebrated its debut on the circuit just one year ago, becoming the 91st different country to host a Challenger tournament.
"It is amazing news to find our tournament being acknowledged in such a high level. This recognition is so important for Lithuanian tennis," assistant tournament director Virginija Paliukaite said. "We worked for so many years just to have an opportunity to organize an ATP Challenger tournament in our country and we came out strongly. This is a proof that we have strong, motivated and competent people and our infrastructure is perfect for such and even higher level tournaments.
"I want to thank the players, our team, volunteers and sponsors. None of this would have happened in the way it did without their contribution. Hopefully, with such a strong debut and inspiration to move and improve forward, Vilnius will stay in the international map of tennis and host more such and better tournaments in the future.”
In South America, the event in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, earned top honours. The Challenger Bolivia also made its second appearance on the calendar in 2023.
"It is a great surprise to have received this award and it fills us with satisfaction to know that the players have selected us as the best ATP Challenger Tour event in South America in 2023," tournament director Carolina Poehlmann said. "We remain firm in our commitment to continue supporting the growth of tennis in Bolivia and we will try to improve to give the best possible conditions to our international competitors."
In the Asia-Pacific region, the tournament in Shanghai made its mark in China's long-awaited return to the Challenger Tour. It is held at the Qizhong Tennis Center, the same site as the Rolex Shanghai Masters.
"We are extremely appreciative and honoured to be named best tournament on the Challenger Tour for 2023 in the Asia/Pacific Region," tournament director Michael Luevano said. "To be back on the tour after four years took a lot of hard work from a team that relished the opportunity to produce a first-rate event. There was a lot of pride that went into creating, promoting and staging the Road to the Rolex Shanghai Masters Challenger and to receive the support of the players in this way is very gratifying.”
Richard Glover, VP Challenger Tour added: "The Challenger Tour has made great strides in 2023, with elevated tournament standards and unprecedented growth across all categories. I would like to congratulate and commend the Mextenis León Open on exemplifying this progress and our tournaments in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Shanghai and Vilnius, for setting the standard in their respective regions. This award greatly reflects their passion, professionalism and commitment to the players and the Tour."December 11, 2023
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