To fall in line with the aims and objectives of Tennis South Africa (TSA) to give local junior talent international exposure, TSA confirmed on Tuesday that Stellenbosch would once again host a back to back series of international tennis tournaments.
The Digicall Futures which was launched last year will be staged again this year at the Maties Tennis Club in the Coetzenburg Sports Grounds of the University of Stellenbosch from 29 October to 20 November 2016. The men’s and women’s series will consist of three tournaments namely the Digicall Futures 1, Digicall Futures 2 and Digicall Futures 3. Each tournament would have a 32 men’s and women’s singles draw and a 16 team men’s and women’s doubles draw. There will be a sign up qualification tournament ahead of each of the three Futures.
In a boost for South African Tennis, TSA confirmed that the wild cards for each of the abovementioned tournament would be awarded through the Curro Wild Card Initiative.
The organisers of the Digicall Futures have decided to allocate 50% of the available wild cards to local junior talent in order to encourage and reward local participation and support for TSA events. In doing so South African players are able to gain access to the main draw of local International events.
The wild cards will therefore be offered to the following players:
· Wild Card to SA Junior National u18 winners played in Bloemfontein in April (boy and girl) into 2 weeks of their choice.
· Wild Card to best SA performing player at the Curro Junior ITF Grade 3 week, to be played in September (boy and girl) into 2 weeks of their choice
· Wild Card to Junior Masters u18 winner (boy and girl), to be played in October, into 2 weeks of their choice
Remaining wild cards will be awarded by the tournament committee on a case by case situation as wild cards do remain the prerogative of the tournament committee.
Carl Roothman of the Organising Committee said “Our idea as organising committee is to reward the top junior players in South Africa with direct access to the Futures in a more structured way and a goal for the top juniors to work towards. It will also give more prominence to the u18 National and Masters titles.”
Tournament Director, Le Roux Conradie of Caylix Sports said “We are truly excited and honoured to have the Digicall Futures Series back at the Maties Tennis Club in Stellenbosch for the 2nd year running and trust that it will give an excellent opportunity for our players and provide an unforgettable experience to each and every player attending. We are extremely grateful to our sponsors for their continuous support and commitment to help with the development and growth of tennis in our country and what better place than Stellenbosch to visit during November.”
Other than the title sponsor Digicall, it was confirmed that Curro Holdings, Stellenbosch Academy of Sport, Stellenbosch University, Chill beverages (Score Energy) and Agua e Vida Water would be associate and supplier sponsors of the series.