Israel added to tennis ATP Tour 250 in boost for the sport in the country

The tour has attracted top players like Andy Murray, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal


Tel Aviv has been added to the tennis ATP Tour 250 in 2022, bringing international tennis back to Israel more than 26 years after the country last hosted a major tennis competition.

The ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) announced at the end of last week that its tour-level competition in China would be cancelled for third year running due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, making room on the calendar for other cities to be added.

The Tel Aviv Watergen Open 2022 is likely to attract some of the world's top ranked players, who will compete in the daily tournament at the Expo Tel Aviv Complex for nearly $1,200,000 in prize money.

The announcement of an ATP Tour 250 represents an upgrade for Israel, which has previously hosted the lower-level Challenger tour.

The higher-level tournament has previously attracted superstar players including Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Nick Kyrios, and many more.

Tel Aviv is one of five other cities added to the tour later this year, including San Diego in the US, Seoul in South Korea, Florence in Italy, Gijon in Spain and Naples in Italy.

Those cities have only been granted single-year licenses for the time being, reported.

ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said in a statement: “Event cancellations are an unfortunate reality, and we wish our affected tournament members and fans well. At the same time, it’s incredibly encouraging to have many great cities step up to host ATP Tour tennis this season.

“This shows the strong international interest in our product and validates the agile approach we’ve taken in responding to fast-changing circumstances.”

Dr. Michael Mirilashvili, president of Watergen - the open's sponsor - added: "We have been working on this for a long time and we are thrilled that our efforts to host a tennis tournament of this magnitude has paid off. I’m sure that sports and tennis enthusiasts in Israel will enjoy an extraordinary experience. This is truly wonderful news."

The Israel Tennis Association added its thanks to Mirilashvili for his work promoting tennis in Israel, adding: "We are very excited that a tournament of this magnitude is coming to Israel. This is a perfect opportunity for all tennis lovers in Israel to watch top-class tennis players up close while enjoying a tremendous tennis experience."

The Tel Aviv Watergen Open will take place from September 26 to October 2 2022 on its hard courts.

The tournament was played from 1978 through 1981 and 1983 through 1996. Israeli tennis player Amos Mansdorf made it to the final five times, winning in 1987, making him the only Israeli to win the event.

Jimmy Connors won his final career singles title at the event in 1989. The tournament still holds the ATP record for the youngest winner of an ATP event; Aaron Krickstein at the age of 16 and 2 months in 1983.

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