In another sign of its continued support of American tennis, Oracle Corp. announced today that it is launching four new professional tennis tournaments—two men’s events and two women’s events—in the United States next year in conjunction with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).
The Oracle Challenger Series—two ATP Challenger Tour events and two WTA 125K Series events—will take place as combined events Jan. 20-28, 2018 at the Newport Beach Tennis Club and February 24-March 4, 2018 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Each event will pay equal prize money for a total of $150,000 per tournament.
The top two male and female Americans with the highest accumulated points at the events will be awarded wild cards in their respective singles main draws at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open, held March 5-18 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which is widely considered the top combined ATP/WTA professional tennis tournament in the world. Player participation in the Oracle Challenger Series will be determined by ATP and WTA rankings and procedures used for similar tournaments.
“Tennis players in the United States need more chances to compete at home and more chances to earn a living from the sport,” said Oracle CEO Mark Hurd. “Oracle is committed to American tennis and these events are designed to provide opportunities for players to make meaningful gains in both prize money and ranking points on their home soil. We hope to continue to grow the number of events annually in the years ahead.”
“Our players in the United States are eager for more opportunities like this,” said Chris Kermode, ATP World Tour Executive Chairman and President. “We’re so pleased to partner with a company like Oracle to further promote and develop tennis in the United States.”
“We are thrilled that Oracle is making this commitment to grow the pathway for young emerging national and regional talent here in the USA to reach their goal of competing on the WTA Tour. This will lead to great things for tennis in America,” said Steve Simon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the WTA.
The Series builds on Oracle’s commitment to help support U.S. tennis at both the professional and collegiate level. Earlier this year, Oracle unveiled the Oracle US Tennis Awards, two $100,000 grants awarded annually to assist young players as they transition from college into the professional ranks. Oracle also is working with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) to host the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships, which begins today at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and another resort-area location. The Oracle-sponsored event is the culmination of the fall collegiate tennis season and features the nation’s top 64 men’s and women’s singles players and top 32 men’s and women’s doubles teams. It replaces the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.