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Red Rock Rock Pro Open To Be Held Sept. 27-Oct. 4

Thanks to the RJ’s great tennis writer Steve Carp for posting this story announcing this year’s Red Rock Pro Open Sept. 27-Oct. 4.

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By Steve Carp
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Local tennis fans will have plenty to watch this fall.

The Red Rock Pro Open, a $50,000 U.S. Tennis Association Women’s Pro Circuit event, returns to Red Rock Country Club from Sept. 27 to Oct. 4.

Two weeks later, men’s pro tennis returns with the inaugural Las Vegas Tennis Open, a $50,000 ATP Tour Challenger Series event that will be played at UNLV’s Fertitta Tennis Complex.

It will be the first men’s pro tournament in Las Vegas since the Tennis Channel Open was played at the Darling Tennis Center in 2008.???????????????????????????????

The women’s tournament, in its seventh year, draws players ranked as high as No. 75 in the world on the WTA computer. Madison Brengle, who won last year’s Red Rock Pro Open, is ranked No. 43 in the world.

Six players from last year’s main singles draw are currently in the top 100, according to tournament director Mike Copenhaver.

“We’ve been fortunate over the years to welcome some of the rising stars of the WTA Tour to Las Vegas,” Copenhaver said. “We are one of the most popular stops on the Pro Circuit for the players. Everyone loves to come here.”

The field for this year’s event will be announced shortly before the tournament.

The Tennis Channel Open was moved to South Africa mainly because of a lack of sponsorship. But UNLV men’s tennis coach Owen Hambrook reached a deal with the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education to be a partner for the tournament, scheduled for Oct. 18 to 25.

“Andre’s name gives a lot of credibility to the event,” said Hambrook, who is helping gather sponsorships but will not be the tournament director because of NCAA rules. “But we want to make it a community event and make it affordable for everyone.”

Hambrook said Hassan Humayun, director of tennis at Anthem Country Club, will be the tournament director. Humayun said Friday that by aligning the tournament with the ATP rather than the USTA, it should attract a stronger field.

“I think it’s easier to attract players with the ATP name because they’re trying to build up their ranking, and with a Challenger, you have a greater opportunity to do that,” Humayun said.

A similar tournament was played at the Fertitta Complex in 1997 when Agassi was trying to ressurect his career in a $50K ATP Challenger. Humayun won’t get the cachet of an Agassi for a drawing card, but he hopes to attract enough ranked players in need of late-season points.

“We’re probably looking at attracting players in the top 200,” Humayun said. “There’s three Challenger events in Northern California before ours, and we might be able to attract a couple of top 100 guys. But I think we’ll get a strong field.”

Both tournaments are seeking volunteers. See www.RedRockProOpen.com and www.lasvegastennisopen.com for information.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him: @stevecarprj