Players from the ATP Challenger Tour have displayed their passion for the sport in community events at the St. Joseph’s/Candler Savannah Challenger this week.
Main draw wild card Christian Harrison was joined by local qualifying wild cards Sean Sculley, Blake Croyder, and Damon Gooch to take part in Kids Day down in Savannah, Georgia. The players passed on their expertise in a variety of interactive tennis activities, while some children took to the courts with some creative face paints, before they were offered the opportunity to attend the tournament to watch elite players in action.
“My favourite part was just seeing little kids loving being out on a tennis court, looking back, that’s what it was like for me growing up,” said Harrison, who is based in Florida. “Just knowing that a couple of them will now develop a love for the sport, that I have and so many of us out here have, is great.
“I love playing in Savannah. It’s full of nice people, it’s a great tournament, with great facilities. I love being back in these southern states, it’s like where I grew up. I just feel at home playing out here.”
— Savannah Challenger (@Sav_Challenger) May 3, 2017
The $75,000 Challenger in Savannah also hosted its annual Ladies Day. Players Julian Bradley and James McGee, who ousted #NextGenATP prospect Denis Shapovalov in the first round, helped run a fast-paced event for local women of all skill levels, who simply love the game of tennis. After being put through their paces on court, the ladies caught some of the professionals in match play later in the day.
“It was great a great opportunity to offer a helping hand to come and meet some of the local members and to get a feel for the people from around here,” said McGee. “It’s been a great experience so far this week in Savannah. We’ve had a chance to head down town into the city, it’s a lovely place, very artsy, the people are lovely and it’s been great weather. It’s my fourth year here, I made the final a couple of years back in 2015 (l. Chung), so hopefully I’ll go one step further this year.”