Warren Henderson/Capital News Top-seeded Alex Sarkissian won the 2017 Kelowna Futures Tennis Tournament.

Futures tennis a hit in Kelowna

The 2017 pro tournament drew big crowds for weekend matches

With more than double the attendance of any of the previous five events, the ITF Kelowna Futures Tennis Tournament reached a new benchmark in 2017.

More than 3,000 fans took in the week-long, $25,000 pro event at the Parkinson Recreation Centre courts, an encouraging sign for tournament director Joachim Nierfeld.

“Really, it was the best one yet in terms of how many people came out and watched the tournament,” said Nierfeld. “The calibre of play is always very good, I never worry about that. The kinds of crowds you’re going to get, you just don’t know.

“This year, from Tuesday on, we had big crowds every night. On the weekend, it was just packed so that was great to see.”

A representative from Tennis Canada was on hand for the tournament and, according to Nierfeld, was suitably impressed with the way the event was run.

Nierfeld hopes to one day see the event evolve into an ATP Challenger tournament, the next step up the pro tennis ladder with a $50,000 purse. However, the size of the Kelowna facility doesn’t yet meet specifications for the ATP, so Nierfeld expects the Kelowna Futures Tournament to return again in 2018.

Regardless of the size and prestige of the annual event, Nierfeld’s main objective is promoting the game at the grassroots level.

“We’re creating energy with this tournament and having the pros here really puts the spotlight on the game,” he said. “More than anything, I want this to benefit the game at the grassroots level. Growing tennis in Kelowna, that’s the ultimate goal.”

The top seed at this year’s tournament, American Alexander Sarkissian, took home top honours defeating Canadian Filip Peliwo 6-2, 6-4 in Sunday’s final. Sarkissian was ranked 270th in the world in men’s singles heading into the event.

Just Posted

Kelowna woman runs to beat hunger

Teri Kanner is collecting donations for the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank

Battle of the concert bands in Lake Country

The annual Concert Band competition is held at Creekside Theatre April 24 to 26

Snoozed through the news? We’ve got you covered

Every Saturday, the Capital News will feature popular stories from the week

Immigrant finds Kelowna job market challenging

Pearl has a Master’s Degree in Finance and was able to find work through KCR

Okanagan Eats back for another year

Okanagan Eats features vendors, chef demos, and so much more. This isn’t your average food show.

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs to sleep

VIDEO: 33 Oliver-area homes evacuated due to flooding

Flooding in the Sportsman Bowl area has swelled drastically over course of one week

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Pulp mill fined $900,000 for leaking effluent into B.C. lake

Mackenzie Pulp Mill pleaded guilty to depositing deleterious substance into water frequented by fish

B.C.’s 2-year lobbying ban starts May 1

Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists can grant exemptions from the prohibition if public interest

Horgan speaks of government’s successes to ‘friends’ at CUPE BC convention

CUPE BC president Paul Faoro said was first time a B.C. premier addressed convention in some time

Most Read