Women's professional tennis is coming to the Portland area.
A $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger event is scheduled for July 15-21 at Tualatin Hills Tennis Center as part of an agreement reached through the Greater Portland Tennis Council.
"We're excited about this opportunity to bring women's pro tennis to Portland," says Brian Loomis, who serves as president of the GPTC, a non-profit organization dedicated to the betterment of the Portland tennis community. "The USTA thinks Tualatin Hills is a premium site to host this event, and we're hoping to use it as a fund-raiser."
The Portland stop will be one of three on a Challenger series that will include events at Yakima, Wash., and Lexington, Ky. The player who earns the most points in the three tournaments will earn wild-card entry into the main draw of the U.S. Open in September.
"We're expecting some excellent talent," Loomis says. "Probably players with (Women's Tennis Association) rankings of between 75 to 220 in the world. And perhaps someone rehabbing from an injury who is ranked even higher than that."
Loomis submitted an application for Portland to be included in the circuit for 2014.
"But they were short a site for this year, and granted us an event on short notice," Loomis says.