A bevy of next-generation and veteran tennis talent -- highlighted by the presence of the world’s former No. 8 in Jack Sock – are ready to vie for $100,000 in prize money and valuable ATP points in the 2019 NorthBay Healthcare Men’s Pro Championship that gets under way Monday.
"We are thrilled to have a standout like Sock, defending champion Bjorn Fratangelo and named-brand players like Thanasi Kokkinakis and Donald Young Jr. on display this year," said Tournament Director Phil Cello.
The tournament runs through Sunday, Oct. 13 on the tennis courts at Solano Community College in Fairfield. There will be a 48-man main draw and a 16-team doubles field game to compete.
Tournament matches will be streamed live online at www.atpworldtour.com/en/atp-challenger-tour. Some coverage will also be picked up by the Tennis Channel.
The Fairfield tournament is the final leg of the men’s worldwide ATP Challenger Tour and USTA Pro Circuit run through Northern California. It is one of the rare “100” tournaments -- meaning a $100,000 overall purse -- in the United States and a great opportunity to watch high-caliber professional tennis right up close.
Players this year come in with rankings between No. 107 and 388, and range in age from 18 to 30. Individual career earnings range from just $178,000 to one player’s total of $10.5 million. It features 22 Americans, three Australians, three from Great Britain and representatives from Canada, Turkey, Japan, Germany, Ecuador, Barbados, Spain, Slovenia and Taiwan.
This tournament has proved to be a strong breeding ground for ATP talent. There are currently 14 former Fairfield Challenger players in the top-100. Twenty alumni were in the main draw in the recent U.S. Open.
Sock is currently ranked No. 210 but has been as high as No. 8 as late as 2017 before being derailed by injuries. He has four singles titles on the ATP Tour on his resume, with his most recent coming in 2017 at the Masters 1000 event in Paris.
The Lincoln, Neb., native is also accomplished in doubles as well, having won 14 ATP titles, three in Grand Slams, including both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2018. He also has a mixed doubles title at the U.S. Open in 2011 at the U.S. Open and an Olympic gold medal in 2016.
American Bjorn Fratangelo is the Fairfield defending champion. He beat Alex Bolt of Australia in straight sets last October. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native ranked No. 137 in the world, has competed in all four major tournaments and has three Challenger wins in his career.
American Denis Kudla, tops among the 2019 Fairfield field at No. 107, recently received strong television coverage on ESPN when he reached the third round of the U.S. Open last month. He was eliminated in straight sets by top-seed Novak Djokovic. Kudla has won six Challenger events in his career, the last coming in Canada in 2018.
Kokkinakis earned fame in 2018 by knocking off then-top seed Roger Federer at the Miami Open. The 30-year-old Young is a veteran of the courts who drew interest with deep runs into the fourth round of the U.S. Open in 2011 and 2015.
Night matches will be on display for just the second time in the tournament’s history. Tickets for day and evening sessions can be purchased on the tournament’s website at Fairfieldprotennis.com.
School will be in session at Solano College during the tournament, so the normal $2 parking fee will be in place. Daily parking tickets can be purchased at yellow kiosks located in each parking lot around the campus and must be visible on the dashboard during tournament play.
There will be special event days with USTA members getting free admission during the day on Tuesday, Green Valley Appreciation Day on Thursday and Kids Day on Saturday. Solano College students and faculty get free admission throughout the tournament by showing their IDs, as do employees of NorthBay Healthcare.
The tournament benefits the Dr. Chris Cammisa Tennis and Educational Foundation, an organization that supports the women’s and men’s teams at Solano College and also introduces tennis and a related educational program to underserved youths in Solano County.
There are still numerous opportunities to be tournament sponsors, volunteers, and for youth, to be “Ball Kids,” during the matches. For tournament questions or to volunteer to be a part of the annual event, contact tournament director Cello by phone at (707) 853-0915 or email Cellotennis@Comcast.net, or assistant director Rafael Rovira by phone at (707) 246-0990, or email at Rafael.rovira@Solano.edu.
Tournament information is also available on Facebook. Search for it at “Chris Cammisa Tennis and Education Foundation.”