Bolo Bash Tennis is now officially the Little Rock Open – let us tell you what that means.
As many of you know, in 2015 we took on Little Rock’s long-standing Men’s Pro Circuit Futures tennis tournament and added it into our repertoire of events. The tournament joined our popular Bolo Bash Series and was a smash hit right from the start. Although it was brand new to Baptist Health, the tournament was 35 years in the making. Standard Business Systems jumped on board immediately to present this event, and they were committed to doing everything in their power to see it prosper.
Over the next four years, Bolo Bash Tennis helped us to grow and develop partnerships with both the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the City of Little Rock. Then, in 2019, we took a leap of faith (and a giant step up) to become part of the ATP Challenger Tour.
So, what exactly does that mean? The ATP Challenger tour is a series of international men’s professional tennis tournaments. If we were to put it into a pyramid: The top tier would be the ATP World Tour, the second tier would be Challenger Tour Events (hint, hint – that’s us!), and the Futures tournaments (that USED to be us) make up the third and fourth tiers. So basically we jumped up an entire tier and on to a whole new playing field.
Players are still playing to earn sufficient ranking points to become eligible for larger tournaments and advance their careers. They come from all over the world, literally, to play in hopes of earning points. Now, we offer ATP points (90 to be exact) and more prize money ($81,000 – wow!). Players in our tournament will now rank more like 300-100 in the world rather than 800-300. So all this being said – what it really boils down to is that we are bringing in the best tennis Arkansas has ever seen in 2019!
But remember, our tournament is an integral part of these pro tennis player’s careers. These young men have devoted their entire lives to this. We are being given the chance to encourage youth in our community to work hard, stay active, and follow their dreams via these athletes. This has been, and continues to be one of the only pro sporting events in Arkansas. We would like to respect this legacy and the sport. Your support not only benefits Baptist Health Foundation, but young athletes and our community as well.
Jump on board and help us welcome the 2019 Little Rock Open to our state with a BANG! Sponsorships are available and we are always open to community help and involvement.