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Norfolk set to host biggest tennis event in the counties history...

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

Press Release

The UTR Pro Tennis Tour presented by The Progress Tour

Norwich, Norfolk - Sunday, April 2nd to Saturday, April 8th


Norfolk set to host the biggest tennis event in it’s history, as Easton Tennis Centre plays host to a $50,000 Men’s & Women’s professional event this Easter weekend.


The Progress Tour returns to Norfolk after the success of its pilot event last November, partnering with Universal Tennis to deliver the biggest event in the counties history.


With a prize purse of $50,000 on offer, the professional tennis event will provide twenty male and twenty female, British and International ATP and WTA ranked professional players the opportunity to compete and earn their share of the prize pot, over the course of the seven day event.


Not since the 1970’s, where the rumoured appearance of a long-haired young swede, named Bjorn Borg was reported at a prize money event in the county, has such a high-profile event taken place in the East-Anglian capital.


Early entrants in the Men’s event include last month’s Pro Tennis Tour Cardiff Champion and British No 22 Millen Hurrion, and former Wimbledon player and Norfolk professional, Richard Bloomfield, along with a host of up and coming British professionals. On the Women’s side, World number 530 Katarina Stesnakova of Slovakia heads the field with Norfolk’s very own star, top 100 Doubles professional and Billie-Jean King Team GB player Olivia Nicholls, currently considering a Wild-card appearance in the event, should schedules align.


The Norfolk connection doesn’t end there, as former Norfolk professional player and Norfolk Mens Team Captain, Barry Fulcher heads up the event as Tournament Director. “Having grown up in Norwich, Im really excited to bring an event of this calibre back to the city” Fulcher said, “since the inception of the Progress Tour some years ago, Ive been keen to return to my roots and host an event here in Norfolk, and the past twelve months has seen us raise the bar with each event (last summer Fulcher ran £10,000 Progress Tour event in Cromer, dubbed ‘Wimbledon-by-the-Sea’ by Judy Murray). This level of tennis is seriously impressive and the field is already shaping up to be the strongest yet. We look forward to running another great event on the fantastic indoor courts at Easton. Its a great opportunity for the people of Norfolk to enjoy high level of tennis on their doorstep.”


Matthew Breese, Head of Commercial Operations at Easton College, said of the event “We were proud to host the Men’s PTT event at the end of 2022 which was the first event of its kind to take place in the UK. When Barry approached us about running a bigger £50,000 event at Easter, we couldn’t wait to get going with plans to make the event even bigger and better than last time. Its great that our facilities here get to be showcased with events of this stature.”


Play begins Sunday 2nd April, and follows a Round-robin format for the first 5 days of the event, before the knockout phase begins on Friday 7th April with the finale taking place on Saturday 8th April, with a bumper day of action. All matches will be live streamed throughout the week, with daily results and schedules found at www.theprogresstour.com/livestreaming. Play starts at 8am each day, and is open to spectators throughout the week. Finals day action starts from 9am, with a limited number of tickets available to purchase on a first come, first served basis to watch a day full of high-quality action. Spectators can get their finals day tickets here - tickets are limited, and are based on a first-come, first-served basis.


Background

Since 2017 The Progress Tour has seen over 4,500 players compete in over 12,000 level-based and progressive matches, paying out over £500,000 in independently sourced and privately funded prize money. Events were designed to provide a platform for rising, current and former professional players to earn a share of the prize fund on British soil. Universal Tennis launched the Pro Tennis Tour in 2021 and has since operated events in 24 countries and paid out over $9m in prize money. The partnership between The Progress Tour and Universal Tennis will see an additional $250,000 invested in to the British Tennis landscape. Easton Tennis Centre is Norfolk’s premier tennis venue and is the largest tennis facility in East Anglia, boasting eight indoor hard courts, 4 European clay courts and a plethora of tennis programmes and academic opportunities across it’s networks.



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