A serving of the world’s best

Some of the leading up-and-comers of Australian and world tennis have converged on the Latrobe Valley for the ATP Traralgon Challenger tournament.

Thirty-two players will battle it out in the singles while 16 pairs chase the tournaments’ doubles title.

Qualifiers for the event began at Traralgon Tennis Association on Saturday before the main draw kicked off on Monday.

The tournament will feature play every day until it concludes with Sunday’s grand final.

There had been no upsets at the time Valley Sport went to print on Tuesday, with number one seed Jordan Thompson defeating Steven De Waard, 6-2 7-6.

Tournament reigning champion Matt Ebden had a scare in his match against Harry Bourchier, losing the first set 6-4 before coming back to win the next two 6-2 6-1.

In the doubles, American duo Jarmere Jenkins and Anderson Reed defeated Dayne Kelly and Christopher O’Connell 5-7 6-4 10-8 and Omar Jasika and Daniel Guccione easily accounted for Alexander Babanine and Chanchai Sookton-eng, 6-1 6-2.

Traralgon Tennis Association manager Susie Grumley said the tournament presented Latrobe Valley residents with a chance to watch some of the world’s best compete.

“They’re just inside and outside the top 100 in the world – it’s just massive and the community is enjoying seeing how good they are and watch world class tennis in our home town,” Grumley said.

“The ball kids are loving it and most of them are young tennis players and it’s an opportunity for them to be part of the event.

“It really inspires them to be just like these professionals.”

The tournament has featured a number of events including a women’s luncheon on Tuesday, which allowed the visitors to hear from players Luke Saville and Omar Jasika about what life is like on the pro tour.

“The players are always happy to give a talk and help out with anything at the club if they can and that’s really great because that gets them involved with the local community and the club,” Grumley said.