The ‘Euskadi Professional Tennis Circuit’, which brings together the Basque professional tournaments that are part of the ‘World Tennis Tour’ calendar, was presented this Friday at the Hotel Carlton in Bilbao. The circuit awards points for the ATP and WTA world rankings, will begin this coming Sunday, June 16 and will feature the participation of several of the most promising rackets of the international scene, in addition to tennis players already established in the circuit. In total, there will be five tournaments distributed as follows: three men’s tournaments, the Laukariz Open, the Kiroleta Open and the Getxo International Tennis Tournament, of the RC Jolaseta; and two women’s tournaments, the RC Jolaseta, which combines both categories, and the Araba World Tennis Tour of the Peña Vitoriana. All of them are part of the ‘$25,000’ circuit, except for the one in Alava, which is a ‘$100,000′. Access will be free for the public and they will be broadcasted in streaming through the International Tennis Federation (ITF) website and the clubs’ platforms. Laukariz opens the ‘Euskadi Professional Tennis Circuit’.

The youngest of the four tournaments will inaugurate the Basque ITF circuit. The four indoor clay courts of the Club de Campo Laukariz in Mungia will host the first stop of the circuit from June 16 to 22. The magnificent facilities of the Mungiarra club, its impressive natural environment and the hospitality offered by the club to the participants make some tennis players not want to miss this annual event.

Pending confirmation of his presence, Pedro Vives, last year’s runner-up in Laukariz and finalist last week in the M25 Cordoba, is pre-registered. The Balearic tennis player is ranked 575th in the ATP, but the ranking does not reflect his true potential and is conditioned by studying at TCU (Texas, USA). Alberto Barroso (378th ATP) has a better ranking, with six titles in the international circuit and will return to Laukariz with the desire to get rid of the thorn stuck in his side a year ago, when he was eliminated in the first round.

For the Czech Dominik Palan (397) it will be his debut on the clay of Laukariz. If there are no last minute setbacks, the Basques Mikel Martínez, John Echeverria, Carlos Divar and Pablo Riva will also participate in the Mungia tournament. Alex Martinez (774), Catalan and student at the American University of Oklahoma, and Svyatislav Gulin (434), born in Russia and based in Alicante, will also be present. Both won over the Biscayan public in the two previous editions and have the support of a large number of fans in all their matches.

The Laukariz-Mungia ITF will include a Head clinic for boys and girls, a women’s championship for local tennis players and a wheelchair tennis exhibition. Until June 22nd, the ITF 3rd Open Laukariz will be looking for the champion to win the txapela, which was won by Iñaki Montes-Latorre (493) from Navarre in 2022 and Henrique Rocha (197) from Portugal in the last edition.

Bakio Kiroleta Open, one step away from the ruby wedding The second appointment of the circuit will take the tennis players to the coast of the Uribe-Butrón region, where the 39th edition of the Open Kiroleta – ‘Bakio Udala’ Saria will be held. The Preliminary Phase will begin on June 23rd, and from June 24th onwards the 32 players of the final draw will enter the competition on the hard court of the Bakio club. The key moments of the tournament will come on Thursday (June 27), with the quarterfinals, Friday (June 28) with the singles semifinals and the doubles final, and especially on Saturday, June 29 at 6 pm, with the singles final that will fill the Alberto Berasategui center court. Registration will once again be one of the strong points of the tournament with Frenchman Robin Bertrand (303 ATP), one of the most promising players in French tennis, as the number 1 seed. Also of note are Frenchman Lucas Poullain (326), runner-up in Bakio last year, Belgian Michael Geerts (327) and Australian James McCabe (342). Not to forget the Czech Dominik Palan who will try to repeat his victory of 2022, or Pérez Sanz from Burgos, who won in Bakio in 2014. The Basque representation will be headed by the reigning champion of Euskadi, Carlos Divar and the irundarra John Echeverría, who usually has good performances in the greenset bakiotarra. The ‘Solidarity Barbecue’, the concert of ‘La Costa Oeste’, as well as the official party of the tournament, the adapted tennis, or the women’s tournament of National category that will be played the week before the ITF tournament, will continue to be part of the hallmarks of one of the most traditional tournaments of the international circuit.

Jolaseta’s double challenge The third consecutive week of tennis in the Basque Country will open with the 32nd edition of the Getxo International Tennis Tournament, on the courts of the RC Jolaseta, from June 30 to July 7. The Neguri tournament is one of the few championships at international level that has the important challenge of simultaneously holding two tournaments, women’s and men’s. To do so, it will use six courts, three open and three semi-covered, all of them made of earth. In the absence of confirming the participation, which will be known over the next week, it is already known that there will be seven days of competition in which almost 150 matches will be played, with players of more than 25 nationalities and from 5 continents. The finals will be played on Saturday, July 7 in the morning and consecutively. The champions, in addition to winning a good number of ATP/WTA points, will also receive the traditional trophy, a replica of the Aixerrota mill.

The local participation will be headed by the champion of Euskadi Absolute, Mercedes Aristegui, and Jorge Mendieta, both members of the club getxotarra, who have already demonstrated their high level in previous editions of the tournament. La Peña Vitoriana, to repeat the success of 2023 La Peña Vitoriana Tenis Club made the leap to the ‘$100,000’ in 2023. A success of participation, media coverage and level of tennis that could be seen in the magnificent facilities of the capital of Alava.

The icing on the cake of this “Basque Tour” will be the fifth edition of the Araba Women’s World Tennis Tour to be held from July 15 to 21. The club from Gasteiz has made an important leap in the ranking by organizing one of the most powerful women’s tournaments in the state, after joining the calendar of the 100,000 dollars in prize money. In addition, the international federation has awarded it a star in recognition of good organization and valuation of the players themselves, which places the Alava event among the 22 best women’s ITF tournaments in the world.

The championship will inaugurate the hard court season (after finishing the grass court campaign at Wimbledon just the week before) and will bring many players to Vitoria-Gasteiz to start preparing for the fast court period, with an eye on the US Open. The seeded players are expected to be around the 100th position in the women’s world ranking. Previously, the IV edition of the Isa del Campo National Women’s Open will be held (June 24-29), where the champion and runner-up will have as a prize the presence in the ITF in its final and preliminary phase. The event will have numerous parallel activities such as the ‘Tennis Street’, which will reach different neighborhoods of the city, as well as sessions in about twenty schools, conferences, a clinic for children or an exhibition of adapted tennis Euskadi, point of passage for stars already consecrated. In recent years many tennis players have made the leap to the ‘Top 100’ of the international ranking after being seen in Basque tournaments. The most representative cases of this last decade are those of Roberto Bautista (best ranking 9 ATP), Alejandro Davidovich (21), Joao Sousa (28) Jaume Munar (52), Pedro Martinez (40), Fernando Verdasco (7), Bernabe Zapata (37), Pedro Cachín (54), Carlos Taberner (85) or Arthur Rinderknech (42) The same happens in the women’s category, with the recent presence of world top players, Garbiñe Muguruza and Paula Badosa, or the Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu. Not to mention retired players such as Carla Suárez, Vivi Ruano, Gala León and Anabel Medina, who have contributed to raising the level of the tournaments.