Ellesse Pro Tennis Challege to benefit City of Reading Tennis Program, Antietam High School tennis

Aug. 5—Pro tennis will be back in Berks County for the fourth straight year, and this year’s Ellesse Pro Tennis Challenge will not only benefit the City of Reading Tennis Program, but also the Antietam High School tennis programs.

A portion of COR’s proceeds are going to Antietam, which suffered severe damage to its courts and lost equipment during last month’s flooding.

The Ellesse Pro Tennis Challenge, which features six players and is presented by the Berks County Tennis Association, will be held Aug. 18-19 at the Emkey Tennis Garden in Wyomissing.

“To bring pro tennis to Berks County and have six top-ranked pro players come to Reading to share world-class tennis with our community is always special,” said Ryan Knarr, BCTA president and Ellesse Pro Tennis Challenge event director, in a press release. “This year it is extra special with our proceeds befitting COR Tennis scholarships for underserved youth and a portion of the proceeds being donated by COR Tennis directly to benefit the Antietam tennis programs to help them recover after the devastating floods in July.

“That is what our pro event is all about, helping people and using tennis as a platform to better humanity in Berks County and beyond.”

Knarr also announced Saturday the Aces for Antietam program. The BCTA will donate $10 for each ace hit during the pro event to flood relief for Antietam tennis, up to $1,000. The USTA Middle States has agree to match the BCTA’s donation, Knarr said.

Round-robin play will be held Aug. 18, with day and night sessions. The semifinals and finals will be on Aug. 19. Prize money is $9,000.

Four of the six players who will participate in the event have been finalized: Filip Misolic of Austria, Maximilian Neuchrist of Austria, Michael Zheng and KP Pannu of New Zealand.

The final two players will be named closer to the event.

Misolic is ranked 158th in the world by the ATP. His career-high ranking is 126th earlier this year. Neuchrist is ranked 225th in the world. His career-best ranking is 135th in 2014.

Zheng, ranked 563rd in the world, was a finalist in last year’s event. The rising sophomore at Columbia out of Montville, N.J., reached the NCAA Round of 16 as a freshman. He was a finalist in June at the ATP Challenger Tour’s Caribbean Open in Puerto Rico.

Pannu, ranked 717th in the world, played in the event in 2021. He qualified for his first ATP 500 event at this week’s Mubadala Citi DC Open.

On Aug. 17, Misolic and Pannu will conduct a one-hour youth clinic at Hampden Park, starting at 7:30 p.m. The clinic, presented by Diadem, will be for players ages 12-18.

Spots in the junior clinic are $40 per player with 50% of the proceeds will benefit COR Tennis, while the other 50% will benefit Antietam tennis. Antietam players will be able to participate in the clinic free of charge, Knarr said.

Players can sign up for the clinic by emailing berkscountytennis@gmail.com or calling 610-451-2401.

Tickets for the Ellese Pro Tennis Challenge will be available starting Monday at https://newcobrands.com/. They will be available in person at Hillcrest Racquet Club, Fromuth Tennis and the Sinking Spring YMCA starting Wednesday.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top