US Open Tennis

Belinda Bencic, of Switzerland, celebrates after defeating Donna Vekic, of Croatia, during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis championships Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, in New York. Bencic has competed in the RBC Pro-Challenge in Tyler. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

What a weekend for up and coming professional women’s tennis athletes who are rising through the ranks at the U.S. Open tennis tournament currently being held in New York City. What you might not know is that quite a few of these athletes have participated in a professional women’s tennis tournament right here in Tyler.

The RBC Pro-Challenge has been held for the previous two years as a high-level professional women’s tennis tournament that allows young athletes as well as some very well-known players who will become household names. Also, and very important for the players are the opportunities for wild card entries into major tournaments like the Australian Open. The list of names who have competed in Tyler that are in the U.S. Open this year just continues to grow.

This year, the list of players who have previously played in Tyler and are either competing or did compete in the current U.S. Open include: Kristie Ahn, Danielle Collins, Caty McNally, Taylor Townsend, Sofia Kenin and Belinda Bencic.

As a matter of interest, Ahn and Collins were the winner and runner-up in the 2017 RBC Pro-Challenge. As of Wednesday morning, Swiss player (and previous Roger Federer mixed doubles partner) Belinda Bencic is the last active player. She won on Wednesday. Bencic advanced to her first Grand Slam semifinal, wearing down Donna Vekic for a 7-6 (5), 6-3 victory.

The level of tennis is top notch so be sure to tune in for the rest of the U.S. Open and set your calendars for the 2019 RBC Pro-Challenge to be held Oct. 27 through Nov. 3 at Tyler Athletic and Swim.

TWITTER: @PhilHicksETFS

Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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