The only professional men’s tennis tournament in Mississippi is in Southaven this week, as the Snowden Grove Tennis Complex hosts the Oliver Foundation USTA Pro Circuit Men’s $25,000 Aug. 6-13.
The tournament is a part of the USTA Pro Circuit Men’s Competitive Pathway, sometimes referred to as Challengers or Futures events.. The Pro Circuit is akin to the “minor leagues” of tennis, where all future ATP touring pros start their careers.
Tennis pros from 14 different countries took part in the event in 2022, and 12 countries are already represented in the main draw this year. Nathan Ponwith is set to be the #1 seed, and is currently ranked 396 in the world. He’ll be joined by a host of touring pros, including former NCAA champions Thai-Son Kwiatkowski of Virginia and Zeke Clark of Illinois. Former Ole Miss standout Finn Reynolds will also be there.
Keith Evans, who has been serving as the Tournament Director of this event at various locations since 2004, is excited to bring professional tennis to the area.
“This is a great event and great opportunity for tennis fans to be able to see professional tennis up close and see how good these guys are,” Evans said “The circuit has been around for decades, and all great pros have to come up this way before hitting the ATP Tour.”
Snowden Grove in Southaven will offer many different activities throughout the week such as a Pro-Am on Monday at 6 p.m. and a Kids Day on Wednesday Aug. 9 at 4 p.m. open to all area juniors to attend.
“So many great pros have played in this event before they went on to become household names,” Evans said. “We’ve had James Blake, Mardy Fish, John Isner, and Denis Shapavalov just to name a few, and Tennys Sandgren was here just last year. We’re thankful to over 33 sponsors that have contributed just for us to be able to host the event.”