After a long time, Chilean tennis will once again have an audience in the stands. These are the Challengers 80 of Santiago 2 and 3, which will be held consecutively at the Palestinian Club between October 4 and 17, and that they are part of the Dove Men + Care South American Legion Circuit. Without going further, The last time a spectator tournament was played was at the ATP 250 in Santiago, which ended on March 1, 2020. Therefore, this return takes on a special connotation.
“We are very happy to be able to receive the public. Tickets are already on sale by Puntoticket and So far we have a capacity of 60%, but we are waiting for what the authorities say on Monday to see if we can increase it to 75%”, Says Horacio de la Peña, the creator of this circuit that contemplates 12 challengers, 12 M15 y 12 W15 and that it appeared at a very difficult time of the pandemic, with the collaboration of prominent South American extenistas.
Regarding the success of the tournament cycle, the former Argentine tennis player is pleased. “The first thing I can tell you is that it is incredible what we have achieved. I can not believe it, because normally players at this time of year had three tournaments and nothing else and now they have 12. The amount of South Americans who are going to get into the top 100 is tremendous, “he says. And adds: “We have a four-year contract and Chile is going to be the protagonist, because among other things, the director of Dove Men + Care Chile, Francisco Spirito, was the one who helped me push this idea to Dove Care Mundial ”.
El Pulga explains the sanitary measures that both events will have, where fans will only be able to enter with their corresponding mobility pass. “The areas are completely differentiated. The public goes to the stadium and the players will be in the club. Tennis players enter the tournament with negative PCR upon arrival, which will be repeated on Wednesday. In addition, the entire bubble will also have to be PCR negative ”, he details.
For the contest that begins on Monday, two of the three invitations have already been defined. “Gonzalo Lama will have one and the other is Víctor Núñez, who won the Prequaly. The other will come from between Diego Fernández and Matías Soto. It’s something we’re going to see now, ”says De la Peña. In addition, Nicolás Jarry and Tomás Barrios will be present, who classified directly by their ranking.
The tournament tour will continue in October and November and will end with a Triple Master in December. “We are going to end the year with a tournament at the Monticello Arena, between December 16 and 19, where the eight best South American men will play, another in which the eight best South American women will participate and one in which the legionaries will participate. It will have prizes similar to a challenger 80 ”, announces De la Peña.
On the idea of having historical figures from the continent playing, the organizer is excited. “The idea is very exciting, because it is also something quite playful. We are seeing if Coria, Chela, Acasuso, Lapentti can come and we are also going to see if Nico Massú or Fernando González are available ”, aim.