The world of professional tennis rarely comes closer to these shores than it has over the last two weeks at Wimbledon but starting today in a corner of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown it does just that.
The Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Men’s International Championships is an ITF Pro Circuit Futures Event and carries the not inconsiderable sum of €25,000 in prize money.
The ITF Pro Circuit is an entry level professional tennis initiative, a natural first step in the life of a professional tennis player and players such as Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer all participated on the ITF Pro Circuit in their early careers.
Ireland’s Sam Barry, Peter Bothwell and Simon Carr are all taking part in the event which features players from Britain, France, the United States, Australia, Spain, Switzerland and Austria.
The tournament is backed by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and is expected to draw a large summer crowd to Carrickmines located just off the M50.
This is the first of two international tennis tournaments taking place in Dublin this summer with the irish Open Men’s and Women’s tournaments taking place at the Fitzwilliam Club in Dublin the following week.
These tournaments are backed by AIG and provide a welcome return for both to a higher level of international recognition.
The prize fund for the Irish Open tournaments is at the same level as at Carrickmines.
These are the first such international tournaments to take place here for a number of years though there is a long history of attracting big names with Rod laver, Billie Jean King and Virginia Wade on the roll of honour for the Irish Open tournaments.
Attracting the tournaments back to Ireland at this level is a significant boost for CEO Richard Fahey who was appointed in January of this year.
Find out more about our next major event looking at the impact of Sport for Social Good in September 2017.