ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT
About Istanbul Challenger
Istanbul Challenger is conducted under the guidance of "Association of Tennis Professionals ATP Tour" which rules the world tennis and it is one of the Challenger series tournaments. Istanbul Challenger is the one and only tennis tournament in Turkey which has been organized for 73 years.
The Challenger series started in 1979 with the sponsorship of American Express company and 25.000$ prize money. Nowadays Challenger series consists of 150 tournaments scattered around the world's 50 countries with awards ranging from $ 40,000 to $ 220,000. With its former name Istanbul Tennis Tournament, Istanbul Challenger is a unique international sporting event which has been held in Turkey since 1946.
The Akbank Private Banking - TED Open Tennis Tournament, which was organized in 2003, was awarded the "2003 Challenger Award" which has been given by ATP for the most successful organized tournament among the 129 tournaments. Roger Federer, who was number one at that time, gave our award to our president Professor Dr. Mehmet Tınaz in France. Istanbul Challenger has repeated the same success in 2004, but tournament was honored with a letter this time because of the policy of ATP about not giving Challenger award back to back to the same tournament.
The vision of Istanbul Challenger International Men's Tennis Tournament, one of Turkey's most established sports organizations, is to make it one of the world's most successful organized tournaments in its class.
Istanbul Challenger welcomed the stars at the top of world tennis such as Fabrice Santoro, Ivo Karlovic, Mario Ancic, Garcia Lopez, Phillip Kohlschreiber, Richard Gasquet, Robin Söderling, Thomas Berdych and Nikolay Davydenko.
Approximately 50 of the top 200 tennis players in the world rank participate to the tournament. Istanbul Challenger is a tournament where many of the world's stars pass by with its successful organization, its pleasant atmosphere and its prize money. At the same time, it is a springboard for Turkish tennis players and with this feature, it rises Turkish tennis to the world class.
There are singles and doubles categories in Istanbul Challenger. 74 games are played over 3 sets in 8 days, including qualifying round, main draw and doubles. Each set has a Tie-Break rule. Around 3000 balls are used in the tournament. Up to the quarter finals 4 and then 7 line referees and in each game, 3 to 5 ball collectors work.5 foreign referees work at the tournament. The best tennis referees ever such as Lars Graff, Mohammed Lahyani and Carlos Sanches have recently served as head-referees in Istanbul Challenger.
We convey our gratitude to the American Express, our main sponsor, who support us at this hard challange, and to all our other sponsors, our members and media and press members who helped us make TED lead Turkish Tennis. At the same time we commemorate with mercy, our unforgettable president and the creator of Istanbul Challenger, Dr. Behbut Cevanşir.