Tel Aviv Watergen Open Tennis Event Kicks Off
On Sunday, the Tel Aviv Watergen Open professional tennis tournament for men kicked off at the Expo Tel Aviv fairgrounds.
The focus was initially on three players from Israel who have gotten the opportunity to make their mark in this event, even though their world rankings are low.
Therefore, they would not be able to enter the event based on just their merit.
The leading attraction
The prize money offered in the tennis tournament is around $1.2 million, which makes it the richest one to be conducted in Israel.
The tournament’s leading attraction is none other than Novak Djokovic, who was the former No.1 player, but has currently come down in the rankings to the No. 15th spot.
Nonetheless, he still has the unquestionable skill and the ambition of once more recapturing the top spot in world tennis.
The tournament will be played throughout the week, with the final being held on next Sunday. As for Djokovic, he will be seen in action later on in the week.
As far as local interest is concerned, Yshai Oliel from Israel will be in the spotlight, who currently holds the No. 381 in world rankings.
The main draw starts on Monday and he has gotten a wild card for it. Two other players have received wild cards for the qualifying competition.
These are Eden Leshem who is ranked 421st and Daniel Cuckierman, who is ranked 430th.
These two players were to begin playing from Sunday and were hoping that they would also be able to participate in the featured part of the competition with their teammate in the David Cup, Oliel if they are victorious.
A bright spotlight has been shone on the tennis tournament by Serbian Djokovic, who has become a rather household name.
He is recognized as a master of tennis and was playing in London this weekend at the Laver Cup for team Europe.
He will also attend the tennis tournament in the doubles event with the Davis Cup captain from Israel, veteran Yoni Erlich.
The entry list
Some of the other entries in the ATP 250 event includes Diego Scwartzman from Argentina, who currently occupies the No. 19 spot in world rankings.
Croatia’s Marin Cilic, who is at the No. 16 spot, is also included. He was a US Open Champion in 2014, a finalist in 2017 in Wimbledon and in 2018 in Australia Open.
The first wild-card entrant who had been announced was Dominic Thiem from Australia, who was the US Open Champion in 2020, and has returned from injury.
The last time a professional tennis event for men was held in Israel was in 1996. That particular tournament was launched in 1978 and had been held each year, with 1982 being the exception.
However, when the tennis circuit was expanding in the 1990s, the funding for the event waned and so, they axed the tournament that was conducted in Ramat Hasharaon at the Israel Tennis Center.
The new tournament has returned to Israel after 26 years.