Tennis fans around the world can once again watch their favorite players in action on the USTA Pro Circuit, as all USTA Pro Circuit men's Challenger matches will be streamed live for free in 2013.
The streaming continues in February, starting with the men’s $100,000 Challenger of Dallas. And for the first time ever, matches will be streamed live from a women’s USTA Pro Circuit tournament – the $100,000 Dow Corning Tennis Classic in Midland, Mich., which kicks off Feb. 4.
The USTA first licensed the international digital rights for streaming last year, showing matches from nine Challengers in 2012. This year, a total of 16 Challenger tournaments will be available for fans to watch. (View the 2013 USTA Pro Circuit live streamig schedule
Watch Midland Challenger live
The free, live stream is available at procircuit.usta.com
. Coverage of main-draw matches on the tournament’s main courts includes three unique camera angles, an on-site commentator and scoreboard graphics.
"We are excited and believe that it benefits everyone: tournaments, their sponsors and fans of tennis," said Brian Earley, director of the USTA Pro Circuit.
The streaming of last year’s Challengers proved to be a big success, giving tournaments, sponsors and the cities that hosted the USTA Pro Circuit events prime exposure while also elevating the USTA Pro Circuit’s exposure within the tennis and sporting worlds. Moreover, families and friends of players competing in the tournaments were able to watch their loved ones contest their matches live from anywhere around the globe.
A number of players spent time commentating in the webcast booth, while USTA Player Development coaches were able to use the stream to scout opponents and to keep up with the progress of the players within their programs.
Said Craig Karseno, who provided web commentary during last year’s Challenger in Lexington, Ky.: "We know coaches and players are using [the stream] as a tool. For instance, Denis Kudla's coach was able to watch a really late night match between Matt Reid and Jamie Baker (for scouting purposes)."
Kudla, a former top junior player, is one of the players whose matches will be available to watch via the live stream from the Dallas Challenger. The event, which takes place Feb. 4-9, features a stellar draw with a number of up-and-coming young Americans. In addition to Kudla, those scheduled to compete are two-time reigning NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson, 2010 NCAA men’s singles winner Bradley Klahn and USTA Australian Open Wild Card Playoff winner Rhyne Williams. Ryan Sweeting, Michael Russell and Tim Smyczek are also among the players entered in the draw.
The Midland Challenger, which finishes Feb. 10, is celebrating its milestone 25th anniversary in 2013. A number of the game's top players have made stops in Midland during the early years of their careers, including Maria Sharapova, Justine Henin, Li Na and Anna Kournikova. This year’s main-draw lineup features a number of the U.S.’s top women’s players, including three ranked in the world's Top 100 – No. 85 Melanie Oudin, No. 91 Lauren Davis and No. 99 CoCo Vandeweghe – as well as former college standouts Maria Sanchez and Mallory Burdette.