Former Gustavus tennis player and current tennis professional Eric Butorac will host the First Annual Minnesota Tennis Challenge this Saturday, December 5 at the Fred Wells Tennis and Education Center in St. Paul. Butorac is bringing five of his good friends from the tour back to Minnesota for the event which will raise funds for youth development through the Fred Wells Tennis and Education Center, the Rochester Boys and Girls Club, and St. Paul Urban Tennis.
The evening, titled The Minnesota Tennis Challenge, includes a team tennis format beginning with women’s singles featuring two of the top 11 year olds in the country – Ingrid Neel and Jessie Aney – both of Rochester. Captains David Wheaton and Steve Wilkinson will substitute tour professionals Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Julie Ditty for the young phenoms to complete the women’s singles. This will be followed by men’s singles, men’s doubles, and the event will end with ATP/WTA Mixed
Doubles. It will be a very exciting evening of professional tennis.
Team Gimelstob captained by David Wheaton will include Justin Gimelstob, Somdev Devvarman, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, and Ingrid Neel will face off against Team Butorac captained by former Gustavus Tennis Coach Steve Wilkinson and including Eric Butorac, Rajeev Ram, Julie Ditty, and Jessie Aney.
“I am very excited that this great group of professional players will be playing in the Twin Cities,” said Butorac. “They have established themselves as some of the most entertaining players in professional tennis. It will be a treat for the Minnesota sports community to see these players compete here in Minnesota especially knowing that the event’s proceeds go to such great charities.”
The event begins at 2:00 pm with a Pro-Am Event. At 4:30 pm the doors open and a Silent Auction begins, while a youth tennis demonstration is going on from 4:30 to 5:00 pm. The player introductions begin at 5:00 pm and the Tennis Challenge takes place from 5:15 pm to 7:45 pm. After the match, the players interact with the youth in attendance taking pictures and signing autographs and the evening concludes with a cocktail reception from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
For complete information about the event go to The Minnesota Tennis Challenge website.