The challenge awaits worlds best players

Tanya Mason, Graham Charlton, Adam Crameri, Susie Grumley (back) and Josh Bellingham, Kai Rowley, Will Hamilton and Charlie Hamilton celebrating the launch of the ATP Traralgon Challenger.

Tanya Mason, Graham Charlton, Adam Crameri, Susie Grumley (back) and Josh Bellingham, Kai Rowley, Will Hamilton and Charlie Hamilton celebrating the launch of the ATP Traralgon Challenger.

World number 99 tennis player Jordan Thompson leads a strong Australian contingent for the Traralgon Australian Pro Tour Men's Challenger event which returns to the region next week.

The tournament was launched by Tennis Victoria, Tennis Australia and Traralgon Tennis Club figures at the Traralgon Tennis Club on Thursday.

Tournament director Jason Simmons said there would be no shortage of first-class tennis matches on display during the tournament.

"We're got four of the top 10 Australians coming here, so it's a great lead-in event to the Australian Open summer for them," Simmons said.

"Jordan Thompson is our number one ranked player at 99 in the world and he got through to the final here last year - he'll be coming back to go one better."

Among the 32 players to take part in the tournament is last year's winner Matt Ebden, who returns to defend his title.

There are also a number of international players, with the United States, South Korea, New Zealand, Slovenia and Argentina all represented.

"One of the players who got through to the finals here quite a few years ago Jarmere Jenkins from the United States, he's back," Simmons said.

"He's won two of our pro-tour events the last couple of weeks - one just on the weekend in Toowoomba, so he's a form player and he's coming back."

This year Gippsland tennis clubs are being given the opportunity to connect with the event by hosting free tennis days.

Clubs that hold free tennis days will be connected with a player in the main draw.

If the club's player wins the tournament the club will receive an Australian Open ticket and prize pack.

Traralgon Tennis Club manager Susie Grumley said the club was lucky to host such a prestigious event.

"There's not a lot of country areas that are given the chance to hold this event," Grumley said.

"You've got players who are just inside the top 100 in the world and just outside the top, so the rankings are quite high and to have those players come here is wonderful."

For more information about the tournament or the players visit www.tennis.com.au or www.itftennis.com

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