REDDING, Calif. - Some of the best young tennis players are in Redding this week at Sun Oaks Tennis and Fitness Club.
The USTA-Oak River Rehab Challenger is a $25,000 tournament for women tennis professionals September 11-16.
Young professional players from all over the world compete for $25,000 in prize money.
Players travel to Redding from around the world. Many top ranked players have competed here, including current number 1 and 2012 Australian Open winner, Victoria Azarenka and Li Na, winner of the 2011 French Open.
Tournament Director Julia Garcia said players you see in Redding are working towards Grand Slam tournaments and WTA events.
"Probably the most famous now is Victoria Azavenka from Belarus. The No. 1 player in the world and she played here a couple of years ago," said Garcia.
"These are up and coming players. These are players who are working for Grand Slam events such as the U.S. Open and Wimbledon and hope to be there in a year or two."
Prior to the tournament there is a 32 player qualification tournament out of which the eight quarterfinalists move into the main draw of the challenger. There is also a doubles division with 16 teams competing.
Higher ranked players sign up for the tournament and are accepted based on their world ranking.
Main draw play begins on Tuesday, September 11 at 10 am and concludes with singles and doubles finals on Sunday, September 16.
There are several tournament related activities throughout the week. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the Sun Oaks tennis staff will be joined by several touring pros at area schools for informative and fun "tennis assemblies."
On Friday, Sun Oaks joins USTA Norcal in hosting a feature evening match and BBQ for all USTA members. The Kids' Carnival is Saturday, September 15 and introduces kids ages 5-12 to the FUNdamentals of tennis.