History

The Helen Ross McNabb Center is thrilled to host the Knoxville Challenger, a six day professional tennis event, to the Knoxville community on November 8-13, 2016.  The Challenger series is part of the USTA Pro Circuit series, which is designed to provide opportunities to aspiring young American professional tennis players to advance to the top levels of the game.

Players competing include pros beginning their careers, pros trying to improve their ATP rankings, and top-ranked junior players. By participating in events, like the Knoxville Challenger, players from the USTA Pro Circuit rise to a level of prominence in the major tour.

Many of the current top-ranked American players as well as many international stars have all competed in the Knoxville Challenger as they were climbing the world rankings.  These pros will compete for a total purse of $50,000 in prize money and for valuable ATP ranking points.

The Knoxville Challenger will be held at the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center on the University of Tennessee campus.  This has been an exciting community event with great sponsors, great food, wonderful media coverage, and most of all, great tennis!  We have seen our finalists go on to compete in major international televised tournaments that have provided us with additional thrills.

In addition to great tennis, there is one component of the Knoxville Challenger that sets it apart from nearly all other professional tennis tournaments.  This event is run entirely for the benefit of the Helen Ross McNabb Center, a local non-profit organization that provides mental health, substance abuse treatment, and social services to those in our community with the greatest need and fewest resources.  The Knoxville Challenger has raised more than $750,000 for the Center over the last 7 years.  This event is also in memory of Harry W. Stowers. His life, work, commitment, and passion for the Helen Ross McNabb Center were of significant benefit to our entire community.

We hope you will join us for this exciting event in support of the Knoxville Challenger and the Helen Ross McNabb Center.