Bester Among Top Seeds for Gatineau National Bank Futures

Top Canadian prospects poised for success on home soil

GATINEAU, QC, Feb. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The players' list for the 4th edition of the Gatineau National Bank Futures was unveiled on Thursday during a press conference at the Sporthèque in Hull. The tournament, which is sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and offers US$10,000 in total prize money, will be held from February 27 to March 7.

The event is part of Tennis Canada's National Bank Circuit which consists of five ITF tournaments contested in various regions throughout Quebec. Since 2006, tennis fans in and around the nation's capital have witnessed the immense talent of some of the sport's rising stars.

Leading the charge for Canada will be Philip Bester (Vancouver, BC) who is currently ranked No. 509 on the South African Airways ATP rankings. Bester turned pro in 2006 and won his first title on the professional circuit last May at a Futures event in Miami, Florida. His 2009 campaign also included a quarter-final finish at his hometown event, the $100,000 Odlum Brown VanOpen where he eventually fell to former World No. 8 and Grand Slam finalist Marcos Baghdatis. Bester was also a junior Grand Slam finalist at Roland-Garros in 2006.

This year's tournament in Gatineau will feature a strong international field filled with up and coming players who are trying to make a name for themselves at the professional level. In the coming days, Tennis Canada will announce which of the country's top prospects will be granted wildcards for the main draw. Meanwhile, many other Canadian will get their first taste of professional competition in the qualifying draw.

"Our National Training Centre athletes are proof of the bright future in store for Canadian tennis," affirmed Louis Borfiga, Vice-President, High Performance Athlete Development, Tennis Canada. "It is important for our young players to gain experience on the professional tour and there is no better place to start than the National Bank Circuit."

The Gatineau National Bank Futures is the first in a series of four consecutive men's tournaments which will be held throughout the province during the month of March. The National Bank Circuit will also stop in Montreal and Sherbrooke for two more Futures events before completing the tour in Rimouski where a $35,000 Challenger will be contested.

For more information on the National Bank Circuit, please visit www.tenniscanada.com.

SOURCE SPORTHEQUE IN HULL

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Emmanuelle Girard, Tennis Canada, Cell: (514) 519-1606

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