CHANGES across the ATP Challenger Tour means that the 2019 Ilkley Trophy at Ilkley Lawn Tennis and Squash Club will receive more direct entries to the main draw than in previous years.

The bigger field, and reduction in qualifying rounds, means that the trophy will condense the same amount of matches as usual into a packed seven days (June 17-23), rather than nine.

Tennis fans will be able to watch a programme of matches each day from players often ranked within the global top 100.

A rise in prize money from the ATP means that this year the men are playing for part of a prize fund of €137,560, an increase of more than €5,000.

The women’s prize fund from the ITF remains unchanged at $100,000.

The Fuzion 100 Ilkley Trophy takes place at the Ilkley club each June and in 2019 celebrates its fifth year on the ATP Challenger and ITF Women’s circuits.

Welcoming hundreds of players, coaches and spectators to the town, year on year, the Ilkley Trophy has quickly grown to be one of the highest-level tournaments for professional tennis players keen to gain experience and the vital ranking points needed to move up in the world player rankings.

The final grass court tournament in the ATP Challenger tour, the Ilkley Trophy has become a key warm-up tournament for players in the run up to Wimbledon.

There has been great success for the Ilkley champions over the years; wildcards into the main draw have been awarded to Denis Kudla (2015) and Sergiy Stakhovsky (2018) as well as Tereza Smitkova (2018) and most notably in 2017 when the Ilkley women’s singles winner Magdalena Rybarikova went on to reach the semi-finals at the All England Club.

Charlie Maunder, ILTSC manager and tournament director, said: “Five years on and we’ve achieved a huge amount since the tournament to come to town.

"The event has grown, not just in size – we are now able to seat 800 spectators on centre court alone; back in 2015 it was just 300 – but also in reputation, named as ‘Competition of the Year’ for the north in the 2018 British Tennis Awards.

"People know that they can come to Ilkley in June and watch some serious tennis action while also enjoying some of Yorkshire’s famous hospitality.

"Every detail of the event is re-examined each year to help us build on previous successes, and of course learn from anything that could be done better.”

"Over four years we’ve welcomed 19,000 spectators; more than 700 volunteers have staffed the car parks, driven players around and sold programmes.

"Seven hundred players have played the courts; 480 ball crew from Ilkley Grammar School have tended the nets and 5,000 young people have benefitted from free coaching.

"It’s a massive team effort and we like to think of the tournament as much more than a sporting event; it’s a celebration of some fantastic tennis and, quite simply, a really good day out.”

Tickets are available now, and to book visit