Rec Park readies for Tennis Challenger

By Kelly McCarthy

Rec Park readies for Tennis Challenger

July 11, 2013 Updated Jul 12, 2013 at 9:26 AM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Recreation Park in Binghamton has transformed into a professional tennis stage. This weekend the Levine, Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger is hosting more than 30 professional athletes.

The Levine, Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger is now in its 20th year.

The nine-day pro-circuit tournament includes more than 30 players from 11 different countries.

Three players from the Southern Tier hope to qualify for tournament play.

There is free admission at Rec Park this weekend to watch those singles and doubles qualifying rounds.

"We have a good audience turn out when our local boys are participating," said Tournament Director Laurie Bowen. "And they have great fan support. You have to earn your dues to get into a level like this. You have to have ATP points to even be considered for the qualifying rounds, so this is a unique opportunity for them."

The event is put on in large part by volunteer support. They've been spending recent days at Rec Park setting up tents and the tennis courts.

"Looking around the venue," Bowen said. "It's a labor of love putting this together, we have no infrastructure and just putting this together every year. And what we really enjoy is to just have the fans come out as often as they can get here and just watch them play."

The first match is Saturday at 10 a.m.