The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has released a list of 58 international players who have confirmed their participation at the much-awaited ATP Challenger 50 Tour that will take place in Kigali from February 26 to March 10. Rwanda will for the first time host the prestigious ATP-rated international tennis event, bringing together participants from across the globe ranked from 150 and upward on ATP rankings. All the matches will take place at IPRC-Kigali Ecology Tennis Club. The Rwanda Tennis Federation and Ministry of Sports are working hand in hand to ensure a successful tournament in an attempt to boost the world’s interest in bringing more and bigger competitions to Rwanda. ALSO READ: Rwanda ready for ATP Challenger 50 Tour, says tennis federation boss The competition is also being organized in collaboration with ATP, the governing body of the men's professional tennis circuits – the ATP Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and ATP Champions Tour. The first week of the competition will commence on February 26 and conclude on March 2, followed by Week 2 from March 4 to March 10. The official list for the main draw, released by the ATP, includes 21 players who will be vying for the prize money and ATP points. Russian Ivan Gakhov, ranked 172, headlines the list as the top seed while Rwanda Open 2023 winners including Swiss Damien Wenger (385) and French Corentin Denolly (501) also make the list. The 21 will be joined by six qualifiers, three wildcards, and two special exempts. The ATP has confirmed that in the event of a player withdrawal from the main draw, a replacement can be seamlessly made from the alternates list. A diverse array of talent from countries such as France, Israel, Argentina, Romania, Croatia, Australia, Zimbabwe, Netherlands, Egypt, Switzerland, Moldova, and Italy will be showcased in Kigali. The ATP Challenger Tour is the second-highest level of men’s professional tennis in the world. Importantly, men’s professional tennis begins with the ATP Challenger Tour. Players develop their talents and skills against the competition, while gaining valuable experience as they climb the ATP Rankings. Every player launches their career at this level, with hope of reaching the top 100 and competing at the ATP Tour and the Grand Slam tournaments. These tournaments, more than 180 events in over 40 countries, provide tennis enthusiasts the excitement of watching world-class tennis in a smaller, more accessible setting. The most high-profile players, who are products of ATP Challenger Tour include current World No.2 Carlos Alcaraz (Spain), former World No.1s Roger Federer (Switzerland) Rafael Nadal (Spain), Andy Roddick (US) and former US Open winner, Juan Martin Del Potro (Argentina).