Ready for a challenge: Tennis exhibition comes to Civic Complex

Thousands of tennis enthusiasts will descend upon the Pelham Civic Complex Dec. 2 for the Pelham Challenge, a tennis exhibition featuring Bob and Mike Bryan, Mardy Fish, John Isner and Melanie Oudin.

The Challenge will be the first tennis event ever at the complex.

“It’s huge,” said Mayor Don Murphy. “This is something that is going to build into a huge tennis tournament in Pelham.”

The event will feature the Bryan brothers, the No. 1 doubles team in the world, going up against Andrew Crum and Sam Cissell, the Tiebreak Challenge winners.

Mardy Fish, the No. 2 ranked American, will face off against 6-foot-10 John Isner, the No. 5 ranked American. Fish and Isner will then team up to take on the Bryan brothers.

The event will also feature teen sensation Melanie Oudin taking on University of Alabama sophomore Courtney McLane.

The “Rick and Bubba Show” is the title sponsor for the event, and co-host Bill “Bubba” Bussey will emcee the event.

“We’ve never had pros of this level come to Pelham,” Bussey said. “It’s just another great use of the Pelham Civic Complex.”

Ann Etheredge, the Pelham Racquet Club head professional, said the event is a great way to promote both tennis and the city’s facilities in Pelham.

“It’s just a tremendous influence,” Etheredge said. “It’s a great way to promote tennis and a great promotion for our racquet club.”

Murphy said the Challenge should also open the door for other events to come to the city.

“I think it’s going to be a big plus for the city,” Murphy said.

Doors open for Wednesday’s event at 5:30 p.m., with action starting at 6:30 p.m.

For more information or to get tickets, visit PelhamChallenge.com.