Last year’s Sarasota Open USTA/ATP men’s professional tournament drew more than 25,000 people to the Longboat Key Club and Resort’s Tennis Gardens facility to watch top players compete and practice their clay-court skills before heading to the French Open. But this year’s tournament, scheduled for Saturday, May 8 through Saturday, May 15, will be even bigger, drawing approximately 30,000 people, according to tournament founder/director Tony Driscoll.
This year’s Sarasota Open promises to have lots of excitement on the court. Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori, 20, who is currently the youngest player ranked in the top 100, has accepted a wild-card invitation to play in the tournament. Also, a wild-card tournament will take place from April 23 through April 25, at Bath and Racquet Fitness Club, in Sarasota, to determine a second wild-card entry into the opening draw of the Sarasota Open.
But it’s not just the tournament that promises to be a hit this year.
“We have a lot of events in between,” Driscoll said. “It’s just a fun atmosphere.”
This year’s tournament will feature special days such as “Kids’ Day” Sunday, May 9, which is also Mother’s Day.
“It’s almost more like a family day,” said Suzette Jones, marketing director for the Sarasota Open.
In addition, children will be able to upload videos of their funniest serves onto YouTube to be entered into a contest for prizes.
“We’re trying to expose kids to tennis in a fun, original way,” Jones said.
Although the schedule for the week-long tournament is still being finalized, it will also feature events such as Professional Day and a “Tennis Under the Stars” party.
The Sarasota Open benefits children’s charities throughout the Sarasota-Bradenton area. Tickets are available for purchase at Media on Main, 1341 Main St., Sarasota. For information, including prices and availability, visit www.sarasotaopen.org.
If You Go
2010 Sarasota Open
When: Saturday, May 8 through Saturday, May 15
Where: Longboat Key Club and Resort Tennis Gardens facility, 3100 Harbourside Drive
Info: Visit www.sarasotaopen.org
Contact Robin Hartill at email@example.com.
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