The Cat II tournament features high-caliber players from around the country.
More than 300 tennis players have descended on Longboat Key for the USTA-sanctioned Longboat Key Senior Clay Courts Super Cat II tournament.
Local players made their way onto the courts, along with athletes from 33 states (plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico), Canada and other countries to try to make it to the Sunday, Dec. 8 finals. In its 17th year, tournament director Tom Scovil said it is the fifth largest Cat II tournament in the country.
The tournament is played mostly at the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center in a round-robin style, with the next game taking the court almost immediately after the previous one clears off. Over 450 matches will be played by the time the tournament concludes, with about 130 being played each day for the first few busy days of play. For those interested in seeing the best of tennis on the island, finals will be held at 9 and 11 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4 at the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center.
All profits from the tournament will benefit the Longboat Key Tennis Center. Every day of the match, players pack or buy lunches and hang around a while before and after their matches. Snippets of coaching and trading of strategies could be heard all around the tennis center as players dissected their latest matches or got ready for the next one.
Doubles and singles matches range all around the island and folks are welcome to stop by and watch some tennis in action any day. Matches start at 8 a.m.