Friday, June 21, 2024

Tennis: The City tournament starts Monday evening

by Russell Hedges
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The Louisiana Family Medicine Clinic City Championships tennis tournament gets underway at the Bossier Tennis Center Monday evening.

This is the 101st anniversary of the first tournament. There are 321 players entered in 24 divisions.

The divisions include men’s and women’s open singles, doubles and mixed doubles along with other doubles based on the the USTA’s National Tennis Ratings Program. There are also family doubles divisions like mother-daughter and father-son.

The tournament is open to anyone who lives in or north of Alexandria or has lived in Northwest Louisiana for a period of five consecutive years at any point in their life.

The tournament was revived in 2018 by local tennis advocates Jeffrey Goodman, Rick Holland and Bossier Tennis Center pro Todd Killen after being dormant for about 10 years.

“There was a generation or two who either never got to experience The City or only experienced it when it was on its last legs,” Goodman said in a press release. “We knew to make it important again we had to explain what it had been for all those years for so many of us.”

The tournament has since been named “Adult Tournament of the Year” by USTA Southern and the Louisiana Tennis Association.

Two more names will be added to The City Hall of Fame, Kay McDaniel and Gordy Ward.

A ceremony honoring them will be held Sunday before the men’s and women’s open singles finals.

Defending champion Stafford Yerger is the No. 1 seed in the 37-player men’s open singles draw. Kevin Chhang, who lost to Yerger 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 in last year’s finals, is No. 2.

Steven Schwab is the No. 3 seed and Marc Paz is No. 4.

The winner of the men’s open singles generally receives $1,000 in prize money.

The event is free to spectators. The first matches on the weekdays generally begin at 5:30 p.m. with matches going on all day Saturday and Sunday.

Of course, inclement weather could result in changes.

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