Coral Beach to host prestigious tennis tournament
More than 100 overseas players are expected to visit the island for an international tournament to be held at Coral Beach & Tennis Club in April.
The Bermuda Breeze Championships, a United States Tennis Association adult national category II tournament — designed for players over the age of 40 — will be one of the top competitions to be played in Bermuda in recent years.
It will be the first national championships to be held outside of the US and will take place on the club’s famed clay courts from April 11 to 15.
Patrick Singleton, the Coral Beach sports director, said they had beat off competition from 25 overseas clubs to host the championships and that bids were in the pipeline for future competitions. He added that matches could be held at Tucker’s Point Club and the WER Joell Tennis Stadium as part of an inclusive effort to raise the profile of the sport on the island.
“We’re looking to start a resurgence of tennis in Bermuda, obviously starting at this club, but there’s also an opportunity to host hard-court tournaments in the future, perhaps at Hamilton Princess, Elbow Beach and other clubs,” said Singleton, who added that Coral Beach had entered a bid for a category I competition at the weekend.
“We look forward to this being an island-wide initiative to drive tennis forward in Bermuda.
“We see Bermuda as an event destination, so husbands and wives can come here, play a great tournament, stay at the hotel, and have a fantastic experience.”
Players registered with the USTA will be eligible to compete in the 40, 50, 60, 70 age groups in men’s and women’s singles and doubles, as well as mixed doubles.
Nik Bhola, the club’s general manager, believes the championships will edge Coral Beach closer to hosting events of the calibre of the former XL Open, which was part of the ATP Challenger Tour and was held at the club in 1993 and from 1995 to 2008.
Bhola has also encouraged local players to sign up for what he hopes will become an annual event.
“Tennis has a long history in Bermuda and most people will be reminiscent of the XL Open,” Bhola said. “This is one step closer to getting that level of tournament back to Bermuda.
“Coral Beach has invested heavily in its facility and in networking with tennis leaders around the world to be in a position to stage events such as this, and we look forward to an amazing spectacle. Hopefully we can also get a strong showing of local participation.”
Pat Phillip-Fairn, the Bermuda Tourism Authority chief product and experiences development officer, said the championships will be part of a bumper month for sports tourism on the island, with the ITU World Triathlon Bermuda taking place at the end of April.
“In 2018 we have a very busy sports calendar and marquee events such as this one is part of the story of trying to get people here in April, a time of year that has traditionally been slower,” Phillip-Fairn said. “Sport gives us a wonderful opportunity to introduce different groups to Bermuda.”
• To register go to http://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments. The tournament ID is 960000118 and entries close on March 31. A special rate for accommodations at CBC is available until January 15, depending on availability. For more information contact Monika Drabkova at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 441 239 7204 or toll free at 1-888 300-7349
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