Roddick to be star attraction at event
Andy Roddick and Arantxa Sánchez will be among the participants in the inaugural “Courts and Shorts Weekend” taking place in Bermuda on April 3 and 4.
The event, a joint venture between the United States Tennis Association and Bermuda Tourism Authority, will include a weekend of events and activities as part of an ongoing celebration of the island as a tennis destination for fans, players, enthusiasts and historians.
Roddick, of the US, and Sánchez, of Spain, are both former world No 1s and US Open champions.
The BTA has worked closely with the USTA to develop the multifaceted weekend, which includes a ticketed tennis exhibition and a kids' clinic, featuring tennis legends, rising tennis stars and former Bermuda Olympians.
The events were created as part of a multiyear deal signed last year, making the BTA the official tourism partner of the US Open Tennis Championships.
“The US Open partnership puts Bermuda in the cultural conversation at one of the must-see events in New York City, Bermuda's top visitor market,” Victoria Isley, the BTA's chief sales and marketing officer, said.
“An important component of the partnership was to create an event in Bermuda that would generate direct spending, provide a kids' clinic for community engagement, and be packaged into a television special to further promote Bermuda as a vacation destination.”
Roddick and Sánchez will play in an exhibition at Coral Beach and Tennis Club on Saturday April 4.
Other participants include Luke Jensen, the 1993 French Open doubles champion, Chanda Rubin, the former world No 6 and winner of seven WTA singles titles, Jan-Michael Gambill, who reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 2000, along with a number of rising stars.
The free and open-to-the-public youth tennis clinic will take place at the WER Joell Tennis Stadium with players aged five to 17 of all abilities invited to participate.
Under the USTA's Net Generation umbrella, smaller courts, shorter racquets, and lower bouncing balls will be used for the clinic to help participants learn and get excited about playing tennis.
Sánchez, Jensen, Rubin and Gambill will be on hand to help coach, along with appearances by a contingent of accomplished Bermuda-based athletes, including former West Ham United forward Clyde Best, Olympic swimmer Julian Fletcher, Winter Olympian Patrick Singleton, Olympic sprinter Devon Bean and Hazel Clark, a three-times Olympian for the US and BTA director of sports business development.
In conjunction with the activities, the Tennis Channel will produce a television special as part of its “Destination Tennis” series.
The event will coincide with the Bermuda Breeze Championships, a USTA Super Category II tournament, scheduled to take place at Coral Beach and Tennis Club from March 30 to April 5. It is anticipated the tournament will draw more than 100 players this year.