Jamaica’s only clay court tennis tournament on this weekend Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Jamaica’s only clay court tennis tournament will be held this weekend in Negril, after being absent from the calendar for the past two years because of the pandemic.

More than 80 players based locally and abroad have registered in five categories for the Levy Cheeks Couples Swept Away Clay Court Tennis Championships, scheduled for Saturday, October 15 to Monday, October 17, which is National Heroes’ Day.

It is the longest continuously held tennis tournament in Jamaica, being held since 1991 except for the pandemic years.

“All the top players locally will be taking part…(however) quite a few of our top players and Davis Cup players will be missing this year because of school”, tournament director Llockett McGregor said at the tournament launch at the Liguanea Club in Kingston on Wednesday.

Joniel Powell, a representative from title sponsor Levy Cheeks, said partnering with the tournament was a way for the law firm to give back to the country and contribute to the development of sports tourism.

“It makes people know that besides being in the courtroom, we like to be on the (tennis) courts outside”, Powell quipped.

Of interest is the difference in prize money on offer for the winners of the Men’s Open Singles and Ladies’ Open Singles; the men’s winner will pocket $250,000, while the victorious woman gets $95,000.

Other categories in the tournament are the Men’s Pro 35, Men’s Amateur 35, and Women’s Amateur Singles.

Organisers say players are expected from the United States, Canada, and Europe for the tournament. Players entered so far include Shaneka Knight, Atton Burrell, and Maurice Brown.

Knight who was at the launch expressed optimism about doing well in the tournament she last entered in 2016.

“I haven’t been playing for a few years, but I want to get back into the tournament scene. I have been practicing on clay in Florida for this tournament”, Knight told Loop News.

The French Open at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris is the only one of the four annual Grand Slam tournaments played on clay courts.