Club tennis players rally with the aces

While the big names of world tennis started their battle on the show courts of Selborne Park Tennis Stadium at the SAA Tennis Open in East London from yesterday, the outside courts of the stadium will be a hive of activity with the hosting of the SAA National Club Championships.

Last year the South African Tennis Association (Sata) hosted the inaugural SAA National Club Championships in Durban also on the outside courts of the SAA Tennis Open and it proved to be a great success.

The club championships will take place from tomorrow until Sunday.

Due to the increased entries, the tournament will also be played at Old Selbornian Tennis Club, Beacon Bay Tennis Club and Clarendon High School. The organisers will rotate the teams between the four venues to give all players a chance to play alongside the pros at Selborne Park.

Ian Smith, chief executive of Sata, said club tennis is the 'heartbeat' of the game in the country and his association felt it is necessary to prioritise the staging of this event.

"In order for tennis to develop we need to encourage players to join clubs and partake in club activities. This will enable Sata to grow the registration base of the game and at the same time encourage a healthier lifestyle within the communities." added Smith.

There will be a men's and women's tournament involving 45 teams (135 players) from all tennis provinces.

Each team comprises three players who will play two singles and one doubles match per tie in a round robin format followed by a knockout draw to determine the overall winners.

The defending men's champions are Berea Tennis Club of Durban with Camps Bay Tennis Club from Western Province the women's champs. - Sapa