THE island's best senior and junior tennis players will get a chance to match skills against international opponents when the second staging of the Hi-Pro Ace Supercentre Open Tennis tournament gets underway on Monday at the Liguanea club starting at 4:00 pm.
The tournament, which was launched at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston yesterday, will run through to Saturday with $1-million prize money to be shared among the winners.
According to tournament director Lockett McGregor, 19 male and four female players have already been confirmed, but said he expects more confirmation before Sunday's registration deadline.
He pointed out that the registered males, include 10 of the island's best juniors and four overseas players, while there is one international female competitor.
However, McGregor says the tournament serves to give juniors a chance to compete against the best local talent and hopefully it will inspire upcoming players.
"I have always wanted tournaments like these, because what they do is set up incentives for our young players, give them role models and let them also compete against the pros," he said.
"So the standard is pretty high... although last year we did not have much juniors, this year we have 10 of our top juniors, so it is already bearing fruits and we are looking forward to the continuation of this," McGregor continued.
Some of the top male players that will be on show include Damion Johnson, Dominic Pagon, Daniel Harris, Darion King (a semi-finalist last year), and Joe Cadogan. Megan Jones will lead the women's line-up.
Tennis Jamaica President, John Bailey noted that there are not many opportunities for senior players to compete at a very high level and the Hi-Pro Ace Supercentre Open Tennis tournament provides that platform.
"This tournament is very important for our development and we want to build on it," he said.
The championship is partly sponsored by Hy-lyte Sports Drink, Reggae Jammin and Liguanea Club.
Marketing Officer of Hi-Pro Ace Dayne Patterson said his company is pleased to support the event as it provides family fun and helps in the development of Jamaica's young people.
"We congratulate Tennis Jamaica on their vision of trying to make tennis a more accessible sport to our youngsters... and I'm sure that it will bear fruit," he said.
Meanwhile, Tennis Jamaica will work in association with Hy-lyte to refurbish Court G at the Liguanea Club, which they expect will be completed by Friday to host the final.