Tennis stars here for Classic fun

Some of the biggest names in tennis from previous generations will be here over the weekend for the annual charity event to raise funds for the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre.

There are an entire weekend of events at the Ritz-Carlton, starting with Friday Night Whites beach party. Ritz-Carlton developer Michael Ryan will be competing, as always in the fifth event. He is actually the defending champion with pro partner David MacPherson.

This worthy cause always attracts stars from the recent past and this year the likes of Brian Gottfried, Petr Korda, Lori McNeil, Jana Novotna and Jeff Tarango will be playing in the pro-am tournament.

Local pros Thomas Neuert and Eduardo Torres (still recovering from Sunday’s marathon) will compete alongside their heroes. Neuert hopes the weekend will top the $50,000 raised for the crisis centre last year. There are lots of other activities around the matches, including a black tie ball on Saturday, adult and kids’ clinics, exhibition matches and games and crafts. There is also a golf tournament.

‘The response from the public has been very good,’ said Neuert. ‘I’ve had a lot of emails and phone calls for tickets. Last year was great and this year I think will be even better. We have more pros – 18 – and more ams. There is also a VIP area for the first time. It’s CI$85 which includes dinner, drinks and sitting in a shaded area. There is also a bouncy castle for the kids and a speed gun so that they can measure their serve. It’s really going to be fun and entertaining for everyone.’

Day passes are only US$20. The two-day Gold Package, which includes all-access passes to the tournament and to the beach party and Saturday’s ball start at US$750 per person. For those with very deep pockets, a Weekend Package starts at US$3,500 per person and includes three nights of oceanfront deluxe accommodations at the Ritz-Carlton and Silver Rain Spa treatments.

For more information and to purchase tickets, call 946 3804, ext 267 or visit www.caymanclassic.com.

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