Big purse in tennis tourney

Cayman’s top tennis players have been battling it out for the past week for the richest prize money ever played for on these shores.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers Cayman Islands Open reaches its final stages over the next few days.

It is one of the oldest annual sporting tournaments in Cayman, dating back to 1974 and on offer is a total of US$10,000 for the winners and runners-up of the men’s and women’s singles and doubles divisions. This purse is well above average for other tournaments offered in the Caribbean.

PricewaterhouseCoopers have really got Cayman’s best in the ‘zone’

Tonight the men’s 40 square off at 6pm. Tomorrow it’s the men’s and women’s semis, starting at 5.30pm and the men’s 40 finals. On Saturday it’s finals day for the men, women and men’s and women’s doubles; that all starts at 3.30pm – a lot of great action and well worth the trip to South Sound.

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The women’s semi-finals are very open and anyone of them looks capable of taking the coveted title.

No.1 seed Shizuka Mitsumizo plays Courtney Stafford, seeded No.4.

Stafford is better known as a squash player having been featured in this paper. The 17-year-old actually first made her name in tennis and even won this event in 2003 aged 13, beating some good seniors on the way.

In the other semi, Carrol Reid, the No.2 seed, will face Marion Goodall, the No.3. Jamaican Reid is playing well and feels she has a fighting chance.

‘You always give it your best and on the day the best person will win. I’ve actually never played this tournament before. Last year I was off island, so this is my first time playing the Pricewaterhouse tournament. It’s not really the prize money I’m playing for. I play any tournament when I’m on island.’

Last year she was at the Australian Open. Was she playing in it? ‘No, no,’ she laughs. ‘I’m a midwife at the Cayman Islands Hospital!’

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