When the Cayman Islands Tennis Club hosts the 2015 Cayman Open in South Sound next month, the overall standard will be high, with some world-class pros competing.
The PwC Men’s Invitational, from March 26 to 29, replaces the tournament that is normally played at this time of the year.
The past PwC Men’s Invitational tournaments were great advertisements for the Cayman Islands and became the most competitive local tennis events.
Robert Kendrick, last year’s PwC men’s champion, was ranked 69th in the world among Association of Tennis Professionals only a few years ago.
Rob Steward, head coach at the Tennis Club, said, “In the 2015 Cayman Open … we are trying to make the tournament even more competitive and prestigious in the hope of creating an ATP event in the Cayman Islands.
“It will be by far the best competitive tennis that has ever been seen in Cayman and possibly the region.”
Seward added that he is looking to get 16 world-ranked players into this year’s draw, all who have held or currently hold ATP rankings.
Dominik Hrbaty, who was once world No. 12, has confirmed he will compete.
Dustin Brown, who defeated Rafael Nadal in a Wimbledon warm-up tournament last year, has also shown interest in competing.
Other players who have confirmed entry are Dominic Pagan (Jamaica Davis Cup player), Claudio Grassi (Italy), Frank Moser (Germany), Adrian Zguns (Latvia) and Juho Paukku (Finland).
Former champions of this event expected to compete include Philip Bester, Haydn Lewis and Denis Zivkovic.
Four world-class players competed in last year’s tournament, including Zivkovic, who was once ranked world No. 292. He teamed up with Italy’s Stefanno Ianni in the doubles.
Another Italian, Adriano Biasella, played in the singles and doubles with the No. 1 seed, Kendrick, from the U.S.
Kendrick made his first trip to Cayman and loved it, especially as he took home the $3,200 winner’s check, beating Zivkovic 6-2, 6-4 in the final.
“It should be a fantastic week of competition again,” Seward said.
He added that on March 28 there will be two morning clinics for the juniors and adults to get tips from the pros.
“We will also be having a college recruitment coach, Juandell Brunner, who will be down to give a useful presentation to our juniors about obtaining college scholarships.”
Brunner coaches the top junior players in Finland and has one of his best players on Harvard University’s team. His presentation will be with Bedi Walker, who also assists juniors in finding schools in North America.