The Legends Tennis tournament was an ideal opportunity for fans to see their heroes in action – and it also gave a chance for Cayman’s top juniors to get some invaluable experience on the big stage.
More than 1,200 spectators packed the new tennis court at Festival Green on Friday and Saturday nights to see the players perform.
They were Jim Courier, Anna Kournikova, Andy Roddick, Murphy Jensen, Mikail Pernfors, Lindsay Davenport and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson as a guest.
Five juniors also played over the two nights, Jade Wilkinson, Lauren Fullerton, Harrison Clough, Jack Lomax and Daniel Reid.
Jeff Wight, manager of sports at Camana Bay, said that the event went very well and the feedback the organizers received from players and spectators was extremely positive.
“I think our community was very happy to see Legends Tennis return to our Cayman sporting scene,” Wight said.
He added that there were absolutely no issues with the new court, although it was challenging building the infrastructure around the court in such a short time.
One legend who particularly approved was Courier, the former world No. 1. “The court itself was great,” said Courier. “We thought it was the perfect speed and play ability.”
Wight expects there will be some more tennis played there in the future, not just Legends. “Beyond that, there haven’t been any decisions made on exactly how the court will be used. We plan to host Legends at Camana Bay again in the future but still need to discuss what happens at the court on a regular basis.”
Wight said the juniors benefited in several ways; they enjoyed clinics given by the pros, volunteered as ball kids, and some of them got to showcase their skills in matches.
One of the junior clinics had kids who had never played tennis before and many of them left with new rackets and other gear.
The event’s proceeds went to the Special Olympics Cayman Islands. “They seemed very pleased with their involvement, not only with having an exhibitor tent at the event but also the clinic Murphy Jensen hosted with their athletes,” Wight said.
SOCI was raising awareness and funds for their team heading to the World Games this summer.
Hosting this event required a lot of work from many different companies, ranging from sponsors to vendors for food and decor, Wight said.
“It also took a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication from our staff and a team of amazing volunteers. We are very grateful to the Cayman Islands Tennis Federation for their help and want to thank everyone who volunteered their time to make our event a success.”