Seward aims to net big names

The 2015 Cayman Open is approaching and all at the Cayman Islands Tennis Club are excited that a raft of world-class players will be competing.  

It will be happening at the club grounds in South Sound from March 26-29. Cayman saw some exhibition tennis at Legends Tennis last month in Camana Bay but the Cayman Open will be the most competitive tennis that the Cayman Islands has ever seen, club head coach Rob Seward said.  

The Cayman Open has a number of players confirmed who have held an Association of Tennis Professionals ranking or played at Davis Cup level for their countries, he said.  

“Plus, we have players that are interested in coming down who might not make it to the main draw of the Miami Open just days before the event,” Seward said.  

Last year, Robert Kendrick, the PwC men’s champion, had an ATP ranking as high as No. 69 just a few years ago. 

“This year, with the 2015 Cayman Open, we are making the tournament even more competitive and prestigious in hopes to create an ATP event in the Cayman Islands for the future,” Seward said.  

It will be by far the best tennis that has ever been seen in Cayman and possibly the region, he added.  

“We are looking to get 16 world ranked players into this year’s draw.”  

Dominik Hrbaty, who was once No. 12 in the world, has confirmed his participation.  

Dustin Brown, who last year defeated Rafael Nadal in a Wimbledon warm-up tournament, has also shown interest for this.  

Other players who have announced that they will come to the tournament if available are Dominic Pagan, who is a Jamaica Davis Cup player, Claudio Grassi (Italy), Frank Moser (Germany), Adrian Zguns (Latvia) and Juho Paukku (Finland).  

Past Cayman Open champions Philip Bester, Haydn Lewis from Barbados and Denis Zivkovic are hoping to make the trip too.  

With events like this, the participant list changes daily but so far, Seward said, others who have confirmed are Farrukh Duster, Devin Mullings, Tom Jomby, Jesus Bandres, Mick Lescure, Ricardo Chile and Damion Johnson.  

Seward said that it is difficult to confirm with a couple of weeks to go because players sometimes opt for another tournament at a late stage in case they think they can win more money.  

Plus, Seward is expecting players that might not qualify for the Miami Open to come down.  

“The Miami Open is an ATP tournament that is one tier down than the four Grand Slams. So the talent is going to be terrific. It should be a fantastic week of tennis.”  

There will be morning tennis clinics for Cayman juniors and adults on March 28 for $75.  

“We will also be having a college recruitment coach, Juandell Brunner, down to give a useful presentation to our juniors about obtaining college scholarships. We’re also looking for volunteers for the weekend.”  

Brunner coaches the top junior players in Finland and has one of his players at Harvard playing on their team.  

He will be doing the presentation with Bedi Walker who also assists juniors in finding schools to attend in North America. 

Seward said that he is extremely grateful to PwC, the Ministry of Sports and Department of Tourism for being the main sponsors for this year’s event.  

For updates, go to www.caymanopen.com to get the latest news and players that will be competing. 

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