Tennis doubles legend Daniel Nestor will lend his celebrity to the Cayman Cup Tennis tournament this year.
Play begins Monday, 13 May at the Cayman Islands Tennis Club, with 200 players from across the globe competing for the title in various divisions. Competition begins at 8am each day. Finals take place Saturday. That’s also the day that Nestor will make his appearance, holding a clinic for about 20 tennis players before playing an exhibition doubles match with Callum Theaker, Cayman’s No. 1 ranked junior player, tennis pro Mica Koll and professional tennis player Jesse Witten.
In a career that spanned 34 years (he retired in 2018), Nestor won 91 doubles titles including eight Grand Slam men’s doubles titles and an Olympic gold medal in 2000. He was the first Association of Tennis Professionals player to win 1,000 doubles matches.
Tournament director Karl Hale said getting Nestor to come for the event was as simple as asking an old friend. “I’ve known him and his brothers since we were kids,” Hale said. “He’s a big fan of the Caribbean, so he loves coming down.”
He said Nestor’s attendance is a rare treat for tennis fans.
“It’s exciting to have a player of his calibre come to the Cayman Cup,” Hale said. “Arguably, he’s the best doubles player in history.”
Admission to the tournament is free and Hale said he expects to see about 400 spectators over the course of the weeklong competition. Most of those will come for Saturday’s finals and Hale hopes their presence will help grow the sport.
“It inspires kids,” he said of tournament play. “It will generate more interest in the sport and help the tennis club.”