Daily photo by Michael Wetzel|
Bridget Montgomery prepares to rip a forehand in first-round action of the Decatur Jubilee Tennis Tournament at Point Mallard on Thursday.
198 form strong field in Jubilee tennis event
By Ashley Hargrove
If you’re looking to find a good competitive tennis match, you won’t have to travel far. There are plenty going on at the eighth annual Decatur Jubilee Tennis Tournament which runs through Sunday.
This year’s tournament at the Point Mallard tennis complex features 198 participants, nearly double last year’s number, and includes some of the best competition the tournament has seen. Twenty first-round matches concluded Thursday night.
“This is definitely a record-setting year,” tournament
chairwoman Rhonda Wagner said.
“We have a lot of very good competition, including participants from areas outside of Decatur.”
The tournament was previously held during the Spirit of America festival, but Wagner said the Decatur Community Tennis Association decided to move it to Memorial Day week because it got to be chaotic. Wagner is the DCTA president.
“With all of the activities going on during the festival, it got to where it was a distraction for the players,” Wagner said. “Since we moved the event to the Memorial Day holiday, we’ve had record numbers every year.”
When the tournament first started, its main purpose was to raise the community’s awareness about tennis. Since then, interest in tennis has grown and is one of the main reasons there are now 18 outdoor courts and two indoor courts at Point Mallard, she said.
“We have been very fortunate to be able to have so many people in the community who want to be involved in tennis,” said DCTA Vice President Beth Hall. “Not only were we able to help get all of the tennis courts, but we were able to get a full time tennis pro as well.”
The DCTA plays a big part in supporting the junior tennis team as well. Hall said the association helps purchase tennis rackets and shirts for the juniors. Coaching also is available for the juniors, Hall said.
“A lot of the people who help coach the kids are volunteers,” Hall said. “Most of them don’t even have children. They just want to teach kids about the sport of tennis.”
The tournament will continue today with matches beginning at 6 p.m. and will continue through Sunday.
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