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UTech Classic aims to enhance tennis talent

Published:Tuesday | May 12, 2015 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman

The fourth renewal of the UTech Tennis Classic will take centre stage from May 13-15, and with it, Tennis Jamaica (TJ) will be hoping that a multifaceted partnership with the institution and Carib Cement will enhance talents and spur development.

Tennis Jamaica president, John Bailey, expressed satisfaction with the junior programmes at yesterday's launch at the Liguanea Club, New Kingston.

"In our basic and primary school programmes, we have over 1000 children playing tennis today. As we grow older, it is always good to have tennis tournaments," said Bailey.

"These tournaments are very important to the development of tennis in Jamaica, and we are thankful to the sponsors, and hope that this will be an ongoing commitment in the future," he noted.

The tournament is an open format, with first-round action beginning next Wednesday, while round-of-16 and quarter-finals are scheduled for Thursday. The semi-finals and finals will mark the event's climax on Friday.

Start time is 10 a.m. daily, with action running through to 7 p.m. Entry fee for schools, clubs and institutions is $1,500 per person.

Tournament director, Llockett McGregor, hopes to extend their growth.

"I am hoping that this is a friendship/partnership that we can build, and go on to have a wonderful event," said McGregor.

He also noted a setback to not having more participants, this due to exams.

Laurence Garrikes, acting director of sport at UTech, said their tournament will help to expose talent.

SHOWCASE

"We have been doing very well in terms of intercol tennis championships. This is just another way of promoting the talents at UTech and, of course, showcasing other talents in tennis across the country," he said.

Carib Cement's customer-relations officer, Garen Williams, called the 'sponsorship a significant one'.

"We are title sponsors, we are into construction, we are into building Jamaica, and we partner with UTech in this regard," he underlined.

Meanwhile, Duainne Miller, runner-up for UTech last year, will be looking to win, given that the defending champion is injured and won't participate.

"Hopefully, on tournament day, whatever I practice will click, and I hope I will be able to rise to the challenge and put my best foot forward," he noted.

On the female side, there are eight players registered so far. The event is open to the public for free.