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Big prize money for General Accident tennis tourney

Published:Friday | April 1, 2016 | 4:00 AMLeroy Brown
Damion Johnson

More than $700,000 in prize money will be up for grabs when the 2016 General Accident Insurance Company tennis tournament serves off tomorrow at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston. The tournament will end on Sunday, April 10.

This tournament will be part of the Llockett McGregor tennis series, and for the first time, it will be an Open tournament, with prize money attached. There will be Men's and Women's Open, Men's Professional 35 for older players, and a Men's Class 2 team event that will feature teams from Oaklands, Police Officers Club, Montego Bay, the Pegasus and Ocho Rios, and a special Liguanea Club doubles championship. Sixteen junior doubles teams will also participate.

The whole idea, McGregor told The Gleaner, is to make the tournament more attractive to various groups of players, many of whom will participate so as to gain bragging rights among their colleagues, over the next year.

At the launch of the tournament on Wednesday at the Liguanea Club, General Accident's business development officer, Nadia Mitchell, lauded the organisers of the tournament and pointed to the fact that each year, the tournament was well supported by players and spectators. One hundred and fifteen players are expected to participate this year.

Her company's vision, Mitchell said, "goes way beyond the tennis courts because each year, this prestigious event brings together world-class players, and tennis enthusiasts" and this she said, "bolsters personal development of the youth players in particular, and creates the opportunity for individuals to engage in a diverse community centred activity."

The top-seeded male player is Damion Johnson, a former Jamaica No. 1 player. Current female champion Ffion Fletcher is the top female in the line-up, and in the Men's 35, Dwayne Pagon, a former Davis Cup captain is the top seed.