■ BY SUE ERWIN
Attention tennis players: Tighten up those racquet strings and get ready – the dates for the 2019 Gasparilla Island Tennis Classic have been set.
Sponsored by The Boca Beacon, the tournament is open to all area residents and members and guests of the three island clubs: Boca Bay Pass Club, Gasparilla Inn Tennis Club and the Boca Grande Club.
Entry fee is $30 and includes registration and a tournament shirt.
The first week, competition will begin on Saturday, Jan. 26 and will continue through February 2.
Mixed Doubles will kick off the event at the Boca Bay Pass Club, followed by 65+ Mixed Doubles at the Boca Grande Club. Men’s and Ladies’
Singles matches will take place at
The Gasparilla Inn Tennis Club.
The Boca Bay Pass Club will host Mens’ Doubles on Saturday, Feb. 2. Matches will continue through the
second week with Ladies’ Doubles at The Gasparilla Inn Tennis Club. The 65+ Ladies’ Doubles and Men’s Doubles will compete at the Boca Grande Club. All games should be completed by February 9.
The Gasparilla Inn & Club started a tennis tournament in 1997 called “The Gasparilla Inn Tennis Chapter Series.” The Inn hosted the annual event at the beach club until 2007.
No one organized the tournament in 2008.
In 2009, Boca Beacon publisher Dusty Hopkins revived the tournament, becoming the new sponsor and renaming it “The Gasparilla Island Tennis Classic.” He also opened competition up to all area residents and coordinated the matches to be held at all three clubs on the island. This year will mark the 10th anniversary of the annual event.
Applications are available at the Boca Beacon office, located at 431 Park Ave. You can also pick one up at the three clubs that are hosting the competition.
For more information, call the Boca Beacon at 964-2995; Boca Bay Pass Club at 964-2145; Boca Grande Club at 964-2211; or The Gasparilla Inn Tennis Club at 964-4615.