ASHLAND The Ashland Tennis Center is in the process of resurfacing its outdoor tennis courts to prepare for the upcoming Braidy Industries $60,000 Women’s Tennis Classic.
Tournament Chairman Jack Ditty said four courts had to be resurfaced last year to meet USTA Pro Circuit standards. This year Ditty said additional practice courts are needed as well that have to be resurfaced.
“Our contract calls for us to have eight courts ready to play when the tournament occurs,” he said.
The tournament is set for July 20-28.
Ditty said 10 of the 11 outdoor courts are being resurfaced by the company Tennis Technology as part the current project, totaling $95,370. Work began two weeks ago.
Ditty said the amount has been paid for thanks to fundraising efforts that spanned over the past two months. The Woodlands Foundation contributed a $70,000 grant and $25,000 left over from last year’s tournament was also used for the project, he said.
He explained the tennis center is a public facility, existing solely on contributions from others. Ditty said those in the community were also given the chance to contribute $5,000 to the tournament to in turn be able to name a tennis court.
Ditty said he felt resurfacing the 11th outside court would originally be too expensive, noting it was in very poor condition. Once work on the other courts began he said he changed his mind, pointing out the court is the first one visitors see when entering the outside court area. He said the resurfacing for the 11th court is a separate project that totals $12,897, which has already been raised.
“We’re going to turn that into four pickleball courts, so we kind of have a similar situation to Central Park,” he said.
Ditty said both projects will allow the city to bring in even more tournaments, meaning more tourist dollars for Ashland.
“I think it’s an extremely valuable addition that we’re making to the Ashland Tennis Center that is necessary not only for our professional tournament but also to give the best play we can to our local players and also to be able to offer a tremendously updated, modern facility that’s first class when we have other tournaments in town,” he said.
Ditty also noted that the tennis center is now the only facility in the tri-state to have indoor courts. There are four indoor courts total.
Ditty estimated the resurfacing project of the 10 outdoor courts would be completed in two to three weeks, explaining it depends on the upcoming weather conditions.
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