The Sudbury Indoor Tennis Centre will welcome Canadian tennis legend Daniel Nestor to the Nickel City for the second Northern Ontario Tennis Classic, running April 26-28.
The tournament is being put on by the SITC in partnership with National Bank and Eacom Timber Corporation and will welcome roughly 100 tennis players of all ages to Sudbury for a weekend of tennis, as the effort continues to grow the sport locally and across Northern Ontario.
The SITC is the only indoor tennis centre north of Barrie, with no other facilities like it going west to the Manitoba border and east to Ottawa. This presents Sudbury with the opportunity to serve as the tennis hub for Northern Ontario, and organizers are hoping that bringing in a big name like Daniel Nestor will help drive more interest in the sport and increase participation.
Players competing in the Northern Ontario Tennis Classic will compete as doubles in men’s and women’s division, and in mixed doubles. Tennis players will be divided in divisions determined by their level of play based on the National Tennis Ranking Program.
The Northern Ontario Tennis Classic is the only tournament of this nature offered in Northern Ontario. Last year's event had 57 participants and that number is expected to nearly double this year. Tennis players from Sudbury, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Hamilton, and Elliot Lake will be taking to the courts and will be joined by Daniel Nestor on Sunday, April 28.
The seven-time doubles Grand Slam champion has a put together an impressive resume in his lengthy career, winning more than 1,000 ATP matches and finishing three seasons (2002, 2004, 2008) as the world's No. 1 ranked male doubles player.
Nestor retired in the fall of 2018, but he's not ready to put his raquet away just yet, as he'll be hitting the court in Sudbury to run a clinic to share some of his expertise with the members of the SITC, as well as taking part in a charity pro-am event.
"The Sudbury Indoor Tennis Centre is pleased to welcome Daniel Nestor to Sudbury," said Cliff Richardson, president of the SITC. "His presence in this event reflects the SITC's 25 years of excellence and continued commitment to the development and promotion of tennis across Northern Ontario."
Nestor will play in a doubles match with some of the top tennis talent in Northern Ontario and the public are welcome to come out and see Nestor up close for a $10 admission fee.
The event will also feature a banquet on Saturday evening, with tickets going for $50.
The sport of tennis is still relatively small in Northern Ontario, but organizers are hoping that as this event continues to grow, so too will the buzz and participation levels within the sport.
"I would say that tennis is small in the off-season, there's a lot of play outdoors in the summer but it's not in organized leagues or anything like that," said Neil Lind, co-chair of the Northern Ontario Tennis Classic.
"Our junior academy here is really taking off and we're thrilled about that. We're just hoping that tennis is going to catch fire and we're going to have a lot of take up from our post secondary institutions and high school students as well."
For more information on the tournament or to register, call the Sudbury Indoor Tennis Centre at 705-688-1414.