The Guyana Tennis Association (GTA) will serve off its 2015 season on
Saturday with the rebranded Assuria Open Singles Classic formerly called Assuria Invitational. The tournament was rebranded as an Open Singles only tournament to increase its number of participants and popularity among players.
The decision was also influenced by the loss of two of the top three Men’s seeds since its inception in 2013; Jeremy Miller and last year’s Champion Gavin Lewis, both of whom have left Guyana’s shores to further their professional careers through tennis. The GTA has since added two categories, Men’s Over-45 Singles and Novice Medley Singles in addition to Ladies Open Singles, Men’s Open Singles and Men’s Over-35 Singles which existed before. The tournament would be played at two venues, the National Racquet Center at Woolford Avenue and the Le Ressouvenir Tennis Court.
At the recent sponsorship meeting, the Surinamese insurance giant was represented by General Manager, Mr. Yogindra Arjune and Operations Manager, Mr. Clyde Muntslag where they both recommitted the support of the company towards tennis development in Guyana, while expressing their desire to see tennis participation grow laterally throughout communities outside of Georgetown.
However, the management team voiced their concerns about the insufficient spectatorship for the sport in Guyana. The GTA is fully aware of this trend which developed with the loss of the Pegasus Open from its calendar in 2013, a tournament which was the source of excitement for several years. Local tennis lacks a ‘home’ where players and spectators can frequently visit, foster comradeship and partnerships and witness matches being played in the evening under floodlights. Current and Former Presidents Grace McCalman and Ramesh Seebarran respectively were both in attendance where they lamented the numerous annual attempts by all recent Presidents to seek better tennis facilities which would allow the sport to grow exponentially. This includes Wilfred Lee and Christopher Ram for a total of eleven years since the reestablishment of the association in 2004 from a defunct state.
There are several new and potential players who frequently make contact with the GTA about where to start playing but many reconsider when they learn of the overriding constraints of facilities and the fact that all play ceases with sundown at public facilities. In spite of all of the shortcomings, Assuria’s Management sees the need to provide necessary support to ensure that the tournament is once again successful and that it brings out the best in our advanced players. It is the intention for this tournament to evolve into one of international standard starting with the introduction of Surinamese players into the tournament but this can only happen when there is significant improvement to the available tennis infrastructures and supporting framework, a release from the GTA informed.
Registration Forms have been distributed via the GTA facebook page and at clubs and the due date is Wednesday April 8th. Draws will be done at GCC on Thursday April 9th at 5:00pm. The Opening Ceremony for the tournament will be held at the National Racquet Centre at 9:00am on Saturday April 11th 2015. All officials and players are asked to attend. Match time is 9:30am. Spectators are asked to come out and give support to their favourite players.
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