The record setting 80th annual National Public Parks Tennis Championships concluded on Sunday, June 25th. The tournament was held at the country's largest public facility, the USTA National Tennis Center, which is also the home to the US Open.
There were 1,255 competitors entered in the sixty unique events, ranging from the 10 and under junior divisions to the 85 and over super senior divisions. It was the largest one-week tournament ever hosted at the USTA National Tennis Center. This is the first time that this national event was ever hosted in New York City, and it had the largest field of competitors in the rich history of the tournament.
Jim Courier served as the tournament's Honorary Chairman. Courier learned to play on public courts in Dade City, Florida. "I grew up playing on public courts, so the spirit of public parks tennis has always been important to me," said the Hall of Famer and former world's #1 player.
USTA President Franklin Johnson was equally supportive. "This tournament is a celebration of all that is great about our game, featuring top-notch competition and world-class fun," stated Johnson.
Some notable champions include Val Wilder in the men's 45 and over division and Bob Litwin in the 55 and over division. Both men are ranked #1 nationally and have represented the USA in international competition this year. Aibika Kalsarieva, who finished her collegiate career at the University of Kentucky with a #3 national ranking, won the women's open division.
Quinton Vega, a top international prospect in the 14 and under division played "up" and won the boys' 16s event. Zoe Pangalos enjoyed an impressive double victory by taking the girls' 14s singles and the prestigious Gerald Perry Sportsmanship Award.
Next year's National Public Parks Tennis Championships will take place at the Jimmy Evert Tennis Center in Fort Lauderdale from July 28- Aug. 3, 2007.