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Sundial Resort holds first USTA sanctioned tournament

By Staff | Aug 31, 2016

Sundial Resort’s Sean Warren and Erica Cossairt are looking forward to the first USTA sanctioned tournament on the resort’s clay courts. ASHLEY GOODMAN

Sundial Resort on Sanibel is gearing up to hold its first USTA sanctioned tournament for the Southwest Florida Clay Court Championships Sept. 23-25.

“We’re expecting 50-70 players joining us,” said Sean Warren, tennis program coordinator.

The USTA sanctioned event categories include men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles for age divisions 30s, 40s, and 50s as well as men’s and women’s singles and doubles NTRP rated division 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0. The event is open to USTA members 18 and over.

“We’re excited that this is our first USTA tournament. We hope that this tournament will find its home now with us at Sundial for years to come,” said Donna Brown, marketing manager at Sundial.

In 2014, Sundial renovated its tennis courts with a state-of-the-art HydroGrid irrigation system, which keeps the moisture on the courts consistent.

“It’s the latest technology. We’re the only HydroGrid courts on the island,” Brown said.

Sundial’s Director of Tennis and Tournament Organizer, Erica Cossairt, came on board shortly after the new courts were completed. After her arrival, a new tennis pro shop was unveiled and she instilled a new tennis summer camp program for kids. Cossairt started playing competitively in her early 20s shortly after she moved to Fort Myers from Virginia. She ran programs at Fort Myers Racquet Club, The Renaissance, Cape Coral Yacht Club and Cape Coral Racquet Club. She said that playing tennis has always been in her genes.

“Ironically, my sister is also a director of tennis. We’ve always been interested in tennis but growing up in the country, we didn’t have many organized sports. When we moved closer to town, we were able to start playing tennis,” Cossairt said.

On Saturday night, the resort will host a player’s party from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in their breathtaking Gulf-front Sundial Room featuring live music from Thank You for the Dance Entertainment. Awards hand-etched by local artist Lucas Century will also be given out that night. They will also be selling $5 raffle tickets at the registration table for a three day, two night stay at the resort. All proceeds will go towards Blessings in a Backpack.

A special resort rate will be available to all players. For the tournament weekend, the resort is offering a fully equipped studio and island suite accommodations for $199 which includes breakfast for two and a waived resort fee.

“Our players can come and have breakfast, their families can enjoy what the resort has to offer. The kayaks, the paddleboards, bikes and everything that comes when you stay here at Sundial,” Brown said.

Players are invited to register with USTA Tennis Link, tournament # 150017516. First singles are $49.95; first doubles are $39.20. Registrants may play in more than one division. Draws close Sept. 20. For more information, contact tennis@sundialresort.com or call (239) 395-6025.

Sponsors for this year’s tournament include: R.L.R. Investments LLC; Coastal Outfitters; Royal Shell Port Sanibel Marina; Royal Shell Real Estate; RS Walsh Landscaping; Sanibel Captiva Community Bank; Sanibel Captiva Islander; Mor-Sports Group; Baileys Marketplace; Kay Casperson Lifestyle Spa & Boutique; Masciarelli Wines and Coca-Cola Beverages Florida.