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26th annual tourney taking registrations for tennis, pickleball participants

By Staff | Mar 28, 2018

PHOTO PROVIDED From left, tournament organizer and founder Lucas Century, Sundial pickleball pro Ernesto Enriquez, Sundial tennis pro Christian Clark and Sundial Racquet Sports Manager Sean Warren.

Calling all tennis and pickleball players on the islands time is running out to sign up for an annual tournament to benefit the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.

The 26th Annual SCCF Tennis and Pickleball Tournament will take place on April 7-8 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa on Sanibel. Free and open to spectators, it will feature men’s and women’s doubles tennis the first day, with the same matchups in tennis and pickleball the next day.

“If we have space, we will work mixed doubles in at the end,” Lucas Century, the founder and tournament organizer, said of the pickleball portion.

He explained that proceeds from the tourney go to SCCF, its research and programs.

“It’s a fun and supportive event,” Century said. “We’re trying to ‘raise a racket for conservation.'”

The registration fee is $75 for tennis players and $60 for pickleball competitors. It includes lunch provided by the Sanibel Catering Company by Bailey’s and SCCF, along with an event T-shirt.

The deadlines to register are April 4 for tennis and April 2 for pickleball.

To register for tennis, visit www.usta.com to sign up and pay.

The registration for pickleball players is two-part. Contact the Sundial at 239-395-6037 to sign up for the tournament, then visit “SCCF Pickleball Tournament” at www.eventbrite.com to pay the fee.

“There are a maximum of 80 players for pickleball,” he said. “We currently have no cutoff for tennis.”

The matches will be broken down by skill level.

Glass trophies, made by Lucas Century, will go to the champions and finalists.

In addition, raffle tickets will be available for sale for a prize.

“It will be a Lucas Century glass bowl,” Century said.

It is the tourney’s first year at Sundial because it is the first time that it has featured pickleball.

“We used to have 90 to 100 players,” he said, explaining that only about 60 tennis players signed up last year. “The last few years, the players have dwindled.”

In response, Century expanded the competition to include pickleball.

“To give it some new life,” he said.

The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, where the tournament had been held the past 25 years, does not have pickleball courts. Century expressed thanks to The Dunes for its long-standing support of the event.

Sponsorships are still available by contacting SCCF’s Dee Serage Century at 239-472-2329.

For more information on the tourney, call Sean Warren at Sundial at 239-395-6037.

The Sundial Beach Resort & Spa is at 1451 Middle Gulf Drive.