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Sundial to host Southwest Florida Clay Court Championships

By TIFFANY REPECKI - | Sep 16, 2020

trepecki@breezenewspapers.com

Marking its fifth year, an island resort will host a USTA-sanctioned tournament for tennis players.

The Sundial Beach Resort and Spa on Sanibel will host the 2020 Southwest Florida Clay Court Championships on Sept. 25-27. Open to USTA members ages 18 and over, the categories will include men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles for the NTRP rated divisions of 3.5-4.5.

Age divisions are open, 40s, 50s and 60s.

“This is the fifth year that we’ve had the tournament,” Christian Clark, event director and the resort’s racquet sports manager, said. “It’s a local tournament open to anyone with a USTA membership.”

Most of the players typically come from in-state, including Miami, Orlando and Tampa.

“People from all over the state like to come down and play,” Clark said.

The tournament will span all three days, with matches running from Friday afternoon to Sunday.

“There’ll be a little bit of an awards ceremony,” he said.

Photo awards will be handed out to the champion, finalist and winner in every category.

“There’ll be a player gift and they also will get goodie bags,” Clark said.

New this year, the resort will host an outdoor barbecue dinner.

“We’ve done a players’ party with appetizers in the past,” he said. “This year, I decided I would like to do a barbecue, socially-distanced barbecue, out on our beach. It’s for the players and their families.”

In light of COVID-19, the resort will have safety protocols set up throughout the event.

Entry fees are $61.78 for singles and $43.50 for doubles.

Players can register online at tennislink.usta.com using tournament ID No. 150093020.

Registration will close on Sept. 23.

“I’ve already got 32 people signed up,” Clark said on Sept. 4, adding that the players are coming from as far north as Palm Harbor and as far south as Miami. “Last year, we had about 75 to 80 players.”

Due to the ongoing pandemic, he was uncertain of what the final tally might be.

“To be honest, I really don’t know what to expect this year,” Clark said.

Sundial is offering a tournament room rate of $199 for a fully equipped studio and suite room types. Reservations can be made at sundialresort.com and 866-565-5093 by mentioning code SWFL20.

“There is a special room rate for an island suite or studio,” he said.

Players are encouraged to hop online and register.

“You are playing the tournament on the best courts on the island,” Clark said. “We get voted ‘Best Courts’ on the island every year.”

For more information, contact tennis@sundialresort.com or 239-395-6025.

Event sponsorships are available through Sept. 21.

For sponsorship information, contact Clark at christian.clark@sundialresort.com or 239-395-6025.

The Sundial Beach Resort and Spa is at 1451 Middle Gulf Drive, Sanibel.