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Tue, Feb. 25

My Point column: Entries close July 12 for Prescott Mile-High Senior Open Tennis Tournament

Tuesday, July 12, is the deadline to enter the USTA sanctioned “Prescott Mile High Senior Tennis Tournament” held July 22-24th at the Yavapai College tennis facility.

This once-a-year highlighted tournament held in “open” age divisions pits the best players against one-another without the benefit of breaking it down by ability levels. You can enter singles, doubles or mixed doubles events in what is known as Open (ages 16 to 90 plus), 30’s, 35’s with 5 year increments through the age of 85. So you end up competing against the best of the best in your age category, which is nice to get to do every once in a while. Call it sizing yourself up to see where you fall.

In 2015, this tournament had approximately 100 entries, filled with players locally, state wide and throughout the southwest. Most like to come to Prescott in July where during the hottest of days our temps are in the 80’s to low 90’s and in their lower elevations the ranges are much higher.

The format is 2 out of 3 sets, regular scoring with a 12-point tie-break (first to 7 points win by 2) at 6-6 in games. If you split sets the third set consists of a 10 point tie-break (first to 10 points win by 2).

It’s a first round consolation tournament which means if you lose in the first round, you go into a consolations division that plays through a finals, which gives you more opponents to play and thus people to meet.

All participants received a T-Shirt, finger foods throughout the tournament, ice-cold water and great prizes to the finalists.

With being a USTA sanctioned tournament, you received points for participating and more for each round you advance to. The points accumulated throughout the year from the number of tournaments you play give you a ranking at the end of the year; the top 8 players in singles are invited (in the Southwest section) to play in a year-end championship for bragging rights, dinner and cash prizes - which is new for 2016 schedule.

The easiest way to sign up (if you’re not already) is to go to the Prescott Area Tennis Association website, prescotttennis.org, and when the home page comes up you’ll see the “Prescott Mile High Senior Open” listed to a tennis link that takes you directly to the USTA tournament page. Click it.

The USTA tennis link web-page will appear and give you the rest of the information to get signed up.

Look for, “Register Now”. The tournament I.D. number is750015016.

They’ll ask for your USTA membership number, or ask that you become a member. You’ll see the boxes to check for what categories you want to enter...singles/doubles or mixed. Your T-Shirt size, etc.

The cost is $47.26 for singles and $31.00 for each doubles you might enter.

Need a place to stay? The tournament has two motels listed that are right across from the Yavapai College entrance, the Quality Inn 928-776-1282 and Motel 6 928-776-0106. Don’t wait too long to book your accommodations because Prescott gets real busy during the summer and especially on the weekends.

For those of you who normally play at the college on the weekends, the Prescott High School and Armory courts are available, or you can come on down and check out the match play going on.

Depending on number of entries, match play will likely begin Friday morning or early afternoon the 22nd. Draws will be posted with days and times for first matches no later than Monday, July 18th.

This is the second of three full-weekend tournaments held here in Prescott during the summer months, and as always we have a great committee of locals who show why Prescott is “Everyone’s Hometown!”

Join in the fun by playing or coming by to watch - the deadline to enter is tonight by 11:59 p.m.

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 40 years in the racquet and fitness industry who can be reached at 928-642-6775 or choward4541@gmail.com.

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