WHITE PLAINS/HAMILTON, March 2, 2020
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Bermuda Tourism Authority today announced plans for a weekend full of tennis events and activities to take place on the island April 3-4. The first-ever “Courts & Shorts Weekend” in Bermuda is part of an ongoing celebration of the island’s place as an outstanding tennis destination for fans, players, enthusiasts and historians.
The Bermuda Tourism Authority is working closely with the USTA to develop the multi-faceted event. Highlights include a ticketed tennis exhibition and a kids’ clinic featuring tennis legends, rising tennis stars and former Bermuda Olympians. The events were created as part of a multi-year deal signed in 2019, making the Bermuda Tourism Authority the official tourism partner of the US Open Tennis Championships.
Former world No. 1s Andy Roddick and Arantxa Sánchez, both former US Open singles champions, will play in Saturday’s exhibition at Coral Beach & Tennis Club, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. (AST). This ticketed event will serve up fun, engaging matches with the featured players interacting with the crowd. Other participants include 1993 French Open doubles champion Luke Jensen, Chanda Rubin, former world No. 6 and winner of seven WTA singles titles, 2000 Wimbledon singles quarterfinalist and three-time ATP Tour singles titlist Jan-Michael Gambill, along with a number of young, rising tennis stars. VIP experience packages are available for fans, which include a Friday evening reception, preferred access to the exhibition matches and a post-exhibition reception.
Please visit http://gotobermuda.com/courtsandshorts for more information on purchasing a VIP package and general admission tickets.
Friday’s free and open to the public youth tennis clinic will take place at W.E.R. Joell Tennis Stadium, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (AST), with local kids of all ages and abilities invited to participate. Under the USTA’s Net Generation umbrella, smaller courts, shorter racquets, and lower bouncing balls will be utilized for the free clinic to help participants learn and get excited about playing tennis. The equipment will then be donated to Bermuda to further these efforts. Sánchez, Jensen, Rubin and Gambill will be on hand to help coach, along with appearances by a contingent of accomplished Bermuda-based athletes, including: Clyde Best (Bermuda Sports Hall of Fame – football/soccer); Julian Fletcher (2016 Olympian – swimming); Patrick Singleton (three-time Winter Olympian – luge and skeleton); Devon Bean (two-time Olympian – track and field); and Hazel Clark (three-time U.S. Olympian and Bermuda resident – track and field). Please also visit http://gotobermuda.com/courtsandshorts for more information and registration details.
In conjunction with the weekend’s activities, Tennis Channel will produce a television special as part of its “Destination Tennis” series.
Tennis has important historical roots in Bermuda. Credited by the International Tennis Hall of Fame as the “Mother of American Tennis,” Mary Ewing Outerbridge (born in America to Bermudian parents) first came across the game while visiting her family’s home on the island in 1874, learning tennis from British officers stationed in Bermuda. She later brought tennis equipment back to New York, introducing the sport in her home borough of Staten Island.
“The US Open partnership puts Bermuda in the cultural conversation at one of the must-see events in New York City, Bermuda’s top visitor market,” said Victoria Isley, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, BTA. “An important component of the partnership was to create an event in Bermuda that would generate direct spending, provide a kids’ clinic for community engagement, and be packaged into a television special to further promote Bermuda as a vacation destination.”
The events coincide with the Bermuda Breeze Championships, a USTA Super Category II tournament, that will take place at Coral Beach & Tennis Club March 30–April 5. It’s anticipated that the tournament will draw more than 100 players this year.