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February 4, 2004




           More than 200 young tennis players will gather on Oahu next week to compete in the only national tennis tournament for junior players held in Hawaii, at Central Oahu Regional Park on February 14-18, 2004.

            The USTA National Jr. Open features boys and girls competing in ages 18-and-under in singles and doubles play.  Last year, the event drew more than 125 players from over 22 states, including Canada and Hawaii. Entry is restricted to those who qualify through a national selection process.

 “We are pleased and honored to have been chosen once again to host this prestigious sporting event,” said Mayor Jeremy Harris.  “It is a good example of how our initiative in sports tourism can bring invaluable publicity to our island while also benefiting our local economy.”

             Bernard Gusman, Director of Tennis at Punahou School, has for the second year been named as the tournament director for the National Open.  In 2001 and 2002, the event was held at Kapalua Resort on Maui.

             “We’re very excited about the opportunity to host the USTA National Open Championships again this year,” said Gusman. “We continue to work hard to build up thetournament so it brings the highest level of junior tennis competition to Oahu.

“The tournament helps bridge the gap between Hawaii tennis competitors and mainland competitors while involving the tennis community in creating a world-class tennis event. We see this as win-win opportunity for tennis and Hawaii.”

            The tournament will be held at the award-winning 20-court Central OahuRegional Park tennis complex in Honolulu. Matches are scheduled to begin Saturday, February 14. Play runs through the weekend with the finals being held on Wednesday, February 18. Play each day starts at 8:30 a.m on Saturday and Sunday and 9:00 a.m. Monday - Wednesday. Admission is free.

             In addition, the event will again host its highly successful “Community Tennis Day” on Monday, February 16th from 11:00 a.m. ­ 4:30 p.m.

             “In keeping with the School¹s mission of a private school serving a public purpose, we are excited to be working together with the City and County of Honolulu, as well as the USTA Hawaii Pacific Section on this worthwhile event,” said Gusman. “The Community Tennis Day affords an opportunity for our community to not only watch great junior tennis at a national level, but people can participate in tennis clinics and activities. We did a community tennis day last year and it was very successful. We¹d like to continue that trend.”

             The “Community Day” features a day of tennis events and activities which are free and open to the public. Events that will be included are: clinics and demonstrations by various local tennis manufacturers, a “Pot of Pros” featuring free tennis lessons by local tennis professionals, special junior clinics by the USTA/HPS, a tennis carnival,  a special guest to be announced later, plus many more activities.

             This top junior event is sure to produce an exciting week of tennis as it draws some of the top players in the country and Hawaii.

             The tournament is presented by The City and County of Honolulu and Punahou School. Sponsors include: Aaron’s Restaurant, Aloha Airlines, Budget-Rent-A-car,  C.S. Wo, City Bank, Family Food Company, Hawaiian Isles Water Company, Kuakini Health Center, Outrigger / Ohana Hotels & Resorts, Pepsi Cola Company, ProPark Inc., Reebok, Specialty Surfacing Company, USTA Hawaii Pacific Section and Wilson Sporting Goods.

             For more information on the tournament, contact assistant tournament director Lenora Wee at (808) 946-2951.





Wednesday, February 04, 2004

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