FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The American Platform Tennis Association will launch its first grand prix tournament of the 2016-17 season on Saturday and Sunday at the Patterson Club's Men's and Women's Open in Fairfield.
The event will draw 64 men’s doubles teams and 32 women’s doubles teams from the region and across the country, according to a release from APTA.
Akin to the grand slams of tennis' and golf’s majors, the APTA Grand Prix Series of five high-level tournaments was introduced last year and gives top- and mid-level players the chance to compete for national ranking points and qualify for the end-of-season Viking President’s Cup, the release said.
Spectators are welcome at no charge. Live streaming will be available at www.platformtennis.org.
Top competitors will include Norwalk’s Mark Parsons, director of racquets at the Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N.Y., who's a three-time men’s national champion and 2016 men’s national finalist, and partner Johan du Randt of Wayland, Mass., also a three-time men’s national champion and 2016 finalist with Parsons.
Additionally, recently retired tennis professional Eric Butorac, who has won 18 ATP World Tour doubles titles and reached a career-high world doubles ranking of 17, will make his APTA debut.
On the women’s side are 2016 women’s national champions Gabriela Niculescu of Norwalk, pro at the Milbrook Club in Greenwich, and partner Martina Ondrejkova of Stamford, pro at the Wee Burn Country Club in Darien.
Also vying for a title and points are 2016 women’s national finalists Cynthia Dardis of Stamford, pro at the Stanwich Club in Greenwich, and partner Amy Shay of Wilton, pro at Woodway Country Club in Darien.
Patterson Club pro and home-court favorite Mirian Cruz will also compete in the tournament.
“We’re very excited about hosting the first APTA Grand Prix of the season,” said Scott Slobin, head racquets professional at the Patterson Club. "Spectators will definitely be in for a treat with the outstanding competition on tap throughout the weekend.”
The four remaining Grand Prix tournaments will take place in Chicago, Cincinnati, Boston and Short Hills, N.J.
For additional information, visit APTA's website.
The Patterson Club is at 1118 Cross Highway, Fairfield.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.