GODFREY – Players from around the globe competed in the first round of qualifying Saturday in the 19th Annual Lewis and Clark Community College Men’s Pro Tennis Classic at the Andy Simpson Tennis Complex at L&C.
For the 64 competitors Saturday, a win earns them another day of playing and puts them one match closer to making the main draw of the tournament, which begins Tuesday.
Brad Dancer, head men’s tennis coach at the University of Illinois, said he was glad to bring members of his team back to the tournament.
“We have current team members and alums playing the tourney. It is a tourney we look forward to each summer. It is well run and it gives our guys an opportunity to play against some of the best players in the world without traveling around the world.”
While the pros where battling outside on the courts, inside the George C. Terry River Bend Arena, approximately 40 children from the Alton and Bethalto Boys and Girls Clubs and the community were learning about tennis from some of L&C’s tennis players. The children also met pro players Farris Gosea and Mico Santiago who demonstrated the game and took time to volley some balls with the children.
“We look forward to bringing the children out each year to learn about tennis and get a chance to learn how to play the sport,” said Al Womack, director of the Alton Boys and Girls Club. “It is a wonderful event and the children enjoy meeting the pro players.”
The Lewis and Clark tournament is a United States Tennis Association (USTA) Men’s Futures Pro Circuit event.
It is free and open to the public, and spectators are provided with covered stadium seating to keep them comfortable and shaded from the heat.
Qualifying play continues Sunday morning. For more information about the Lewis and Clark tournament and to see the final scores from the days’ matches, visit www.lc.edu/usta
. For more information, contact the tournament desk at (618) 468-6252. To download high resolution photos from the tournament visit www.flickr.com/photos/lewisandclarkcc