Athletes from 20 Countries will gather to compete in SLO County’s first ever professional tennis event Sept. 24-Oct. 1 at Templeton Tennis Ranch. Young Americans Sonya Kenin and Louisa Chirico will headline a strong field of up-and-coming professional women’s tennis players when the first annual Central Coast Pro Tennis Open takes place.
“This elite group of athletes, fresh off the courts at Arthur Ashe stadium at the US Open, are coming to Templeton Tennis Ranch to show us what world class talent looks like, up close and personal,” Templeton Tennis Ranch Director of Tennis Scott Cleere says. “The Central Coast Pro Tennis Open will alter the course of tennis in our area. We are so excited to be hosting this event and bringing this experience to tennis players, fans and our local communities. If you appreciate the finer things in life, you must attend. It will not disappoint.”
The Central Coast Pro Tennis Open, a USTA women’s $60,000 Pro Circuit event, gives young promising WTA Tour players a chance to earn valuable ranking points. Players ranked from No. 97 to No. 225 will compete in a 32-player singles main draw, and a 16-team doubles event will also be contested.
Kenin, 18, of Pembroke Pines, FL, recently turned heads at the US Open after beating Americans Lauren Davis and Sachia Vickery to advance to the third round. Playing a night match on Arthur Ashe Stadium, Kenin fell to Maria Sharapova. She is ranked No. 112 in the world and expected to be seeded No. 2 at Templeton.
Currently ranked just outside the world top 150, Chirico has won three ITF singles and two doubles titles during her career. The 21-year-old from Morristown, NJ, is coached by the USTA’s Jay Gooding. Last October, Chirico reached career-high No. 58 world rankings.
Qualifying begins Sunday, September 24, and concludes on Tuesday, when main draw play also begins. Sunday will feature a free Kids Play Day starting at 5 p.m. A Pro-Am will take place Tuesday with Breast Cancer Awareness Day and a BBQ on Friday, September 29, with the Doubles semi-finals matches beginning at 6 p.m. The doubles final will be Sunday, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m., followed by the singles final. In total 74 matches will be played over eight days.
Admission to watch the exciting pro tennis is free during the week’s early rounds. On Friday night, Saturday and Sunday for the semifinals and finals, tickets are $10, or fans can purchase a three-day pass for $25. Children 12 and under are free. For more information, call 805/ 434-9605, or visit www.ttrtennis.com.