Brighton tennis club hosts unique tournament

A Brighton tennis club said that it was hosting Britain’s first genuinely open mixed singles tennis tournament.

The competition is open to men and women of all ages and ability levels and started yesterday (Sunday 30 July) at the Preston Lawn Tennis Club, in Preston Drove, Brighton.

More than 60 players from across Britain as well as Spain, Ukraine and Argentina have signed up and are competing for a total pot of £6,000 in prize money.

They range in age from 11 to 72, according to professional coach and tournament organiser Barry Fulcher.

Mr Fulcher, the current GB Men’s tennis 35+ number one player and team captain, said: “The tournament is underpinned by the US-developed Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) system, a much healthier form of rating than the current domestic rating system – one that’s designed to promote more, not less playing”.

Mr Fulcher said that every player would start in a draw relative to their standard, based on their “competitive” performance in their most recent 30 matches.

He said: “It also prevents an unintended consequence of the British Tennis Ratings system, in which players might opt not to play in order to protect their ratings wins”.

The event website said: “This tournament consists of a number of separate draws and will have various entry points based on a competitor’s level.

“Every player is guaranteed at least two equal level UTR matches, the opportunity to play out and win their own divisional event, as well as the opportunity to progress through to the next draw and walk away with the biggest prize in the tournament.”

Divisional winners will win £500 and the chance to progress to the main draw, which takes place on Wednesday evening (2 August), with matches played on Thursday noon and Friday from 10am.

The event has already caught the attention of the UK tennis community, with Mr Fulcher invited to talk about his plans on Radio Wimbledon earlier this month.

Entry is free for spectators and there is also a free junior tennis clinic.

The main draw ceremony, a doubles exhibition event and barbecue all take place from 6pm on Wednesday.

More information and a full list of events similarly based on the Universal Tennis Ranking across the world can be found at http://events.universaltennis.com/tournaments/419.

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