Tiger Classic building on initial success
|Former ISU Redbird basketball player Skip Schaefbauer (left) of Normal is the defending men’s open singles champion in the Tiger Tennis Classic. This year’s event runs July 21 and July 28.|
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The first Tiger Tennis Classic went over so well last year, they're going to do it again this year. And Princeton High School tennis coach Connie Lind is looking for it to be bigger and better.
There were 120 players who took part in last year's inaugural event, and Lind expects more to play this time around.
"It was a huge success last year. We put out an SOS to all the area coaches and they all responded," Lind said. "We're hoping for more this year. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate."
The PHS tennis program picked up the tournament in 2011 when the Princeton Park District elected to discontinue its former Princeton Open.
There will be a little switch-a-roo with doubles play taking the courts the first weekend on July 21 with singles to follow July 28. Matches will begin at 8 a.m. each day.
Fees are $14 per person, $12 per person for doubles and $10 for 18 and under singles. Each person is to provide one can of new tennis balls for their initial match. The winner will take the unused balls to the next match.
There will be doubles divisions for men's open, men's over 40, women's, mixed and youth. For singles, divisions will include men's open, men's over 40, women's open and youth.
Entry deadline is July 19 for doubles and July 26 for singles. Forms may be found online at tigertennisclassic.com. Lind said all tournament information, including match times will be posted on the web page. Other questions may be directed to Rick Peacock at 815-879-2701.
Last year's tournament saw some exciting finals play with former ISU Redbird basketball player Skip Schaefbauer of Normal defeating Princeton's Doug Faber, 7-5, 6-2 for the men's open title. Schaefbauer, a member of the Normal Fire Department, is married to the former Nicole Coates of Princeton, and expected to return this year.
Princeton native Mike Murfin won the men's 40 and over singles and Elle Bonucci of Princeton won the girls' 14 and under singles. Murfin also teamed up with Rick Peacock to win the men's doubles.
Doug and Kevin Faber, both former state qualifiers for PHS, are signed up to play doubles this year, Lind said.