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Pro Circuit

Costa Mesa Pro Classic opening courts to kids

March 23, 2012 01:36 PM
COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Following the Costa Mesa Pro Classic’s main-draw singles championship Sunday, the courts of the Costa Mesa Tennis Center will open for kids as part of the USTA’s 10 and Under Tennis Initiative.

Children ages 5 to 10 are eligible to play in the singles and doubles event. It will begin after the main-draw singles championship, which begins at 11 a.m.

The series, part of a national initiative sponsored by the USTA, is intended to expose young children to the game of tennis. The 10 and Under Tennis is a community initiative created to develop young players. It uses right-sized equipment (smaller, lighter racquets and slower-moving, lower-bouncing balls) and smaller courts to better allow kids to rally and play the game.

The Play Day is also part of the USTA’s March Into Tennis initiative, a month-long drive to get more kids playing the sport. Throughout the month of March, a record 1,400 USTA youth tennis events will take place across the country. As part of the USTA’s March Into Tennis promotion, these Play Days will provide kids of all skill levels the opportunity to experience the fun of competition in a social and fun setting. The Play Day is also part of a year-round county-wide series of matches, which will take place at 10 tennis centers across Orange County.

All equipment is provided and matches will be played on the smaller courts with proper equipment for 10 and Under Tennis.

"Tennis is a life-long endeavor for many people, and it’s important for the growth of the game that children are exposed to it in the simplest way possible," said Hank Lloyd, tournament director and operator of the Costa Mesa Tennis Center. "The USTA realizes where the future of tennis lies, and this is a fun, accessible way for kids to be introduced to the game and for more experienced kids to refine their competitive skills."

Children will be divided into three skill levels. Those with the most experience will play with a low-compression ball on a full-sized court. Intermediate players will compete on a 60-foot court with a low-compression ball. Children new to the game will play on a mini-court with a foam ball.

There is a one-time $20 registration fee and a $20 fee per event, and $5 boxed lunches will be sold. Proceeds will help fund USTA scholarship programs that allow at-risk children to join local tennis programs. For sign-up instructions, visit www.oc10andUnderTennis.com, or call (714) 357-0261.

Families are encouraged to attend the Costa Mesa Pro Classic, a USTA Pro Circuit event. There is no charge for admission, and food will be available on-site, courtesy of Rudy’s of Newport Beach. The Costa Mesa Tennis Center is located at 880 Juniper Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 557-2011.

ABOUT THE USTA PRO CIRCUIT

With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway for the U.S. Open and tour-level competition for aspiring players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit 33 years ago to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering nearly $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Caroline Wozniacki, James Blake, Li Na, Andy Murray and Mardy Fish are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.
 

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