Edwardsville Futures Slated for July 24-30
The Edwardsville Futures USTA Pro Circuit event — the St. Louis area’s only professional tennis tournament — is slated to take place July 24-30. The 12th all-time rendition of the Futures, which features an assortment of community events in addition to the tournament itself, will again occur at Edwardsville High School.
Dave Lipe — Tournament Director and Edwardsville High School boys’ and girls’ tennis head coach — and his staff have made a significant scheduling change that he believes will be a “game-changer” for the tournament. For the first time, the Futures will have a featured match during evenings at 6:00 p.m. to enable more spectators the opportunity to view the high-caliber tennis action.
“We have our normal slate of matches beginning usually at 9:00 a.m., and a lot of times we were done at 3:00 p.m. Well, if you work until 5:00 p.m., you don’t ever get to see the tennis,” Lipe said. “On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we’re going to have night matches. On Friday night, we’ll have our doubles final like we have for years. Saturday is our two singles semis. And then Sunday is our singles final.”
Throughout its decade-plus of existence, the Edwardsville Futures has featured rising talent in the tennis ranks. Former participants have gone on to capture 47 championships on the ATP Tour. Lipe said the event isn’t possible without the help of his staff — namely Kirk Schlueter and Emily Cimarolli — and sponsors.
“The overall narrative of the tournament is it takes many hands. There is not one single sponsor that does all the lifting,” Lipe said. “None of this is possible without the EGHM Foundation, our presenting partner, and Edwardsville School District. My job is to be the center of the wheel that all the spokes attach to. In the end, it’s worth it. Because the people, entities and groups that support this tournament all love the same things: tennis, the Pro Circuit and our community.”
Lipe also credited USTA, the City of Edwardsville and the multitude of community and business partners who chip in to make the event a reality each year. Cost of attendance is just a couple bucks, and senior citizens, high school tennis players and Junior Team Tennis competitors get in free.
“I’m always amazed people in our district and section — and people within 100 miles who are tennis people — don’t realize we host this professional tennis tournament,” Lipe said. “They should come if they love tennis or like to see world-class athletes competing. People should come if they want to see that level of competition.