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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkNews from Around Banderas Bay | September 2007 

1st Annual Vallarta Open Tennis Tournament at Canto Del Sol
email this pageprint this pageemail usBob Cohen - PVNN

Canto Del Sol Tennis Director Martin Parra back at home in the club's pro shop after his press conference in Guadalajara to promote the Vallarta Open.
Canto Del Sol Tennis Director Martin Parra, along with a group of Puerto Vallarta city officials, announced play of a new professional tennis tournament, aptly named the 1st Annual Vallarta Open, September 19th through the 22nd.

In late August, city representatives Mayor Javier Bravo, Ramon Aguirre and Miguel Angel Preciado, along with the two top men in the Puerto Vallarta sports department; Rafael Castro and Cesar Macias, joined Parra in Guadalajara for a press conference announcing the tournament's debut. Joining the Vallarta contingent in Guadalajara was Manual Martinez, the President of the Jalisco Tennis Association and Javier Guitano of the AMTP.

Sponsored by the City of Puerto Vallarta, in addition to prizes, the 1st Annual Vallarta Open Tennis Tournament at Canto Del Sol offers a total cash purse of $30,000 pesos, in addition to another $60,000 pesos to pay for the invited players hotel, transportation, food and beverage expenses.

The tournament is a part of the month-long independence celebration of Mexico as the local government decided to draw sports into the mix. Almost all tennis tournaments are sponsored privately by businesses and the resort where the tournament is held, but the local government made a commitment for this to be an annual event.

Guadalajara is the home of the Association of Tennis Jalisco (ATJ) and most professional tournaments in Jalisco are played there. The ATJ is actually a part of the Association of Mexico Tennis Professionals (AMTP.) The Vallarta Open will award AMTP points, which are national points as opposed to state points, thus more valuable for player rankings.

Higher player rankings allow for players to be invited to compete in better tournaments, which means more money and prestige. The most prestigious are (ATP) Association of Tennis Professionals; these are international tournaments and the best players in the world are ATP players. It is the goal of all competing pros to reach the ATP level and compete internationally, but everyone must start somewhere and climb the competitive ladder. Roger Federer is the top ranked ATP player, in case one was curious.

The Vallarta Open will have a field of 16 Mexican tennis pros competing for the top prize of $10,600 pesos and 60 AMTP points. The runner-up will earn $5,000 pesos and 45 AMTP points. All players will earn something and all will receive the valuable points that rank players on a national level. The Canto Del Sol Resort and Tennis Club generally hosts one or two professional tournaments annually, all of which earning the winners ATJ and AMTP points as well as a cash purse.

All matches will be played on the hard court surface. Of the 16 competitors, eight will be direct invitees, based on their records. There will be four wild cards that will be entered into the tournament without qualifying and four more players that qualify for the tournament.

At least 16, and up to 32, players will compete for the four spots in matches played on Wednesday, September 19th and Thursday, the 20th. The four remaining from the intense qualifying games will be the final four to join the field.

Play begins on Thursday afternoon and a champion will be crowned on Saturday, September 22nd, and four of the direct invitees have been announced. Two are Mexican Davis Cup players; Juan Elizondo of Leon and Carlos Palencia of Guadalajara.

Currently, Palencia is ranked at #4 and Elizondo at #7 in Mexico. Internationally, Palencia is ranked #498 and Elizondo #738, which is on the ATP Tour. Two other Guadalajara players were invited; Martin Rodriguez and Javier Becerra, the winner of last month's Copa Canto Del Sol tournament.

Three wild card entrees were also announced; Luis Carlos Rodriguez of Puerto Vallarta, Ramon Aguirre of Guadalajara and Ramon Pereyra of Tech de Monterrey in Guadalajara. The remaining selections will be announced as qualifying players fill the remaining spots in the 16 player event.

To enter the competition, players can call (01) 555-374-8102 or 045 331 1519 539. The cost to enter is $300 pesos. Entries close on Monday, September 17th at 2 pm.

There will also be a concurrent tournament running during the competition. It will be the 1st Annual Independence Day Tournament for amateur players. It will be open to men, women and kids in A, B, C and D categories and will be played on both clay and hard courts.

Trophies will be awarded and T-shirts will be given to those that compete. The cost is $200 pesos and one can either stop by the Canto Del Sol Tennis Club or call (322) 226-0123, extension 4187 or 4287 to register or for more information.

Come out and enjoy the competition as a player or spectator. The Canto Del Sol seats close to 1000 people and the finals of the Vallarta Open could be a standing room only event.

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