P-T Classic getting some minor tweaks
By Josh Lichtenfeld Post-Tribune correspondent July 20, 2013 11:44PM
Reggie Sanderson of Wheatfield returns a shot in the finals of the mens 35 and over division during the Post-Tribune Tennis Classic held at Valparaiso University on Sunday July 31st 2011. Sanderson went on to win the match | Charles Mitchell~For Sun Times media
Updated: July 23, 2013 12:32AM
For the most part the annual Post-Tribune Tennis Classic has followed a similar format in recent years.
In his second year as the co-director, local tennis instructor and college coach Reggie Sanderson isn’t looking to drastically shake things up when the action begins Monday. But he has been open to trying new ideas out.
“We’re trying to keep the tradition alive of the Post-Tribune, but at the same time we want to grow the tournament and grow the game,” the St. Joseph’s coach said.
After going from a competitive role to an administrative role in 2012’s classic, Sanderson was a part of implementing a successful setup that allowed for consolation brackets to be added to the youth divisions last summer. And in the upcoming tourney, the adults will also get a consolation match after a loss in singles play. Plus, in the interest of reaching out to a variety of skill levels, an experimental 3.5 division (known as the intermediate, or below, skill level in USTA play, based on a scale of 1.0-7.0) is also being added for the adult singles players.
“It’s kind of a trial, we’re going to see if we get good numbers in it,” Sanderson said of the 3.5 division. “It’s something that was actually requested by some players.”
The main spotlight is the men’s and women’s singles open, which start at 5 p.m. Friday. Reggie’s children, Luke and Katee, are the reigning champs in the respective divisions.
Monday will open up at 10 a.m. with the boys and girls 10-, 12-, and 14-and-under age groups and finish at 5 p.m. with the start of the 16 and 18 divisions. Until Sanderson and co-director and Valparaiso men’s coach Jim Daugherty sift through the entries on Sunday, it’s unclear which local standout singles and doubles players have signed up. Interested adults can still register through Wednesday.
The classic isn’t a USTA sanctioned event, but Sanderson said it’s a valuable event for players.
“Our awards here are better than what the USTA is giving at their tournaments,” Sanderson said. “It gives (each champion) that chance, that shining moment to be a star.”
“We’re looking forward to a great week of tennis and we can’t say enough about how much we appreciate the support from the paper, and our sponsors for making this happen, and also Valpo University.”