The first-ever Orange Beach UTR (Universal Tennis Rating) Tournament was held November 17-19, 2017 at the City of Orange Beach Tennis Center.
The event took place over two days, with 53 players participating. The players came from New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Jonesboro (Arkansas), New Albany (Mississippi), Pensacola, Mobile, Jasper and surrounding Baldwin County cities.
The tournament's gold sponsor was Brian and Jodi Harsany of GTs on the Bay Restaurant, silver sponsor was Sissy Lattof of Salty Dog Fishing Charters, and bronze sponsor was Dr. Leo Jernigan. Sponsorships enable the city to provide dry-fit T-shirts, banners, and media exposure. As a donation, Lisette Normann, owner of The Orange Beach Store, also designed the artwork for the shirts and banners.
UTR tennis tournaments provide a new tournament experience for each player and it is expected to be an annual event at the City of Orange Beach Tennis Center. Players compete against similar skill levels based on their UTR rating. For example, each player is paired between 1 and 1.5 points from their opponents. Players may compete against the opposite sex. Also, coaching is allowed between odd games or 90 seconds on switchovers. Parents and players loved the new format.
The next USTA City of Orange Beach tournament will be the Polar Bear Classic, which is set for January 5-7, 2018. For sponsorship information, contact the Tennis Center at 251-974-NETS(6387).