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Tennis tournament begins this week

December 25, 2000

Tennis tournament begins this week



By LAURA ERNDE / Staff Writer


Tennis fans with a little time on their hands this holiday week might want to check out the Allegheny Energy Holiday Tennis Festival Tournament in Hagerstown, organizers said.

The seventh-annual festival, featuring top players from Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, runs Tuesday through Sunday at the indoor courts at the Hagerstown Tennis Club on Salem Avenue.

"It's a great opportunity to see some good tennis playing," said Steve Miguel, club pro and tournament director.

The tournament's top seed is Alex Kim of Potomac, Md., a Stanford College student who played Andre Agassi in the U.S. Open.

Kim will compete for the top men's singles prize of $1,000. A total of 115 players are registered for the United States Tennis Association-sanctioned event. About $3,000 in prize money will be awarded.

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Most of the players don't stay at local hotels, but rather drive in on their match days, Miguel said.

While the tournament won't necessarily have an immediate impact on the local economy, it is important nonetheless, said Cassandra Latimer, spokeswoman for the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

"This is just another opportunity to bring folks in from outside Washington County and show them some of our amenities," she said.

More than 20 organizations and individuals help sponsor the tournament every year, Miguel said.

The proceeds go toward tennis lessons for young people in the community. Last year, 10 children including several from the Washington County Boys and Girls Club, got tennis scholarships, Miguel said.

The tournament gives club members something to strive for, he said.

The public is welcome to attend the tournament free of charge. Men's singles matches begin at 5 p.m. daily.

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