Hard Court Championships Aug. 1-4

Published 3:12 pm Friday, July 19, 2013

By DREW GRANTHUM / Sports Writer

The Alabama State Closed NRTP Hard Court Tennis Championships will be held at the Pelham Tennis Center Aug. 1-4.

The Hard Court Championship will feature some of the state’s top players going head-to-head in singles and doubles competition on an asphalt surface. Pelham Tennis Center staff member Ken Vines said the difference between hard court and soft court play was more than just playing surface.

To the untrained eye, a hard court might simply mean that the surface is like most other tennis courts and soft court meant a grass or clay court like those found at Wimbledon or at the French Open. Vines said the surface affects much more than the eyes.

“The main difference is that clay courts are slower,” he said. “The ball slows down. We have a lot of older players that play on clay courts because it’s easier on their joints.”

Hard courts, like the one the championships will be played on, lend themselves to a faster game, Vines said.

“Hard courts are good for big serves,” he said. “Some people refuse to play on hard courts.”

Vines said the Hard Court Championships have seen a fluctuation in participation through the last few years, but felt there would be strong crowd this year. Especially strong, considering there was an incentive to boost UTSA rankings.

“It varies year to year,” he said. “We have had 150 (before). I think (we’ll have) 100-110. If people are interested in rankings, this tournament awards double amount of points.”

Vines said he felt most of the players participating would be local tennis enthusiasts.

“We’ll have the majority of players from this area,” he said. “Alabaster, Pelham and Hoover.”

The cost to enter the singles tournament is $28, and will feature first match consolation on all single draws. The cost for doubles is $40 per team, and will be single elimination.

For more information, contact Vines at 620-6428.