More than 150 local players and many of the world’s top beach tennis stars will vie for $12,000 in prize money when the Dealer.com Hermosa Beach Open is held Friday through Sunday adjacent to the Hermosa Beach Pier.
Players in the men’s and women’s pro doubles, mixed doubles and singles divisions will compete in one of the largest beach tennis events of the season. There will also be a men’s and women’s amateur doubles tournament.
“It’s great for us all to be a part of the birth of Beach Tennis in the USA,” said Mark Bonfigli, founder of Dealer.com. “The sport is easier to learn than volleyball and can be played at just about any age. We are fortunate to have dedicated courts in Hermosa Beach but now with so many players catching the beach tennis bug, we really need more courts in the area. This year’s tournament has over twice the entries as last year and we hope to see just as many new fans at the event.”
Top men players from around the world include Italians Alex Mingozzi, Matteo Marighella, Nicolo Strano and the reigning world No. 1 player Alessandro Calbucci. Brazil’s top player Vini Font is also slated to compete.
The top American team includes Marty Salokas, of Redondo Beach, and New York’s Matt Garavaglia. Bonfigli, of Hermosa Beach, is another top American player along with Donny Young, founder of West Coast Beach Tennis.
Women’s top players are France’s Magali Garnier and Pauline Bourdet, who partnered with Salokas to win the mixed doubles championship at the 2012 Subaru Hermosa Beach Open. Other top players include Brazil’s Flavia Muniz, Aruba’s Maria Buuts, Italy’s Silvia Zanuttini and Puerto Rico’s Bea Rivera. Muniz is the defending Women’s Singles champion.
Also competing will be the top three American women – Marisa Mora from Hermosa Beach and New York’s Nadia Johnston and Nicole Melch.
The prize money comes from many sponsors including Dealer.com and Simmzy’s of Manhattan Beach.
“Being able to draw this type of talent is exactly what Hermosa Beach needs,” Salokas said. “We need to show how great this sport is and how much it can thrive in our community. This will help beach tennis grow make Hermosa Beach a destination for the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Tour.
Action begins Friday at 9 a.m. with the Singles Division followed by the Masters’ Doubles Division (over 45) at 1 p.m.
Saturday’s schedule includes the Open Division at 9 a.m. and the Advanced/Amateur Division at 10 a.m. A Sponsor Appreciation Party will be held at 10 p.m. at Ocean Bar, 1301 Manhattan Ave., Hermosa Beach.
Competition in the Mixed Division takes place Sunday beginning at 9 a.m. followed by the highlight of the weekend – the pro’s semifinal and final competition.
For more information, visit Hermosabeachopen.net.