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Richmond tennis club kicks off 60th tournament

The Richmond Open Tournament will be held from May 16 to 26.
The Richmond Open is celebrating its 60th year.

Tennis players from around the country are descending upon Richmond to play in one of the Lower Mainland's largest tennis tournaments over the next 10 days.

The Richmond Open, now in its 60th year, is an annual Tennis BC-sanctioned ranking tournament held by the Richmond Tennis Club.

From May 16 to 26, hundreds of tennis players of all skill levels will compete for the top spot with a prize pool of around $7,000.

Desmond Chan, manager of the Richmond Tennis Club, told the Richmond News that 60 years is "a big milestone" for the tournament.

"It was founded by avid tennis fanatics back in the early 70s, who loved playing, and they thought they'd have a tournament and attract a lot of the Lower Mainland people," he explained.

"It made a name for Richmond, I think."

Among the tournament's past winners is Canadian professional tennis player Vasek Pospisil, who won the men's double titles in the 2014 Wimbledon Championships and 2015 Indian Wells Masters with partner Jack Sock.

Despite a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament has seen a steady growth in interest, jumping from 391 entries in 2022 to now more than 650.

Benedict Haines, tournament director, credits this to a general boost in interest in the sport, which has also led to a growth in club membership. Due to overwhelming interest, the club now has a waitlist of almost 80 people.

"Since COVID-19, people were finding tennis as an activity that they (could) do while the world was kind of shut down," he said.

"And I think it's something that you can do pretty much any age."

The club's youngest members are six years old and its oldest playing member is 88.

"The success of the Canadian men's and women's international tournaments has an effect too," Chan added.

The Richmond Open Tournament is open for public viewing at Richmond Tennis Club at 6820 Gilbert Road. Entry is free and concessions are available. For more information, click here.

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