The eight-day Honeycomb.Design Clare Valley Tennis International could be named as Tennis SA’s Most Outstanding Major Tournament or Competition for the year 2016-17.
Held at the Clare Tennis Club earlier this year, the tournament saw a strong field of international, and Australian women take to the courts.
Doubles and singles winner Beatriz Haddad Maia, from Brazil, then went on to play Venus Williams in the singles at the Miami Open in Florida USA in the following tournament.
Clare Tennis Club president Mark West said the club was excited about the tournament and being a finalist in the prestigious awards.
“The standard of tennis in the tournament was fantastic and spectators were treated to some of the best tennis in the world,” Mr West said.
“The players and officials loved being here in Clare, they loved everything about the Clare Valley and the tournament went off without a hitch.
“The whole community got involved and a lot of the volunteers were not members of the tennis club.”
Mr West said the tournament was a whole of community experience – it was able to be enjoyed by all ages – and being nominated as a finalist for this award reflected that effort, the support from Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council and other sponsors – not just the effort of the Clare Tennis Club.
Naming rights and major sponsor, Honeycomb.Design’s Mark Millard (also vice president of Clare Tennis Club) said a different dimension for this tournament was that half of the players stayed with local families.
“This was a real insight in to professional tennis for so many local families and really showed the hospitality of the Clare Valley to the world,” he said.
“Some lucky locals got to interact further during the Northern Argus Pro-Am International when they got to partner a professional tennis player in doubles.
“We’re really thankful to the Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council, the event wouldn’t have occurred if it were not for their initial support, and for the support of all the other sponsors.”
The winner of Tennis SA’s Most Outstanding Major Tournament or Competition of the Year 2016-17 will be announced at a gala dinner in Adelaide on May 5.