Rain Not a Problem for Event Organizers at the St. Vincent Auxiliary USTA Men's Pro Tournament In Little Rock

April 7, 2003 11:33 AM

With rain in the forcast Sunday, tournament officials at the St. Vincent Auxiliary USTA Men's Pro Tournament at Rebsamen Tennis Center in Little Rock needed to think about alternative court arrangements. Thanks to their organization, the delays associated with the mid-day thunderstorms were brief and third round qualifying play was resumed at 6pm at the indoor courts at the Little Rock Athletic Club.

In the day's biggest upset, Great Britain's Daniel Kiernan, ranked No. 1,334 in the world, defeated Marci Carlsson of Brazil, ranked No. 466 and the No. 1 seed in the qualifying tournament, in a lengthy three setter, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The other upsets included Ryan Haviland, a senior at Stanford University in California over Jay Gooding of Australia 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-4. Gooding was the No. 5 seed in the qualifiers. Steven Bijl of the Netherlands an unranked player battled to defeat Lesley Joseph the No. 6 seed and a senior at the University of Georgia, 6-4, 7-6 (6).

Other singles winners included Nashville, TN's rising star Brian Baker over Matt Smith of Great Britain 6-4, 6-0; Genius Chidikwe of Zimbabewe over Michel Koning of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-4; W.P. Meyer of Russia over Clancy Shields of Grand Junction, CO 6-4, 6-4; Jordan Kerr of Australia over Tiago Ruffoni of Brazil and Steve Darcis of Belgium over Keith From of the United States.

A match of local interest on Monday at 11:00AM is between Phillip Simmons of the USA and Oskar Johansson of Sweden. Oskar played number singles and doubles for the University of Arkansas in 1999-2001. He currently helps assist the Razorback Tennis Team when he is in Fayetteville between tournaments.

You can download the singles and doubles tournament draws here (must have Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Doubles play will begin at 2:00PM with the feature match beginning about 5:00PM. One doubles team of the feature match will be Oskar Johansson of Sweden and Thomas Anderson of Sweden who lives in Little Rock, AR and is the head pro at the Little Rock Athletic Club. Oskar and Thomas will play against Robert Gustafson of Sweden and Marcus Sarstrand of Sweden. There will be plenty of conversation in Swedish between these four countrymen.

Order of play
Tuesday April 8, 2003
10a.m. Matches
Court 1: Jordan Kerr v Brian Baker
Court 2: Jay Gooding v Marcio Carlsson
Court 11: Genius Chidzikwe v Ignacio Hirigoyen
Court 12: Steven Bijl v Pedro Braga

Followed by...
Court 1: Juan-Pablo Guzman v Daniel Kiernan
Court 2: Tichard Bloomfield v Tripp Phillips
Court 11: Ryan Sachire v Highest Lucky Loser
Court 12: Steve Darcis v Ryan Haviland

Not before 3 p.m.
Court 1: Simon Larose v Josh Goffi
Court 2: Huntley Montgomery v W.P. Meyer

Not before 5 p.m.
Court 1: Simon Larose and Tripp Phillips v Bart De Gier and Michel Konin
Court 2: Nick Crowell and Luke Shields v Julien Cassaigne and Levar Harper-Griffith

Proceeds from the tournament and its associated events benefit the St. Vincent New Outlook Women's Cancer Recovery Program. New Outlook helps women and their families overcome the challenges they face when fighting cancer. New Outlook opened in April 1996 and has provided services free of charge to thousands of men and women throughout the state regardless of where they received medical treatment. The tournament is expected to raise $35,000.

St. Vincent's Auxiliary and Rebsamen Tennis Center has sponsored this Professional Tennis tournament for 23 years, making it the longest running USTA Circuit Tournament in the nation. It is a major fundraising source for many health related initiatives to help Arkansans. In recent years the sponsorship and fundraising activities have been designated for the New Outlook Women's Cancer Recovery Center. Last year, New Outlook served over 3,000 people by providing wigs, breast prosthesis, mastectomy bras, dietary counseling, makeup, hairstyling, support groups and fitness assistance to name a few.

Introducing tennis to the Little Rock community is one of the main goals of the tournament staff and there will be several community tennis events taking place during the week, including:

  • Pro Am Tournament (Monday, April 7th, 1-4 pm) - Twenty-five amateur men and women will be paired with pros in a mini tournament. To enter the Pro Am all amateur players are asked to contribute a donation benefitting the New Outlook Cancer Recovery program.
  • "Pizza, Pasta n' Pros Party" (Monday, April 7th, 6:30-9 pm) - Guests, sponsors, pros and the general public are invited to attend an informal event to meet the pros, participate in a karaoke contest and a silent auction and receive door prizes. Admission is $25.00 for adults and $10.00 for kids under 16. All proceeds go to the New Outlook Women's Cancer Recovery Center. This event will be held at the YWCA at 1200 Cleveland St. in Little Rock.