Annual tennis tourney to benefit cancer set for this week

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 28, 2018

Several local players as well as some out-of-area competitors will converge at the Duncan Park Tennis Center for the 39th annual Natchez Community Cancer Tennis Tournament, which will take place Friday through Sunday.

The action gets under way on Friday with the women’s doubles matches starting at 3 p.m. The men’s doubles matches start at 4:30 p.m. The mixed doubles matches get under way at 6:30 p.m.

As of late last Friday morning, tournament co-chairman Noreen Pyron said about 30 players have registered. Those who haven’t signed up to play have until 6 p.m. Wednesday to do so.

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“The bulk of the players will sign up (this) week,” Pyron said. “We hope to have at least 75 this year. We had 60 last year. We’re hoping to increase this year.”

The majority of the matches will take place at Duncan Park while some matches will also be played at Beau Pré Country Club. However, this will also be the first year that no matches will take place at the now-former Trinity Episcopal tennis courts — and that could create a dilemma if the number of participants goes even higher in the future.

“If our numbers stay where they’ve been the last two years, it won’t be a problem. But if it goes up some, it will be a problem. (The people) are near and dear to my heart,” Pyron said.

As in years past, the majority of the players in this tournament are from this area — Natchez, Vidalia, Ferriday, Woodville and Meadville. But there will also be a good group of players from outside the area, as Pyron noted.

She said there will be some players from Jackson, Baton Rouge, Monroe, St. Francisville, La., and Mandeville, La.

Pyron also said that most of the winning teams from last year will be back again this year.

“I know the Men’s 3.5 team of Dick Whitaker and Danny Huffines will be playing. (Tournament co-chairman) Suzan Hogue and Nancy Laird, they won (one of the) women’s division, they’re playing this year,” she said.

While rain is in the forecast for early this week, hot and dry weather will return just in time for the start of the tournament on Friday.

“Looking at the long-range forecast, it may scare some people off. It will be sunny, but 98 degrees,” Pyron said. “They’re going to have to stay hydrated before and during play.”