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Courting an audience
More than 200 players have entered the tournament, making it the largest LGBTI tennis event in the southern hemisphere. Events will be played for all grades from Open to D for men and women in singles, doubles and mixed. Age events are also being conducted for over-40s, 50s and 60s.
The tournament is being organised by Tennis Sydney, Australia’s largest LGBTI tennis club, and is part of the Mardi Gras Festival and a Master Series event on the Gay & Lesbian Tennis Alliance (GLTA) World Tour.
The event has been developed to reflect the consistent growth in the Mardi Gras Championships over recent years (from 118 players in 2010 to a current tally of 174 players) and to reflect the support Tennis Sydney has received from the Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance (GLTA), the international organisation that manages the gay tennis circuit.
Tennis Sydney tournament director Dean Matterson told the Star Observer last year that the club’s committee saw an opportunity for an Australasian event in 2013 in Sydney to complement the Darwin Asia-Pacific Outgames for May 2014.
“The Open also fits well within the wider gay and lesbian tennis and world sports calendar in the coming years,” Matterson said.
“Securing Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre as the venue will ensure our members and visiting players experience world-class tennis facilities that will prepare them for future regional and international tournaments.”
The Australasian Gay & Lesbian Open 2013 runs February 15-17 at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre. The finals are scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, February 17.