ANDERSON — The skies above Anderson University threatened to open up throughout the day Saturday. But the opening day of the 34th annual Community Hospital Anderson Tennis Classic went off without a hitch.
“Luckily, we just had a few short sprinkles for a few minutes,” tournament administrator Rishi Patel said. “Then it cleared up. We never had to pull anyone off the court.”
With the Anderson Sports Center’s closing at the end of May, pulling matches off the courts will become a slightly more complicated process this year.
The plan includes using available courts at the Muncie YMCA — one of the event’s new sponsors — but some matches inevitably will need to be rescheduled. So tournament officials will keep their fingers crossed that a forecast that includes potential severe weather today will not come to fruition.
If matches need to be moved, however, there will be no panic.
“We have to do this kind of thing every year,” Patel said.
The classic began Saturday morning with a middle school event that included four teams playing 20-minute matches in a mini-tournament within the tournament.
The main bracket got underway at 10:45 a.m., with the boys and girls varsity divisions dominated the first day’s schedule.
“It’s great seeing the younger kids come out here, and they love it,” Patel said. “It helps grow the game and keep it going.”
The tournament is scheduled to conclude next weekend after just nine days of competition. That means many players will be on the court every other day, and championship matches in each division will be coming up quickly.
Fatigue could be a concern in some instances, but Patel said many players have become conditioned to the condensed schedule.
“It’s been like this the last couple of years,” he said. “Before (that) there was a lot more time to spread things out. But now I think players are used to it, and they’re ready to play.”