After the success of the ladies’ and men’s events we held last October, and the ladies’ the year before, the LTA has asked us to host these competitions,’ said Hugh Raymond of the CILTA.
‘Normally they’d be held in Redbridge (Surrey) but the LTA said it lacks the atmosphere and support we get here, and asked us to take it on instead.
The men will run from 31 January until 5 February, and the ladies from 7-12 February.
‘The problem was that events like this cost more that £100,000 to run so we were looking for sponsors, but Jersey Tourism has now come on board, and Caversham have again agreed to support the ladies’ tournament.
Education Sport and Culture are not supporting this event, but will continue to support the Autumn one.’ Raymond said that another major problem has been to find sufficient accommodation in January.
‘There are very few hotels open at that time of year, but we will be taking over the whole of the Somerville, and the owner has sorted something out with another hotel so the players have somewhere to stay.
Next, I have to sort out some transport to get the players up to the courts at Les Ormes.’ With the men’s event being the first of the Satellite event series – three others are held later in the year – Raymond is expecting a good number of players to sign in to the Jersey event as they must sign up for all four, in order to be able to play in the series, whether or not they actually turn up to play.
‘There will be potentially 90 men vying to get into the 48-place draw here, although I don’t expect 90 to turn up – apart from anything else, the cost of getting here will put several off.
But with the men’s event, followed a week later by the ladies, there will be some fantastic tennis at Les Ormes in February,’ Raymond said.