Tennis Classic Serves Up Pro Sports in Ashland Next Weekend

Gary Newman

The Ashland Beacon


   Thirty-two professional women tennis players from all over the world will converge on Ashland, to compete for the Braidy Industries $60,000 Women’s Tennis Classic, a USTA Pro Circuit Event beginning this week. The tournament runs from July 22-July 28 and will include an incredible set of tournament activities for fans of all levels on the newly resurfaced courts of Ashland Tennis Center.

   Of the 32 players in the Main Draw, the highest ranked player is Madison Brengle, from Dover, Delaware who is currently ranked 85th and most recently played at Wimbledon, and last year’s champion Gail Brodsky will return to play as well. There is also a Doubles tournament.

   Tournament director, Jack Ditty described what last year’s tournament looked like in saying, “When we were watching the matches, every round of matches we watched were a consecutively higher levels of play that went on through the tournament.” Ditty went on to say, “This is the best match we’ve ever seen on this court. The next day,” he reflected, “this is the best match we’ve ever seen on this court, and it continued all the way to the finals on Sunday!”

   In addition to amazing professional tennis, there are a host of related tournament activities, including FitFest Non-Profit Organization Festival & Jim Fannin Recreational Net Generation Kids Sports Day. This is going to be a series of nonprofits showing their services and products, while all the while the indoor courts will be set up for kids to be able to receive personalized instruction in eight different sports.

   On Sunday, the opening ceremonies will include ROTC, 30 officials, ball boys, volunteers, and players to be followed by an exhibition match.

   Throughout the week, several other events will include a Junior Pro-Am, Adult Pro-Am, Player and Volunteer Party, Player and Sponsor Party, Tiebreaker Prize Money Tournament, Ashland City Junior Tennis Championships.

   Parker Clark, who’ll be playing tennis at Georgetown, after having been in the State Semifinals as a Senior at Paul Blazer High School. Clark is working with sponsors for the tournament and said “Seeing these pro players in my hometown on the courts that I train on everyday, makes me want to get better and better. I got to hit with eight or nine of them last year.”

   Last year for the finals match, all 400 seats were occupied and it was Standing Room only and tickets are available now.

   If you can’t make it to the tournament, matches can be seen through the website at