TWO of the greatest legends in women’s tennis history along with two former No.1 ranked players in the world are going to face off in an epic doubles match.
And the matchup will go down in history at the second annual Bahamas Women’s Open at the National Tennis Center on March 11.
Martina Navratilova, considered to be one of the best women tennis players of all time, is slated to battle Monica Seles, one of the best ever in the sport in this mega doubles match.
Not to be outdone, Jennifer Capriati, a tennis phenomenon at 13, will team up with Martina to duel against Monica and her partner Mary Joe Fernandez, another top player.
Capriati hurt her arm in an exhibition in Europe and is hoping to be able to play.
However, she is still expected to attend the Bahamas Open and if she can’t play, then Zina Garrison – another former top player – is expected to take her place.
This historic event is scheduled to take place on a Sunday (March 11), the opening day of the Bahamas Open – an ITF sanctioned $100,000 women’s pro tennis tournament – at the National Tennis Center in the Queen Elizabeth Sports Center.
Both the Tennis Channel and ESPN are expected into town for the televising of the mega doubles match and semifinals and finals of the doubles and singles events.
Last year, the Bahamas made history when it hosted a major pro women’s tennis tournament for the first time ever.
The event also set a record for the most top players, all in the 100 ranking in the world – in the main draw for a $100,000 prize money tournament.
“All the players that were in our main draw last year only play in million dollar prize money tournaments,” said Ty Olander, the owner of the ITF sanction for the Bahamas.
“Never had a $100,000 in prize money tournament attracted all 100 ranked players for the main draw. Before us this was unheard of. But the good news is this trend will continue as we get all of the players eliminated in Indian Wells the first week. They need us and, as a result, our tournament was formed.”
Monica Seles, Martina Navratilova, Jennifer Capriati and Mary Joe Fernandez have never played in the Bahamas before.
“They are all looking forward to coming to the Bahamas to kick off the second Bahamas Open, which is expected to be a huge event this second time. We have put together an event second to none this time,” said Olander.
“We are getting everybody involved from the school children, the tourists, the various charities, the expats, the service clubs and the residents. There will be something for everyone.”
While in the Bahamas, these tennis stars are expected to visit schools, put on tennis clinics, host receptions and meet the Bahamians as well as tourists up close and personal.
The Bahamas Open is expected to start on March 9 with a welcome reception at the Tennis Center where all of the players are expected to sign in.
Then the Qualifiers are on Saturday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11, followed by the opening ceremony which starts at 5pm with the legendary doubles match with the star players.
The main draw starts on Monday and ends on Saturday with the presentation of the Lady Edith Turnquest Championship trophy to the winner.
Tickets go on sale next week at various box offices and on-line at www.thebahamasopen.com