The Cayman Islands Tennis Club will see three of it’s top amateurs against two of the world’s best Saturday (1 December) in what Tournament Director Karl Hale says is a continuous effort to build interest in the sport.
“The sport is growing to an international level,” said Hale, “Four years ago, there was no tennis events in the Cayman Islands, then Legends came, then the Cayman Cup, now this exhibition, so ever year we are trying to add another event.”
In a three-match exhibition, World No. 121 Peter Polansky and World Doubles No. 66 Nicholas Monroe will face Cayman’s Callum Theaker and Nigel Mitten will open the night in men’s doubles. Polansky will then team with Cayman’s Yana Koroleva against Monroe and Cayman’s Lauren Fullerton in mixed doubles. The finale will see a pro vs pro match up with Polanksy versus Monroe in singles action.
“I’m getting back into preseason training starting Monday, so this is a nice little event to before I get back to the grind,” said Polanksy. “It’s nice to have a couple guys like us to come through, show the juniors what it’s like, and have some good tennis, not too serious. It’s great to have that exposure, whether it’s junior or a pro event, which doesn’t happen very often. It’s good for the tennis community.”
The Thornhill native, who grew up playing World No. 18 Milos Raonic, says Cayman’s juniors can still see growth in the local, albeit smaller talent pool.
“Growing up in Toronto, I still played the same players. Maybe the field was bigger because it was a bigger city, but there’s nothing wrong with playing the same players. As long as you keep on with your objectives and your goals.”
Monroe, a native of Oklahoma City, says the opportunity to help grow tennis is the Cayman Islands was an easy sell by Hale.
“It’s my first time here, it was a no brainer. We are excited to play doubles and singles, meet the members and have some fun.”
Theaker, 18, who now resides in Florida, says he’s hoping to show the local fans how much he’s grown on the court since his move in September.
“I just want to show everyone how much I’ve improved. Just getting the good exposure playing two great guys, it will be fun,” said Theaker. “Things are going very well. I just needed that extra exposure, competition, coaching. It’s going really well. I’ve improved quite a bit.”
Cayman vs The World takes court starting at 7:00 p.m. at the Cayman Islands Tennis Club.