After a six-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships kicks off today, Monday, Oct. 19, at noon at The Boulevard Tennis Club in Vera Beach, Fla.
The event is considered Vero Beach’s most prestigious international sporting event, held on the Treasure Coast since 1995. This year will be an open prize money tournament featuring an international field of ATP pros, college players, internationally and locally-ranked junior players as well as aspiring amateurs of various ages. The 48-player singles draw and 14-doubles draw will run Monday through Sunday, Oct. 25, with strict protocols in place to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
Instead of playing for ATP or ITF ranking points in a USTA Futures or an ITF tournament, the event will be staged on the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) platform with $10,000 in total prize money, the singles winner receiving $3,000 and the doubles champions splitting $1,500.
Diego Hidalgo, seen here hitting a volley at the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid while playing for his native Ecuador last…
The field is headed by No. 1 seed Diego Hidalgo, ranked No. 378 in the latest ATP World Tour rankings and a member of Ecuador’s Davis Cup team, followed by Alejandro Gomez of Colombia, the No. 2 seed ranked No. 508. Venezuelan Davis Cupper Ricardo Rodriguez, the 2018 singles runner-up in Vero Beach ranked No. 526 in the world, is the No. 3 seed. Juan Benitez of Colombia, the 2018 singles champion at the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, is also in the field and is seeded No. 8.
Two rising American teens, Jack Anthrop, 16, of Orlando and friendly rival Alex Bernard of Bonita Springs, are seeded No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. Bernard’s brother John Bernard, a Florida State player, is seeded No. 10.
“I’m happy we get to play players that good in this tournament. Right now guys like me need to be playing right now and get in as many tournaments that are available to the juniors,’’ said Anthrop, who in 2019 won the prestigious Eddie Herr boys 16s title among many other international junior titles.
All proceeds from the event go to the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, a non-profit charity founded in 2007, geared toward helping at-risk children in Indian River County by supporting after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. Fish, a Vero Beach native and former Top 10 pro, is the U.S. Davis Cup captain.
For more information, visit MardyFishChildrensFoundation.org.