By Denise Morris
Everything was against it even happening this year! The ATP did its best to try and scupper the whole tournament and in fact Tournament Director Anders Borg even announced the cancellation of it in March. But the media rallied around to our cause and so we held a mini tournament to keep the interest alive. This years tournament was held indoors at the Wavertree Tennis Centre from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th June.
Last year’s beaten finalist Jan-Michael Gambill returned to Liverpool as well as American up-and-coming stars Alex Kim and Robert Kendrick. Graydon Oliver, primarily known as as doubles player stepped in at the last moment for Vincent Spadea and he proved that we had all under estimated him. Not a bad singles player after all.
Qualifying rounds were held on the two days prior to the tournament and Luke Campbell proved to be the winner where he joined local hero Ken Skupski who had recently returned from a stint at a tennis college in the United States.
Some exciting matches were played and caused a lot of excitement. Robert Kendrick broke a few young girls hearts and of course there were the those who spent their time gazing adoringly at Jan-Michael Gambill whose nickname is not “Hollywood” for nothing!
The sun shone out of cloudless blue skies and it was a pity we were indoors! The final was between Jan-Michael Gambill and Alex Kim and Jan-Mike made sure this year he got to lift the trophy as the winner! Then he teamed up with Graydon Oliver to take the doubles title beating local heroes Anthony Hardman and Ken Skupski.
The Mayor was thrilled and promised the tournament would continue as it was vital to Liverpool even more so now as the newly elected British entrant in the European City of Culture.
Tournament Director Anders Borg promised that the Tournament would be back in 2004 in Calderstones Park and in the sunshine!