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U.S. Clay Court Tournament in Indianapolis on Way Out

November 09, 1986|Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — A victim of the times, the U.S. Open Clay Court tennis championships will end after 1987, officials announced.

And there'll be no women next year in the tournament, which has been in Indianapolis since 1969.

Tournament officials also said that after the 1987 Pan American Games, in August, are completed, the courts at the near-downtown Indianapolis Sports Center will be resurfaced, and the city will hold the U.S. National Hardcourt Championships starting in 1988.

Next summer's tournament, scheduled July 13-19, will be for men only because local organizers could not agree on a date for both divisions, they said.

Indianapolis had a two-year contract with the sanctioning U.S. Tennis Assn. to stage the Clay Courts, for men and women, in the spring. In announcing the move of the tournament from the summer to spring, organizers had said they anticipated players would use it for training before embarking on the European clay court circuit that ends with the French Open.

This year's event, which ended in early May, was plagued by cool temperatures and a lack of playing talent. No male player ranked in the Top 10 participated, and the top-seeded woman and eventual winner was No. 3 Steffi Graf of West Germany. Attendance dipped to 45,683 from a record 74,784 in 1985 when newly crowned Wimbledon champion Boris Becker and eventual winner Ivan Lendl were the top attractions.

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