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Senior Tennis Tournament With $100,000 Purse Set

September 20, 1987|United Press International

NEW YORK — A world championship seniors tennis tournament, the first of its kind, has been set for next May with prize money of $100,000.

Rod Laver, the only man to complete two Grand Slams, Roy Emerson, Ken Rosewall, Fred Stolle, Cliff Drysdale and Marty Riessen are among the grand old names expected to compete.

"This is a fantastic idea for senior tennis, although it may be a little late for me," said Emerson, 51, the U.S. National champion in 1961 and 1964 and a two-time Wimbledon champion. "Senior golf has done real well and there's no reason senior tennis can't do the same.

"There is decent prize money, so there will be a lot of incentive for top players. You may not have a (Jimmy) Connors or (John) McEnroe take part, but at least it's there if they want it."

The tournament, to be sponsored by the Dow Chemical Company, was announced in conjunction with the U.S. Open. It will be held in Washington in May 1988.

The field will include the top six players in the world rankings, the No. 1 seniors of both the International Tennis Federation and the U.S. Tennis Assn., the finalists of a 16-man qualifying tournament and two wild cards.

Al Bunis, regarded as the foremost authority on seniors tennis, having founded the Grand Masters circuit, and the president of Sports Marketing Properties in Cincinnati, will help put together the championship.

"This is the first time we will have a bonafide world senior championship," said Bunis.

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