SOUTHINGTON – The Wayton Open enters its 15th year of tennis in Southington.
Tournament director and founder Matt Wayton said the 2022 event, which takes place July 9-17 at Southington High School, could be a record.
It will consist of 14 divisions, ranging in age from players as young as fifth grade to seniors.
According to tradition, proceeds will benefit dog rescues.
Last year, the tournament gave $3,000 to One More Dog Rescue, $1,800 to Long Island Bulldog Rescue and $500 to Thank Dog Rescue. Since 2017, the tournament has donated $14,805 to save dogs.
Last year saw the tournament’s third largest field with 217 participants. The record is around 250 and, three weeks from now in 2022, Wayton said there is a chance the tournament could reach 250 again.
Entry fees are $25 for singles players and $50 for doubles players. Registration is done on Waytonopen.com.
Donations and sponsorships are also available on the tournament website.
“Fifteen is pretty good,” Wayton said Monday. “It’s always been word of mouth and now it’s a legitimate tournament every summer. We’re trying to break our commitment record and we’re on a pretty good pace this year.
Wayton is a special education teacher at Bristol Central and assistant coach of the school’s women’s tennis team. Wayton said several of his BC players will be in action next month at Wayton.
Wayton expects the 2022 field to be deep.
He noted that high school players from Berlin and Maloney signed up. Wayton also hopes to see players from Southington High School on their pitch.
The divisions available are Men A Singles; men’s singles B; Men’s Singles 45+; Men’s Double A’s; Men’s B Doubles; ladies’ singles; women’s doubles; Mixed A Doubles; mixed doubles B; Single high school students; Single high school girls; secondary boys’ doubles; High School Girls’ Doubles and High School Mixed Doubles.
And then there are the dogs.
“We have dogs available for adoption on day one or day one,” Wayton said. “We don’t keep a penny for profit. We cover the minimal tournament costs and the rest goes to the dogs.
“We’d like to raise up to $10,000 this year, but that’s a stretch goal,” Wayton added. “Even if a family wants to donate and not play, that goes a long way to help the dogs.”