Tennis stars from all over the Cape Ann League will gather today for the CAL Open tournament to determine who are the players and teams to beat heading into the heart of the season.
Similar to March Madness, players from each team will compete in brackets against other competitors from their same division. There are five divisions in total, with competitors battling for supremacy in first singles, second singles, third singles, first doubles and second doubles, and whoever wins each division at the end of the day is named CAL Open Champion.
Based on their players’ performances, teams will also be awarded points, which will accumulate over the course of the day. By the end, the team with the most points will be the CAL Open team champion.
“Basically there’s a flight for each position, so for example my first singles player will only play other first singles players from other schools,” said Pentucket girls tennis coach Bill Beaton. “Based on her past record and other seeding information, she’ll be given a seed, and that’s where she’ll start at the beginning of the day.”
The boys tournament will take place in Lynnfield, with action being split between the courts at Lynnfield Middle School and High School, and the girls will all compete at Ipswich High School. According to Triton boys tennis coach Rich Dube, there is no qualifying so that any player can enter, and the matches tend to be shorter so that things can move along more quickly.
“We don’t play regular matches until the end, we play one eight game set until we get to the finals,” Dube said.
The tournament has existed in its current form for a number of years now. Previously, the tournament took place at the end of the season and was specifically intended for the league’s first singles and first doubles teams.