KEYC - Riverbend Tennis Classic Kicks Off

Riverbend Tennis Classic Kicks Off

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Tennis players from all across southern Minnesota are making their way to Mankato this weekend for the seventh annual Riverbend Tennis Classic.

"There aren't as many tournaments in southern Minnesota to play the tournament, so it's just getting everyone together and giving them an opportunity to play," said Matthew Bulger, tournament director.

80 plus athletes from all over the area are hitting the tennis courts at Mankato East and Mankato West in a weekend full of action  for all ages.

"The junior draws, we have junior singles, junior doubles, and then some of the junior mixed doubles are playing in the adult draws, so we have adult mixed doubles, adult doubles, and singles as well," said Bulger.

And with a classic of this size, organizers are hoping to grow the game in the area.

"Tennis, especially in Mankato, we have a big tennis population in Mankato, but southern Minnesota, and some of the other towns struggle to get people with those big sports in the fall, with football, and soccer, and stuff like that. But overall, there is very competitive players in southern Minnesota, and we've been able to grow the game, and get more players into it especially with it being a lifelong sport," said Bulger.

With an increasing interest the tennis community would like to see a new venue come in to the fold to make Mankato a destination for more competitions.

"We'd really like to support an indoor tennis facility eventually. That's one of the biggest things that we're looking forward to try and make progress on. This tournament really shows that we have people willing to travel here and support this facility if we're going to do that eventually."

The games begin Friday with more action Saturday starting at eight in the morning with the competition wrapping up on Sunday. 

--KEYC News 12