ASHLAND, Ky. — Year two of the Braidy Industries $60,000 Women’s Tennis Classic presented by Bon Secours Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital comes with a “wow” label.
That starts with a broad makeover at the Ashland Tennis Center and includes such additions as exhibition matches and a junior tournament.
Tournament director Dr. Jack Ditty is feeling the excitement and would like to see it spread across the region.
“The positive enthusiasm that goes along with this tournament is a 10,” Ditty said.
A Prequalifying Wild Card Tournament wrapped up over the weekend. Practice opens for players July 20, with the day highlighted by Kids’ Day programs and FitFest.
Returning visitors to the ATC public courts will discover a different look from a year ago. Thanks to private donations and grants, all 10 outdoor courts — along with the pro court — have been resurfaced at a cost of $108,000.
The pro court will be turned into four pickleball courts, according to ATC manager Jerry Groce.
Another upgrade is new concrete sidewalks that replaced deteriorating asphalt paths dating back to the 1973 originals.
“People like it,” Groce said. “It’s added a lot of appeal to the tennis center.”
As a maintenance measure, some of the larger pine trees on the grounds have been removed due to damaging effects from pine needles and sap.
Groce also praised the efforts of the Greater Ashland Tennis Association and Build Ashland organizations.
“The GATA ladies have probably put in over 200 hours within the last three or four months painting, planting flowers and working on the landscape,” Groce said. “You name it, they’ve been doing it.”