At the launch of Meath Open Tennis Championships at Kells Tennis Club (from left) were tournament director Richard Turner, Jim Feekery, John O'Reilly (Green Belt, sponsor) and James Tallon (Kells Tennis Club chairman).
Anyone for tennis! After weeks of preparation the Meath Tennis Championships will get underway at Kells on Saturday and will continue until the following Sunday.
This is the 43rd staging of the championships and tournament director Richard Turner says that encouragingly the level of entries are the same as in previous years.
So far approximately 120 players have entered the tournament with the deadline for entries this Wednesday, 6.0. Entry fee is Ä12.
The competition is divided into three categories, open, grade B and grade C with the players coming from Meath, Westmeath, Cavan, Louth and Dublin.
Traditionally the men's singles and B doubles events kick start the week's play with competition taking place each day until the finals on Sunday 7th July.
"The biggest entry is usually for the men's singles and men's B doubles and there's no difference this year either," said Turner.
"We have a similar sized entry as last year for the tournament overall and that's very pleasing for us in these challenging economic times," he added.
While there has been a noticeable reduction in the entries for other club tournaments this year this has not proved to be the case with the Meath championships.
"We don't seem to be suffering in that regard and I would put that down to the hard work of our tournament committee and what they do in terms of canvassing. Our committee have really worked hard."
The tournament director also pointed out that Meath championships are well established now and because of its longevity it continues to attract large number of players from over a wide area.
One of the players who is doubtful for this year's tournament is the reigning women's singles champion Áine Leonard. She injured an ankle recently and is battling against time to be fit for the Kells competition.
Also the reigning men's champion from last year Peter Mimnagh-Fleming had yet to confirm if he would be defending his crown. Otherwise it's a case of anyone for tennis.