ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – Serving up the top youth tennis players in the state, Abilene is hosting the Texas Slam tennis tournament starting Saturday. More than 1,000 of the best youth athletes from across Texas will be competing in the tournament, 11 of those local kids which stands out against cities of similar size.
Ready to lace them up and hit the court, the best of the best tennis players in the state will compete in the Texas Slam.
“It’s like the Super Bowl of tennis tournaments,” Tournament Director Chris Redman said.
Eleven of those top athletes have home court advantage.
“I can have my friends come and just go home after my matches it’s pretty nice,” Abilene High Sophomore Kaitlyn Strain said.
Strain has been playing in the tournament for about four years.
“My first and second years I was pretty good. I was seeded one of the years,” Strain said.
Last year however, was a different story.
“It was kind of tough coming back from a back injury last year. So I hope to do better this year,” Strain said.
While Kaitlyn looks for redemption, Wylie Middle School seventh grader Kate Delgado looks to make her mark in her first Texas Slam.
“I’ve always wanted to play in this tournament. I’ve been practicing really hard, playing in a lot of open tournaments. I’ve been hitting with my dad a lot and my coach,” Delgado said.
Whether you’re a tournament veteran or just a rookie, competing against the top players in the Lone Star State pushes each athlete to the next level.
“I hope the players get to see just how good they need to be and how good those top players really are,” Redman said.
The Texas Slam starts Saturday and runs through next Sunday. With more than 1,000 players and their families spending the next week in the Key City, about $1,300,000 will be spent at local businesses. This is the last year of Abilene’s three year bid to host the tournament but the Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau hopes to win the bid for the next three years.