CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A new twist has been added for the opening of the Charleston Public Courts tennis tournament that begins Friday at the Schoenbaum Tennis Facility in Kanawha City.A free tennis carnival for children ages 10 and under, featuring refreshments and games, is scheduled as part of opening night. The special event, open to everyone, is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, shortly after the first Public Courts matches get underway at 5."We'll have face painting, ice cream trucks, a variety of things,'' said Public Courts co-director Kim Isaac.The event is being sponsored by the Midwest Section of the United States Tennis Association and Charleston Area Tennis, with hopes of introducing youth to the sport."The USTA has done a lot in the past to promote 10-and-under play,'' Isaac said. "It's a special chance so those 10 and under can learn the game a little easier - different courts, a special type of ball so as not to start them right off the bat with large courts.''
Isaac said the carnival will be staged on the two courts in the back of the facility, known to most players as Courts 7 and 8. Public Courts matches are scheduled for the six courts at the front of the Schoenbaum facility.This year's Public Courts tournament wound up with 40 different divisions and a field of just under 400 players. It runs daily through Saturday, July 20.In the event of rain, matches will be moved across the street to the Tennis Indoor Center. Some matches could also possibly be played at other indoor courts such as those as the Charleston County Club and the Charleston Family YMCA.Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.