The rivalry between Charleston Public Courts mainstays Patrick Walker and James Kent may continue this year — and if they do meet, it will be in the men’s open championship.
Walker is the bracket’s No. 1 seed and Kent is No. 2 in seedings released Tuesday night. The 60th Public Courts tournament begins Friday at the Schoenbaum Courts in Kanawha City.
Walker has won the last two men’s open titles, beating Kent in the finals in 2017. That gives him nine for his career, one behind Kent’s 10.
Alec Foote, the new University of Charleston women’s tennis coach and last year’s men’s open runner-up, is the No. 3 seed. Thomas McIntosh, a former standout at George Washington who will be a senior on the West Virginia Wesleyan men’s tennis team this coming season, is seeded fourth.
There are two seeds in the women’s open, both former high school and current collegiate tennis players. Hurricane’s Rebecca Osborne is at No. 1. Following a successful career at Hurricane High, she just finished her freshman season at West Virginia Wesleyan.
At No. 2 is Sydney Miller, now at West Virginia State. As a senior at Winfield, she won a Class AA-A state title at No.1 doubles and was runner-up at No. 1 singles. At WVSU, she has been on a Yellow Jackets team that has qualified for the Division II national tournament each of the past two seasons.
In men’s open doubles, Ryan Mullins, a member of the WVSU men’s tennis team, and Scott Zent, who has 16 Public Courts doubles titles to his name, are the No. 1 seed. Former UC men’s tennis player Alek Gracin and Rico Williams are the No. 2 seed.
In women’s open doubles, Audrey Heaberlin, a former St. Joseph player headed to play tennis at Stevens Institute of Technology, and Madison Riley, a former South Point player now at Wright State, are the No. 1 seed. At No. 2 are Osborne and Emily Moore, a former Winfield High tennis player.