Just more than a year ago, Luke Siegel was critically injured in a golf cart accident.
Since then, the Siegels have said the support from the Lubbock and Texas Tech community has been amazing.
“Well I could go on and on about so many things that so many people, so many companies, so many businesses in this town have done for us but this tournament really is icing on the cake,” Tim Siegel said. “We’re so appreciative of Covenant and every other sponsor that’s involved in this event because it means so much to our family. It’s part of me. Texas Tech was part of me for 23 years, so being at this facility is very important. ... For me to be a part of this, and my son, it means the world to us. We’re just hoping and praying that we get more progress, and certainly this tournament helps us.”
Starting Sunday and lasting through the Sept. 18, the USTA Pro-Circuit comes to town featuring the future stars of women’s professional tennis.
Two of the featured players in the main draw are Katie Swan and Usue Arconado.
Both have reached a career high in the top five in the world in junior rankings.
“I think it’s fantastic for West Texas to see great tennis players because what people didn’t realize when we (Texas Tech men’s tennis) had our event was that some of those guys were up and coming and here they are top 25 in the world,” Siegel said. “The same can happen on the women’s side. Some of these top players that were world champions in juniors could very easily be at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in a couple of years.”
The qualifying rounds take place Sunday through Tuesday morning before the main draw begins Tuesday afternoon.
The doubles final is slated to be held on Saturday, while the singles final will beheld on Sunday.
All proceeds from the event benefit the Team Luke Fund which provides critical financial support for Luke’s treatment and long-term care needs.
“After the accident we thought we wanted to do something in honor of him and the family and help the cause,” Tech women’s tennis coach Todd Petty said. “We tried for years to get a professional event here. It all happened at the same time.”
Petty and Siegel hope to continue and grow the event for years to come.
“We want to continue to grow this and make this even bigger to reach out even further to raise awareness for Luke and his name and everything we can with golf carts and everything involved,” Petty said. “We want to continue to raise money, hopefully, into a foundation that can help the whole community.”
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SCHEDULE OF PLAY
Sunday, Sept. 11
Qualifying round , 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 12
Qualifying round continues, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 13
Remainder of qulifying rounds, 9 a.m.-noon
Singles first round begins, doubles first round, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 14
Singles first round, doubles first round, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 15
Singles second round, doubles second round, 2 p.m.-8 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 16
Singles quarterfinals, doubles semifinals, 4 p.m.-9 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 17
Singles semifinals, doubles final, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 18
Singles final, noon