Players competing in one of the UK’s most prestigious tennis events will have no problem focusing on their game thanks to a new title sponsor.
Historic Sutton Tennis & Squash Club has secured the UK’s number one provider of laser eye surgery, Optical Express as headline backer for the premier tournament within the Aegon LTA British Tour Tier 1 series, which will now be known as the Optical Express Open.
The tournament, which will take place between 18th and 24th August, is now in its fifth year and has rapidly become one of the most anticipated events of the British Tour Series.
The 2013 tournament will boast the highest prize money of any Tier 1 event in the country, with a total prize pot of £12,300, and is expected to be the biggest yet with over 300 competitors entering across the Men’s, Ladies and Junior events.
Since it first opened its doors in 1923, many famous players have competed at what was formerly known as ‘The Sutton Hard Court Championships’ including former British tennis greats such as Virginia Wade, Mark Cox, John & David Lloyd, Andrew Castle and current Wimbledon All England Club Chairman, Richard Lewis.
The event will also raise money for The Royal Marsden Hospital and British doubles star Ross Hutchins, currently on an extended break from tennis having been receiving treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, is expected to attend and collect a sizeable donation on behalf of the hospital.
Tom Thorne, Regional Manager for Optical Express in nearby Croydon, said: “Supporting a major tennis event like this is a perfect fit for Optical Express as eye health is absolutely essential for racquet sports where hand eye co-ordination is crucial.
“The majority of glasses wearers who participate in sports choose to wear contact lenses when taking part. However, for vigorous sports like tennis and squash, this provides very little protection for the eye. These sports are best performed with the protection of special frames or goggles, or players can take advantage of the freedom offered by laser eye surgery to remove the need for them completely.
“We’ll be advising all those taking part in the tournament and spectators on how best to protect their vision, and Optical Express staff will also offer aspiring local tennis players guidance on how to play safely if they book in for a free laser eye surgery consultation.”
Club Chairman Tim Crowley comments: “The club has a great heritage and a strong following amongst the next generation of young tennis players. By again hosting the Aegon LTA Tier 1 British Tour event we look forward to showcasing some high quality tennis in partnership with Optical Express and our other supporters.”