Ex-tennis stars to put on exhibition

Published: Monday, January 26, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 25, 2009 at 11:06 p.m.

Four former professional tennis players who have competed in the sport's most prestigious events will be participating in a tennis exhibition to raise money for cancer research.


If you go

  • What: Climb for Cancer Foundation Tennis Tournament, Clinic and Exhibition
  • When: Tournament begins at 4 p.m. Friday; clinic is 4 p.m. Saturday,
    followed by dinner at 5 p.m. and the exhibition match at 6 p.m.; tournament concludes on Sunday.
  • Where: Westside Park, 1001 NW 34th St.
  • Tickets: Call Mike Oranski at 352-376-8250

The Climb for Cancer Foundation Tennis Tournament, Clinic and Exhibition will take place Friday through Sunday at Westside Park.

The featured exhibition match on Saturday will feature Malivai Washington, who was a Wimbledon finalist; Todd Martin, a U.S. Open finalist; Brian Gottfried, a Wimbledon and U.S. Open Doubles Champion, and Ricardo Acuna, a Wimbledon quarter-finalist.

City of Gainesville Tennis Director Mike Oranski teamed up with the Climb for Cancer Foundation Inc. to organize the event.

"It's a pretty rare thing to get this caliber of athlete in Gainesville," Oranski said.

The match will begin at 6 p.m. Admission to watch the match is $15. Those interested in attending should contact Oranski at 376-8250 to have their names placed on a list.

The exhibition will be preceded by a clinic, which will give people a chance to interact with the players, at 4 p.m. and a dinner at 5 p.m.

The clinic and dinner are included in the fee to play in the tournament, which is $40 per person for adults and $40 per team for doubles competition. The fee for juniors, ages 9 to 18, is $25.

The tournament will begin Friday at 4 p.m., Oranski said. The deadline to register is Tuesday.

The referee for the exhibition match will be Neal Anderson, a former football player for the University of Florida and the Chicago Bears.

Ron Farb, who co-founded the Climb for Cancer Foundation Inc. with his wife, Dianne, said the foundation has raised almost $1 million since it was launched in 2002.

Ron Farb started the organization after his sister was diagnosed with cancer. He also worked at a camp in Georgia for children with cancer.

"I knew I had to do more than write a check and volunteer for a week," he said.

A similar tournament hosted by the organization in Largo led to the idea for an event in Gainesville.

Acuna, who is a good friend of Farb's and serves on the board of directors for the organization, helped bring in the other players.

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