For weeks, New Rochelle Tennis Club’s owner Mike Aronstein and Director of Tennis Juan Rios – a seven time Puerto Rican tennis champ and former Davis Cup player and captain – have been busy working with Tennis Concierge Global to organize this summer’s inaugural Men’s Open Series.
In total, 64 players from throughout the country will compete in two heats at the historic club for $4,500 in prize money. There will be a pair of qualifying events over the weekend of June 25 and Aug. 6, with the top 24 players to go head-to-head at a “masters event” in September.
Rios – the first tennis player to represent Puerto Rico at the Olympic Games in 1992 – said that some of the top tennis talent in the county calls the New Rochelle Tennis Club home. Now in his second year as the director of tennis instruction, he noted that he hoped the upcoming tournament would drum up even more local interest in the sport.
“The people who come here are avid fans and tennis enthusiasts. We have a lot of ex professional players, and some guys who played on tour for a little bit,” he added. “We have a few tournaments throughout the year, but now I’ve come up with this three tournament event, where players will accumulate points to get to the master round.”
The New Rochelle Country Club, which opened its doors in Wykagyl Park in 1896, has been a staple in the city for more than a century. As one of the oldest clubs of its kind in the country, it maintains a classic feel, only allowing players to wear traditional white garb. Additionally, organizers often arrange matches for members based on experience and ability, a rarity among Westchester country clubs.
“Traditionally, this has been a real tennis club. There’s no pool, no grounds, it’s strictly tennis, which is something other country clubs in Westchester can’t boast,” Aronstein noted. “It’s old fashioned. Our members still wear all white, it’s just eight courts.”
Rios said that the tournament is just the latest attempt to drum up interest in the sport locally by New Rochelle Tennis Club leaders and members.
“We want to do something for the community. We want tennis to grow locally; there’s not enough young tennis players,” he said. “My passion is to train these kids so they can grow to love the sport and see where it takes them.”
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