Annual professional Bronx Open to be held in Crotona Park

The thwack of rackets on tennis balls will be echoing over Crotona Park next week as the 19th annual professional Bronx Open holds its annual run.

This year’s United States Tennis Association sanctioned $50,000 Women’s Tennis Tournament Challenger Event, sponsored by Emblem Health, will run from Sunday, August 5 to Friday, August 10.

In coming seasons, they’ll also see an award-winning tennis and learning center standing in the park.

This year, fans have the opportunity to watch Women’s Tennis Association Tour professionals from around the world ranked in the top 200 play.

Some of them will compete in the main draw of the 2012 US Open Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens.

Tennis players, enthusiasts and spectators can also enjoy free special events, including adult and junior tennis clinics, Emblem Health Fitness Day For Kids, New York’s Bravest (New York Fire Department) vs. New York’s Finest (New York Police Department) Tournament, and the Disney Kids’ Around the World Day Parade.

The New York Junior Tennis League, the largest tennis and education-themed community organization in the United States, will break ground shortly on Crotona Park’sthe two-story, 12,000-square-foot clubhouse and educational facility.

It will offer young people and their families a wide range of after-school academic support, such as tutoring, homework help, SAT and Regents test preparation, project-based learning, and college readiness programming.

The center is named for Cary Leeds, a world-ranked tennis star and Wimbledon semi-finalist, who loved to teach the sport to young players. Leeds passed away in 2003.

The league currently offers comprehensive school and community-based programs throughout New York City, reaching more than 100,000 youth ages 6-18.

“These awards are our city’s celebration of the best and brightest examples of public design,” said Bloomberg.

The Design Commission reviews permanent works of art, architecture and landscape architecture proposed on or over City-owned property.

Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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