TENNIS: State Farm E'town Open deadline is today (07/02)

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Former UK great Kyle Macy among players set to play Saturday

By Ryan O'Gara

For the 20th straight year, top tennis players from inside and outside the area will descend upon Elizabethtown this weekend for the annual State Farm E’town Open.

The tournament runs all day Saturday and Sunday and will be held at Freeman Lake Park, University Drive Park and American Legion Park. Central Hardin and John Hardin will be backups in case of poor weather.

Elizabethtown Tennis Commission director Bo O’Brien will cap each of the 23 divisions at 16 entries. Players are allowed to enter a maximum of two divisions. Registration closes at 6 tonight.

Players from five states make up the 165 entries. O’Brien expects to be between 190 and 210 by the time registration closes. To register, visit CKTStour.com.

“It’s like a big family picnic when all these tennis players get together,” O’Brien said.

On the court, it’ll be interesting to see whether anyone can dethrone the Caven brothers. Terry, who was recently hired as tennis coach at LaRue County, defeated his older brother, Kyle, in the men’s open singles final last year and the two teamed up to win the men’s open doubles.

The Cavens defeated Mike Eden and Tyrone Sparks, who is the top-rated player in the state in the 50-55 age division. Unfortunately, Sparks suffered a heart attack several months ago and is still in recovery, making him unavailable to participate this weekend.

Without Sparks, Eden found another high-level player in Kyle Macy, who is currently the head tennis coach at Lexington Christian but better known for his feats on the hardwood.

Macy was a three-time All-American basketball player for the University of Kentucky from 1977-1980. He went on to play seven years in the NBA, five of which were with the Phoenix Suns, before serving as the head coach at Morehead State for nine years. Macy is currently the color commentator for Wildcats telecasts.

“We’re excited to have him,” O’Brien said. “His name is well-recognized. We have players coming as good as him but the name recognition isn’t the same.”

Elizabethtown graduate and former E’town Swim and Fitness tennis pro Michael Aragabright is bringing his usual contingent from Athens, Ga.

If there are no issues with the weather, O’Brien said they are capable of fitting in about 186 matches throughout the day: 90 at Freeman Lake, 64 at University Drive and 32 at American Legion.

“It’s shaping up to be a good tournament,” O’Brien said. “If the weather holds up, it’s going to be a great tournament.”

Ryan O’Gara can be reached at (270) 505-1754 or rogara@thenewsenterprise.com