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St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Over 100 players including a record number of first-time entrants are registered to compete in the Choice Wireless VI Open Tennis Tournament. Set for February 14 to 17, the competitors hail from the U.S. Virgin Islands, Caribbean and U.S. mainland plus Italy and South Africa. This tally includes five ATP-ranked players – including top seed American Denis Zivkovic and second seed Stefano Ianni from Italy, both of which regularly play on the ATP Challenger Tour and ITF Futures in singles and doubles.

“I played in the tournament last year and had a wonderful time,” says Zivkovic. “Having reached the semifinals in singles and finals in doubles, I feel that there is still work to be done. I’m looking forward to having a great event and hopefully winning it!”

Ianni is also looking forward to his return. “My goal this year is to win the doubles and try, of course, to win the singles as well. The best player is actually my doubles partner, Denis Zivkovic,” he says. “Playing a tournament in a wonderful place with so many friendly people definitely made me want to come back.”

In addition to Zivkovic and Ianni, the other ATP-ranked players are Marco Stancati, Adrians Zguns and Niccolo Adami, in descending order of seed.

The Choice Wireless VI Open Tennis Tournament has become an annual and anticipated event for many local players. Greg James, tennis pro at Magens Point Resort and youth tennis coach, has played the last five years. “I’m always excited and look forward to this event every year,” James says. “It’s the largest local tournament, has a high caliber of talent and I enjoy the competitive play. It makes us local pros train harder and step up our game.”

Tony Shepherd, chief executive officer of Choice Wireless, says, “We are proud to welcome guests from around the world to the Choice Wireless VI Open Tennis Tournament in beautiful St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

Shepherd adds, “Visiting players should be prepared to bring their A Game because our local players are out to take the trophies this year. Good luck to Mr. Stan Myrie, playing for Choice Wireless in the Senior Division. With a setting like the St. Thomas Yacht Club, everyone is a winner. There can’t be a better backdrop for intense competition than this extraordinary seaside setting. Choice Wireless is making it easier for you to share the sporting action and vacation fun with family and friends at home with unlimited calling, texting and data plans for Internet and cell phones. Share all you want for only $5 a day.”

Choice Wireless is offering special rates on phone rentals and high-speed internet for the tournament. Call home and on-island with a Choice Wireless phone for only $5 per day. While on-island, stay connected with high-speed 3G Mobile USB Modems or a MiFi Mobile Hotspot for $5 per day. Both are available for rent at the Choice Wireless booth at the tournament or call (340) 715-8241 or (340) 715-8243, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday for details and to have everything set up in advance.

Players will compete in 10 divisions in this USTA-sanctioned tournament, including Open Divisions for both men NTRP ranking 5.0 and above in singles and doubles. The B Division, for men and women NTRP ranked 4.5 and below, there is singles (NTRP 4.5 and 3.5), doubles and mixed doubles play (NTRP 8.0 combined), as well as men’s over 60 doubles. Play will be best of three sets for all divisions. Winners in the Open Division receive a $2000 cash prize and the runner-up pockets $1000. Winners in the “B” Division will get $600. Total prize money amounts to over $13,000.

Matches will take place on courts at the St. Thomas Yacht Club, the host location for Semi-Finals and Finals play, as well as at the Sugar Bay Beach Resort & Spa and Anchorage Condominiums. Matches will be officiated by USTA and International Tennis Federation head referee, Hector Figueroa, from Puerto Rico. The Choice Wireless V.I. Open Tennis Tournament is the only tennis tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands sanctioned by the USTA’s Caribbean District. The public is invited to come out and watch the action. A courtside BBQ lunch will be available for purchase on Monday February 17.

The Choice Wireless VI Open Tennis Tournament is sponsored by Choice Wireless, the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, St. Thomas Yacht Club, Sugar Bay Beach Resort & Spa, and Caribbean Auto Group

For more information, call 340-244-2124

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