SOUTHINGTON — The Wayton Open is entering its 15th year of tennis in Southington.
Tournament director and founder Matt Wayton said the 2022 event, which is running from July 9-17 at Southington High School, could be a record-breaker.
It will feature 14 divisions, ranging in age from players as young as fifth grade to senior citizens.
Per tradition, proceeds will benefit dog rescues.
Last year, the tournament gave $3,000 to One More Dog Rescue, $1,800 to Long Island Bulldog Rescue and $500 to Thank Dog Rescue. Since 2017, the tournament has donated $14,805 to rescue dogs.
Last year saw the tournament’s third-largest field at 217 participants. The record is around 250 and, three weeks out here in 2022, Wayton said it is possible for the tournament to get up to 250 again.
Entry fees are $25 for singles players and $50 for doubles. Registration is at Waytonopen.com.
Donations and sponsorships are also available on the tournament website.
“Fifteen years is pretty good,” Wayton said Monday. “This was always a word-of-mouth thing and now it’s a legit tournament every summer. We are trying to break our entry record and we are on a pretty good pace this year.”
Wayton is a special education teacher at Bristol Central and an assistant coach on the school’s girls tennis team. Wayton said many of his players from BC will be in action next month at the Wayton.
Wayton expects the 2022 field to be deep.
He noted that high school players from Berlin and Maloney have signed up. Wayton also hopes to see some Southington High School players on their home court.
The available divisions are Men's A Singles; Men's B Singles; Men's 45+ Singles; Men's A Doubles; Men's B Doubles; Women's Singles; Women's Doubles; Mixed A Doubles; Mixed B Doubles; High School Boys Singles; High School Girls Singles; High School Boys Doubles; High School Girls Doubles and Mixed High School Doubles.
And then there are the dogs.
“We have some dogs available for adoption on either the first or last day,” Wayton said. “We don’t keep a penny for profit. We cover minimal tournament costs and the rest goes to the dogs.
“We would like to raise as much as $10,000 this year, but that’s a lofty goal,” Wayton added. “Even if a family wants to donate and not play, it goes a long way to help the dogs.”