Master doubles returns to Whistler 

The response to this year’s mixed doubles tennis tournament has been overwhelming, according to Whistler Racquet and Golf Resort spokesperson Gail Hamelin.

More than 100 teams have registered this year, a record number for the tournament. "We’re hoping for sun," joked Hamelin, who is going to have to schedule outdoor court time to fit in all the games.

This year the tournament will run for four days over the long weekend, May 17 to 20, starting Friday night and winding up with the semi-finals and finals on Monday. There are male, female and co-ed teams, and the combined age of the players determines who competes in what age category. All players are over the age of 35.

The tournament will also get a little more competitive this year with the appearance of Lorne Maine, a former Canadian champion, Monte-Carlo champion, Davis Cup Captain, and six-time World Masters Champion. Maine is the current World Seniors champion.

"If you want to come out and see some really good tennis, anybody is welcome to come in and watch," says Hamelin. "The public is always welcome."

Some local teams will be on the court, although the majority of players are coming from the Lower Mainland and Washington State. The club’s owners, Marjorie Blackwood and Peter Schelling, may also play if they can find the time between organizing and refereeing matches. Blackwood is a three-time Canadian champion, a top-50 player on the world tour, and a member of the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame. Schelling is a national masters doubles champion.

This year HSBC has signed on as the title sponsor for the tournament. Re/Max of Whistler is also a major sponsor of the event.

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