Annual Jason Morton Tennis Classic returns March 1-4


John Brasch

High-level tennis is on tap for tennis aficionados this coming March as the 14th annual Jason Morton Tennis Classic returns to the courts designed by the tournament’s namesake, Jason Morton, a longtime legend in American senior tennis.

Morton represented the U.S. on eight different international cup competitions and won over 100 gold and silver balls in national tournaments. He was a member of numerous tennis halls of fame, participant in 12 ITF championships, 61 U.S. national championships and four USPTA championships. Perhaps his most famous tennis role, however, was serving as the chair umpire in the infamous Battle of the Sexes match between women’s tennis icon Billie Jean King and the notorious tennis hustler Bobby Riggs.

Morton was the founder and designer of the Oakwood tennis facility, and center court was dedicated to him in April, 2011, shortly before his death.

This year, outstanding local players will again be competing in singles, doubles and mixed doubles in age-grouped flights, so tennis fans can catch action from rising young stars to grizzled veteran national champion seniors.

Tournament Director Kwong Young hopes to attract top-level players from all over the southwest who will be vying for cash prizes in flights ranging from open competition to 80+ year old battles of endurance and cunning.

Former champions and tennis legends expected to participate this year are Felix Ponte, the Peruvian Arthur Ashe from Apache Junction, along with perennial national contender Brian Cheney of Chandler and our own Jack Sanders.

Major sponsors providing prize money and support for 2018 are The Kolb Team and Arizona Sanitation, along with 360 Physical Therapy and A-1 Golf Carts. Refreshments are provided for players and observers with generous support donated by members of the IronOaks tennis community. There is no charge to attend the event, and the stadium courts at IOTC provide an unparalleled intimate viewing experience for fans who bring their own seating.

Grab a folding chair and an umbrella and come on out to experience a great tennis tradition in a world-class facility with some of the most talented tennis players in the country.

It all takes place from Thursday, March 1, through Sunday, March 4. Mark your calendar to check out some world-class athletic competition right here  in Sun Lakes.