Legendary tennis star Rod Laver will be honored during festivities at the 117th Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, which runs April 26-30.
The Grand Slam champion and native of Australia, who won 11 major singles titles, will be the special guest on April 28, during the Ojai Valley Tennis Club’s annual fundraising reception at Topa Mountain Winery.
He is to be introduced by actor Malcolm McDowell, an Ojai resident, and South Bay native and fellow Hall of Famer Tracy Austin is among the special guests. Laver will also be a guest at the annual Thursday night barbecue that helps kick off the tournament, which is headquartered at Libbey Park in downtown Ojai.
A current resident of Carlsbad, Laver, 78, is the only player to have twice won all four major tennis tournaments — the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open — in the same calendar year (1962 and 1969). The only other man to accomplish the feat once was Don Budge in 1938.
“To have a player the stature of Rod Laver chosen as our tournament honoree is absolutely a dream come true,” said Mark Weil, an Ojai Valley tennis board member and organizer of the event. “A true living legend of the game, we are so excited to honor him this year at the 117th Ojai.”
The tournament is among the oldest in the nation. More than 1,200 players and 500 volunteers take part in more than two dozen amateur divisions at colleges, schools and parks across Ventura County.
The Pac-12 Conference and state community college championships will be contested as well as the prestigious men’s and women’s open divisions and flighted competitions for adults and juniors.
For more information and to purchase tickets online, go to: www.ojaitourney.org.