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Dasha Sharapova to Play

Longboat Key, FL — The Sarasota Open is excited to announce the addition of its second player in the 2012 Ladies Invitational Tournament, Dasha Sharapova. The sixteen year old IMG Bollettieri Academy student began playing at the age of five and moved to America from Russia when she was nine years old. Not withstanding the cultural changes of such a move, Dasha found the most significant change was the increased amount of tennis she plays. Off the courts Dasha enjoys reading Russian novels and dabbles in photography, a hobby that was inspired by her father.

Of course, there is always the famous tennis playing cousin, Maria Sharapova that comes to mind when Dasha is on the court. That does not deter her own determination to become a great player in her own right. In fact, Dasha sees her older cousin as a role model and tries to mirror her attitude and character off-court.

The Sarasota Open Ladies Invitational Tournament will be a great opportunity for Dasha to experience the competitive play that will hone her skills for future competitions. With a field of 16 players, the event promises to be a crowd-pleaser.

New to this year’s tournament line-up, the Ladies Invitational Tournament highlights the rising importance and stature of Ladies Professional Tennis. Attendees have the rare opportunity to enjoy both the Men’s and Ladies events during the same tournament, in the stellar setting of the Tennis Gardens at Longboat Key Club & Resort.

About the Sarasota Open

The Sarasota Open is the largest USTA sanctioned tennis event in the Sarasota area attracting over 30,000 patrons annually. Now in its 5th year, the tournament has evolved into the most prestigious clay court event prior to the French Open. Previous winners include James Blake in 2011 and Kei Nishikori in 2010. The week long events include qualifying rounds for both the men’s and ladies’ tournaments, Finals Rounds and the Final Championship tournament on Center Court accompanied by Sponsored Hospitality offerings. Tickets to the Sarasota Open are available at SarasotaOpen.org and range from $5 for Qualifying Round general admission tickets to $100 Finals Round Box Seats. Finals will be held on April 22, 2012.

About Longboat Key Club & Resort

Longboat Key Club & Resort is Sarasota’s premier AAA Four-Diamond beachfront resort and private club renowned for its distinctive guest service and unparalleled amenities. Easily accessible from two international airports, the resorts on-site amenities include: championship golf; 25 Har-Tru tennis courts; a state-of-the-art Fitness Centre; Island House Spa offering over 50 services; six unique restaurants; a 291 slip deep-water marina; and a private white sand beach. Located at 220 Sands Pointe Road, Longboat Key, Florida, reservations can be made by calling (941) 383-8821, (800) 237-8821 or by contacting us online at LongboatKeyClub.com. Special Sarasota Open Packages are available.

About the Tennis Gardens at Longboat Key Club

Home of the Sarasota Open, the 4.5 million dollar facility is the recipient of the 2009 USTA Outstanding Facility Award and is a 2011 “Top Ten Gold Medal Tennis Resort, Worldwide” by Tennis Resorts Online. Featuring 20 Har-Tru clay courts, professional instruction, a tennis concierge, clubhouse pro-shop, locker rooms, meeting room and equipped for nighttime play, the facility also offers excellent, casual dining at Court 21 CafĂ© and Lounge overlooking the tournament court action. Director of Tennis is John Woods. For more information please call (941) 383-8821.

 

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