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Bob O'Connor Summer Tennis Classic back for 12th year

| Thursday, June 7, 2018, 9:36 p.m.
Taking part in the 2017 Bob O’Connor Summer Tennis Classic are, from left, Dana Costa, LaWade Garris and Joyce Scott.
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Taking part in the 2017 Bob O’Connor Summer Tennis Classic are, from left, Dana Costa, LaWade Garris and Joyce Scott.
Taking part in the 2017 Bob O’Connor Summer Tennis Classic are, from left, Bob Gibbs, Kathy Brown, LaWade Garris, Vickie Bey, Judy O'Connor and Joyce Scott.
Submitted
Taking part in the 2017 Bob O’Connor Summer Tennis Classic are, from left, Bob Gibbs, Kathy Brown, LaWade Garris, Vickie Bey, Judy O'Connor and Joyce Scott.
Taking part in the 2017 Bob O’Connor Summer Tennis Classic are, from left, Dana Costa, Dom Costa Jr., Dom Costa, Domiana Costa and Bob Gibbs.
Submitted
Taking part in the 2017 Bob O’Connor Summer Tennis Classic are, from left, Dana Costa, Dom Costa Jr., Dom Costa, Domiana Costa and Bob Gibbs.

A longtime tennis tournament that honors a late Pittsburgh mayor has a new director.

Highland Park Tennis Club president Dana Costa heads the Bob O'Connor Summer Tennis Classic June 23-July 1 at Highland Park and other city parks.

In its 12th year, the event is for anyone 16 years and older.

“Last year, the Highland Park Tennis Club partnered with the city to take over as tournament director,” Costa said. “This year, I have (taken) the position as president.

“I have (run) many successful (events) for the past 15 years with my husband and felt I could bring the Bob O'Connor back to the success it once had.”

At one time, the classic had close to 200 competitors, but the number has dwindled in recent years.

“It was a great, great tournament,” founder and former director Doug Brooks said.

Highland Park Tennis Club vice president Frederick B. Crawford has played and said it was one of the largest events of its kind.

United States Tennis Association Middle States spokesman Michael Gladysz is confident Costa can turn it around.

“I've worked with Dana on some projects this year,” Gladysz said. “I'm impressed with her excitement and passion for the game, and with how much she cares about the community around her.”

Players will compete across 16 divisions, including men's and women's singles and doubles and mixed doubles. There will be “A” and “B” draws to ensure players of various levels can participate.

Cost is $13 for singles and $22 for a doubles team. Players can register at hptc.info or by calling 412-444-5578.

The deadline is June 21.

A cookout will be held at the end of the tournament.

All players will receive T-shirts.

Seth Wilmore, the reigning men's open singles champion, said although smaller, the tournament is still nice.

Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O'Connor said he and his mother plan to give out trophies.

Judy O'Connor said her husband, a former tennis player and advocate for city parks, would be thrilled by the event.

“I'm sure he's humbled they named (this) after him,” said their son, the Rev. Terry O'Connor.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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