Tennis tourney hits center court this weekend

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The local gay servers and volleyers known as the Atlanta Team Tennis Association host the 22nd Annual Peach International Tennis Championships this weekend on courts in DeKalb.

Opening Friday with matches through Monday, the Peach is one of the largest events in the Gay & Lesbian Tennis Association, drawing players from across the country and around the globe. This year, the tournament boasts almost 200 registrants across five divisions (four for women) that rank players by skill level from beginner to expert.

image“We get people from Hawaii, California, New York, regional places like Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi and Lousiana, all over,” says Adam Helewski, co-director of the tournament. “We even have one from Luxembourg this year. We also have one of the largest women’s participation on the whole GLTA circuit.”

The fun kicks off Thursday with an opening bash at Mixx in Ansley Square. Get there early if you’d like to mingle with the out-of-towners, because the matches start Friday morning at DeKalb Tennis Center.

The full roster continues Saturday and Sunday with division knockouts in Women’s, Men’s, Doubles and Mixed Doubles. For spectators, the Finals on Monday may offer the most exciting viewing. Grab drinks and snacks on site, and settle in for a whole day of champions in every division.

The matches are both fun and intense, Helewski says.

“Of course, people are playing to win, but everyone is also here to have a good time, enjoy each other’s company and promote the game,” he says. “It’s a great time for us to all come together, everybody at all levels, to have fun and play tennis at the same time.”

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