Top tennis pros to meet at championship named after Indian-American

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A tennis tournament named after an Indian-American, will field top tier American tennis players who will compete for the championship end of this month.

Kunal Patel who died in a bike accident October 2014, has a tennis tournament named after him – The Kunal Patel San Francisco Open. (Photo: KPSFOpen.com)

The Kunal Patel San Francisco Championships qualifying rounds will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 2, organized jointly by KPSF and Universal Tennis. An avid tennis player, hiker and sportsman, Kunal Patel was killed in a bike accident in October 2014. His parents set up KPSF in his memory and matches have been held under its banner since 2016.

The multi-week Bay Area men’s indoor tennis event will feature  American professionals Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson and Bradley Klahn, according to a press release on prnewswire, issued by Universal Tennis Aug. 5.

The Championships will offer players of all ages and abilities the chance to compete for $120,000 in total prize money which will be awarded for the highest-finishing players in multiple categories:

  • Kunal Patel San Francisco Championships Title: $50,000 to winner, $20,000 to finalist
  • Top Collegiate: $3,000 to expenses for winner, $1,000 to expenses for finalist
  • Top 18 & Under: $3,000 to winner, $1,000 to finalist
  • Top 40 & over: $2,000 to winner, $1,000 to finalist
  • Top 14 & Under: $500 to winner, $250 to finalist

The Kunal Patel San Francisco (KPSF) Championships were conceived by Mukesh, Harsha, and Monique Patel, parents, and sister of Kunal Patel, to honor his life and his passion for tennis, a game he began playing since he was 9, and spent hours on court every day, according to those who knew him, news reports said. on October 23, 2014 at the age of 27.

It is in memory of Kunal’s love for the game, and his passion for the sport as a fan, that his family has established the Kunal Patel SF Championships, the first ever tournament of its kind in San Francisco, the Universal Tennis press release said.

Since 2016, the Patel family has organized an annual tennis tournament drawing top tennis professionals to the Bay Area to celebrate Kunal’s life and love of the game.

The tournament will utilize the Universal Tennis platform, leveraging the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) Powered by Oracle to create a staggered entry format and set draws. Matches will be organized purely based on player skill level and provide greater opportunity for a truly open tournament with community participation, UTR said. The qualifying round (August 31-September 2) will be held at the Fremont Tennis Center, with the top two finishers moving on to take on the pros (September 12-15) at the Berkeley Tennis Club.

“I’m really excited to be playing in the Kunal Patel San Francisco Championships and can’t wait to take on the top players in the Bay Area,” Querrey, 2019 Wimbledon quarter-finalist and 2018 California Championships winner, is quoted saying in the press release. “This innovative, open format is such a great way for both professionals and community players to play side-by-side in the same event, while celebrating Kunal’s life and passion for the sport. I’m looking forward to following up my victory in last year’s UTR California Championships with a strong run at this event,” Querrey added.

KPSF Open founder Mukesh Patel, father of Kunal Patel, who established the Kunal Patel San Francisco Open Championships, seen here in a Feb. 11, 2017 photo in which he is “showing his support to the amazing players such as, Ramkumar Ramanathan, for coming out and competing in the tournament.” (Photo KPSF Facebook)

“We started the Kunal Patel SF Open in 2016 to honor the memory of my son, Kunal Patel, an avid tennis player and sports fan whose enthusiasm and zest for life was tragically cut short,” said Mukesh Patel, founder of the Kunal Patel SF organization. “This year’s Kunal Patel San Francisco Championships is a wonderful way to bring greater tennis community together to celebrate Kunal’s life and love of the game.”

“We are thrilled to partner with the Kunal Patel SF organization to bring the Kunal Patel San Francisco Championships to life in an exciting and inclusive format,” said Mark Leschly, Universal Tennis chairman and CEO. “Universal Tennis is on a mission to make it easier than ever before for people of all ages and abilities to find fun and competitive matches, while running a first-class event.”

Players can find more information and register for the event at MyUTR.com/KPSF. Registration ends on August 25, 2019.

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