Dow Tennis Classic bounces back into Midland

A staple in the Great Lakes Bay Region, the 33rd Dow Tennis Classic returns to the Greater Midland Tennis Center from Nov. 1-7. 

The event brings up-and-coming pro tennis players to schools and the courts, reaching more than 4,000 children and young adults each year. This year marks a new date, and an elevated event, according to Dow Tennis Classic Tournament Director Alex Maga.

Alex Maga is the Dow Tennis Classic Tournament Director.“Historically, we’ve been a USTA Pro Circuit tour event,” says Maga. “This year, we’ve actually made the jump over to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). It puts us on a bigger platform, elevates the tournament overall, and elevates the field of players that we pull from.”

Traditionally, the event has been held in late January/early February, but it was rescheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the switch to the WTA Tour. Maga hopes the event sees nicer weather than in the past. 

The Dow Tennis Classic was previously the longest-running women’s stop on the USTA Pro Circuit. The world-class event held here in Midland will have even more prize money and ranking points for the champion, thanks to a three-year contract with WTA, one of the most high-profile sports organizations.

Starting this year, the Dow Tennis Classic will be with the Women's Tennis Association, rather than the USTA Pro Circuit.Maga says the event has a true community focus, despite COVID protocols impacting this year’s typical lineup of workshops and events. 

The world-class event held here in Midland will have even more prize money and ranking points for the champion, thanks to a three-year contract with WTA.“We’re making sure that we’re keeping the health and safety of our players and the community at the top of our minds,” she says.

Past Dow Tennis Classic events included Net Generation Kid’s Fun Day for K-8 students, player press conferences and Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, main draw matches and feature night matches. The 2021 full lineup of scheduled events will be released later this week. 

“A number of those specific events we’ve done in the past, we look forward to being able to do again next year in 2022,” says Maga. 

The event requires 200 volunteers. People can sign up online for ball-runner positions, housing for players and officials, bus hosts, and other various positions including ushers, parking attendants, and concessions. 

“It’s a really great event for the community; it’s a fundraiser for Greater Midland and the Tennis Center. It’s a great opportunity for people to come out, see professional tennis players play, and get a chance to see some of the up-and-coming players.”

"It’s a great opportunity for people to come out, see professional tennis players play, and get a chance to see some of the up-and-coming players.”Various ticket options are available for purchase online, ranging from general admission court-side seating, to club seats with and without Grand Slam Dining options, and full box seat packages (4 seats) or half boxes (2 seats) with and without reserved parking. Main draw daytime matches are free Monday through Friday.

Box seat ticket holders with paid parking can park in the Tennis Center’s parking lot or in grass lot parking across the street is also available for others. Shuttles will transport tennis fans from nearby community parking lots.  

Visit the Dow Tennis Classic website to purchase tickets and get more information. 

Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.

Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at spohn9@gmail.com.