Originally on: Sunrisetennis.com
Sunrise, FL -- On a beautiful south Florida Sunday afternoon with a gentle breeze blowing through the many palm trees and lush landscaping surrounding Stadium Court at the Sunrise Tennis Club, the sixth annual BMW Tennis Championship officially got under way with a free exhibition match between ATP pro Stefan Koubek and accomplished local fan favorite Andy Lake.
The free exhibition match gave both court fanatics and the casual fan a complimentary taste of what to expect over the next seven days when many of the most talented and accomplished players from the ATP gather in Sunrise (FL) for what has become a favorite tour stop for players, officials and fans.
Prior to the start of the exhibition match the crowd of mostly Lake supporters were entertained as another Lake, Andy's seven year old son, Thomas, strolled on to the court and briefly rallied with his father.
"Thomas has been hitting tennis balls since he could stand," said his father Andy. This was obvious to those in attendance as Thomas showcased his baseline talents.
The pro-Lake crowd included fans from nearby Hawks Landing in Plantation (FL) where he was a resident teaching pro for six years and and from his current teaching location, Keowee Key Resort in Salem, South Carolina.
Lake once again had a strong showing, but was unable to overcome the talent and experience of Koubek, who owns three ATP singles titles. Koubek won the competitive and entertaining match in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.
A seven-year old hitting on center court just prior to the start of an exhibition match? That's what attracts fans to the BMW Tennis Championship where world class tennis is played in an up close and personal setting.
Andy Lake fans will be able to see him compete again in the qualifying matches on Monday. Qualifying play starts at 10:00am and is also free to the public. Koubek, fresh off his Austrian Davis Cup victories in Germany, drew a wildcard in the main singles draw and will be in action again on Tuesday. The opening session for the first
round is set for Noon.