• Lillie Burke

Belmont Athletics opens brand new tennis facility

Belmont tennis finally has its own home court back.

“We have been missing that home-court advantage,” Belmont University president Dr. Bob Fisher said.

On Wednesday morning, Fisher and the athletic department announced the new tennis courts are now open with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting event. The teams previously played at the Centennial Sportsplex, but now, they can enjoy just a short walk across campus.

The tennis courts and facility is located on Compton Avenue, as it will serve as the permanent home for the Belmont Athletics tennis program going forward. 

The new courts were made possible by several donors, including Pat Johnson, an avid Bruins fan and former Belmont tennis player. Johnson provides a scholarship for Belmont athletes in each sport every year.

A lounge, locker room and indoor facility are currently under construction, which will be dedicated to Johnson.

The facilities, which sit on the top floor of the new parking garage, feature six NCAA Division I regulation courts. The courts will connect to a new indoor practice facility that is currently under construction for men’s and women’s basketball, along with Belmont volleyball.

With the addition of the outdoor courts, the hope is Belmont tennis will take the next step forward in its dominance.

“This facility is going to have a tremendous impact,” Belmont Athletics director Scott Corley said Wednesday. “From a recruiting standpoint, it will demonstrate our commitment to tennis. Not many programs at our level are going to have something like this.”

Corley also noted that the addition of the tennis facility will “allow a greater opportunity for athletes to develop their skills.”

The last advantage — and for Belmont tennis the most exciting — is the prospect of having fans attend tennis matches going forward.

“When we can get students and fans to come to cheer on these teams, I hope the students will take advantage,” Corley said. “It’s a special, special time.”

The director of tennis Mauricio Antun could only express gratitude for the new facility and Belmont’s commitment to the sport going forward.

“We are extremely lucky,” Antun said. “I am very proud to be a part of this organization. This facility will not only help us in recruiting and player development, but it will also allow our students, faculty and staff to come cheer on their fellow Bruins. As well as, it allows our Belmont community to utilize these courts and enjoy tennis.”

The courts will also be available to the public to use when athletes are not practicing or playing on them. This finally gives Belmont students a place to enjoy tennis, watch tennis and cheer on their fellow student athletes.

Belmont’s tennis teams begin to play on their new home courts this Friday against Radford University. The men play at 11 a.m. and the women play at 3 p.m. The teams will be back in action on their new courts on Saturday as well against Carson-Newman. The women play at 9 a.m. and the men play at noon.

At the end of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, all Dr.Fisher could say was “Use them gratefully.”

Article written by Ian Kayanja and Izabelle Leveille. Photos by Isaac Wetzel.

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