It was 2001 when David Mayo first picked up a tennis racket since his mountain climbing accident in 1978. "My wife encouraged me to hit with her since she just took up the game. I just couldn't see myself being very good on a tennis court, so I really didn't want to...besides I was doing lots of other sports" Mayo remembers.
David Mayo with Carol Saxton and
Dennis Taylor from W. Fla Rehab
"Naturally, I loved the game and in the fall of '01 I entered my first tournament...I was so surprised they even had wheelchair tennis tournaments. After playing in quite a few tournaments in 02 and 03, I began to envision hosting a quality tournament in my hometown, which I knew with our hospitality and strong tennis community, we could be a great site."
Mayo, Pensacola Open Tournament Chairman, adds, "When the West Florida Rehab Institute signed on to be the presenting sponsor for the inaugural tournament (March 30, 2004), I knew we were 'good to go'. We set a record for a first year tournament with 49 players. West Fla Rehab is simply the perfect 'presenting sponsor' and to this day, they remain the main reason this tournament happens!"
The Pensacola Open continues to grow. In 2007 the Pensacola Open was the 4th largest tournament in the U.S. with 113 players representing 18 countries. For 2008, the Pensacola Open was honored with an ITF Series 1 sanction which will mean even more growth.