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McMorrow back at Lithia Toyota Open

After missing last year’s Lithia Toyota Open Championships, professional tennis player Kyle McMorrow is back for the 19th edition of the tournament as the top seed.

The 2013 champion was injured last year.

He highlights a list of out-of-area and local talents geared up to battle for the $1,500 singles and $800 doubles prizes in the open draw.

The free five-day event begins at 4:30 p.m. today with a kids clinic at Rogue Valley Swim and Tennis Club. A banquet is Thursday, and then play starts at noon Friday and continues through the evening.

Saturday’s first match begins at 9 a.m. Finals are Sunday, with the singles championship at 10:30 a.m. and the doubles match following.

McMorrow, a former All-American at the University of Washington, is ranked 846th in ATP singles with 20 points. Just for comparison’s sake, Novak Djokovic is first with 13,845 points.

The 24-year-old McMorrow is from Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Danny Riggs of Lynn University in Florida is the second seed. He is the grandson of Bobby Riggs, who was the World No. 1 or World co-No. 1 for three years, first as an amateur in 1939 and later as a pro in 1946 and 1947.

Bobby Riggs faced Billie Jean King in “The Battle of the Sexes” match when he was 55. It is considered one of the most famous tennis events of all time.

The 22-year-old Danny Riggs was named an ITA All-American this spring as a junior. He’s new to the Lithia Toyota Open, having gone on the Pacific Northwest Circuit last year but missing the stop in Medford. The PNW circuit offers a linear path for serious competitors to seek prizes and gain experience during some of their summer schedule.

Nick Kamisar, who is seeded third, recently completed his senior season at Gonzaga, and former Washington University (of St. Louis) player Charlie Cutler is fourth.

In last year’s singles championship, Mathew Berry topped Andy Gerst. Neither player is back.

There are 22 players in the open draw with a total prize pot of $5,000. All proceeds generated by tournament sponsorships this year will go to the Medford Parks and Recreation Foundation to help fund its summer programs and scholarships.

“Our seeds one through four are legitimate players,” Rogue Valley Swim and Tennis Club activities director Kayleen Endrikat said. “We’re really lucky to have Kyle here again.”

In doubles, Cutler and Jon Endrikat, an ex-North Medford High and UC Irvine standout, are top-seeded. The two have played off and on together over the years, but were on other sides of the court in last year’s final. Jon Endrikat picked up his second straight doubles crown after he and Gerst beat Berry and Cutler in 2014.

McMorrow and Kamisar are seeded second this year.

Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email djones@mailtribune.com. Find him online at twitter.com/danjonesmt

Kyle McMorrow, shown durings his singles final in the 2013 Lithia Toyota Open Championships, will vie for another title this weekend at the Rogue Valley Swim and Tennis Club. MT FILE PHOTO