| By Gary Simeone
Photo credit: Gary Simeone

Long Beach Tennis Center had their official grand opening on Sunday afternoon after being closed for three and a half months due damage from Hurricane Sandy. It was a special day with free tennis lessons for people of all ages, a host of vendors, and a carnival with prizes.

"We were basically wiped out after Sandy," said Ellen Siddiqui, who runs the facility along with her husband Sid. "All of the courts were ruined and the bubble was completely shredded. We had over $1 million in damage."

The tennis community patiently waited for the facility to be repaired and Sunday's grand opening produced a wonderful turnout with an appearance from Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.

"We invited our community down and we had a wonderful turnout today with all of the food, fun and prizes," said Sid Siddiqui. "County Executive Mangano came down to practice a little tennis and we had the Girl Scouts here as well."

Siddiqui added that now that the Tennis Center is up and running he is seeking funding from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to reimburse repair costs.

"We are still in need of a substantial loan, but the important thing is we're back in business," said Ellen. "I just want to thank the community for being so patient with us and I'm so happy we're back."


Gary Simeone

<p>&nbsp;Gary Simeone is writing intern/public relations associate for <em>Long Island Tennis Magazine</em>.</p>