Excitement is building in Chapel Hill for the University of North Carolina men’s tennis program’s 2023 season, and the Tar Heels will kick off the campaign with a special event this weekend.
The Tar Heels will honor Morris’ legacy at the inaugural Allen Morris Invitational. Players from North Carolina, Boise State, Tulsa and Columbia will take part in the action on Saturday, Sunday and Monday January 14-16 at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.
“It’s a tremendous honor for our program to name this weekend’s event after Coach Morris,” UNC head coach Sam Paul says. “I learned so much from him during my time as his assistant coach. He was a great, world-class player who reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. More important than his incredible wins, he was a great sportsman and gentleman. I can’t say enough about how much Coach Morris means to me and to the Carolina Tennis program.”
Morris played collegiate tennis at Presbyterian College and later posted impressive wins as a professional over all-time greats such as Arthur Ashe and Rod Laver. Morris was ranked No. 16 in the United States in 1956, reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon that summer. In 1964, Morris helped promote the sport’s diversity by playing Ashe in an exhibition in Greensboro, beating the eventual three-time Grand Slam winner, 6-4, 7-5.
Morris later won the U.S. Senior Clay Court Championship in both singles and doubles, earning a top-10 world ranking, before taking over as the UNC men’s tennis head coach in 1980. He served in that role through the 1993 season, leading the Tar Heels to a record of 245-123 and a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference titles in 1990 and 1992.
In 1994, Morris retired and was succeeded by his protege, Paul, who is now in his 30th season as the UNC head coach.
Morris died in 2017.
Allen Morris Invitational Fan Information
• Fans attending this weekend’s action should be advised that due to the ongoing construction of the new outdoor courts and grandstand, parking at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center is limited.
• UNC Athletic Gameday personnel will be on-hand to assist spectators as they enter and leave the facility grounds.
• Admission for fans is free.
• There will not be live scoring for this weekend’s action, but a live stream will be available.
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