Last year it was rain. This year it’s heat.

The field may not be as large, but more than 150 tennis players still think enough of the Betty Blakeman Memorial tournament to take part in the fun this weekend in Yarmouth.

“I’ve traveled in different parts of the country, and this is just a unique tournament,” said Steve Cutone of Kennebunk. “It’s a great tennis community. No one’s too serious. It’s a lot of fun.”

Steve is one of five Cutones swinging a racket this weekend in the 30th edition of the premier event on the Maine Tennis Association calendar. Wife Jen is playing 35-and-above women’s singles. Their children George (13), Olivia (12) and Alberto (11) are playing singles and doubles.

Alberto, in fact, is playing men’s doubles with a partner 74 years older, Al Sirois of East Boothbay.

“We play sometimes in Boothbay Harbor and we met on the courts,” Steve Cutone said. “Super nice guy.”

Don Atkinson, longtime director of the Betty Blakeman Memorial tennis tournament, said their are 152 entries this year in nine brackets for both singles and doubles play. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

Held in conjunction with the Yarmouth Clam Festival, the tournament also raises money for The Dempsey Center. Over three decades, more than $300,000 has gone toward Maine families dealing with cancer. Betty Blakeman’s husband, Chuck, and children Eric and Carrie continue to help organize the tournament, along with indefatigable director Don Atkinson and a host of volunteers.

“It’s always fun,” said Scott Steinberg of Cumberland, former president of USTA New England who for the first time has entered the mixed doubles draw with his daughter, Katie, a 19-year-old rising sophomore at Wheaton College.

Action begins Friday morning at Yarmouth High and satellite courts in Falmouth, Cumberland and elsewhere in Yarmouth. The men’s open singles field, which numbered 75 last year and peaked at 112, stands at 55. The women’s open singles field is eight, the oldest of whom received their high school diplomas this spring. Finals are scheduled for Sunday.

Atkinson said because of oppressively hot conditions expected Saturday, organizers are considering halting afternoon play or moving some matches indoors to The Woodlands in Falmouth.

The field “is small enough that we could probably do either of those things,” he said. “I have Friday availability for every singles player but one, so we’re going to get a lot done on Friday.”

As of Wednesday afternoon’s entry deadline, Atkinson counted 152 total players in a tournament that includes nine brackets. There are 32 teams in men’s doubles and 18 in mixed. The tournament also has age-group singles and doubles for men 55 and over and women 35 and over.

While the women are guaranteed to crown a new open winner, the men’s field includes defending champion Jai Aslam of Belgrade, who last summer became the first unseeded champ in tournament history. Eliot Potvin, the head pro at Portland Country Club and a two-time schoolboy state champion while at Hampden Academy, returns for the first time since winning the Blakeman in 2016.

Seven-time open singles champion Brian Mavor enters the 55-and-over field for the first time. His daughter, Sofia, an eighth-grader in Yarmouth, will play mixed doubles with Denis Indondo, a former ATP Tour player from the Republic of Congo who settled in Maine last year.

Brian Powell of Kennebunkport, another seven-time open singles champion, is playing men’s and mixed doubles. Ben Cox, who won three straight singles titles starting in 2010, is playing mixed doubles with Olivia Cutone.

Twin brothers William and Jonathan Bacon, 16, flew in from California to play in the tournament. Steve Cutone is their uncle, and William’s doubles partner. George Cutone will play doubles with his cousin, Jonathan.

“When we get a new calendar,” Steve said, “that’s the first thing we mark off every year is the Blakeman tournament.”

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