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Charleston, SC Set to Host World’s Largest Tennis Tournament

January 6, 2004 05:09 PM

The USTA Southern Section announced today that the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, SC has been selected to host the USA League Tennis Southern Sectional Championships in 2005 and 2006. With over 2,000 players competing each year, the USA League Tennis Southern Sectional Championship is widely regarded as the “World’s Largest Tennis Tournament.”

Charleston was selected to host the championship over five other cities, including Augusta, GA, Baton Rouge, LA, Cary, NC, Mobile, AL and Shreveport, LA

"The six bids we received for the 2005-2006 USA League Tennis Southern Sectional Championships were exceptionally strong and represented a community approach to hosting this event,” explained Marilyn Sherman, Director of Adult Tennis for the USTA Southern Section. “All the interested sites had support from city and/or county governments, convention and visitor bureaus and sports commissions as well as the local tennis community. However, Charleston's facilities, local organization and player amenities were determining factors in the Sectional Championships Subcommittee's selection.”

Charleston's selection was based on several factors, including:

  • The Family Circle Tennis Center as the primary facility. This world-class facility, which hosts the Family Circle Cup, a top WTA event, has committed to providing its full talent and resources to supporting this championship, including its marketing, promotional and professional staff. Two court surfaces will be used, including hard for adult team play and clay for senior team play.
  • There is a strong partnership between the tennis facilities, tennis community and municipalities (Charleston and Mt. Pleasant). A detailed support organization has already been formed with prominent local leadership dedicated to tournament success.
  • Amenities planned for championship participants promise to be of extremely high quality, taking advantage of several of the City of Charleston’s premier venues (i.e.: Charleston’s Marine Center and the Hilton Hotel Beach area). The host organization has planned several evening activities for players and guests to maximize the experience at the event.
  • Charleston is widely considered to be a destination site. Charleston has not previously held a sectional level league championship and is considered to be a premier destination site that will encourage family and friends to accompany tournament participants.

"Tennis enthusiasts will enjoy a world class facility in a destination consistently recognized as a TOP 5 choice for visitors,” said Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau representative and Host Tournament Chairman, David Jennings. “In Addition to great tennis resources, the Charleston area offers history, shopping, golf, beaches and exceptional dining for the players and spectators to experience. This destination and tournament will be a good match, hopefully for many years."

The USA League Tennis presented by Lincoln program is the world’s largest recreational tennis league. More than 500,000 participants compete in the program nationwide, with approximately 150,000 residing in the USTA Southern Section alone. Players are grouped into six different ability levels, ranging from beginner (2.5) to advanced (5.0), based on the National Tennis Rating Program. League play consists of singles and doubles matches with the outcome based on team scoring.

In 2003 more than 2,000 players, comprising 200 teams, played in the USA League Tennis Southern Sectional Championships. The teams, which represented various clubs, parks and organizations, had finished at the top of their local leagues and won their state championships before advancing to Sectionals. Sectional winners are invited to compete in National Championships.

Founded in 1881, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in this country. In addition to owning the US Open and selecting members of the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic teams, the USTA administers a variety of programs nationwide for players of all ages and ability levels. A not-for-profit organization, the association is divided into 17 sections, of which the USTA Southern Section is the largest. The 168,000 USTA members living in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee make up the USTA Southern Section, and account for approximately 25% of the total USTA membership. A professional staff housed in Norcross, GA carries out the USTA Southern Section’s daily operations, but policy is formed and much of the organization’s work is executed via a Board and committee structure of over 200 volunteers. For more information about the types of programs and services offered by the USTA Southern Section visit




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