USTA Pro Circuit Events Heating Up Throughout the South

March 12, 2004 03:16 PM

The USTA Professional Circuit season kicks off in the South with three exciting events in March. Little Rock, AR and Mobile, AL play host to two Men’s $15,000 Futures tournaments while Augusta, GA welcomes the top up and coming players in the women’s game, as it hosts a $25,000 Challenger.

St. Vincent Auxiliary USTA Men’s Professional Tennis Tournament
Little Rock, AR
Qualifying play for the St. Vincent Auxiliary USTA Men’s Professional Tennis Tournament starts on Saturday, March 20, with main draw action beginning on March 23. This $15,000 Futures Championship is being played at the Rebsamen Tennis Center in Little Rock, AR. Players currently entered in the main singles draw include Americans Kevin Kim, Tripp Phillips and Bobby Reynolds.

Argentinean Ignacio Hirigoyen won the singles championship last year over Nashville’s Brian Baker, while Australia’s Jay Gooding and Jordan Kerr took the doubles title. St. Vincent’s Auxiliary and Rebsamen Tennis Center has sponsored this tournament for 24 years, making it the longest running USTA Circuit Tournament in the nation.

Taylor Infiniti $25,000 USTA Women’s Challenger
August, GA

Hosted by the Club at Raes Creek in Augusta, GA, this $25K Women’s Challenger features both rising stars and veterans of the WTA Tour, including Dunwoody, GA’s Lindsay Lee-Waters and Atlanta’s Ansley Cargill is also scheduled to compete in the event.

Play will begin on Sunday, March 28 with qualifying round action. Main draw play begins on the March 29 with final round competition scheduled for Sunday, April 4. This event is a feed-up to the April 12-18 Estoril Open in Estoril, Portugal, a $110,000 WTA Tour championship.

In 2003 this event was played at the Cloister Tennis Center in Sea Island, GA. Rising Russian star Maria Sharapova took the singles crown while the doubles title was won by the Australian duo of Lisa McShea and Christina Wheeler.]

2004 Newton Cox Men’s Professional Tennis Classic
Mobile, AL

Play at the second annual Newton Cox $15,000 Men’s Professional Tennis Classic will begin on Saturday, March 27 with qualifying round action. Main draw action begins on the 30th and both the singles and doubles finals are scheduled for April 4. All competition will take place at the Newton Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, AL. Brian Baker, Nashville's rising star, has c
ommitted to play in this year's event.

In 2003 Ireland's Peter Clarke defeated American Michael Joyce in the singles competition while Joyce teamed with fellow American Kevin Kim to capture the doubles crown.

The championship is named for Newton Cox, who passed away last March. Cox, a former president of the USTA Southern Section, was an instrumental figure in the founding of the Mobile Tennis Center, one of the premier public tennis facilities in the nation.

Daily reports of all three of these events can be found online at

The USTA organizes, sponsors and administers the USTA Professional Circuit, the gateway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis professionals and a frequent battleground for established players. The 2004 circuit features nearly 100 events for men and women. Prize money at USTA Professional Circuit events ranges from $10,000 to $75,000, with more than $3 million in purses this year. Players also earn valuable ATP and WTA tour ranking points.

Among the players to have launched notable careers on the USTA Professional Circuit are: Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Lindsay Davenport, Michael Chang, Patrick Rafter, Mary Pierce, Todd Martin, Chanda Rubin, Alexandra Stevenson, Jan-Michael Gambill, Anna Kournikova, Meghann Shaughnessy, James Blake and Andy Roddick. For more information about the USTA Pro Circuit visit