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Charleston, SC Set to Host Davis Cup Tie Against Belarus

May 19, 2004 11:10 AM

The USTA today announced that the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, SC, was selected as the site for the 2004 United States vs. Belarus Davis Cup semifinal, September 24-26. The semi-final tie is the first-ever Davis Cup to be played in South Carolina, and while the Family Circle Tennis Center is a clay court facility, the tie will be played on hard court.

Tickets for the three-day series will go on sale in mid-June.

Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the world’s largest annual international team competition with 142 countries competing. Only four teams remain, and the winner of USA vs. Belarus will face the winner of the other semifinal, when Spain hosts France in the Mediterranean coastal city of Alicante. The U.S. team last won the title in 1995 and holds a record 31 Davis Cup titles.

U.S. Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe will choose a four-man team to compete against Belarus, with reigning US Open champion Andy Roddick and the world’s No. 1 doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan likely participants. In the U.S.’s quarterfinal win over Sweden in April, Roddick broke the record for the fastest serve ever recorded, with a serve at 152 m.p.h., and won both his singles matches to improve his Davis Cup record to 12-3. The Bryan twins are undefeated as a Davis Cup doubles team with a 3-0 record.

“Charleston provides the ideal climate and court surface for this important semifinal against a formidable opponent,“ said McEnroe. “Belarus is one of the great Cinderella stories in the history of Davis Cup, but our team will be ready to continue our quest to bring the Cup back to the United States.”

“We are very excited that this prestigious international tennis event is coming to Charleston and we look forward to showcasing our fine city in front of a global audience,” said Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr.

“We are thrilled to bring the excitement, passion and patriotism of Davis Cup to South Carolina for the first time,“ said Arlen Kantarian, Chief Executive, Professional Tennis, USTA. “The Family Circle Tennis Center is one of the nation’s top tennis facilities and an ideal setting for what promises to be three days of high energy entertainment.”

Opened in the spring of 2001, the Family Circle Tennis Center is a state-of-the-art tennis facility that is the centerpiece of a 32-acre tennis complex on Daniel Island. The facility is open to the public and was named the 2001 Public Facility of the Year by the USTA. The Center annually hosts the Family Circle Cup, one of the premier WTA Tour events.

“Davis Cup is one of the most prestigious tennis competitions in the world ad we are proud to have the opportunity to host this great event,” said Frankie Whelan, Executive Director, Family Circle Center. “We look forward to working with the USTA on making this one of the most successful Davis Cup events ever.”

AIG is the official sponsor of the U.S. Davis Cup Team. Wilson is the official ball of the U.S. Davis Cup team.

This will be the first meeting between the United States and Belarus in Davis Cup play. Belarus, a former Soviet Republic that has competed in Davis Cup since 1994, is led by two former Brooklyn, N.Y. residents, Max Mirnyi, a two-time US Open men’s doubles champion, and Vladimir Voltchkov, a semifinalist at Wimbledon in 2000. En route to the semifinal, Belarus upset Russia, 3-2, in the first round and Argentina, 5-0, in the quarterfinals. This is the first year Belarus has played in the Davis Cup World Group.

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. It owns and operates the US Open, the largest annually attended sporting event in the world. In addition, it owns the 96 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. A not-for-profit organization with more than 675,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop the growth of tennis, from the grass roots to the professional levels. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.




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