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World's Largest Tennis Tournament Moves to Alabama

July 19, 2007 08:21 AM

More than 2,000 tennis players are expected to take part in the 2007 USTA League presented by CHRYSLER Southern Section Championships, which are being held on July 20 - 29 at the Mobile Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala.

This year’s event has drawn the top 200 teams from throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The teams, which represent various clubs, parks, recreational departments and organizations, have finished at the top of their local leagues and are now vying for a chance to represent the USTA Southern Section at the USTA League presented by CHRYSLER National Championships in Tuscon, Ariz., Las Vegas, Nev., and Indian Wells, Calif.

Matches will be played at four sites in the Mobile area, including the Mobile Tennis Center, Oakwood Country Club, Mirror Lake Tennis Center, and Country Club of Mobile. The Mobile Tennis Center is the official Tournament headquarters.

USTA League Tennis was established to provide adult recreational tennis players throughout the country with the opportunity to compete against players of similar ability levels. Players participate on teams in a league format, which is administered by the USTA through its 17 Sections. Men’s and women's team competition starts with the 2.5 division (beginner) and moves up to the 5.5 level (advanced). Adult division teams play two singles and three doubles matches, except for the 2.5, 5.0 and 5.5 levels, which instead play one singles and two doubles matches. In the senior division (over 50 years of age), teams will compete in levels 2.5 through 4.5 and play three doubles matches.

In full draws, two groups of five teams compete in round robin play with the winner of each group advancing to the finals. In total, 425 team matches comprised of 1,600 individual matches will be played.

Men's and women's 2.5, 3.0, 3.5 and senior men's and women's 4.0 and 4.5 competition begins Saturday, July 21 and concludes with the final round of play on Tuesday, July 24. The men's and women's 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, 5.5 and senior men's and women's 2.5, 3.0, and 3.5 competition starts on Thursday, July 26 and concludes on Sunday, July 29 with their respective finals. Matches begin at 8:00 am each day.

“Every year the championships seem to grow more exciting,” explains Tournament Chairman Dodie Hanchett. “The experience of the sectional championships is truly incredible; eight days of intense tennis, team camaraderie and a fabulous city are sure to make for a successful event.”

2005 marked the 25th anniversary of the USTA League. Established in 1980, it has grown from 13,000 participants in a few parts of the country in its first year, to over 625,000 players across the nation today, making it the world’s largest recreational tennis program.

The USTA League was established to provide adult recreational tennis players throughout the country with the opportunity to compete against players of similar ability levels. Players participate on teams in a league format, which is administered by the USTA through its 17 Sections. The league groups players by using six National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) levels, ranging from 2.5 (entry) to 5.0 (advanced). USTA League is open to any USTA member 19 years of age or older. It features Adult and Mixed Doubles divisions, as well as a Senior Division (age 50) and a Super Senior Division (age 60).

Chrysler is entering its second year as the presenting sponsor and official vehicle of USTA League. Head Penn Racquet Sports is in its 20th year as official ball of USTA League.

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 and, as a not-for-profit organization, the association invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop the growth of tennis. It is divided into 17 sections, of which the USTA Southern Section is the largest. The 170,000 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 www.southerntennis.com.

 

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