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World’s Largest Tennis Tournament Moves to Birmingham in 2009 and 2010

May 22, 2008 04:09 PM

The USTA Southern Section announced that the USTA League Tennis Adult and Senior Division Southern Sectional Championship tournament has been awarded to the city of Birmingham, AL for 2009 and 2010. This is the first year that Birmingham has hosted the tournament.

With over 200 teams and 2,000 players competing annually, the USTA League Tennis Southern Sectional Championships is considered to be the “world’s largest tennis tournament.” The 2008 event will return for its second year in Mobile, AL before moving to Birmingham in 2009.

Prior to moving to Mobile in 2007 the tournament had been held in Charleston, SC, Columbia, SC, Louisville, KY, Mobile, AL, Chattanooga, TN, New Orleans, LA, Little Rock, AR, and Atlanta, GA.

The event features state champion teams from each of the nine Southern states plus one wildcard team per level, totaling over 200 teams. Players range in skill level (2.5-5.5) and ages from 19-80 in adult and senior divisions with both men’s and women’s teams participating.

“I am excited that Birmingham will host the 2009 & 2010 USTA Southern Sectional Championships,” said Tournament Chairmen Dodie Hanchett. “It's the first time the tournament has been to Birmingham and I couldn't be more pleased with the organization and leadership of Rudy Lewis (Local Host Chairperson) & David Galbaugh (CVB). Besides the economic impact, public tennis facilities will get much needed renovations to their courts.”

The City of Birmingham has allocated $500,000 for tennis court improvements and to complete the renovations recommended by the USTA. The project manager, architect, and members of the planning and engineering department have reviewed the three tennis centers, and work has begun. The project manager has made these three sites a priority, and will have the courts ready for play by July 25, 2009.

“I fully support the 2009 & 2010 Sectional Championships in Birmingham,” said Mayor of Birmingham Larry P. Langford. “As a tennis player myself, I recognize the exercise benefits of tennis. I look forward to watching these matches, and if they have a ‘Golden Oldies’ division, I may even play.”

Local Chairmen and James Lewis Tennis Scholarship Foundation officers, Leon Evans and Local Chairmen Rudy Lewis, have gained support from the city and the USTA in bringing this major tennis event to Birmingham. “With the cooperation of everyone involved, we hope to make this an event that Birmingham can be proud of,” said Lewis.

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Media Contact:
Holly Goddard
Director of Communications & Publications
USTA Southern
770-368-8200 x112




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