USTA state championships to stay at Palmetto Dunes through 2016

ksalter@islandpacket.comJune 27, 2014 

Cincinnati Tennis

Grigor Dimitrov, of Bulgaria, returns a volley to Nicolas Almagro, of Spain, during a match at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament on Monday, Aug. 12, 2013, in Mason, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)

TOM UHLMAN — File -- The Associated Press

Top adult tennis players will continue to flock to Hilton Head Island-based tournaments for at least the next two years, the United States Tennis Association -- South Carolina announced this week.

The organization announced it has extended contracts through 2015 and 2016 with five host sites across the state for each of their nine state league championships. Those tournaments feature some of South Carolina's best adult competitors, from ages 18 and over to 75 and over, and in a wide variety of skill levels.

Hilton Head Island's Palmetto Dunes hosts three of the state league championships annually: a 55 and over/75 and over event, combo doubles, and a 65 and over/75 and over event.

Jonathon Braden, coordinator of public relations and advertising sales/sponsorships for USTA S.C., said the contracts are with most of the same host sites as 2013.

"Our players love going to the coast and love going to the beach," Braden said of Hilton Head. "We've only heard great things about the relationship we have with those clubs."

As for Palmetto Dunes, which is set to host two league championships later this year -- Combo Doubles from Oct. 16-20 and Adult 65 & Over, 70 & Over from Nov. 5 to 10 -- the tournaments are an opportunity to show off what the club and the island's tennis community have to offer.

"We do feel like we're pretty successful in hosting these events," said Jackie Reynecke, tournament director for Palmetto Dunes. "We have a dedicated staff, a great facility, a super working relationship with the other public and private clubs on the island."

Reynecke said hosting the state league championships not only helps the island's tennis players and local clubs, but provides even wider benefits for local businesses and hotels, which often profit from the influx of out-of-town guests during tournament week. While Palmetto Dunes hosts several events each year, Reynecke said the goal is to find some continuity in the calendar.

"We love being the host site," Reynecke said. "We have just as much pride in anything we're associated with. Being a host, certainly it comes with a few more expectations, maybe, but we are up to the challenge."

The state championships feature teams who have qualified through local league play.

"We are extremely fortunate to have the commitments for our league championships set for the next three years," USTA S.C. Board President Cam Littlejohn said in a press release. "The host cities and facilities are all top class and will provide excellent tennis courts and amenities for our players as they vie for state championships."

2015-2016 USTA SC State League Championships and Host Sites

55 & Over, 75 & Over: Palmetto Dunes, Hilton Head Island

Adult 40 & Over: H. Odell Weeks Tennis Center, Aiken

Adult 18 & Over, 4.0-5.0: H. Odell Weeks Tennis Center, Aiken

Adult 18 & Over, 2.5-3.5: Greenville Country Club

Mixed Doubles: Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center, Florence

Combo Doubles: Palmetto Dunes, Hilton Head Island

65 & Over, 70 & Over: Palmetto Dunes, Hilton Head Island

Singles: Charleston Tennis Center

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