Women’s 3.5 Level Semi-finalists from NC. (Concord) L to R: Karla Williams, Emily Jones, Kaye Stokes, Laurie Buckelew-Burt, Gail Vaughn, Connie Lentz.
One of the USTA ‘s major tennis championships was held in Asheville last weekend, for the fourth straight year.The Adult 55 & over Southern Sectional Championships played at Asheville Racquet Club Downtown (tournament headquarters), Asheville Racquet Club South and Aston Park Tennis Center.
The weather cooperated, and many players commented how pleasant the cool mountain temperatures suited the tournament weekend. This year’s event saw the top 76 teams consisting of 700 players from the USTA’s nine southern states.
The tournament added several new amenities to this year’s event. “This year we’ve increased our ‘wow factor,’ adding numerous items that will make the sites easier to find and more attractive,” Tournament Director Chris Walling said. “We’ve purchased two iPads and stands so our players can quickly read tournament results, and we have increased signage throughout.”
Men’s 4.0 Level Finalists from Louisiana.
Competition was played using the USTA’s NTRP rating levels 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 9.0 (combined) men’s and women’s teams. The teams, which represented various clubs, parks, recreational departments and organizations, earned the right to represent one of nine states — Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee — by playing in leagues this year.
Established in 1980, USTA League has grown from 13,000 participants competing regionally in its first year to more than 865,000 participants playing across the nation today, making it the world’s largest recreational tennis league.