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One Couple. Two State League Championships.

A Grand Strand couple has the potential to bring home two Adult 18 & Over State League Championships this weekend in Greenville.

Steve and Amy Starnes will both be playing in the USTA South Carolina State League Championships for competitive levels 2.5-3.5. Steve Starnes will play on a 3.5-rated team, and Amy on a 2.5-rated team.

This weekend will mark the second time both of their Grand Strand Tennis League teams have advanced to state league championships.

“I was very excited when I found out we have the opportunity to each win a state league championship in the same weekend. He had not been sure if his team would make it because he plays in a very competitive league,” Amy Starnes said.

Steve motivates Amy’s success on the court, giving her tips and pointers since he has been playing tennis for a longer period of time, Amy Starnes said. Steve’s involvement in leagues inspired Amy to pick up the sport as she became curious as to what she was missing out on. Now, tennis is a good point of exercise for the couple and is something that they enjoy together.


The Starnes have three children, ages 5, 9 and 11. The parents have come up with a strategy to balance their schedules with their children’s: Amy plays tennis in the mornings while the kids are in school, and Steve plays at night. The couple’s parents live in the Myrtle Beach area and help take care of the children when Steve and Amy Starnes leave town to play in tournaments.

Amy enjoys how social tennis is, and is looking forward to going to Greenville where she will be able to spend time with her team outside of Myrtle Beach. There are women on her team who, before this season, had never played on a team and had never made it to a state league championship. Amy wants to show them how much fun state league championships are so the players continue participating on league teams.

Amy credits the league success of her and her husband to the Grand Strand Tennis League. “It is really well run,” she said. “We are lucky because the pros are very enthusiastic and helpful.”