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Charleston selected as a finalist in USTA's "Best Tennis Town" contest

The USTA announced that Charleston, SC has been selected as a Top 3 finalist in their second annual "Best Tennis Town in America" contest.  Representatives from the Lowcountry tennis community were notified today of this honor, and will be present at the public unveiling of the "Best Tennis Town" winner at the US Open which will be held from August 30 through September 12 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City.  In addition to the title of "Best Tennis Town in America", the Grand Prize winner will receive a $100,000 grant, second place will receive $50,000, and third place will receive $25,000, with each grant mandated for community tennis development.


The USTA’s "Best Tennis Town in America" contest began in late May when a collaborative tennis committee from the Lowcountry area submitted a video describing the tennis attributes of their respective areas.  In total, 82 cities entered the contest, and Charleston was notified by the USTA of its Top 10 status on July 15th, and then began to aggressively market itself and solicit votes from across the country and around the world.

"The USTA is excited to see the passion and commitment to tennis that these towns have showcased through the ‘Best Tennis Town’ competition," said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. "All three finalists are great ambassadors for the sport and would be a worthy recipient of the title of ‘Best Tennis Town."

The Charleston committee made strong use of social media, e-newsletters, tennis and resort industry contacts, local and regional media outlets, as well as word-of-mouth marketing.  Since Charleston was the only city in the Top 10 with a professional women’s tennis event, the Family Circle Cup and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour were also instrumental in promoting Charleston during the voting process.  Votes were cast throughout a 10-day window spanning July 16th - 26th at  Voting tallies will remain undisclosed by the USTA, both throughout and after the contest.

Atlanta, GA and Richmond, VA were also selected as Top 3 finalists.  These three communities beat out the following entrants in the nationwide voting: Beaverton, Ore.; Clearwater, Fla.; Delray Beach, Fla.; Manchester Center, Vt.; Rome, Ga.; Rosemount, Minn.; and Snow Hill, N.C.  Each of these cities will receive $2,000 worth of tennis equipment for community use as honorable mentions.

"The support of the entire Charleston tennis community was the backbone of this initiative, and their efforts to spread the word and activate their contacts were invaluable," said Ken Edwards, President of the Lowcountry Tennis Association (LCTA).  "Today is a wonderful day for our sport in this great city.  As we sit back and hope we’ve received enough votes to win the title, we can rest assured that we’ve done our best to bring attention to our town."

"I want to congratulate all of the local tennis entities who collaborated in the effort to bring this accolade to the Lowcountry," said Joseph P. Riley, Mayor, City of Charleston. "Placing in the Top 10, and now the Top 3, has been a major victory in itself, bringing national attention and immense pride to Charleston."

"This contest has really shown the cohesiveness of the Lowcountry tennis community," commented Billy Swails, Mayor, Town of Mount Pleasant.  "Looking back over the many years I’ve spent in the Charleston area, I’ve never seen such a unified and collaborative team come together to benefit the sport of tennis."

The Charleston community put 100% of its support behind this initiative," noted Bob Moran, General Manager, Family Circle Tennis Center.  "Our Top 3 status is a direct result of a complete and comprehensive effort by countless entities who truly believe that Charleston is the Best Tennis Town in America.  The Family Circle Cup is proud to be located here, and our fans and players alike attend this event because of what this city has to offer."

Charleston was named as one of the nation’s top-10 best cities for strong infrastructure, attractive economy and savvy urban planning last year by Forbes Magazine, the city has more than 13,000 local players who take to the courts every year, including more than 7,500 who play USTA League tennis. In addition, the city houses more than 580 tennis courts within its 485 square mile radius, and is home to the annual Family Circle Cup, a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Premier Event.

The Family Circle Tennis Center, home of the Family Circle Cup, is a public facility owned by the City of Charleston and operated by Meredith Corporation that hosts a variety of events including tennis events, concerts, festivals, and other special activities throughout the year.  The Family Circle Cup is a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Premier Event, as well as the facility’s marquis event, bringing over 90,000 visitors to Daniel Island each year.  With over 21 million readers, Family Circle is one of the most widely read monthly magazines in America and is one of 14 leading subscription magazines owned by Meredith Corporation.  For more information, call (843) 849-5300 or visit