BECK COLUMN: Davenport, Hingis World Team Tennis Finals bound
The World Team Tennis Finals Weekend is set. And thereís still six weeks to go. The event at Family Circle Tennis Center isnít until Sept. 14-16, thanks to the Olympics.
Former greats Martina Hingis of the New York Sportimes and Lindsay Davenport of the Orange County Breakers are set to play on Daniel Island. Hingis is the WTTís womenís MVP.
The Washington Kastles will be back in search of a second straight perfect season. No major U.S. pro team has ever posted back-to-back unbeaten regular seasons.
Venus and Serena Williams have played a significant role in the Kastlesí success the last two seasons. One has been in the lineup for nine of the 30 wins. But neither sister is scheduled to play in the finals.
Orange County and Sacramento will open the WTT Finals Weekend at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 14 in the Western Conference final, and WTT coach of the year Murphy Jensenís Kastles face the Sportimes on at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 15 for the Eastern title. The winners meet at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 16.
Doubles great Leander Paesí availability for the Kastles is uncertain due to Indiaís Davis Cup Group I relegation tie against New Zealand that same weekend. WTT menís MVP Bobby Reynolds (whose wife is a MUSC graduate) is confirmed for Washington along with 2011 Finals MVP Arina Rodionova. Arinaís sister, Anastasia, also will play.
WTT Finals Weekend tickets can be purchased at 1-800-677-2293. The event is offering a free terrace level ticket for the Sunday final with the purchase of Friday-Saturday tickets (box seats not included).
CPTL goes WTT
The popular Charleston Pro Tennis League is switching to the exciting WTT format for its fall season, playing lets while allowing coaching and substitutions. Two women will also play for each team this year along with seven men as the format includes two doubles, one singles and one mixed doubles matches.
The leagueís draft party is Aug. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at OíBrionís Pub at the IíOn Club. Applications for the 72 league spots are being accepted atcptltennis.com, with an Aug. 17 deadline.
The season starts Sept. 7 at Family Circle Tennis Center.
Rogers seeks wild card
Shelby Rogers is in the running for a second U.S. Open wild card in three years after winning her first professional tournament recently, a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit challenger in Yakima, Wash. The Daniel Island 19-year-old followed that victory with a quarterfinal showing in another $50,000 event in Lexington, Ky., but suffered a second-round loss in qualifying this past week in a $100,000 challenger in Vancouver.
In the process, Rogersí world ranking zoomed from No. 383 to No. 282. Her singles record for 2012 is now 25-14. The American player with the most main draw WTA ranking points from those three tournaments will receive a wild card into the U.S. Open.
Hugs for Harper
The Hugs for Harper USTA-sanctioned S.C. Level 3 adult tournament is Sept. 14-16 at Kiawah Island. The event will honor the memory of Harper Drolet and celebrate her life by supporting others who battle pediatric cancer. Proceeds benefit MUSCís Childrenís Hospital Pediatric Cancer Research Center.
Competition will be in NTRP-rated divisions as well as seniors. There will be singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Dinner and auction is 6 p.m. Sept. 15. Tournament ID number is 700035712. Contact Jonathan Barth (email@example.com, 768-2838 or 568-1468).
Local junior Austin Heinz was on the Southern Hospitality team that won the WTT Junior National Team Championship in San Diego. The All-Lowcountry player is in the group photo on the World Team Tennis website at WTT.Com.
Still under renovation, Maybank Tennis Center will hold an adult tennis camp at the Jack Adams Tennis Center, Wednesday through Friday, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., including two nights of drills and a Friday night round robin. Call pro Toni Young (343-8393).
Registration for the Lowcountry Tennis Associationís singles league will continue through Aug. 13. A team is required to have three players signed up by the deadline. Contact Elizabeth Forney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jonathan Edwards was the boys 18 runner-up in the recent S.C. Closed Clay-Court Championships in Greenville, suffering an 11-9 loss to top seed Colby Burke of Hilton Head Island in a third-set match tiebreaker.
Reach James Beck at email@example.com. See his columns on pro tennis at ubitennis.com/english.