With more centrally located venues, the Hugs for Harper Tennis Tournament is preparing for growing support and entries as it honors the memory of pediatric cancer victim Harper Drolet.

The event that raised more than $100,000 at Kiawah Island in its first two years is less than a month away. It will kick off on Sept. 5 at 6 p.m. with a dinner and auction at Founder's Hall at Charles Towne Landing before taking to the courts at Farmfield Avenue's Charleston Tennis Center the next day for round-robin tournament play.

Proceeds from the Hugs for Harper events benefit the MUSC Children's Hospital Pediatric Cancer Research Center.

"The Hugs for Harper Charity was established to honor the life of our daughter ... Harper battled pediatric soft tissue cancer for two years. She lost her battle at the age of 11 in September 2011," Jamie Drolet said.

Contact Amanda Mahaffey (843-792-3321 or mahaffea@musc.edu), Jamie Drolet (843-607-0857) or city tennis manager Peggy Bohne (843-766-7401).

Rogers U.S. No. 11

What's next for Shelby Rogers after cracking the world's top 100? How about maybe the American top 10.

After a sparkling July/August on Austrian red clay and Canadian/American hard courts boosted Rogers into the top 100 for the first time, the 21-year-old touring pro is currently this country's 11th-ranked women's tennis player. At No. 86, Rogers is one of a whopping 12 U.S. players ranked in the WTA Tour's top 100. The U.S. group includes 18 percent (or nine players) of the world's top 50 women.

Rogers' next outing will be the U.S. Open's main draw. She has decided not to try to qualify at the New Haven, Conn., WTA Tour stop, but to wait for the Aug. 25 start of America's Grand Slam event.

Rogers' 6-1, 6-4 loss to Zarina Diyas in the opening round of qualifying in Cincinnati marked the first time since early June when she snapped a nine-match losing streak that she has suffered back-to-back losses. She has posted a 16-7 record during the current streak.

Fenno 17th in doubles

Brant Fenno is ready to start high school at Porter-Gaud. But what a summer the freshman left-hander has had on the tennis court.

From starting out with another Belton singles title in June, the two-time All-Lowcountry star finished with even a bigger bang. Not only did he earn a third-place bronze ball in doubles (along with partner Arnav Dhingra of Maryland) in the boys 14 national hard courts in San Antonio, Fenno was selected as the tournament's sportsmanship award recipient.

Fenno also was a singles quarterfinalist in the West consolation draw in San Antonio after finishing as a semifinalist in the Northwest draw of consolations in the national clay courts earlier this summer.

The superb summer landed Fenno at No. 64 in the latest national 14s singles rankings, and a 17th ranking in doubles.

The Fanno/Dhingra team reached at least the round of 16 in each of the last three super-nationals.


Sunday is the deadline for entering next weekend's Charleston Rated Adult Championship at Charleston Tennis Center. Competition will be held in men's and women's singles and doubles as well as mixed doubles. Registration is available online at sctennis.com (tournament No. 700045614). Contact the Farmfield Avenue tennis center (843-766-7401).

Entries will close on Sunday for next weekend's Kiawah Island Summer Junior Championship. The tournament will have divisions for boys and girls singles and doubles from 12-and-under through 18s as well as boys and girls 10-and-under singles and doubles. Registration online is at sctennis.com (tournament No. 700033014).

Lowcountry boys tennis player of the year Austin Heinz of Palmetto Christian was the recipient of the Jim Russell Scholarship Award from the S.C. Tennis Patrons Foundation. The scholarship was for $2,000 to Samford University where Heinz will attend this fall on a tennis grant-in-aid.

League tennis registration for 18-plus, 40-plus and 55-plus leagues for the fall will open registration next Friday and run through Sept. 13.

Reach James Beck at jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. See his latest columns on Wimbledon and Grand Slam Tennis at www.ubitennis.com/english/tag/james-beck.