Haley announces budget board pick

Marcia Adams (left) and Eleanor Kitzman are to be nominated to the state Budget and Control Board by Gov.-elect Nikki Haley.

Mic Smith

If midsummer July 2011 was great for World TeamTennis on Daniel Island, end-of-summer September should be spectacular for this year's WTT Finals Weekend.

The key change in the Family Circle Tennis Center/WTT collaboration is the big window between the July 9-28 WTT regular season and the Sept. 14-16 Finals Weekend. There wasn't a true window between the regular season and the finals last summer when the regular season ended on July 21 at sites all over the country, and the finals were held the next three days at Family Circle Stadium.

"We wanted a bigger window, but the Olympics played into the switch to September," Family Circle general manager Bob Moran said Saturday. "It was a combination of both (the Olympics and Family Circle's push for more time).

"With two months, we'll be able to market the event."

In addition to having time to market the 2012 WTT Finals, and the teams and players involved, a regional WTT Recreational League tournament also will be held that weekend at Family Circle Tennis Center, providing local fans a chance to further embrace the exciting World TeamTennis format.

About the only thing that was certain one day before last year's event was that Leander Paes and the unbeaten Washington Kastles would be performing at Family Circle Tennis Center. It was that much of a scramble to put everything into play last summer. You might say, the event was lucky to attract nearly 5,000 fans.

With fans from the four participating cities having time to plan a few days vacation here this time, the crowd total should increase significantly.

Of course, it will be football season, but there aren't any big conference matchups on the agenda for South Carolina or Clemson that weekend.

Sept. 14-16 will be Davis Cup semifinal weekend, but the Andy Roddick/Mardy Fish Americans would have to upset Switzerland in the first round and then either France or Canada to earn a spot in the Cup semifinals against probablyreigning champion Spain.

If the hurricanes will take the week off, WTT Finals Weekend should be even more special the second time around.

Local notes

--Legend Oaks will hold an NTRP-rated tournament Feb. 3-5. Register online at TennisLink using the registration number (704143712).

--Family Circle Cup ball crew registration is beginning. Contact Maybank Tennis Center pro Toni Young (343-8393).

--City tennis manager Peggy Bohne announced three dates for coaches meetings at Charleston Tennis Center for the Tri-County Elementary/Middle School Tennis League: Monday at 5 p.m., Jan. 20 at 4 p.m. and Jan. 22 at 3 p.m.

--More than 30 juniors took part in a recent free clinic that touring pros Shelby Rogers and Ryan Young conducted at Maybank Tennis Center.

--Brant Fenno took third place in boys 12 singles in the recent Winter Southern Closed tournament in Louisville, Ky.

--Monday is the deadline for forming league tennis teams for the official spring season.

--All-Lowcountry girls team members Mi'Kola Cooper of Porter-Gaud, and Melanie Allen and Catherine Martin of Wando train at Family Circle Tennis Center's Instinctive Tennis Academy that is run by the FCTC staff and headed by director Lenny Schloss and assistant pro Peter Schmitt.

--Former I'On Club pro Jo Ann Lee has joined Family Circle Tennis Center to direct the facility's 10-and-under Quick Start program.

Reach James Beck at jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. See his columns on pro tennis at ubitennis.com/english.