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Players, city of Camden hope to benefit from weekend’s Classically Carolina USTA tourney

Posted: April 30, 2015 8:58 a.m.
Updated: May 1, 2015 1:00 a.m.
Photo courtesy of Wendy Kingsley/

DAVID POPE OF CAMDEN prepares to return a shot in last year’s Classically Carolina USTA Junior Championships. The event opens its three-day run in town today.

More than 100 of the top junior tennis players in the region will be descending upon Camden for the second annual Classically Carolina United States Tennis Association (USTA) Junior Championships.

The three-day event kicks off today and continues through Sunday with matches being contested at the Camden Country Club courts (for players ages 10 and under) and at the Roger Smoak Tennis Courts at Camden High School (ages 12 and older). All matches are free and open to the public.

The tournament is sponsored by the City of Camden and is expected to attract players from Charlotte, Greenville, Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head who will compete in more than 160 matches over the course of the open tournament.

As a state tournament, anyone from anywhere may participate. However, players from within the state of South Carolina will earn USTA points. Organizers say the plan, in two to three years, is to apply for a Southern Level tournament which will allow all players from Southern States to earn USTA points.

Singles and doubles play in all junior age divisions are being offered. Tournament play will culminate with 21 winners each receiving a 2 ½-inch tall Classically Carolina championship trophy.

The USTA sanctioned Level 3-State Tournament is being directed by Kevin Jackson, USTA Elite Professional and Director of Tennis and Aquatics at the Camden Country Club.

"This is the beginning of a tremendous event for the City of Camden," Jackson said. "Attracting families from all over the state to visit our wonderful city is amazing. This is a great way to showcase all that Camden has to offer."

Those sentiments were echoed by Camden Mayor Tony Scully.

"Tennis has always been a big part of the quality of life in Camden, and having the USTA Junior Championships in Camden provides one more reason for us to say, ‘Look what we do’ in the area of sports and recreation," he said. "Tournament director KJ (Jackson) has a strong record of excellence when it comes to execution and running of junior and adult USTA tournaments."

With roughly 80 to 85 percent of players being from out of local market, organizers anticipate the event being expected to bring 300 or more visitors to Camden hotels, restaurants and shops over the three-day period.

Tournament organizer Joe deLoach said the event could not have become the instant success it was without the cooperation of the entire community.

"We want everyone to know the tournament is collaboration between the City of Camden, Kershaw County Recreation and School District, Camden Police, Camden Country Club, many local restaurants and lots of hard work from volunteers," deLoach said. "Most of all, we thank the players and their families and friends for coming to Camden and supporting our tournament."





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