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Classically Camden youth tennis tourney returns this weekend

Posted: April 21, 2016 3:09 p.m.
Updated: April 22, 2016 1:00 a.m.

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

Last year’s event was named the South Carolina Tennis Association’s tournament of the year.

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 both Carolinas 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 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. 

“We believe this is a tremendous event for the City of Camden,” said Jackson. “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.” 

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,” he 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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