The South Carolina state tennis tournament took place in Aiken over the weekend.
The event had approximately 1,400 participants play matches from Friday through Monday, said Mark Calvert, the tennis supervisor for the City of Aiken.
“Nobody is free until all of us are free.”
“Basically this is the league state championships for South Carolina, the 18 and over,” Calvert said. “It’s all levels from 2.5 through 5.0. We have about 1,400 players from all over the state. You have to win your local league to qualify to come to this tournament. Then the winner of this tournament will advance to the southern championships of the USTA.”
Susan Turner, the South Carolina Adult State League coordinator, said this is one of the bigger tournaments. The tournament is a combination of both singles and doubles, said Calvert. Despite some minor issues from the heat over the weekend, such as cramping, things were going well.
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“We had the higher levels start on Friday – the 4.0 and up started Friday – and they’ll actually play Friday (and) Saturday and have their semifinals and finals (on Sunday),” Calvert said. “The 3.5 levels and down started Saturday and their finals and semifinals are tomorrow (Monday). It’s a lot of hard work, everything is going good. We’ve had just minor issues, net breaking, things like that. But majority of the players love coming to Aiken, they like the facilities, they like the town. It’s very good for the City of Aiken to host this tournament because anytime you bring that many people to town it’s a huge economic impact.”
On Sunday, Turner said the tournament was going well and the players were enjoying themselves.
Student and staff safety is a top priority for the Aiken County Board of Education.
With so many participants, the tournament is taking place at multiple locations throughout the county. Those locations include the headquarters at Odell Weeks Tennis Center, Fermata Club, Woodside Country Club, The Reserve Club at Woodside, and Riverview Park in North Augusta.
The state tournament has been held in Aiken for the last 10 years, Calvert said. It’s a tournament that has to be bid on and is up for rebidding. Calvert said they plan on bidding for it again.