Florence hosts USTA Pro Circuit tennis tournament - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Pro tennis athletes from around the world in Florence

Florence hosts USTA Pro Circuit tennis tournament

Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Hundreds of professional women tennis players from around the world are in Florence for the next week to compete in the USTA Pro Circuit tournament. Sunday was the opening day of the week-long event and they are competing to prove they’ve got what it takes to move on to a higher professional level.

Holly Beaumier, the Director of the Florence Convention & Visitors Bureau says, “All across the city you see signs that are welcoming the tennis players in and we’ve been preparing for this tournament really since last year…It’s the culmination of all that planning and it’s a very exciting time.”

A tournament of this magnitude is putting Florence on the map all across the country says Paul Pittman, the Tournament Chairman & Marketing PR Committee. Pittman says, ““There are only 90 or some tennis circuits men and women in the United States and most of them are in much bigger places so we are fortunate to have a facility to bring in this kind of tournament. It really gives us a reputation in tennis circles far beyond our state and our region, so that’s great.”

Zoe Cauthen is a 14-year-old competitor that is playing for her first time at this year’s tournament. She is a Florence native and has been practicing at this tennis complex since it opened four years ago. “This is a great facility, I think it’s one of the best in South Carolina definitely, it’s just great to have good courts to play on…It’s really exciting to play against all these players and it’s kind of intimidating, because they are all a bunch older than me but it’ll be good,” says Cauthen.

The City of Florence owns 37 acres of land adjacent to this tennis facility and plans to build a football and baseball complex in the coming years expecting to bring in even more sports tourism to the area. This start of the art tennis facility is really the catalyst for the recreational plans the city wants to add.

Pittman says, “We have developed a reputation as one of the best host sites for tournaments around the country and we are going to continue to build on that and make that one of the main features here in Florence, we are very proud to be a part of this community.”

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