Bringing The City of Charleston Tennis Championship Back To Life
by Rob Rosenblum
"I am not just running a
tournament. I am re-launching a 50
year old event and want to re-
position it permanently in the
local tennis community". Those are
the words of Davy Hairston, head
pro of the Charleston Tennis
Center (CTC) as he prepared to
revive the long defunct City of
Charleston Tennis Championships.
A short history. The tournament
was brought to life in 1962, and
featured some of the best tennis
talent the Charleston area had to
offer. Hairston himself, as a
rising young talent, won it in his
youth and it remains one of his
proudest accomplishments. Then, as
USTA leagues began to rise in
popularity, tournaments began to
dwindle, and this pride of
Charleston disappeared in 2004.
"Sometimes it feels as if I've bitten off more than I can chew"
The plaques on the wall of the CTC that
boast the names of people like
Mary Gastly, Diane Barker, Brian
Minton, Angelo Anastopoulo and
others are the only ghostly
remains of the premier area event.
As Court Times Charleston reported
several months ago, Hairston was
on a mission to change all that.
And it appears that he has begun
to make some palpable inroads.
This singular celebration had, in
the past, featured NTRP, junior
and senior events as well as an
open draw. Hairston hopes that
will be part of the future, but
the first unveiling will be
limited to open men's, women's and
mixed singles and doubles.
"The tournament will be open only
to entrants who reside in
Charleston, Berkley and
Dorchester," explained Hairston in
a recent interview. "It will allow
players to play in a social
setting, but compete for best
player in the city."
"Sometimes it feels as if I've
bitten off more than I can chew,"
the pro confessed. "It's a lot
harder to start a ball rolling
than to keep it rolling."
The hardest part was trying to
find a date that would fit into
the crowded tennis calendar that
has defined the area for quite
some time. Where as people used to
keep the date open when the
tournament was king, now they have
to find a way to punch in a new
"People are definitely interested,
but it is still too early to tell
if it will be the great event we
are hoping for," said Hairston.
The tournament will begin on
September 20th and run through the
25th. The modest entry fee of $52
get you into both singles and
doubles as well as a first round
consolation draw in singles.
Hairston is working hard to
attract support from the business
community in order to defray costs
and offer the best possible
tournament. So far Center Court,
Bird Hardware, C.T. Loundes and
Whole Foods is on board. As a
result, there will be a free
player party, and prize money for
the singles and doubles finalists.
Side attractions for the event
will be a free clinic for kids on
Saturday and potentially a Special
The event does not affect rankings and
does not require USTA membership,
although the USTA is providing a
web page for people to sign up for
the tournament and obtain all
relevant information. Just go to
to register on line and to get all up to date
You can reach Hairston at 843-766
-7401 or 843-769-8285.
Metal Man Walking
By Charleston based Author Carley Evans Amazon review: "I can't say enough good things about this book"
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