WHITE PLAINS, NY (WCSC) - Charleston, South Carolina took top honors Monday in a nationwide search to determine America's best tennis city.
In an announcement at Arthur Ashe Stadium in White Plains, New York, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) named Charleston the 2010 Best Tennis Town. The city will receive $100,000 from the USTA for facilities improvements and city-wide tennis programming.
During an online voting period in late June, Charleston garnered the most votes among the top three cities. Atlanta, Georgia and Richmond, Virginia were the second and third place finishers.
Charleston has over 13,000 players, and more than 7,500 of them play in USTA league events. The city has more than 580 courts and hosts the Family Circle Cup women's professional event each year.
"Being voted the Best Tennis Town is not only a tremendous honor, it confirms the passion and dedication Charlestonians feel about the game," said Ken Edwards, President of the Lowcountry Tennis Association, who received the trophy and a $100,000 check on behalf of Charleston. "Our experience has taught us that the best way to inspire a love of tennis is to foster enthusiasm at an early age, so the award money granted to us by the USTA will be used to further the advancement of youth tennis through the Quick Start initiative."
Eighty-one cities entered the competition initially. A panel of ten judges chose the finalists that made it to the online voting phase.