CHARLESTON, S.C. – Competitive professional tennis will return to Charleston, SC next month with the new Credit One Bank Invitational, contested June 23 – 28 at LTP Daniel Island. The 16-player team event will receive more than 40 hours of live coverage on Tennis Channel and raise funds for the Medical University of South Carolina’s (MUSC) frontline healthcare workers.
The player field includes reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and reigning US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, as well as Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Victoria Azarenka, Amanda Anisimova, Monica Puig, Ajla Tomljanovic, Danielle Collins, Alison Riske, Shelby Rogers, Genie Bouchard, Jennifer Brady, Leylah Fernandez and Emma Navarro. Keys and Mattek-Sands will serve as captains for the UTR tennis event.
“Charleston has proven time and again to be the poster child for resiliency – and in my mind, this special tournament will help accomplish three very critical things: First, it is a tangible way to show the world we are able to bring back live sport for public enjoyment; Second, it allows our community and tennis fans all over to support the tennis professionals whose opportunities to compete this year have been severely limited; Third, it helps us show our frontline medical professionals how much we care, with half of the proceeds going directly to support MUSC,” said Ben Navarro, Owner of Charleston Tennis LLC.
The tournament will be conducted without fans and will feature 16 singles matches and eight doubles matches. It is currently the largest-scale tennis event confirmed since the sport shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ever since the unfortunate cancelation of this year’s Volvo Car Open due to the Coronavirus, we have been working tirelessly to figure out how and when to appropriately bring a world class event back to Charleston as quickly and safely as possible,” said Bob Moran, President of Charleston Tennis LLC. “This tournament will have two equal beneficiaries – traditional prize money for the athletes, and a large fundraising structure to support frontline healthcare workers at MUSC.”
The event will work closely with MUSC, who will ensure the execution of a secure environment for all players and staff through its health and safety protocols. To minimize the amount of individuals on-site, players will call their own lines and receive assistance from only one ball kid and one official on court.
“We’re excited that the Credit One Bank Invitational will be held this summer in the South Carolina Lowcountry,” said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. “With the NASCAR races at Darlington, we showed the world how to safely integrate live sports back into our culture, and now we get to do it again with tennis. The coordination and cooperation that goes into planning an event like this is immense and the challenges are daunting, but South Carolina continues to set an example for the rest of the country. This is an extraordinary example of perseverance and leadership.”
The Credit One Bank Invitational is part of Tennis Channel’s Re(Open) Tour, a series of events and exhibitions taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I can’t think of a better way to start up tennis again than at the Credit One Bank Invitational”, said Mattek-Sands. “The uncharted waters that we are currently facing calls for something completely fresh and new. It’s an absolute honor to be selected as one of the captains for this team event. We will fill the sporting world with hope again and show our gratitude and appreciation for all essential workers around the world, and especially in Charleston.”