USTA Pro Circuit in Southaven!
The only professional men's tennis tournament in Mississippi took place in Southaven last week, as Snowden Grove Tennis Complex hosted the Oliver Foundation USTA Pro Circuit Men's $25K August 6-13.
The tournament is a part of the USTA Pro Circuit Men’s Competitive Pathway, sometimes referred to as Challengers or Futures events.. The Pro Circuit is akin to the "minor leagues" of tennis, where all future ATP touring pros start their careers.
Tennis pros from 14 different countries took part in the event, Chris Rodesch, a 22 year old rising player from Luxembourg that played collegiately at Virginia won the Singles event after taking out world number 376 Martin Damm in the final. Ryan Seggerman and Patrik Trhac came away with the doubles title
Keith Evans, who has been serving as the Tournament Director of this event at various locations since 2004, is excited to bring professional tennis to the area.
“This was a great event and great opportunity for tennis fans to be able to see professional tennis up close and see how good these guys are," Evans said “The circuit has been around for decades, and all great pros have to come up this way before hitting the ATP Tour."
Snowden Grove in Southaven offered different activities throughout the week such as a Pro-Am on Monday and a Kids Day on Wednesday August 9. Evans also offered an open, 16 player Wildcard Tournament with the finalists being given entry into the Pro Circuit's Qualifying Draw. Many local juniors and rising college players took part in the Wildcard Tournament to try and battle for a spot in the Qualifying draw and test their game against the top players in the world.
“So many great pros have played in this event before they went on to become household names,” Evans said. “We’ve had James Blake, Mardy Fish, John Isner, and Denis Shapavalov just to name a few, and Tennys Sandgren was here just last year. We’re thankful to over 33 sponsors that have contributed just for us to be able to host the event.”