54th Wachovia Palmetto Championships
The 54th Wachovia Palmetto Championships were played in Belton and Anderson June 5 through 10. 415 players from across South Carolina entered the tournament and championships were determined for both boys and girls in 5 age divisions.
The tournament was blessed by temperatures in the mid-80's, and only one afternoon thunderstorm delayed play (on Wednesday, June 9). Draws in the 12's, 14's, 16's and 18's were expanded to 64 players this year, and qualifying rounds and the Belton Classic were eliminated. The 10's draws were limited to 32 players. Most players played two matches on Sunday, thus shortening the tournament by one day.
Several players won singles titles to go with previous Belton championships. Spencer Brown of Spartanburg won the Boy's 10U to follow up on his 10U titles in 2008 and 2009. Chip Cox of Myrtle Beach repeated as the Boy's 18U singles champion, his third Palmetto singles title. Hayley Carter of Hilton Head won the Girl's 16U singles and doubles, her fourth singles and fourth doubles titles. Brent Lett of Elgin won the Boy's 14U singles to go with the 12U championship he won in 2008. Alex Martin of Mt. Pleasant won the Girl's 18U, a repeat of her 2008 title. First time champions included Ali Despain - Georgetown (Girl's 10U), Brant Fenno - Charleston (Boy's 10U), Ashby Bland - Mt. Pleasant (Girl's 12U), Laura Dean - Georgetown (Girl's 14U) and Matthew Mendez - Mt. Pleasant (Boy's 16U).
Three sportsmanship awards were presented:
The tournament kicked off on June 5 with the Palmetto's first QuickStart competition for 8U and 10U players. The QuickStart format utilizes shorted courts and racquets and low compression balls. Eight players participated in the coed 8U competition, 5 in the Boy's 10U competition and 6 in the Girl's 10U competition.
The tournament honored two individuals, David Dockins and Hack Clinkscales, as the Honorary Chairmen of this year's tournament. Dockins and Clinkscales have been long-time supporters of the event. They founded and have run the Palmetto Golf Championships fundraiser each year which has resulted in over $100,000 for the Belton Tennis Association.
The players who performed well in the Palmetto went on to represent South Carolina in the Southern Closed Championships, and many will advance to the USTA national championships.
Jim Russell served as Tournament Referee and was assisted by Deputy Referees Maxine LeCroy, Stephanie Hammond and Mary Burgess. Over 25 USTA certified officials worked during the week. Rex Maynard and Mark Smith were Tournament Directors. Wachovia is the tournament's title sponsor. Dunlop, Pepsi, Chick-fil-a and Stearns Smith Tennis Academy were presenting sponsors.
More 2010 WPC Tournament Information: