55th Palmetto Championships
The Wachovia Palmetto Championships was played for the 55th consecutive year in Belton and Anderson June 4 - 9, 2011. 420 players from throughout South Carolina entered this year's event, which featured singles and doubles competition in five age divisions for both boys and girls.
The weather was warm and dry for most of the week. The players were well prepared for the warmer temperatures, and only a limited number of heat related issues were reported. Athletic trainers from Clemson Sports Medicine & Rehab were on site throughout the tournament week to assist players as needed. A late evening thunderstorm on Sunday delayed the completion of six matches until Tuesday morning. Other than this slight delay, all matches were played on schedule using over 50 courts in Belton and Anderson throughout the week.
Matches were also played for 8U players using a 36's court and low compression red balls. David Nawabi of Spartanburg won the title, defeating Lily Pleasant of Hartsville in the championship round. Both players won all four of their matches in round robin competition to gain their spots in the finals. Eleven players participated in the coed competition.
Joel Cook of Easley and Kyle Koch of Irmo teamed to win the Boy's 18U doubles championship to tie one tournament record that has stood for 33 years, and break another that was previously held by 11 different teams. Their 2011 title was their third in the Boy's 18U doubles, setting a new record for doubles titles by a team in one age division. These three titles combined with their 2007 14U championship tied the record of four titles by a doubles team set by Mark Hodgin and John Bradham between 1974 and 1977.
Koch was honored earlier in the week when he was presented the 2011 Dunlop Scholarship at the 18U Party on June 6. Kyle is a graduate of Chapin High School where he was among the top in his class. He was a member of the Beta Club and the National Honor Society. He has been ranked as high as #1 in the state and #8 in the south in his age division. He is a 6-time All-Region player and 4-time All-State player. He led his team to back-to-back State AAA championships his junior and senior years, and he won the 2011 high school individual championship. Koch will be attending the Honors College at the University of South Carolina this fall. Cook, his doubles partner who just completed his freshman year at Furman University, was the 2010 scholarship recipient.
The players who performed well in the Palmetto represented South Carolina in the Southern Closed Championships, and many will advance to the USTA National Championships.
Jim Russell served as Tournament Referee was assisted by Deputy Referees Maxine LeCroy, Stephanie Hammond and Mary Burgess as well as Chief Umpire Carey Washington. Over 35 USTA certified officials worked during the week. Rex Maynard and Mark Smith were Tournament Directors. The tournament title sponsor is Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company. Dunlop, Pepsi, Chick-fil-A and Stearns Smith Tennis Academy are presenting sponsors.
More 2011 WPC Tournament Information: