Bainbridge hosting state tennis tournament

Published 5:06 am Friday, May 31, 2013

More than 370 players are in Bainbridge this weekend to participate in several state U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) amateur tennis championships.

Bainbridge is hosting the USTA 40-and-over league championships for both men and women in the 3.0 and 4.0 levels. At the same time, Columbus, Ga., is hosting the championships for the 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 levels. A higher number means a tougher level of competition, and so many of the tennis players in Bainbridge this weekend are among the best in the state.

“We’ve been working on bringing this tournament to Bainbridge for about the past nine months,” said Carole Floyd, hospitality chair for the tournament and former president of the Georgia Tennis Association.

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Floyd said that the competitors in the state championships qualify by winning their local leagues, and these players will be coming into Decatur County from all across the state. There will also be two Bainbridge-based teams who are competing — Ken Cady’s 4.0 men’s team and Caroline Newberry’s 4.0 women’s team.

Each team is made up of about eight to 14 players, and they play three doubles and two singles matches against each opponent.

Competition is taking place at three local sites — the Bill Reynolds Sports Complex, the Floyd Tennis Complex on Miluli Avenue, and the Bainbridge High School tennis courts. The games are free to spectators and competition begins at 8 a.m. each day.

Floyd said this is the first year that USTA has allowed a division for players who are 40 years old or older.

The first place team from each level will advance to the sectional tournament, which will feature champions from each of the nine Southern states.