A supreme court pick: Melanie Oudin brings exceptional skills and her endearing personality to the Savannah Quarters® Tennis Tournament.
It was the tie-breaker match on the court. The level of play during an extended volley had the spectators riveted. An overhand smash here, followed by a deft backhand there. When the point finally scored, the crowd erupted into a chorus of cheers and laughter.
OK, it’s not exactly Wimbledon, but the Third Annual Savannah Quarters® Tennis Tournament is serious fun—for both players and tennis fans alike.
The third time’s a charm.
The Savannah Quarters® Tennis Tournament has become something of a local Lowcountry legend. That’s because, according to Director of Recreation Zsofi Golopencza, the four-day tournament, now in its third year, “is open to everyone in the area. And it really brings out the better players, including those from Hilton Head.”
Of course, this year’s mixed doubles event was a good time for all involved. Player participants are treated to beer courtside, and the tournament is a definite social event for the spectators. Because it’s not a sanctioned match, the pressure is off and everyone is free to just enjoy the competition.
“And people come because they appreciate watching really good players,” says Zsofi. “Even many of our golf members attended, and that’s a bit unusual. I’d say we had over 100 people attending the Friday night event and the Saturday exhibition. So it’s a great opportunity for us to introduce our community and amenities to those in the area.”
Tennis Champion Melanie Oudin wows the crowd.
The mixed doubles exhibition match held on Saturday featured former pro standout Melanie Oudin. She was the 2011 US Open Mixed Doubles Champion, a 2009 US Open Quarterfinalist, and a former WTA #31. “Melanie was also part of the Friday night Meet and Greet,” explained Zsofi, who played against her in the match. “In addition to being a great tennis player, she’s also a really genuine person—light-hearted and easy to talk to. Her personality was perfect for this event.”
But the question for Zsofi, who is the USPTA and PTR-Certified tennis instructor at Savannah Quarters®, remained: how did Melanie play?
“She was very good,” Zsofi laughs. “Very consistent. And she was the winner in the 10-point tie breaker match.”
Spreading the love of the game in underserved communities.
This tennis tournament does good things outside our community, too. We raised $500 and a portion of the proceeds raised by the tournament will be donated to the Southern Tennis Patrons Foundation, the charitable arm of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Southern. The foundation awards grants and provides financial assistance to programs that support under-resourced youth and individuals with disabilities. By creating tennis and education programs, the foundation improves health, builds character and encourages youth to strive for academic excellence. “It’s a great cause, and we want to thank our sponsors, because their participation is what makes the donation possible,” says Zsofi.
Get ready for the Fourth Annual Savannah Quarters® Tennis Tournament.
There will be a few changes for next year. Like the Second Annual Tournament in 2017, the event will be extended to two weeks, allowing the men’s and women’s groups to play separately. Zsofi also anticipates inviting another celebrity like Melanie, “because she was a real crowd pleaser.” And because summertime in Savannah can be downright sultry, “we will probably try to schedule the tournament in the spring or fall—with the exhibition match being played at night.”
For more information about tennis memberships or instruction, contact Zsofi at [email protected].