Upcoming tennis tournaments expected to attract thousands to Hilton Head Island

dburley@islandpacket.comOctober 4, 2013 

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Jackie Reynecke has a busy October.

As tournament director at Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center, Reynecke is spearheading three consecutive weekend tournaments this month that will bring thousands of players, coaches and families to Hilton Head Island.

The last of those tournaments, the USTA South Carolina Combo Championships, runs from Oct. 17-21 and is expected to utilize around 60 area tennis courts and draw more than 2,500 people to the island, Reynecke said.

The tournament is a major win for the Hilton Head tennis industry.

Normally held on Daniel Island near Charleston, the combo championships are the largest United States Tennis Association event in South Carolina and one of the biggest tournaments Hilton Head has hosted, Reynecke said.

"People are planning their vacations around it," Reynecke said. "The players are mostly out-of-towners."

On an island where golf dominates the tourism offseason, the combo championships and other upcoming tournaments, including a youth national tournament next Thanksgiving, represent the tennis industry's push to amplify its presence on Hilton Head during the latent fall and spring months.

"These tournaments come at a time when Hilton Head needs it," said Steve Zalinski, the South Carolina USTA representative. "The tennis people down there are cognizant of the fact that this helps the economy when the tourists are gone."

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