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Professional tennis returns to Hilton Head this week

Professional tennis returns to Hilton Head Island this weekend on the clay courts at Van Der Meer Shipyard Racquet Club..

The Shipyard Cup, a women's $10,000 ITF Pro Series event, begins play Sunday with the qualifying draw. Main draw play begins Tuesday.

The main draw will feature 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams.

In last year's event, then-16-year-old Czech Marie Bouzkova defeated Russia's Natalia Vikhlyantseva 7-5, 6-1 in a final matching two unseeded players.

The win was the first as a professional for Bouzkova, who was coming off the U.S. Open Junior Girls singles title.

The top seeded player this year is Alexa Graham, ranked 536th in the world. The 17-year-old, who reached the second round in last year's event, has reached the final in two ITF $10,000 tournaments this year.

Hilton Head Island's Jacqueline Pelletier is in the qualifying draw.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Shipyard Cup

A Women's $10,000 ITF Pro Series tournament

Sunday through Oct. 11, Van Der Meer Shipyard Tennis Resort

Schedule: Qualifying draw play begins Sunday. Main draw play scheduled to open at Tuesday if weather allows. Play lasts through Sunday.

Cost: The tournament is free and open to the public.

Website: http://bit.ly/1RmXVHQ

Details: Jim Stubbs, tournament director, 843-785-8388, ext. 115 or Jim@vdmtennis.com.

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