USTA Pro Circuit returns

The U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) Pro Circuit Women’s $25,000 Challenger returns to the Pelham Racquet Club March 30-April 5.

Professional tennis players from across the globe will compete for the $25,000 purse. The event will be the ninth this season in the Circuit with a $25,000 purse.

This level of professional tennis is where players can determine whether or not they have the game to pursue a creer as a touring pro, according to the USTA. It is two steps above the junior championships and three levels from being on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour.

In 2008, Raquel Kops-Jones of California knocked off top-seeded Rosana De Los Rios, 6-3, 6-4, to win the Pelham event and went on to play in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal in September at the U.S. Open.

Kops-Jones’ quest in 2008 shows the variety of talent that comes through Pelham each spring, as ages range from teens to 30s or 40s and are players trying to figure out if they can make it big or trying to get back to the top after falling down in the USTA rankings.

Tournament play will begin March 30. The singles and doubles championships will be April 5 at noon.

In addition to the tournament, Bill “Bubba” Bussey and Tracy Austin, former No. 1 women’s pro in the world, will host a tennis clinic April 4 at 3 p.m., and April 5 at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

For more information about a specific schedule of matches or the clinic, contact the Pelham Racquet Club at 621-3380.