Racquet Club is path to Grand Slams

The United States Tennis Association celebrates its 30th year of the Pro Circuit this season, as the Women’s $25K event rolls into the Pelham Racquet Club this week for the sixth year.

“The folks there in Pelham are so welcoming. They open up their arms to all of the players that have been there,” said Dessie Samuels, event supervisor for the USTA. “It’s like coming back home.”

Qualifying rounds were Sunday and Monday with main draw action beginning Tuesday. Play continues through the week with the championship matches being played Sunday, April 5 at noon.

Pelham is in the middle of the list when it comes to tournament longevity for the current Women’s $25K Pro Circuit. Midland, Mich., is the longest running club with 21 consecutive tournaments.

Samuels said she believes Pelham is on its way to such longevity.

“We haven’t had all that many of them that have made it to 10 years, and I think Pelham is well on its way to making it to 10 years,” she said.

While many pros, such as Lindsay Davenport, Anna Kournikova and Maria Sharapova have made their name through the circuit, Samuels said what she enjoys most is watching the young American talent grow and mature.