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Beaufort News

Hilton Head Open organizer says future bright for tennis event

As far as Jim Stubbs is concerned, the Hilton Head Open was a rousing success.

Fifty-three players in nine divisions took part in the tournament, originally scheduled for the spring, which was held this past weekend at Van Der Meer Shipyard on Hilton Head Island.

"I didn't get what I set out for, which was 150 people," said Stubbs, the events director at Van Der Meer Tennis Academy, "but I got a real good strong showing in the Open and the 4.0 draws."

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Stubbs said he realizes he ran up against a lot of players already committed to USTA combo leagues and club championships but thinks that will work itself out in the future.

"To get on the tennis calendar takes a full year, really," Stubbs said. "Now that people know you've got an event, they're not going to schedule other events at the same time."

In Stubbs' vision, the area's best players would compete in the Hilton Head Open to see who was the best on Hilton Head.

Despite the smaller-than-hoped turnout, Stubbs said the play was spirited with a lot of three-set matches, and the atmosphere was what he hoped for.

"Friday night was such a great night with spectators and families," Stubbs said. "It was close to 100 people. There was quite a festival atmosphere."

Carola Pederzani defeated Kelly Dodd, 6-3, 6-3 on Friday to win the Women's Open division.

"I think it's a very good tournament because you can play with younger players and older players, and it's very good for preparation for other tournaments," said Pederzani, a senior at Van Der Meer Tennis Academy.

In fact, Stubbs said, many of the Open division players were juniors preparing for this weekend's Van Der Meer Academy Junior Classic.

Pederzani said it was also a good chance to work on her game against real competition.

"Today was a very good match," Pederzani said. "I'm coming off a not-so-good period because I'm changing my forehand."

And Pederzani was complimentary of the competition.

"(Dodd) was very good. She always hit the ball very hard," she said of the Smith Stearns Tennis Academy senior. "Yesterday, I saw her match and said to myself, 'Oh, she's very strong.' I did what I could."

Stubbs said he will work with the USTA and the Tennis Association of Hilton Head Island to cement a date for the Open and make sure the event is on everyone's calendar.

"It's just a matter of developing relationships," Stubbs said. "The local island players love to play in tournaments."

Open Singles: Decho Valev def Tristan Peushe 6-0, 6-2

Men's Open Doubles: Peushe/Peushe def Bachety/Paige 7-6(7-4). 6=3

Women's Open Singles: Carola Pederzani def Kelly Dodd 6-4, 6-3

Mixed Open Doubles: Bachety/Pederzani def Pollard/Humes 7-5, 6-4

Men's 4.0 Singles: Stephen Dodd def David Ruckno 7-5, 6-4

Women;s 4.0 Doubles : Miller/Whitlow def Larson/Pollitzer 6-2, 6-1

Men's 3.5 Singles: Dave Meeder def Houck, Wolf & Phillips

Mixed 3.5 Doubles: Bryant/Byrne def Phillips/Abernathy 6-4, 6-4

This story was originally published September 10, 2012 12:44 AM.

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