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TN Qualifier Kicks Off Summer Season

The 2018 Tennessee Junior Qualifier hosted June 1-4,in Chattanooga was a tremendous success!  There were some new and exciting changes that were made to this year’s qualifying and the feedback and support for these changes was positive.  This year’s event had increased tournament participation numbers compared to the last two years of play.  In total there was over four hundred juniors from across the state that took to the courts to compete for highly sought after spots in the Southern Closed. The tournament dedicated Saturday, June 2nd as Pride of Tennessee Day.

The Sean Karl Foundation was once again a wonderful partner with the Chattanooga Qualifying event. In addition to the junior tournament, the event offered a community wide clinic hosted by former college players, a serve competition,  a college forum led by UTC men's tennis coach, Chuck Merzbacher, and a silent auction.  Other events included a college forum and player dinner, and a silent auction.This year’s silent auction for the SKF with featured items such as an Roger Federer autographed tennis ball, a Tennys Sandgren Australian Open tennis package, a John Isner autographed racquet, an autographed Team USA Davis Cup Team poster, Maria Sharpova autographed tennis shoes, and Quarterfinal US Open Tickets. In addition, several Division I colleges all donated tennis packages, including clothing and camp sponsorships.

The Sean Karl Foundation was established to honor and remember Sean Karl, a former #1 nationally ranked junior player and previous winner of the Junior Qualifying, by helping children who are fighting Ewing Sarcoma and pediatric cancer. The Foundation was able to raise $10,000 through donations and special events they offered at the Qualifier.

In addition to this partnership, this year’s tournament featured a redesinged in the match format which allowed everyone to get the same number of matches, but in shorter time frame.  This new format allowed for a noon start on Friday and tournament completion by Monday evening.  That is a full day and a half shorter than previous qualifers.

While the tournament compeititon was going on players enjoyed mini tennis, inflatable games, daily give aways for Player of the Day and Sportsmanship of the day, food trucks, and more!   Not even the occassional rain shower dampened the exciting athmosphere of the event.  In fact, due to the tremendous support of the local tennis faciliites and their indoor courts,   there was very little interruption of play! 

USTA Tennessee would like congratulate George Corzine for receiving the 1st Annual Leland Goldstone Sportsmanship Award. Leland was a very active member of the Chattanooga Tennis Community, serving on numerous committees and managing many tennis tournaments. Goldston served the tennis community tirelessly until his death, and the tournament is excited to be able to inaugurate the sportsmanship award this year in his honor

We would also like to recognize and thank Andrew Rogers and the tournament staff, the Junior Tournament Committee, and volunteers in Chattanooga for administering this fantastic event for our junior players.  We would also like to thank the Sean Karl Foundation and their partnership, as well as all of the facilities that traveled with players to compete in this event.  Parents and players can look forward to these new and exciting changes to qualifying for years to come.