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Same-gender couples named official USTA National Championship event

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February 11, 2016 09:49 AM

By Ashley Marshall, USTA.com

The USTA has unveiled plans to make the sport more inclusive and accessible than ever before.

Following the success of the inaugural same-gender couples’ tennis tournament held in Palm Springs, Calif., last year, the USTA has announced the doubles event will now become a USTA National Championship event and an annual part of the USTA’s adult competition tennis calendar moving forward.

The Plaza Racquet Club in Palm Springs will again host this year’s historic event, March 4-6.

“The USTA is proud to recognize this tournament as an official USTA National Championship event,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO and President. “We were thrilled at the success of last year’s inaugural event, and sincerely hope that giving the event National Championship status will allow it to continue to grow and attract even more same-gender couples to competition. Tennis once again has stepped to the front to break down barriers and ensure that our sport is inclusive and welcoming to all.”

Last year’s groundbreaking tournament opened the door to new play opportunities for same-gender spouses, those in civil unions, domestic partners and spousal equivalents.

The tournament’s divisions can be found in the “Family Divisions” categories on Tennislink. Some tournaments have no age restrictions, while others require the teams’ combined ages to be equal to or exceed a defined number, such as 80, 100 or 120.

“I was thrilled by the announcement of the single-gender couples’ doubles tournament last year, and I’m even more excited now that the USTA has made it a National Championship event,” said Hall of Famer Billie Jean King. “It’s another important step forward in leveling the playing field and making tennis more accessible and available to more people. I’m looking forward to continued growth and success of this event and hope to see a lot more like it in the near future.”

St. Louis, Mo.; Kansas City, Mo.; Oak Lawn, Ill.; and West Hollywood, Calif., will also host local same-gender couples doubles events in 2016.

 

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