McLeod for Health Florence Open underway
Tennis fans can head to the Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center this week to take in action from the McLeod for Health Florence Open. The tournament will continue through Sunday.
Florence’s only professional tournament is made possible by the partnership between McLeod Health and the City of Florence. The Florence Open helps raise awareness of breast cancer and benefits the Susan G. Komen Foundation of South Carolina.
The tournament draws nearly 100 of the world’s best women players to town. The USTA Pro Circuit features competitive matches between tennis’s rising athletes.
Last year’s McLeod for Health Florence Open winner, Bianca Andreescu, went on to win the 2019 U.S. Open last month, defeating Serena Williams in the final.
“Florence residents have a great opportunity to come out and see several of the sport’s future stars,” said Tournament Director Rob Hill. “These ladies are playing at a very high level. Nothing illustrates that more than our current champion going on to win the U.S. Open.”
Players will be competing for ranking points and a $25,000 purse. As one of the smallest cities on the USTA Pro Circuit, Florence was selected to host the event because of its world-class courts, strong volunteer base, and the generosity of its sponsors.
The tournament features a 48-draw qualifying round, a 32-draw main round and a pro-am event. Qualifying rounds began on Oct. 13. Feature matches will be held daily at noon. Singles semifinals and doubles finals are scheduled for Saturday. The singles finals will be held Sunday.
A Wildcard Tournament was held in September for players to compete for spots in the qualifying rounds and in main draw competition. Local tennis standout Zoe Cauthen won the event and received a wildcard in to both the singles and doubles main draw. Cauthen excelled as a player for Florence Christian School and currently plays for Charleston Southern University.
The public is encouraged to come out to enjoy matches daily and participate in Community Day events on Saturday and Sunday. Scheduled community activities include a College – Am Round Robin, Hit and Get for prizes, and the Junior Team Tennis Challenge. Wrapping up the tournament is the singles final match and trophy presentation on Sunday afternoon. All matches and Community Day events are free and open to the public.