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Groundbreaking Same-Gender Tennis Event Becomes National Championship

2 Mar, 2016


Plaza Racquet Club in Palm Springs to Host 2016 Event

The USTA announced that the same-gender couples’ doubles tournament, inaugurated last March in Palm Springs, will now become a USTA National Championship event, and will become an annual part of the USTA’s adult competition tennis calendar moving forward.  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, making the USTA’s popular adult competition more diverse and inclusive.  The Plaza Racquet Club will again host this year’s historic event, March 4-6. 

The tournament’s divisions can be found in the “Family Divisions” categories on Tennislink, and include: Same Gender Female Couples Doubles, Same Gender Male Couples Doubles, Same Gender Female Couples Doubles (Combo Ages 80 Years), Same Gender Female Couples Doubles (Combo Ages 100 Years), Same Gender Female Couples Doubles (Combo Ages 120 Years), Same Gender Male Couples Doubles (Combo Ages 80 Years), Same Gender Male Couples Doubles (Combo Ages 100 Years) Same Gender Male Couples Doubles (Combo Ages 120 Years).

In the divisions where no combo age is listed, the players may be of any age.  In divisions where a combined age is defined, the players’ ages must add up to, or be more than, the listed number (ex. 80, 100 or 120) for the team to meet the eligibility requirements for the event. 

“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.”

 “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.”

“Same gender married couples Nationals is history in the making,” said Nabil Najjar, the Co-Tournament Director of the Palm Springs event.   “The Desert Tennis Association is honored to host such a prestigious event.”

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

For more information on the National Championship in Palm Springs, click here.

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 715,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Emirates Airline US Open Series, linking seven summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA’s philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation, provides grants and scholarships and helps under-resourced youth and individuals with disabilities, and supports  wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans and their families. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com, “like” the official Facebook page, facebook.com/usta, or follow @usta on Twitter.

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