Competitive professional tennis will return to Charleston next month with the new Credit One Bank Invitational, contested June 23rd to the 28th at LTP Daniel Island. The 16-player team event will receive more than 40 hours of live coverage on the Tennis Channel and raise funds for the Medical University of South Carolina’s (MUSC) frontline healthcare workers.
The player field includes reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and reigning US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, as well as Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Victoria Azarenka, Amanda Anisimova, Monica Puig, Ajla Tomljanovic, Danielle Collins, Alison Riske, Shelby Rogers, Genie Bouchard, Jennifer Brady, Leylah Fernandez and Emma Navarro. Keys and Mattek-Sands will serve as captains for the UTR tennis event.
“Charleston has proven time and again to be the poster child for resiliency," Ben Navarro, Owner of Charleston Tennis LLC. said. "In my mind, this special tournament will help accomplish three very critical things: First, it is a tangible way to show the world we are able to bring back live sport for public enjoyment; Second, it allows our community and tennis fans all over to support the tennis professionals whose opportunities to compete this year have been severely limited; Third, it helps us show our frontline medical professionals how much we care, with half of the proceeds going directly to support MUSC.”
The tournament will be conducted without fans and will feature 16 singles matches and eight doubles matches. It is currently the largest-scale tennis event confirmed since the sport shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ever since the unfortunate cancellation of this year’s Volvo Car Open due to the Coronavirus, we have been working tirelessly to figure out how and when to appropriately bring a world class event back to Charleston as quickly and safely as possible,” Bob Moran, President of Charleston Tennis LLC, said. “This tournament will have two equal beneficiaries – traditional prize money for the athletes, and a large fundraising structure to support frontline healthcare workers at MUSC.”
“We’re proud to launch the Credit One Bank Invitational and welcome back the highest caliber of women’s tennis players to competitive play,” said John Coombe, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Credit One Bank. “Most importantly, one of the first women’s live televised sports events since the start of the COVID pandemic serves as an opportunity to thank frontline workers for their tireless efforts and raise money for MUSC.”
The event will work closely with MUSC, who will ensure the execution of a secure environment for all players and staff through its health and safety protocols. To minimize the amount of individuals on-site, players will call their own lines and receive assistance from only one ball crew member and one official on court.
The Credit One Bank Invitational is part of Tennis Channel’s Re(Open) Tour, a series of events and exhibitions taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic.