By E.J. Crawford, USTA.com
Each year the USTA’s Semiannual Meeting takes time to celebrate of tennis, honoring those who have excelled at the game and those who have given back to it. This year was no exception, with honorees ranging from juniors and adult recreational players of all stripes to a former US Open champion.
The featured award at the 2013 Semiannual Meeting in New York City, held in conjunction with the 2013 US Open, was the President’s Award, which is given annually to the individual who has given unusual and extraordinary service to the sport of tennis in the public’s interest. This year’s honoree was 1971 US Open champion and Hall of Famer Stan Smith, who currently runs an academy in Hilton Head, S.C.
"Stan Smith was one of my tennis idols growing up and has always been an advocate for the sport and major contributor in our efforts to grow the game," said USTA Chairman, CEO and President David Haggerty, who was on hand to present the awards. "Stan was not only one of the greatest players of his generation but has always had an incredible passion, dedication and commitment to the sport of tennis."
Watch the complete Stan Smith video tribute
One of the other headlining acts at the awards ceremony was former professional player and current lawyer and recreational standout Margie Cooper, who received the Service Bowl Award for her notable contributions to the sportsmanship, fellowship and service of tennis. She joins such past honorees as Billie Jean King, Chris Evert and Pam Shriver.
"It’s a huge honor," Cooper said. "I felt it was even before I looked at the criteria and the past winners, and then I was just flabbergasted. It’s very impressive company to be keeping, and it’s very humbling."
In addition to Smith and Cooper, the other award recipients were: The Cayce Tennis Center in Cayce, S.C., Featured Facility Award; Anna Sanford and Benjamin Tso, Jr. Scholar-Athlete Awards; Brian Hainline, ITF Award for Service to the Game; and Gold Slam Award winners Kathy Bennett and Richard Doss (Husband-Wife 140), Brenda Carter (Women’s 65 singles), Wesley Cash and Mark Vines (Men’s 55 doubles), Pat Jackson and Rita Price (Women’s 85 doubles), Tina Karwasky (Women’s 60 doubles), Karwasky and Mary Ginnard (Women’s 60 doubles) and Susan Wright (Women’s 55 doubles).
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