(l to r) Tennis Chairman Reggie Gillespie, Director of Pro Circuits Brian Earley, Tournament Director Shane Wells and North Hills Club President Sam Sugg
USTA Pro Circuit Director Brian Earley was on hand at this week's Merz Aesthetics Women’s Challenger in Raleigh, N.C., to present the tournament with the Award of Excellence.
The $25,000 tournament, taking place at North Hills Club in Raleigh, first came onto the USTA Pro Circuit calendar 2000 and was played annually until 2005. After a hiatus due to construction, it returned to the calendar in 2008, making this the 12th year Raleigh has hosted a USTA Pro Circuit event.
It is one of just two tournament that have held events at four prize money levels ranging from $10,000 to $75,000.
"The USTA Pro Circuit needs quality, consistent venues to produce the next generation of American stars," said Earley when presenting the award. "Over the years, the club has made an incredible transition into one of our finest tournament sites."
Past winners in Raleigh include reigning champion Grace Min, who captured the 2011 US Open girls' title, and Melanie Oudin, who reached the US Open singles quarterfinals in 2009 and won the mixed doubles title with Jack Sock in 2011.
The event is taking place May 5-12 at the North Hills Club in Raleigh.