French Open sets pace for ResortQuest Pro Women's Open at Sea Colony
France set the scene in a historic week of tennis as the sport’s finest took to the clay courts in the 2012 French Open. At the end, Russia’s Maria Sharapova walked away with the world’s No. 1 women’s ranking, after becoming just the 10th female to ever complete a career Grand Slam. Rafael Nadal showed why he’s earned the nickname the “King of Clay,” as his French Open win over Novak Djokovic — his seventh title at Roland Garros — vaulted him into the record books as the most successful tennis player in French Open history.
This week, the tennis courts at Sea Colony in Bethany Beach have been abuzz, as well, as the ResortQuest Pro Women’s Open has returned for its second year. At the start, 36 women spanning 10 countries — USA, Serbia, Ukraine, Bahamas, Australia, Venezuela, China, Slovak Republic, France and Canada — were named into the tournament, with qualifying round for singles and doubles being held this past Monday and the main draw match-ups continuing through the week.
“It’s really fantastic to have this level of tennis come back to the area,” said Tim Fisher, marketing manager for ResortQuest. “We had a few players who returned to the tournament from last year, and some familiar names taking the court. If you’ve never seen professional tennis, you really owe it to yourself to take a look.”
With free admission, the spectators have been coming out to the Sea Colony tennis complex to enjoy the talent.
“It’s an amazing group of women in this tournament, and it makes it so much fun to watch,” Fisher added. “They are all very passionate and play so hard when they’re out there.”
Sea Colony has built quite a reputation over the past few decades, now recognized as one of the most esteemed tennis clubs in the country and even worldwide.
“It’s a really unique environment,” said Fisher, “and I think the women like getting the chance to come here. You can’t discount having a beach right down the road, either. We appreciate the exposure that these women bring to the area.”
Some wet weather put a hold on matches this past Tuesday, June 12, but as the clouds dispersed, the women got back onto the courts. Stealing the show in singles play was 16-year-old Katrine Isabel Steffensen, a quarterfinalist and the highest-placing player returning from the inaugural Pro Women’s Open at Sea Colony last year.
Steffensen was in good company following Tuesday’s main draw results, as six other Americans claimed their matches to advance. Third-seeded Russian Nika Kukharchuk was the only seeded player from the singles matches to advance into Wednesday’s second round. Three American doubles teams advanced past the main draw round, as well, while rain put a fourth on hold until Wednesday (after the Coastal Point’s press deadline).
Championship matches are scheduled later this week, with the doubles title to be played on Saturday, June 16, and the singles final on Sunday, June 17. Matches will likely begin in the morning, but times had yet to be announced as of Wednesday.
For more on the Sea Colony ResortQuest Pro Women’s Open, including scheduled events, player information and more, visit www.seacolonytennis.net/pwo. Updates can also be found on Twitter by searching for #ProSC.