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Beach Tennis USA Charleston Open 

When: Aug. 22-23 2009
Phone: (212) 671-1080
Price: Free
beachtennisusa.net

In a sandy hybrid of beach volleyball and standard tennis, beach tennis is a surprisingly competitive sport with a quickly-growing following — the Real Housewives of Orange County and Kristin Cavallari and Stephanie Pratt of The Hills have even played some public matches recently. Beach Tennis USA, the organization that’s known for launching the sport in the U.S., hosts the Charleston Open at the Windjammer this weekend.

The sport has strong ties to the city, as local residents Chris Henderson and Phil Whitesell (pictured) were named national champions in recent years. Played on a beach volleyball court, with only one hit per side (and no bouncing), the event will pit players from around the area (including Henderson and Whitesell) against each other in an attempt to win $1,000. The winners will go on to compete in the 2009 Beach Tennis USA National Championship in Long Beach, N.Y. in September.

The play begins Saturday at 10 a.m. with a junior and amateur tournament, and at 2 p.m., participants in the men’s pro division compete. On Sunday starting at 9 a.m., check out the co-ed doubles tournament, then it’s open play for amateur and junior divisions. The event wraps up with an after-party at the Windjammer at 7 p.m. —Erica Jackson

Map

click to enlarge _btusa_2008nationalchampionship_chrisandphil_2_thumb.jpg

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