A shady tournament

  • Thursday, August 21, 2014

Eileen Keithly/South Strand News Front, Martha Fitchett positions herself at the net, while her husband Ed serves during a Shade Shelter Tournament held at Waccamaw Regional Tennis Center at Stables Park in Pawleys Island, Aug. 16.


Shade is coming to center courts at the Waccamaw Regional Tennis Center at Stables Park.

Members and guests of the Stables Park tennis facility hosted a tournament Aug. 16, to raise enough money to construct shade shelters between the two center clay courts, giving players some relief between matches from the often-blazing summer sun.

“We get a lot of requests for shade on those two courts,” said David Bromberg, the center’s head tennis professional.

“So we put our heads together and came up with what we thought was a pretty good idea.” Bromberg and a couple of the regular players at Stables worked with Georgetown County to design shelters intended to look like they were always meant to be there.

Mike Zavacky, a regular tennis player at Stables and an assistant coach for the Waccamaw High School Boys Tennis Team, was excited to get the tournament underway.

“I told Bromberg that if he would have this tournament, I would volunteer my time to help build the shelter, and I would find others who would be willing to help, too.”

Zavacky added that his friend Ernie Cribb, an excellent carpenter, will be overseeing the construction of the shade shelters.

“Ernie and I are donating our time, because we feel that these shelters are very important, especially for the senior players like us.”

Bromberg, Zavacky and Cribb worked together, and were able to bring others on board to assist with the shelters.

“Pawleys Island Lumber and Summers Roofing are doing us some huge favors, and we couldn’t do it without them,” Bromberg said.

Tournament participants also were happy to see that Pawleys Island Bakery had joined in to donate goodies for the breakfast table at the tournament.

Courtside spectators heard a good deal of light-hearted comments during the play, but also were entertained by some of the area’s finest tennis players.

“We have a great mix here today,” tournament participant Martha Fitchett commented. “You will see people having fun, but you are going to see some amazing tennis as well.”

Fitchett and her husband, Ed, expected to be in the middle of the pack of players with USTA rankings from 3.0 – 4.5.

“Okay, honey, put the ball in the little square box and let’s get this party started,” Fitchett instructed her husband as he began the first serve of the match.

“Another husband and wife team was over on court eight, playing doubles as well, but with different partners. “Honey, just for the record, I did not mean to hit you,” Larry Mercado explained to his wife, Wendy, on the other side of the court. Just to make sure he didn’t stay in the doghouse too long, Mercado met his wife at the net and gave her a quick apologetic kiss before continuing play.

The format for the tournament was four rounds of mixed doubles, switching partners. Winners moved up one court, while runners-up moved down one court.

There were a total of eight games played. “We are not playing for a personal win today,” Bromberg said. “We are playing for the same win, the shade shelter.”

The sun was blazing on the day of the tournament, which reminded some of the players of the importance of their participation.

“This is going to be a really nice addition,” Bromberg related, “where players can sit down between games and get some relief from the sun.” With the tournament a rousing success, the Stables crew hopes construction will soon begin on the shelters.

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