After careful consideration and consultations with medical experts and tennis authorities, the Alan Fleming tournament committee concluded there was no safe way to proceed with the tournament originally scheduled for October.
The United States Tennis Association had already canceled a number of tournaments due to concern for player and spectator health safety. The Fleming committee had close consultations with the USTA – which oversees the Fleming – and other tennis clubs.
Debbie Pickens, tournament committee chair, said “we initially postponed to see whether the coronavirus outbreak would subside and allow us to proceed with the Fleming at a later date in 2020. Regrettably, as of July, infections and deaths have gotten precipitously worse. It was a hard decision for the committee but the right decision.”
Pickens stressed that one of the signature aspects of the Fleming has been its financial support for local high-need charities and that will continue without the tournament. Earlier this year, the committee selected the Blessing Basket as this year’s recipient. Blessing Basket provides a much-needed nutritious food program for those with the greatest need on Johns and Wadmalaw Islands. Fleming tournament organizers will focus efforts on fundraising and events to support Blessing Basket. Specific details will be announced in the near future.
Newly named Seabrook Racquet Club director Laura Ferreira noted that the Fleming is one of the most highly regarded tournaments in the region, adding, “It is high-level competition with a cause. We will be back in 2021 with the world class Alan Fleming tournament and we will deliver the high-quality tournament that has made the Fleming popular with players from across the country.”
-Submitted by Patti and Dale Leibach, Publicity Chairs, Alan Fleming Tournament Committee