Current WTA stars along with Hall of Famers Pam Shriver and Tracy Austin came together with 24 local tennis enthusiasts on Sunday morning in a Pro-Am event at the Credit One Charleston Open to raise $100,000 for lifesaving relief efforts in Ukraine as part of the global “Tennis Plays for Peace” initiative."
Local players teamed up in doubles matches with former Charleston Open champion Madison Keys, Mount Pleasant native Shelby Rogers and No.13-ranked Jessica Pegula, among other enthusiastic WTA players supporting the cause.
“This was such a wonderful way to bring our tennis family and the local community together to support this important effort,” Keys said. “It was a great experience of everyone working together for one cause, and I was happy to see such a great player turnout.”
“Consistent with our mission to serve our WTA communities, the donations received from the Credit One Charleston Open Pro-Am will provide Ukrainians with desperately needed food, shelter and clothing,” said Ann Austin, Vice President Community Development and Charitable Programs. “WTA Charities is grateful to the Charleston Open for taking the lead with the first Pro-Am benefiting WTA Charities, and we thank everyone who stepped up to so generously contribute.”
The Pro-Am participants pledged $50,000, which was matched by the tournament.
“This is extremely significant to us as a tournament and it’s really meaningful to the players,” tournament director Bob Moran said as he welcomed the participants. “This is a critical mission to get events like this started.”
Ukrainian player Anhelina Kalinina participated in the Pro-Am joined by fellow WTA stars Keys, Rogers, Pegula, Desirae Krawczyk, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Demi Schuurs, Alicja Rosolska, Erin Routliffe and Alexa Guarachi.
“It was so great to see everyone coming together to support Ukraine,” Kalinina said. “This Pro-Am is so important, and the money raised will help everyone who is suffering over there right now. Thank you to the to the Credit One Charleston Open and WTA Charities for organizing.”
The Charleston Pro-Am joined Tennis Plays for Peace in seeking “to bring the tennis community and fans together to support the humanitarian relief efforts for the war in Ukraine.” The ATP and WTA plus the four Grand Slams (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) together established the “Tennis Plays for Peace” campaign.