With over 500,000 individual members and over 6,000 organizational members, the United States Tennis Association is one of the largest and most successful national governing bodies of sport. Founded in 1881, the mission of the USTA is to Promote and Develop the Growth of Tennis. As promoter and gatekeeper of American tennis, the USTA devotes more resources to grass roots tennis programming than any other organization in the world. In 1999, the USTA applauded Dothan's efforts to grow the game of tennis, awarding Dothan as one of four outstanding cities nationally to receive its, "National Program Recognition Award" presented at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. In the year 2000 Dothan's Westgate Tennis Center became the most decorated Tennis Center in America when it won not only the USTA's Outstanding Facility Award but also the National awards of the Tennis Industry Association and the U.S. Tennis Court and Track Builder's Association.
In 2000-2001 the USTA entrusted Dothan's Westgate Tennis Center with two National Tournaments. Later in 2001 the USTA selected Dothan to host one of its professional circuit events: The Women's $25,000 Challenger Event. Brian Earley, US Open Umpire and Director of Professional Circuits, announced the good news in Dothan, AL while addressing 200 tennis enthusiasts at Westgate Park. After the 2001 professional tournament in Dothan proved a tremendous success, the USTA selected Dothan to host a $75,0000 challenger, its highest level professional circuit event.
After eight successful years at the $75,000 level, Dothan celebrated its 10th year in 2009 at a new level tournament: $50,000. Entering the second decade, the Dothan Pro Classic continues to bring professional tennis to the Wiregrass area.
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