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Hundreds flock to Bainbridge for USTA GA tournament; see why they chose Bainbridge

Roughly 200 tennis players are lodging in the city in hopes to claiming the championship title and tournament leaders say it a big win for the entire city.
Posted at 6:08 PM, Oct 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-20 18:08:55-04
  • Bainbridge selected to host USTA-GA once again.
  • The influx of visitors is expected to benefit econonmy over the course of the three day event.
  • Watch the story video above to learn why Bainbridge was selected for the statewide tennis tournament.


Almost 200 tennis players are here in Bainbridge as the USTA Georgia tournament is in full swing.

I'm told cities and towns from around the state bid to host the tournament so I pop in during a few games to ask.. Why Bainbridge?

"I feel like Bainbridge was selected because it is a small town and the southern hospitality is evident,” said Tabitha Spooner, a volunteer and director of the tournament.

The USTA tournament also known as the United States Tennis Association has partnered with the Georgia and Bainbridge branches to host a special combo tournament in the city's newly revitalized tennis courts.

Adult tennis leagues from all over the state have traveled to Bainbridge to celebrate the sport while competing for a championship title.

"We have teams that have come from Atlanta, Savannah, Macon, from Columbus.. Even from Valdosta and Thomasville,” according to Spooner.

Atlanta league player Karen Webb-Smith said this is not her first time in Bainbridge but she has noticed recent improvements compared to past visits.

" Last time we stayed at the Hampton Inn because the Holiday Inn is being rebuilt so now we get the pleasure of staying in the Holiday Inn Express,” said Webb-Smith.

The Decatur County Bainbridge Recreation Authority partners with the Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn express and Willis Park hotel to make sure all 200 players had in town lodging.

I checked in with a hotel manager to find out how the business is handling the influx of visitors.

"[It means] A great deal for us. For a small community to have a huge tournament here.. It's amazing,” said general manager for Holiday Inn Express, Alka Patel.

Spooner said Bainbridge businesses throughout the community will benefit from this weekend's tournament.

"The tournament has a huge impact on the economy. Not only through the hotels but through everybody eating out and all of the tennis players shopping the retail businesses,” said Spooner.

Games are expected to run all weekend and those that advance to the finals will play Sunday.