The weather cooperated long enough on June 24 for more than 150 tennis enthusiasts of all ages to enjoy Belfair Tennis Club’s eighth annual version of Breakfast at Wimbledon.
The event featured Belfair’s annual grass court tennis exhibition, situated in front of the Clubhouse, facing the marsh of the Colleton River and the finishing holes of two challenging golf courses. These are the state’s only waterfront grass courts.
Adrienne Ballingall, director of tennis at Belfair, emceed the event that featured local players Mike O’Regan, Tim Keller, Jo Fisher and Kristin Lam, all of whom represent Lowcountry Sports Network.
O’Regan, co-owner of Rose Hill’s Tennis Club of the Low Country, played collegiate tennis before moving to Hilton Head and has coached all ages for more than 20 years.
Keller is current head teaching professional at Tennis Club of the Low Country. He previously coached men’s and women’s tennis at the collegiate level and came to Beaufort County via the Ivan Lendl Grand Slam Tennis Center in Connecticut and other New England venues.
Fisher hails from New Zealand, but now makes her home in the Lowcountry. She has been on the staff at Van Der Meer and has experience teaching at both the junior and collegiate levels. She is also on the staff at Tennis of the Low Country.
Lam started her WTA career after graduating from North Carolina State University where she played collegiate tennis. She is currently on the staff of Tennis Club of the Low Country.
Gavin Cox, also with Tennis of the Low Country and of Lowcountry Sports Network, manned the umpire’s chair for the friendly – and often amusing – round of mixed doubles.
Before the match, guests enjoyed a light breakfast of traditional Wimbledon fare and then donned hats and sunglasses for the match.
Ball persons Brooke Bibee, Delaney Brown, Gage Fisher, Caitlyn Jackson, all of Bluffton, took their training and responsibilities seriously and performed as ably as their famed British counterparts. After the match, they took a turn playing on the grass courts. It was a special treat for Brooke Bibee, who says her goal is to play at Wimbledon one day.
This year’s competition was close, with excellent shots by all players. In the end, the team of Keller and Lam won and earned the right to defend their Grass Court Champions of the Lowcountry title at next year’s event, which will be held in late June, just before the start of Wimbledon. For more information, call 843-757-0701.