Palmetto State Racket

Month: February, 2014

Remembering Althea Gibson: South Carolina Native, Tennis Champion

by Jonathon Braden

Althea Gibson
Years before Arthur Ashe and decades before Venus and Serena, an African-American woman from South Carolina cleared the way for generations of African-American tennis players.

She won the game’s most prestigious titles, and she earned admiration from around the world.

She was Althea Gibson, native of Silver, S.C., champion of the U.S. Championships, the French Open and Wimbledon. Read the rest of this entry »


In Greenville, a Jr. Team Tennis Upswing

by Jonathon Braden


Greenville Jr. Team Tennis Coordinator Ashlyn Cousins has helped turn her local program into one of the nation’s top Jr. Team Tennis programs.

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Team tennis for kids has been revived in this Upstate city.

The program, unpopular or nonexistent for decades, has become one of the biggest in the South in recent years because of its new leader. Read the rest of this entry »

Conversation with Cam Littlejohn

by Jonathon Braden

On the second edition of the Palmetto State Racket podcast, we sit down with Cam Littlejohn, the new president of the USTA South Carolina Board of Directors. Littlejohn, 63, talked about the state of the USTA SC, why becoming a USTA member matters and why Roger Federer is his favorite tennis player of all-time. Enjoy.

A Historical Tennis Collection, Unnoticed in South Carolina

by Jonathon Braden


The USC collection includes personal touches as well. This photo shows a message from Pierre Etchebaster to Billy Haggard. The book, Etchebaster’s “Pierre’s Book: The Game of Court Tennis”, is being held by Jeffrey Makala.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina knows tennis.

Lendl and Van der Meer established their academies here, and a “best tennis resorts” list doesn’t print without spots on Kiawah Island and Hilton Head Island.

The state’s tennis enthusiasts, though, have been overlooking a rare tennis distinction here for years.

Miles away from the islands, at a special library at the University of South Carolina, a historical tennis collection awaits. Among its texts: “The Art of Lawn Tennis”, circa 1921, “The Annals of Tennis”, 1878, and “Tratto del Givoco della Palla” by Antonio Scaino, the first printed book about tennis, 1555. Read the rest of this entry »