Stan Smith, now 75, gives a thumbs-up during the 2021 Laver Cup at TD Gardens in Boston. Photo: Carmen Mandato, Getty Images
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA | Stan Smith sat under a white umbrella outside the media center for the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links and couldn’t help but notice where the structure was located.
“It’s ironic that we’re on one of the tennis courts right here,” Smith said, pointing to the grainy green clay-court surface peeking out around the edges of an outdoor seating area.
It’s been 50 years since Sea Pines developer Charles Fraser persuaded Smith, a Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion, to help him bring tennis to the still-new resort anchoring this barrier island.
It was a brilliant move as Sea Pines hosted men’s and women’s professional tennis events for almost 30 years, bolstering the golf tournament that is surging in its seventh decade of existence. The Family Circle tennis event was the largest women-only tennis tournament in the world for 25 years.
With his background as an American ...
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