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USTA Names Rome As Best Tennis Town Top Ten Finalist

ROME, Ga. The United States Tennis Association today named Rome, Ga., as a Top 10 Finalist for the second annual "Best Tennis Town" contest, a nationwide initiative to find the community that best exemplifies the passion, excitement, spirit and impact that tennis brings to the community. Rome was selected as a top 10 finalist among 82 cities and towns across the country that submitted entries in hopes of claiming the title of "Best Tennis Town" and will now take part in an on-line voting process that will take place from Friday, July 16 through Monday, July 26 at www.besttennistown.com "As a finalist in the USTA's Best Tennis Town search, we're excited to be able to show fans around the state and around the country just how passionate we are about tennis in Rome and how much it is a part of our community," Coosa Valley Tennis Association President Jim O'Hara said after Rome being named as a Top 10 tennis town. "We encourage everyone in Rome, the entire state of Georgia and the country to vote for us," O'Hara said, "and to help us spread the word. Supporters can view our community video submission and participate in the nationwide online vote by visiting www.besttennistown.com."

Rome's nomination to the contest, which was spearheaded by Mike Burnes, a member of the CVTA Board of Directors, included completing an online official nomination form outlining local community and tennis demographics; a video showing the community's spirit and passion for tennis and the impact of tennis on an individual, an organization and/or the community as a whole; and five letters of support from government leadership, park directors, business representatives and other members of the community. The top three finalists, as determined by nationwide voting, will be announced by July 28, and the 2010 Best Tennis Town winner will be announced during the 2010 U.S. Open in New York City, with the winner being awarded the grand prize of $100,000 to be used for community wide programming or facility enhancements that the winning entrant endorses and is approved by USTA. The second place prize is $50,000 to be used for community wide programming or facility enhancements, while the third place prize is $25,000 for the community's use for tennis. Additionally, the remaining seven towns will be giving Honorable Mention status and a $2,000 tennis equipment packaged. "Being selected as a finalist means that our efforts to grow the sport among people of all ages and abilities have been recognized as one of the best in the country," said O'Hara, "and it also gives us the opportunity to receive up to $100,000 from the United States Tennis Association for even more community-wide tennis programming. "Tennis is an important part of our community," he added. "Being recognized as the 2010 Best Tennis Town in America would not only reward our community for our commitment to the sport, but would also enable us to provide additional tennis programming and enhancements to our facilities to be enjoyed by current and future tennis players."