In one of the biggest sporting events to arrive in town, Asheville will play host to the first round of the 2018 Fed Cup international team tennis tournament this coming weekend. International tennis champions Venus Williams and Serena Williams will play on the U.S. team as it goes up against the team from the Netherlands.

The event, which will be televised on the Tennis Channel, is officially sold out. About 5,000 spectators are expected each day on Saturday and Sunday.  The event will have a $2.5 million economic impact, city officials say.

Even though the event is sold out, there are opportunities to catch some of the action. Here’s a quick look:

Thursday open practice

There is an open practice from 3 to 5 p.m. for anyone whom was unable to get tickets. This open practice event is free and open to everyone.

Friday public draw ceremony

The official draw ceremony will be held at noon on Friday on the U.S. Cellular Center Stadium Court that is open to the public. This event will include the opportunity for fans to take photos with the Fed Cup trophy. There will also be an appearance by Fed Cup mascot Ace, and the opportunity for the community to watch the draw take place and see their favorite players. Doors will open at 11:45 a.m.

Community events

The U.S. Tennis Association announced the following community events:

  • Wednesday, 8:30-11 a.m., U.S. Cellular Center Exhibition Hall: Net Generation Kids’ Day and U.S. Captain Kathy Rinaldi appearance: The USTA and USTA North Carolina will be hosting some 300 kids from Buncombe County elementary schools for special Net Generation clinics.
  • Friday through Sunday, USTA Player Development Camp & Kids’ Clinic Appearances, Omni Grove Park Tennis Courts: USTA Player Development will be hosting a camp throughout the weekend with rising young American players, who will train with each other and cheer on Team USA at the matches.
  • Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to noon, NJTL Net Generation Clinics, U.S. Cellular Center Exhibition Hall: The USTA and USTA North Carolina will be hosting some 75 kids from local National Junior Tennis and Learning network (NJTL) organizations. Following the clinics, participants will then attend the matches.
  • Saturday and Sunday, 9 to 11 a.m., Green Ball, Middle School and High School Net Generation Clinics: At off-site locations, USTA North Carolina will host 50 middle school and high school players for Net Generation tennis clinics. It will also be hosting a Green Ball camp for youth players age 10 and under, which is the highest level of play within the age group. Following the clinics, participants will then travel to the U.S. Cellular Center to attend the matches.

In addition, local kids involved in the clinics will have a special role in the matches as part of the Net Generation initiative. Prior to the matches, kids will play on stadium court as part of a Net Generation demonstration. Local kids will also escort the players during the opening ceremony on Saturday and participate in the coin toss for each match with the chair umpire and competing players.

Other community events taking place around Asheville during Fed Cup Week include adult clinics and a Pride Day Brunch. In addition, prior to Sunday’s play, a wheelchair tennis exhibition will be held on-court at the U.S. Cellular Center featuring North Carolina native Conner Stroud.

Follow on social media

Keep up with Team USA using hashtag #TeamUSATennis on Facebook (@USTA), on Twitter (@USTA), and on Instagram (@USTA).

Background

Inside the deal to bring big-time tennis to Asheville

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