While no fans are allowed on-site to watch the Credit Bank One Invitational in Charleston, the locals made the best of the "new normal". With action from the 16-player event beginning on Tuesday, James Island's Terrace Theatre set up drive-in viewing for a historic night.
It marked the first time a free, live tennis event has been staged at a drive-in theatre.
“It was always important for us to keep the theater open in order to continue serving our community,” said Terrace Theatre owner Paul Brown. “So when Tennis Channel approached us about the drive-in pop-up, we knew it would be the perfect uplifting remedy for our patrons."
There was free popcorn, refreshments and Tennis Channel swag for fans to enjoy while watching the matches taking place 17 miles away on Danielle Island. The themed out event played host to up to 26 cars.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to give fans something to cheer for during these difficult times,” said Neil Roberts, executive director of marketing, Tennis Channel. “We look forward to eventually getting back to our fan-centric sport as usual, but in the meantime, we’re excited to provide a fun and first-of-its-kind event for our loyal fans in the area.”
The Volvo Car Open takes place in April in Charleston, and the fans are dedicated to watching the best WTA players in the world come to their town. With COVID-19 putting a halt to fan attendance, the community rallied to make the most of it.
The only catch was that viewers had to wait until nightfall to see the screen properly, and then rain washed out the third and fourth matches of Day 1.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sofia Kenin scored a win for Team Peace by topping Alison Riske, and then Leylah Fernandez evened the team scores with a win over Team Kindness' Emma Navarro. Danielle Collins began her match against Amanda Anisimova before the rain came.