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USTA creates same-sex couples tournament in Palm Springs

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The United States Tennis Association will host its first tournament for same-sex couples in Palm Springs this March.

The Bryan brothers aren't a gay couple, but they've won plenty of USTA tournaments.
The Bryan brothers aren't a gay couple, but they've won plenty of USTA tournaments.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The United States Tennis Association has announced the creation of its first-ever tournament with divisions specifically for same-sex couples. The "family division" tournament will be in Palm Springs March 7-8, 2015.

The USTA issued some great quotes on the development:

"The USTA could not be more excited to offer the opportunity for same-gender couples to play in sanctioned tennis tournaments," said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO and President. "Tennis once again has stepped to the front to break down barriers in order to allow individuals to compete in the game they love with these new sanctioned events."

"This is a great and important step forward for tennis," said Hall of Famer Billie Jean King. "Tennis is a sport that's equally fun and beneficial for everyone, so it's nice to know that going forward, we'll enjoy a greater sense of equality between the lines in adult competition. The makeup of families in our world is changing and I'm thrilled to see that tennis also is recognizing that change, and making it easier for same-gender couples to compete-and have fun-together on the tennis court."

Nabil Najjar, the Co-Tournament Director of the Palm Springs event, is the longest-serving board member of the Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance (GLTA), having served for 14 years. For more than two decades, he has volunteered running GLTA tournaments and was instrumental in making this event happen. "I am proud to have introduced this division," said Najjar. "It is a very exciting opportunity in the history of sports for same-gender couples to be competing side-by-side, and unprecedented for both the Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance and the United States Tennis Association to sanction these new divisions."

"We are extremely excited to be a part of such a historic tennis tournament," said Kurt Haggstrom, Co-Tournament Director. "Palm Springs is such a diverse community and this event is a perfect fit for our city. The feedback from the LGBT community has been extraordinary, and the participation should be spectacular".

You can find more information about the tournament on the USTA site.