Wynee Warden Tennis Center Formally Dedicated
18-time Grand Slam Champion Chris Evert in attendance for event
LAKELAND – Florida Southern College officially dedicated its $1.6 million Wynee Warden Tennis Center on campus here Friday morning in a ceremony that featured 18-time Grand Slam Champion and International Tennis Hall of Famer Chris Evert.
The complex features 10 professional lighted hard courts with the U.S. Open blue surface, double-sided grandstand and seating with enough to accommodate 400 people. The grandstand overlooks the two championship courts that are named after Warden’s sons, Andrew and Chandler Warden.
“We would like to thank Wynee Warden for making this dream come true of building this state-of-the-art tennis complex,” FSC President Dr. Anne B. Kerr said at the dedication ceremony that numbered almost 250 people. “Wynee (Warden) has a zest for life and she genuinely cares for students and this tremendous gift had students in mind.
FSC Director of Athletics Pete Meyer told the crowd that this tennis complex is just the first step in the improvement of our athletic facilities.
“We have won 27 national championships and we’re developing student-athletes to play at the championship level here at Florida Southern,” Meyer said. “I’m just flabbergasted by this facility and what it will mean for our tennis program and our school as a whole.”
The complex will be used for competition and practice by both the Moccasin men’s and women’s tennis programs, along with ITA qualifying tournaments, invitational tournaments, student and community recreational play and tennis clinics for players of all ages.
“I am honored to be here to help dedicate this tremendous tennis facility at Florida Southern College,” said Evert, who won a record seven French Open titles among her 18 Grand Slam titles.
Moccasins head women’s tennis coach Trish Riddell said that this facility will be one of the best in all of NCAA Division II tennis.
“This is a tremendous complex and we’re very grateful to Wynee Warden for her help in making this dream become a reality,” Riddell said. “This is going to nothing but help build FSC Tennis into an elite program.”
Riddell and Evert were the first two to step on the court with a tennis racket as they volleyed back-and-forth between each other following the official ribbon cutting ceremony.
Prior to the Wynee Warden Tennis Center, the Mocs tennis teams played on the Beerman Tennis Center, which featured five courts across from Jenkins Field House. Those courts were taken out this past May to make room to construct Mr. George’s Green. FSC has four courts near Barnett Field that are still playable.