DOTHAN, Al. (wtvy) - A big "price-tag" tennis tournament takes a lot of hard work, and help from behind the scenes.
It takes close to 100 people to keep the tournament alive. Some of those have been volunteering for years, some only a few hours, and then there are those who have made a career of it.
"I’ve probably restrung 100,000 rackets just to give you an idea,” said Chuck Hakansson, Tennis Racket Fixer.
Chuck Hakansson restrings rackets at tournaments across the world, including the US and Australian opens, but this week he's at the Hardee’s Pro Classic in Dothan.
"I’ve been doing this tournament for eight years and the most I’ve done is 140 and I’ll probably break that figure this year, I’ll do 150," said Hakansson.
Hakansson says the players in this tournament get at least one or two rackets restrung a day. Restringing helps the racket's ability to rebound
"Something that comes fresh out the oven is going to feel better," said Hakansson.
Packing, sweeping, and laying down the clay courts - all done by dozens of volunteers.
"Tennis is different than most sports, you may have two people battling it out on the court, but you will have six umpires taking care of those two players on the court," said Kim Meeker, Tournament Organizer.
In addition to six umpires are six ball persons, they run for the balls during matches.
With that high ratio, Meeker says it takes a lot of volunteers to make the Hardee’s Pro Classic Tennis Tournament happen.
But a volunteer tells me this year is different..
"It's a bit disappointing that we don't have more of the young people coming out and taking part of this like they did the year before and the year before that but the other volunteers are stepping up and it's really exciting," said John Blanks, volunteer ball person.
One of those stepping up is Tayler Clouse, this is her first day.
"I’d like to learn more about the game because I want to play it one day and the little details that go into it," said Clouse.
Fun fact, about 1,200 tennis balls are used during the tournament.