Tennis friends,

I consider myself an avid player, fan and long-winded promoter of this great sport.

I first picked up a racquet at age 16, logging countless hours on these public courts and at this indoor facility in northeastern Pennsylvania.

I was fortunate enough to play under coach Don Cassetori - yes, Dominique Cassetori's dad, and later coach high school tennis and then compete in collegiate tennis at Wilkes University. I continued to play a lot until I was 24, when for reasons I can’t recall, I completely abandoned the game for other athletic pursuits. However, I always knew I’d return to tennis.
 
During a blizzard in 2003, my wife Danielle and I decided on a whim to move south where it was warm and near a beach, so I abandoned a job offer at the US Open and took a graduate public relations internship with the Family Circle Cup in Jan. 2004. Then I spent a year marketing City of Charleston Department of Recreation programs (inc. tennis) before returning to the Cup in a full-time public relations capacity from 2006 through June, 2012.

After a sizable corporate downsizing across Meredith Corporation - a magazine publishing company and the Cup's parent organization (they had another in 2013), I transitioned my professional life away from tennis - best move ever. Read: don't make your hobby into a career, and if you do, make sure you don't work for a magazine publishing company in this digital age. However, I still try to maintain a small role in the game, most recently serving in 2013 and 2014 in a freelance capacity as the international accreditation manager at the China Open, a combined event in Beijing, just to keep my toes on the baseline. I stepped away in 2015 to spend all my free time at home with our wonderful daughter Graziella instead of traveling for weeks at a time to the other side of the world.

Over my tennis years, I've learned a lot about the professional side from an event management perspective and I've come to understand a great deal about the players we all love to watch compete. I also discovered so much more than I ever expected to about recreational tennis at all levels, about the people and organizations who facilitate and tightly control the game and the media outlets who cover it. Good and bad, it's certainly been very interesting. I also made a lot of great friends (a few are here), which makes it all worth-while.

Most importantly, moving to Charleston got me back on the court as a player, and I fully credit James Beck for twisting my arm and getting me to dust off my racquets to play in a casual men’s group at Maybank in 2004.  I'd also like to thank Uai Godwin, my longtime captain and friend, who allowed me to join his Charleston Tennis Center team later that fall. These gentlemen made it easy for me to return to tennis, and I sincerely thank them.

I truly enjoy working to advance, promote and support this great sport, so please send along ideas for the site!

Yours in tennis,

Mike Saia
1832 Chelwood Circle, Charleston, SC 29407
C: (843) 323-1803  /  m_saia@hotmail.com

Membership, Awards & Accolades
1992-Present: USTA Member, active league player
2006-2012: United States Tennis Writer's Association member
2007: South Carolina Press Association - 1st Place, Photo-journalistic Excellence Award
2007-2009: Charleston Metro Sports Council board member
2010: Best Tennis Town in America - led media relations effort
2013: Telly Awards 1 2 3
2013: Charleston Regional Business Journal "Health Care Heroes" Award (Community Outreach)
2015: Telly Awards
2018: USTA South Carolina Media Excellence Award (formerly Media Award/same as above)