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Florida Tennis Briefs(10): Awards, Titles, Upcoming Events

December 9, 2011 07:07 PM
30 Florida Sites Part of USTA Record 3,000 U.S. Tennis Courts in 2011

usta 3000 courtsFrom the famed Evert Academy in Boca Raton to parks and recreation, K-12 schools, colleges and USTA Community Tennis Associations across Florida, 30 Florida tennis facilities are part of the celebration of the refurbishment and creation of 3,000 tennis courts in the United States, the most ever by the USTA in a single calendar year.

The USTA has succeeded in the construction and renovation of 30 Florida facilities (see full listing below) including more than 225 courts. The courts were either constructed or refurbished by painting permanent 36-foot and 60-foot tennis lines on existing 78-foot tennis courts, or constructing stand-alone 36-foot and 60-foot courts for 10 and Under Tennis play. The courts were built in public parks, school yards, tennis facilities and at local community-based youth organizations, like the Boys and Girls Club.

"USTA Florida is seeing a rapid rise in the number of Florida facilities fully embracing the 10 and Under Tennis initiative by adding blended lines to their courts, converting existing courts to permanent kid-sized courts, and putting down temporary and permanent lines on claycourts," says USTA Florida Director of Community Tennis Linda Curtis. "We firmly believe that building this infrastructure for 10 and Under Tennis courts will ensure the future of tennis. These courts really are 'a court for all ages,' allowing all an opportunity for fun, exercise, competition and camaraderie."

The 10 and Under Tennis play format consists of modified tennis equipment, which includes smaller courts, lower nets, smaller racquets, lower compression balls, and a scoring system that's easier for kids to understand. With equipment and courts tailored to suit their needs and abilities, kids have more confidence and fun as soon as they pick up a racquet.

"The USTA committed to impacting 3,000 courts in 2011, and we succeeded," said USTA National Chairman of the Board and President Jon Vegosen. "By investing in local infrastructure we can continue to grow the game at the grassroots level, energize players of all ages and help improve communities across the country."

The USTA also joined forces with First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative in 2011 to encourage young people across the country to get active, play tennis and lead healthy lifestyles. A component of the collaboration with "Let's Move!" was the commitment to encourage 200,000 children to participate in the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA). The USTA exceeded its commitment and had more than 226,000 kids participate in and complete the PALA challenge. To date, the USTA has had more kids complete the challenge than any other youth sports organization in the United States.

Florida new or refurbished court construction sites in 2011:
Boca Raton -- Evert Tennis Academy
Boca Raton -- Patch Reef Tennis Center
Ft. Myers -- Lee County Community Tennis Association
Ft. Myers -- Rutenberg Park
Haines City -- Haines City Parks & Rec.
Hobe Sound -- Hobe Sound Boys & Girls Club
Jacksonville -- 38th St. Apts.
Largo -- Bardmoor Golf & Tennis
Miami Springs -- Miami Springs Tennis & Racquetball
Miami -- Friends of Miami Tennis
Miami -- Miami-Dade County Parks & Rec. (7 sites)
Palm Beach Gardens -- City of Palm Beach Gardens
Pensacola -- City of Pensacola Parks & Rec.
Port St. Lucie -- Club Med Academies
Sandestin -- Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort
Staurt -- Halpatiokee Park
Tallahassee -- City of Tallahassee
Tallahassee -- Holy Comforter Episcopal School
Tallahassee -- Maclay School
Tampa -- City of Tampa Parks & Rec. Dept. (3 sites)
Tampa -- Hillsborough Community College
West Palm Beach -- Lake Lytal Park

For more information on the USTA's 10 and Under Tennis Initiative, please visit www.10andundertennis.com. Interested tennis communities seeking court funding are encouraged to visit www.USTA.com/facilities to learn more.

Ft. Myers, Jupiter, Ormond Beach Residents Prize Winners in USTA Florida Section Foundation's US Open Experience Fundraiser

USTAFLFoundationMWThe USTA Florida Section Foundation, the charitable arm of United States Tennis Association-Florida Section, announced that it raised more than $12,000 during December's USTA Florida 62nd Annual Meeting and Volunteer Celebration Weekend. The highlight of the evening was the US Open Experience drawing, revealing three excited prize winners.

Gary Heatwole from Ormond Beach won the grand prize, the "US Open Experience," a VIP trip for two to the 2012 US Open, including tickets to the USTA President's Box, and a two-night hotel stay in New York City with airfare.

"Wow, what a surprise!" said the grand prize winner Heatwole. "It's a major high winning the US Open Experience, even though that's not the main reason for making a donation. The main reason we donate is to help the Foundation raise the funds needed to do their wonderful work."

The second-place winner was Tracy Hodson from Jupiter, who will see the 2011 US Open from Courtside Box Seats. The third-place winner was Amy Newton from Fort Myers, who will enjoy a two-night stay at the renowned Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Fla., a round of golf and complimentary tennis for her and a guest.

"The USTA Florida Section Foundation, Inc. had a banner fundraising weekend at this past weekend's USTA Florida Annual Meeting Celebration," said USTA Florida Section Foundation President Donn Davis. "The results are not all in, but we estimate that the Foundation was supported to the tune of about $13,000! Fundraising events included a Casino Night and the US Open Experience fundraiser, as well as a 50-50 donation and personal donations from the participants. Special thanks go to a wonderful supporter for a matching donation of $1,000 through the US Open Experience. Without question, It was the one of our best fundraising evenings for the Foundation!"

All proceeds help support the USTA Florida Section Foundation in improving the health and quality of life of Floridians through tennis. Funds raised from the annual meeting and Foundation ventures such as the Play Tennis specialty tag program allow the Foundation to assist charitable organizations in operating tennis programs for Florida's youth and special needs populations, along with building and renovating public tennis courts.

"The Foundation extends heartfelt thanks to all those who contributed in this year's events and helped make this campaign a great success," said USTA Florida Director of Community Tennis Linda Curtis. "Great prizes during the evening were a tremendous hit on Saturday evening and included wonderful weekend getaways, cases of balls, gift certificates and more. For those that didn't win, we appreciate your support, and hope that you will participate again next year!"

For information on making donations to the USTA Florida Section Foundation or Foundation activities, contact Linda Curtis at CurtisL@florida.usta.com.

First Coast Tennis Foundation 2012 Jr. Grand Prix Schedule

FCTF logoThe First Coast Tennis Foundation (FCTF) in Jacksonville, Fla., has announced the 2012 Junior Grand Prix schedule, a total of 15 one-day tennis tournaments for beginning to intermediate players age 8-14.

"These events are designed to introduce novice to intermediate junior tennis players to match play and tournament experience, preparing them for the more rigorous USTA tournaments. Players age 10 and under will use the USTA 10 and Under Tennis/QuickStart format," said FCTF Executive Director Toy Tingsombutyout. "Players will be guaranteed three no-add matches depending on sign-up. Play for a division will be limited to a set time frame, and length of matches will depend on size of draw."

The 2012 schedule will be: Jan. 7 -- Timuquana Country Club; Jan. 21 -- Selva Marina Country Club; Feb. 25 -- Florida Yacht Club; March 10 -- Hidden Hills Country Club; March 31 -- Queen's Harbor Yacht Club; April 28 -- San Jose Country Club; May 5 -- Williams YMCA; June 16 -- Bolles School; July 14 -- Jacksonville Golf & Country Club; Aug. 11 -- Palencia Country Club; Aug. 25 -- Julington Creek Plantation; Sept. 22 -- Deerwood Country Club; Oct. 20 -- MaliVai Washington Tennis Center; Nov. 17 -- Deercreek Country Club; Dec. 1 -- Sawgrass Country Club.
Grand Prix Rankings will be kept throughout the year based on points earned each event. Players will be awarded points according to tournament results. Based on sign-up, trophies will be awarded to the top finishers in each age division at each event. Entry fee is $28 per person, with registration the Wednesday before the tournament by 5 p.m.  All entries must be through credit card, and no-shows will be charged $28 per entry.  

For more information and tournament contact info go to www.firstcoasttennis.com.

Florida Wins 80s, 65s at USTA Women's National Team Intersectionals Tennis

Teams representing the USTA Florida Section captured titles in the Women's 80s and Women's 65s age divisions at the 2011 USTA National Women's Team Intersectional, held Nov. 14-20, 2011, at The Swim & Racquet Center in Boca Raton, Fla.

Age group divisions contested were 35, 45, 55, 65, 75 and 80 in singles and doubles.

The Florida Women's 80s team successfully defended their championship from last year, winning their fourth consecutive title since the inception of the 80s division in 2008. It was the same all-Florida team that represented the U.S. at the ITF World Team Championships earlier this year in Antalya, Turkey, and was comprised of captain Jane Lutz, Nancy Stout, Louise Russ and Joan Brisbin.

Florida won the 65s division, defeating the USTA Southern Section in the final. This team consisted of co-captains Carol Clay and Belmar Gunderson, Betty Wachob, Lynn Thompson, Ellen Gooman, Jovette Levine and Dorothy Wasser. Wachob of Panama City won all of her matches, as did Thompson of Sarasota in both singles and doubles.

Florida came in second in the 75s division, losing to the USTA Southern Section 2-1. Florida's team consisted of captain Belmar Gunderson, Boots Van Nostrand, Lucille Kyvallos, Rosie Livings and Mimi Donegan. Both Kyvallos of Ft. Lauderdale and Living of Vero Beach won all their matches.
Florida's 55s team finished second to the USTA Southern California Section. The team consisted of captain Cindy LeProvost, Kerry Young, Mary Ginard, Tracey Viebrock, Lilllian Peltz-Petow, and Betsy Savitt.

"This competition has been taking place annually since 1986 and rotates between claycourts and hardcourts," said Gunderson of the U.S. squad. "This was the first time this tournament was held here since Naples Bath and Tennis Club has been shut down."
More that 300 women representing USTA sections from across the U.S. participated in the 2011 championships, including 11 teams in the 55 division, 12 in the 65s, eight in the 75s, and six in the 80s.

For more tournament info go to https://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments/tournamenthome/tournament.aspx?T=109648.

BallenIsles Country Club's Director of Tennis Awarded for Outstanding Sportsmanship 
Trish-Faulkner-Compt-Div.jpgBallenIsles Country Club's Director of Tennis, Trish Faulkner has been awarded for outstanding sportsmanship both on and off the court by the National Senior Women's Tennis Association (NSWTA).

An international tour player from 1962-1974, winning nine international titles, Faulkner has since been ranked No. 1 in three senior age divisions -- 45s, 50s and 55s -- for eight years in a row and has won 36 U.S. national senior titles. Her greatest accomplishment, she says, was winning the 55-and-over International Tennis Federation World Championship in Perth, Australia, in 2001. She's also a five-time winner of the World Team Championship for Team USA, ITF Veterans.

The recipient of a WTA Special Service Award, Faulkner has earned special recognition from the USPTA Florida Division and has served on its board of directors. She has served as the WTA Tour liaison for the USPTA Women's Committee and was named the USPTA national women's 45-and-Over Player of the Year in 1998 and 2001.

Faulkner has also had her share of personal victories, beating breast cancer twice.

Presented annually during the banquet at the National Senior Women's Intersectional Team Championships, the award is in memory of NSWTA member, Margaret M. Russo, described by the association as "an epitome of an outstanding sport on and off the court as well as being an outstanding tennis player."

Del Corral Runner-up at Eddie Herr 12-under

del corral-2Alex del Corral of Doral, Fla., the No. 1-ranked player in the USTA National Boy's 12 Rankings, finished runner-up in the Boy's 12 division final of the Eddie Herr International Championships in Bradenton, Fla., in early December, losing 6-2, 6-3 to No. 2 seed Artem Dubrivny of Russia.

"He's fast, and it's hard to close out points against him," del Corral said, speaking to zootennis.com. "He overpowered me, so I tried to change the game against him in the second set, but he still came out with great shots."

After the final del Corral headed to Orlando for the 62nd USTA Florida Annual Awards and Volunteer Celebration Weekend, where he received the 2011 USTA Florida Albert Carrington Balink (Junior Player of the Year) Award.

Mena Outlasts Gomez-Diaz for USTA National Men's 35 Clay Court Title

Key Biscayne's Ricardo Mena defeated Ft. Lauderdale's Carlos Gomez-Diaz 7-5, 6-1 to capture the title at the USTA Men's 35 Clay Court Championships, held at Midtown Athletic Club in Weston, Fla., on Nov. 11-16, 2011.

Mena made quick work of consolation winner Diego Brunicardi 6-2, 6-3 in the semis, while Gomez-Diaz defeated local favorite and Midtown member Justin Touchstone 6-2, 6-4. 

In the doubles final the team of Gomez-Diaz/Brunicardi lost a hard-fought battle for the title to champions George Bezecny of Boca and Andrew Lake of Davie 6-2, 6-7(9), 7-5.

"We're honored to have been selected as host to this great championship and our members really enjoyed watching a week's worth of terrific tennis played across our 24 outdoor clay courts," said Midtown Director of Tennis Maury Bozman.

Registration Open for Winter Adult & Jr. USTA Orlando Flex League Tennis

Flex Leagues Logo lbRegistration is open for the winter leg of the USTA Orlando Flex League, which will begin play on Jan. 3, 2012.

"All registrants will be automatically entered into the Flex League Sweepstakes for two tickets to the US Open, with flight and hotel included," says Orlando Flex League Coordinator Chelsea Underwood. "Plus gift certificates to Tennis Warehouse."

Adult divisions include:
-- Women's Singles 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5
-- Men's Singles 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, and 5.0
-- Co-Ed Singles 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, and 5.0
-- Women's Doubles "Weekday Mornings" 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0
-- Women's Doubles "Weekday Nights" 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0
-- Mixed Doubles "Weekends" (combined rating) 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, and 8.0

Junior divisions include:
-- 14's age division (12-14 ages)
-- 16's age division (15-16 ages)
-- 18's age division (17-18 ages)

The cost for the league is $35 for singles and $30 for doubles for nine weeks of play. USTA members get $10 off the league fee.

For more information go to www.ustaflex.com or e-mail cmaratta@alumni.flagler.edu.

FACA Spring Sports Clinic for School Coaches at Daytona Beach in Jan. 2012

faca logoThe FACA (Florida Athletic Coaches Association) Spring Sports Clinic for athletic directors and coaches of flag football, swimming, tennis, track, and weightlifting will be held Jan. 5-7, 2012, in Daytona Beach, Fla., at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort.

Scheduled tennis topics/clinics for Jan. 5 include John Danise, FACA tennis chairman on "Monitor recommendations to FHSAA" and "QuickStart Tennis & High School Programs;" Donna Tollefsen, tennis director, Michael-Ann Russell Park, on "Tennis Programming;" Gary Pigott, senior director of athletics, FHSAA, on "Rules Clinic;" and Kurt Wallach, chairman, Kurtell Properties, on "Tennis, Yesterday & Today." Thursday will also see a coaches reception and refreshments in exhibit area.

Friday topics include speaker Tom Kelly, tennis manager, Florida Tennis Center, on "Tips from Florida Tennis Junior Development Program;" Steve Smith, owner/director, TennisSmith School, on "Making Sense of Stroke Production;" Steve Smith, high performance coach, on "Making Sense of Singles & Doubles Strategy;" Dwayne Hutquist, FSU men's tennis coach, on "Single Specialty Shots" and "College Doubles Drills;" Andy Gladstone, USTA Florida competitive tennis coordinator, on "The Latest Drills for Skills and Thrills;" and Ed Krass, Play College Tennis Camp director, on "Serve & Volley Doubles."

Saturday will wrap-up with Corbin Grave, PTR pro and high school coach on "High School Double Drills;" Raudel Barba, tennis-specific trainer on "Tennis Fitness Games," and collaborative meetings.

For more information contact John Danise, tennis chairman, Florida High School Coaches Assoc., at coachjohndanise@bellsouth.net.

Bryan Brother Return for 3rd Title Attempt at ATP Delray Beach

bryans-chest-bump-webBob and Mike Bryan, the popular doubles team that recently finished No. 1 in the world for a record seventh time, will return to the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (ITC) for the 20th annual event on Feb. 24-March 4, 2012.
The Bryan Brothers won back-to-back ITC doubles title in 2009 and 2010, and return to Delray Beach as the most prolific doubles team in the history of tennis. Not only did the Bryans finish 2011 at No. 1 -- giving them three straight years with that distinction -- but their Australian Open and Wimbledon titles gave them a record 11 Grand Slam wins for their career. The Bryans also hold the ATP record for most tournament wins in a career (74).

"The Bryans are favorites here in Delray Beach," said ITC Tournament Director Mark Baron. "They've got game beyond the court. When they come to town they jam on our music stage and have a good time with the fans."

The 33-year-old twins will join Andy Roddick and John Isner in headlining the ATP World Tour event at the Delray Beach Stadium and Tennis Center, while Ivan Lendl, Michael Chang, Mats Wilander and Pat Cash will highlight the eight-player ATP Champion's Tour round-robin tournament. The Delray Beach ITC is the only tournament in the world to host both tours at the same venue in the same week.

On Dec. 12, the Bryans will add another feather to their cap when they break John McEnroe's longtime record of 270 weeks at the world's No. 1 ranking.

To purchase tickets go to www.YellowTennisBall.com.






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