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Florida Tennis Briefs(2): USTA Florida Nov. President's Message; Loomis Leaves

November 16, 2011 03:01 PM
USTA Florida Nov. President's Message: US Open and Other New York Moments

By Dan Casey, USTA Florida volunteer president

dan-casey-head-webI travelled this year to the US Open, mixing a series of USTA meetings and seminars with some excellent tennis matches. Roddick was nearly perfect in his first set against Julian Benneteau; Serena's play was devastating (the 28th seed, seriously?), Sloane Stephens showed top form, and the Tsonga-Fish match was the battle everyone anticipated. I watched Hayley Carter from Hilton Head win a match 7-5 in the third in the junior championships, having spent an hour with her father discussing issues surrounding tennis parents worldwide.

Lastly, I saw 17-year-old Caroline Garcia from France; I predict she will be the No. 1 women's player in the world in a couple of years, a pure striker of the ball, fast as lightning with an all-court game. Enough about tennis.

When I was a child growing up in New Jersey, I was intimidated by New York City. The pace, noise and smell just overwhelmed me, except for the Yankees, Knicks and the Giants' games which I couldn't miss. More recently, I tolerated the city in favor of attending meetings and matches, but this year, my wife Chelie and daughter Sarah and I really enjoyed the city outside of tennis.

Chelie was on television twice in one morning on the Today Show (not surprising to those who know Chelie), with Al Roker and later on the Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda segment. We went with Andy McFarland to the top of the Rock, got our cheesy pictures on the famous steel beam, and smiled big with some Top Trumps TV characters, whoever they are.

Sarah talked the late-night security guard onto the movie set of The Avengers (also not surprising to those who know Sarah), and posed next to the space ship that grabs Scarlett Johansson. I talked tennis with James McDaniel (Lieutenant Fancy) for an hour before I recognized him. George the doorman, who befriended Bob and Odette who travelled with us, offered us Yankee tickets for next year, and collected food daily to feed to Bill, a Vietnam vet who rides the subway ala The Kingston Trio's MTA. Chelie and I talked with the twins from Antique Road Show at the airport on our way home.

So start planning next year's trip to the US Open (which revenues support tennis programs nationwide) and grab some New York moments.

Loomis Leaves Hidden Dunes in Destin for Southwest Florida

By Scott Harrison, TennisLife-Florida Region 1-West columnist

Rregion 1W-Renee Myke Dbls
2003 USTA National Women’s 40 Doubles champions
Myke Loomis (right) and Renee Broxson
After 26 years, 22 as the director of tennis at Hidden Dunes Beach & Tennis Resort in Destin, Myke Loomis headed to Southwest Florida along with partner, Phil Landauer, to be the co-directors of tennis and fitness at Spanish Wells Country Club in Bonita Springs and Tarpon Cove Yacht and Racquet Club in Naples. Loomis has been with Hidden Dunes since the resort's opening.

Over the years Loomis built long and lasting friendships, including this writer who has known her since the beginning, with the area tennis community as well as with a huge number of Snow Birds who come to Hidden Dunes in the winters. Southwest Florida's gain is the Emerald Coast's huge loss.

"This is a great opportunity that just sort of fell in our lap," Loomis said. "It offers new challenges and a complete change in scenery. We're both very excited."

During Loomis' junior career in Arkansas she was a No. 1-ranked junior in every age division. Loomis still holds two record at the University of Alabama: most singles wins in a season (37) and most consecutive singles wins in a season (22).

In 2003, Loomis along with the new director of tennis at Hidden Dunes, Renee Broxson, won the USTA National Women's 40 Clay Court Doubles. The Arkansas Tennis Hall of Fame inducted Loomis 2004. She has also represented the U.S. in numerous ITF team competitions, and in 2006 was named USTA Florida Female Player of the Year.

Hidden Dunes guests still see a familiar face in Broxson, who has been at Hidden Dunes since 2005, when she joined the staff after six years as assistant coach of the women's tennis team at the University of West Florida, where she played her collegiate tennis, and stints as head professional at Pensacourt and director of tennis at the Pensacola Country Club both in Pensacola.

"I'm chomping at the bit to make Hidden Dunes and even better place to play and learn the game of tennis," Broxson says.





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