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Florida Tennis Briefs(3): Keys, Levine Win Wild Cards; Jr. Orange Bowl; TOPS'L Christmas

December 19, 2011 12:19 PM
Florida's Keys, Levine Earn Australian Open Wild Cards

 
Madison-KeysOBaction.jpg
Madison Keys
Boca Raton, Fla., residents Madison Keys and Jesse Levine both won trips to Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday with convincing victories in the women's and men's finals of the 2011 Kia Motors USTA Australian Open Wild Card Playoff at the Racquet Club of the South in Atlanta.

The 16-year-old Keys, who won a similar playoff in August in College Park, Md., for a spot in the US Open main draw, defeated Gail Brodsky of Brooklyn, N.Y., 6-3, 6-4, before Levine eased past local Kennesaw, Ga., resident Robby Ginepri 6-0, 6-2, 6-1 in the men's best-of-five final.

The wins earn both players wildcard spots in the main draw of the Australian Open through a reciprocal agreement between the USTA and Tennis Australia.

Levine, a former University of Florida player, was hot out of the gate and never let Ginepri into the match, winning the first set at love.

"I was just in the zone today," Levine said after losing only three games in three sets to Ginepri, who didn't speak with the media after the final. "I was just wondering after the first set if I could really stay with it. I wasn't expecting to come out like that. I know Robby's fit and in shape, I just didn't expect to come out like that and was wondering if I was going to be able to keep it up."

Keys was able to gain yet another Grand Slam main draw wild card through a USTA playoff.

"Yes, I'm starting to like these wild card playoffs," said a smiling Keys after the match. "I knew she was getting pressured by my power and my serve was able to come in handy today."

Brodsky broke back late in the second set to bring the score to 5-4 before Keys served-out the match.

"Anything I was throwing at her was not good enough today," said Brodsky, who will play in the qualifying at the 2011 Australian Open. "But I'm not upset with myself because I know there's not much else I could have done. I don't think she was feeling the pressure today. There's really not much negative I can say about the way Madison played today. I was a little bit fatigued but she had tough matches too."

Keys said being the youngest player in the field alleviated any pressure.

"I'm one of the younger ones still so I'm not supposed to win these matches," Keys said. "I'm the underdog. So I'm able to play a little more free...It still hasn't hit me yet. I'm just really excited to be going to Australia. Just like the US Open, it's going to take a couple of days before it actually sinks in."


Florida Players Dominant Sunday at Jr. Orange Bowl Tennis

By Michael Seff, sports editor, Palisadian Post

jr orange bowl logoFlorida players cruised Sunday on the girls side in the second round of the 50th Junior Orange Bowl championship in the 14 & under field, with No. 1 seeded Ali Tornado Black of Boca Raton (6-1, 6-3) and No. 2 seeded Maria Shishkina of Bradenton (6-2, 6-0) moving into the third round by defeating Jessica Golovin and Daniela Ramirez, respectively.

The big upset of the day in the girls U14 featured one of the No. 9 seeds, Argentina's Julieta Estable, falling to Teona Velehorschi, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.

Doral's Alexander del Corral, the No. 2 seed in the boys U12, moved on with a 6-0, 6-2 triumph over Axel Nefve. That was the same score of the match won by first-seeded Artem Dubrivnyy of Russia over Alexander Rushin.

In the girls U12, all but one of the No. 1 seeds advanced, with Croatia's Lea Boskovic falling to Claire Liu of California in three sets, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Bogdan Borza of Romania was once again tested in the second round, but the top-seeded player in the Boys 14 & under prevailed in three sets.

In defeating Houston's Aron Pierce, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, Borza again survived a scare from an unseeded foe. In Saturday's opening round, he was pushed to a decisive set by Chile's Rodrigo Budnik, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2.

"Today's match started very good," Borza said. "Every time when [Pierce] made his first serve, it was very difficult for me to return. In the third set I started to play better and be more focused, and my return was better."

Each seeded player advanced with the exception of Russia's Evgeny Tyurnev (13), who succumbed to California's Eduardo Nava, 6-3, 7-5.

Fourth-seeded Stefan Kozlov of Pembroke Pines won, 6-3, 6-4, over Agustin Torreano of Argentina, and Maryland's Francis Tiafoe, seeded eighth, advanced with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Patrik Niklas-Salminen of Finland.

"I felt great," Tiafoe said. "I came out a little tight, but once I figured out [Niklas-Salminen's] patterns and everything, I was okay."

The round of 32 will be played tomorrow, with the finals for the boys 14 & under, girls 14 & under, and girls 12 & under being held at the University of Miami Tennis Center on December 23 at 9:00 a.m. Salvadore Park will host the boys 12 & under finals.

For more information visit www.jrorangebowl.com.


TOPS'L Tennis Toy Drive Gathers Toys for Tots

TOPSL-Toys-for-Tots-001-webTOPS'L Beach & Racquet Resort hosted a Toys for Tots Charity round robin on Dec. 9, 2011, to give back to the local community during the holiday season. 

"The weather was great for the event and over 150 toys to date have been received so far," said Joe D'Aleo, USPTA Florida District 1 president and director of tennis for the resort in the Florida Panhandle.

Participants in the round robin event brought one or more unwrapped toys as their participation entry fee. Additional toys were gathered the night earlier when the club held its annual member Christmas party, asking members to also donate toys and gifts.

"In these economic conditions it makes me feel great to give back to families in this time of need, and the holiday season always seems to be tough, so to put some smiles on children's faces on Christmas morning is all that really matters," D'Aleo said.

For more information go to www.resortquestdestinvacations.com/resortquest/destin-topsl-resort/.


 
 

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