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December 15, 2006 12:42 PM

Bobby Curtis Junior Tournament of the Year

Clayton Feig Memorial Tournament
Accepting the Award - Ze’ve Feig (Clayton’s Brother)
“It’s a Beautiful Day”

When 18-year-old Clayton Feig died in 1993 of epilepsy-related causes, his bereaved parents decided to keep his memory alive by sponsoring an annual junior tournament in his name at the Sans Souci Tennis Center in North Miami, where Clayton often played. What sets this 16- and 18-and-under tournament apart from others is the fact that it’s the only free USTA-sanctioned event in the state thanks to the generosity of the Feig family, who personally pay all tournament expenses. “We provide this mostly for underprivileged kids who can’t afford the costs of competing in a tournament of this nature, said Clayton’s father, Steve, of the August 2006 event that attracted more than 100 competitors. “Words can’t describe the pain of losing my son. When a parent loses a child, it is impossible to make sense of it all. But this tournament has helped in a way to perpetuate his name. His legacy lives on.”

Junior Competitive Coach of the Year

Nick Saviano of Davie
“Savvy Saviano”

To say that Nick Saviano has become one of the most distinguished tennis coaches in the country would certainly not be an understatement by any stretch of the imagination. During his coaching career, he has worked with an array of world-class players that have gone on to have stellar pro careers such as Monica Seles, Jim Courier, Jennifer Capriati, Lisa Raymond, Bob and Mike Bryan, David Wheaton, Vince Spadea, and Todd Martin. One of the highlights of his career was his 15-year affiliation with the USTA Player Development Program, where Nick was also intricately involved with numerous USTA Florida programs and events. His dedication to coaching excellence continues today at the Saviano High Performance Tennis Academy, which opened in 2003 and is located at the Sunrise Tennis Club. Since establishing the academy, Nick’s students have won 10 USTA Super National titles, 14 ITF events, the Orange Bowl 12 division, an ATP Tour event in Delray Beach, and several challenger tournaments on the pro circuit. He also penned one of the best-selling tennis books in recent years called Maximum Tennis: 10 Keys to Unleash Your On-Court Potential.

Albert Carrington Balink Award

Brennan Boyajian of Weston
“Can’t Be Touched”

Winning is a tradition Brennan Boyajian has become quite accustomed to during his outstanding junior career. Brennan ended 2005 as the top-ranked player in both singles and doubles in the USTA Florida Boys’ 16 division, and he has continued to accrue trophies and numerous other accolades in what has proven to be an eventful 2006. In addition to earning the No. 1 ranking in the national USTA Boys’ 16s earlier this year, Brennan captured a number of prestigious national titles ― and four gold balls ― during a remarkable five-month stretch that lasted from April through August. During this impressive span, Brennan won the singles title at the USTA Boys’ 16 National Championships in August, the singles and doubles crowns at the USTA Boys’ 16 National Clay Court Championships in July, and the singles trophy at the Easter Bowl in April. His on-court accomplishments have also earned him recognition at the high school level, where he was named Player of the Year in both his freshman and sophomore years.

Al Mills Memorial Adult Tournament of the Year

USTA Super Senior Category II (ITF) Championship
Accepting the Award – Bill Beverly
“I Got the Power to Move Ya”

Keeping 497 players from all over the world happy may seem like a daunting challenge, but that’s exactly what happened at this year’s USTA Super Senior Category II (ITF) Championship, which was held at the Naples Tennis Club and Resort. Thanks to the tournament staff and 40 dedicated volunteers, who ensured things ran smoothly by coordinating the check-in desk, monitoring play, and providing top-notch hospitality, this year’s participants experienced a sense of tennis nirvana. The players were provided with fresh fruit and beverages on a daily basis and had full access to a range of amenities that included the gym, sauna and steam rooms, Olympic-size swimming pool, and practice courts. “We were all so surprised and excited to see so many people entered in this great tournament, which broke all records for the state of Florida,” said Tournament Director Bill Beverly. “Success in promoting, coordinating, and completing such a large event must be credited to the many good people who donated their time and hard work toward making it all possible.”


Wheelchair Player of the Year

John Becker of Boca Raton
“In God We Trust”

In February 2006, John Becker had the misfortune of breaking his ankle while skiing, forcing him to miss four months of training and a number of important tournaments. Instead of wallowing in self-pity over the injury, John used his time away from the courts to better understand the dynamics of the game. When he returned from his injury-enforced layoff, John utilized his newfound knowledge to improve his world ranking from around 200 to 72 in the span of a few months. Thanks to his champion’s resolve, he can proudly lay claim to being the top-ranked Floridian in both the USTA and ITF wheelchair standings and is currently No. 9 in the U.S. singles and doubles ITF rankings. He also had the privilege of going to Mexico to participate in the Mobility Project’s sports camp, where he was able to instruct and encourage other individuals afflicted with similar disabilities.

Female Player of the Year

Myke Bodisch of Santa Rosa Beach
“The Winner Takes it All”

2006 has been a very good year for Myke Bodisch, who is currently Florida’s top-ranked player in the Women’s 45 singles category. Her stellar year, which included triumphs at the USTA National Women’s 45 Clay Court Championships and the Florida State Closed Championships, is simply a microcosm of the tennis career Myke has crafted throughout her 35-year playing career. As a child growing up in Arkansas, she held the number one ranking in every age division she competed in and was a two-time winner of the Raymond Rebseman Award, which is presented annually to the top junior player in Arkansas. She proved to be just as prolific a winner in college when she played on the University of Arkansas tennis team, where she holds several records that still stand today ― most singles wins in a season (37) and most consecutive singles wins in a season (22). Not surprisingly, her passion for tennis carried over into her professional career, which is evidenced by her nearly 22-year tenure as director of tennis at Hidden Dunes Beach & Tennis Resort in Destin.


Male Player of the Year

Joseph Bachmann of Sarasota
“Love Is All You Need”

When Joseph Bachmann began playing tennis in Hungary at the tender age of nine, he probably wouldn’t have predicted he would be racking up wins and collecting a warehouse full of trophies nearly six decades later. Currently ranked number one in both the national and USTA Florida Men’s 65 singles rankings, Joseph won the 2006 USTA National Men’s 65 Clay Court Championships and walked away with the title at numerous other events, including the Bocage Senior Invitational, the Raymond James Super Senior Grand Prix in St. Petersburg, and the USTA Super Senior Category II Championships in Naples. From 2000 through 2006, Joseph has compiled an amazing record in the Super Senior Grand Prix Circuit, winning over 100 singles matches in his age group and losing only three. But just as important as the victories is the sense of camaraderie he enjoys with his fellow competitors, which explains why he chose the slogan “love is all you need” to sum up his experiences in tennis. “This saying represents the love of the game and all the good things that tennis means―sportsmanship, respect, and friendly competition.”

USTA League Tennis Coordinators of the Year

Louvenia Armstrong of Fort Lauderdale & Maria Miro of Wilton Manors
“Two Heads Are Better Than One”

Maria Miro & Louvenia Armstrong.jpg
When Louvenia Armstrong and Maria Miro took over the reigns of the Broward County league in 2005, player dissatisfaction was running high. In the span of two league seasons, however, this tight-knit twosome turned things around in a big way, with the Men’s 3.5 division growing from 9 to 14 teams and the Men’s 4.0 division expanding from 11 to 14 teams. These ― and many other ― accomplishments were realized by combining open communication and team captain involvement in structuring the league. Louvenia and Maria also took advantage of generous USTA funding opportunities and helped procure tennis-related items from local stores to hold the inaugural captain/players appreciation event. Understanding strengths and weaknesses is the cornerstone of any successful partnership on or off the court, which is something this dedicated duo has been able to accomplish in brilliant fashion. Louvenia and Maria each take charge of the tasks that play to their strengths, which has allowed them to enhance marketing, construct a website, visit clubs and pros to secure new teams, and coordinate the numerous schedules for the adult, senior, and super senior leagues.

USTA League Tennis Coordinators of the Year

Ruth Ann & Norm Ott
"Cooperation, Fitness, and Friendship”

Just call them the Dynamic Duo of USTA League Tennis. Ruth Ann and Norm Ott have been active league players and leaders for many years, but their dedication reached new heights when both decided to become local league coordinators in District 12. In 2003, Ruth Ann began volunteering with Carol Levin to oversee the ladies adult, super senior, and super 70’s leagues. She also played a pivotal role in introducing the Early Start League, implementing a women’s 70’s league―and recruiting her husband, Norm, to help inaugurate the District 12 Men’s and Women’s Combo League. Of course, once Norm saw how much fun his wife was having as a local league coordinator, he became one himself in 2004. Thanks to his organizational savvy, Norm helped grow the Men’s and Women’s Combo League from 26 teams and 290 players in 2004 to 62 teams and 653 players in 2006.

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