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USTA Florida North/South Tennis Notes -- July 2009

June 30, 2009 07:00 AM

North Florida

Tallahassee player Sunil Patel
ACES --

Tallahassee's 43-year-old Sunil Patel, the national No. 17-ranked player in the Men's C wheelchair division as of late June, captured the Men's C singles and doubles titles at the Dallas Open, and won the Men's C singles and doubles at the Jana Hunsaker Memorial in New York...Tallahassee Maclay High School sophomore Macie Wilkins, who went undefeated in the city and district championships, and Leon High's Josh Record, who won at No. 1 singles and doubles at districts, were named the 2009 Tallahassee Democrat Big Bend Players of the Year.

AMELIA ISLAND -- The Kraft Tennis Club, which was the result of a grassroots effort by 110 members after the Ritz-Carlton closed its tennis facility, is now operating at full capacity, with plans for QuickStart Tennis junior programs and a club championship in October. "There was a lot of trust involved in the beginning. People gave us money without even signing a membership agreement or seeing anything built on the land," said Peter Johnson, founding president of the Kraft Tennis Partnership. "The reason Kraft Tennis Club was able to come about is because of the fundamental concept of volunteerism."

JACKSONVILLE -- A QuickStart Workshop with more than 30 teaching pro and adult participants as held in late May at Mandarin High School, with techniques learned including motor skill and hand/eye coordination drills for various youth age groups. All instruction took place on two full-size tennis courts, divided with one set up as six 36' courts on which the under-8s play, and the other the 60' court for the under-10's. The three-hour workshop culminated in doubles match play with 16 adults on four 36' courts playing with low compression balls over short nets, and the others on the 60' court. "There are over 16,000 children ages five to 10 in Duval County which represents a tremendous market for QuickStart Tennis players," said Diana Gardner, USTA Jr. Team Tennis and QuickStart coordinator. "This workshop was a major kickoff to reach beginning players."...

 
The Jacksonville Beach round robin mixer raised money for special needs children. Winners left to right: Susan Fleming, Barbara Balcanoff, and Michelle Sparks
Jim Watford
, director of tennis at the Jacksonville Beach Tennis Center (JBTC) at Huguenot, on May 28 hosted a round robin fundraising mixer for the ladies who play daytime league tennis from the facility. The entry fee was $15 to raise funds for an on-going project to provide bus transportation for special-needs children to attend tennis clinics at the JB TC at no charge. "We raised $405 for transportation," Watford said. "When you do the math it comes down to between six and seven dollars per kid to transport them to the tennis center. That means 62 kids (or one kid twice) will get to enjoy tennis at Jacksonville Beach Tennis Center."

PENSACOLA -- The Pensacola Sports Association held the 32nd annual Racquet Round-up in June at the Roger Scott Tennis Center, and a second event at Shoreline Park in Gulf Breeze, hosting approximately 500 children ages 6-12. "This year's attendance was a significant increase from previous years," said Janet Olliff, event coordinator for the Pensacola Sports Association. "[We're] back on track to becoming the largest free tennis clinic in America, a designation received from the USTA for many years." Each participant was given a free backpack with a tennis towel. Among the numerous instructors were Bruce Caton, Paul Einhart, James Kober, Jim Chandler, Caleb Cobia, Whitney Mann, Will Neuner, Jennifer Pfeifler, Bill Kellenberger, former UWF coach Skeeter Carson, and Dick Sloan. Members of the Greater Pensacola Tennis Association and the Santa Rosa Tennis Association hosted a tennis carnival, and the Pensacola Pelican's mascot "Scoop" also made a special appearance.

South Florida

 
ACES -- Allie Will of Boca Raton, nationally ranked No. 6 on the recruiting list by www.TennisRecruiting.com, has verbally committed to play for the University of Florida...Palm Beach Gardens resident Serena Williams has been nominated for Best Female Athlete and Best Female Tennis Player for the 2009 ESPYs, which will be televised Sunday, July 19 at 9 p.m. on ESPN/ESPN HD. Fans will determine the winners, and you can vote for her or other players in other categories at www.espys.tv ...Sportsmanship Award winners announced at the USTA Florida Jr. State Closed were: Girls 10s -- Sofia Quevedo, Girls 12s -- Mckenzie Barco, Boys 10s -- Noah Makarome, and Boys 12s -- Waleed Mneimneh...Treasure Coast High senior Morgan Roberts will play at Division II Queens College of Charlotte (N.C.) on both athletic and academic scholarships, signing a letter of intent in June. "I've always loved tennis -- I play in USTA tournaments every weekend -- and I've always wanted to play college tennis," Roberts told TCPalm.com. "I feel relieved. It took a lot of time, and a lot of effort. I'm just really excited to go."...Clearwater's Kim Cashman had a 4th place finish at the USTA National Women's 40 & 50 Indoors in Saint Clair Shores, Mich., and finished third with her partner in the doubles. Cashman and partner lost in the semis to top-seeded Mary Dailey of Delray Beach and her partner, who finished runner-up...Ft. Lauderdale's Rudy Hernando finished runner-up in the Men's 70s at the USTA National Men's 65 & 70 Hard Court Championships in Irvine, Calif. Tampa's Fred Farzanegan and his partner placed third in the Men's 70s doubles...Florida's 17-year-old Ryan Harrison, chosen for the U.S. Davis Cup team's July 10-12 quarterfinal vs. Croatia as a practice partner, won his first pro title the last week of June at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Chico, Calif., defeating fellow Bollettieri Academy student Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 6-3, 6-4.

Clearwater's Kim Cashman
BOCA RATON -- Jesse Levine

and family attribute his Wimbledon run, which included navigating the qualifying then beating former No. 1 Marat Safin en route to the third round, to working with USTA trainer and former U.S. Marine Sgt. Maj. Keith Williams. Levine's mother, Brenda, told the Ottawa Citizen that the result should translate into ATP wildcards this summer for the former University of Florida Gator. "The USTA said they don't want him playing any Challengers this summer, just ATP Tour matches," Brenda Levine said. "They see that he's growing up and becoming a man. It's a man's game out there and he's getting there." Levine praised USTA coaches Jose Higueras, Jay Berger, and Patrick McEnroe for helping him prepare for the rigors of the tour under the USTA's high performance program. "I definitely think they have a really good system in place, and I'm happy to be part of it," said Levine of the program to develop the next generation of pros...

Palm Tennis Management Group, LLC, a local company that runs tennis leagues, ladders and events, has announced large growth numbers in participation. "While many Floridians are impacted by uncertainty in the economy, their interest in playing sports and working out is still strong," said Palm Tennis managing partner Orly Mayron. Adds Ann Bent, Palm Tennis managing partner, "We currently have almost 4,000 players -- up from 550 in September 2007." Palm Tennis leagues are played year-round in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. For more information, go to www.palmtennis.com or call (561) 289-2299...

Former University of Florida player and ATP pro Troy Hahn has been hired as a USTA coach to facilitate coaching and training programs while working with players in the USTA Player Development program at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton. "Troy is another outstanding addition to our staff," said Patrick McEnroe, general manager, player development. "He is a young guy who played professionally and can also speak to the importance of college tennis as both a former player and assistant coach." Hahn played professionally from 2004-07 and won six ITF Pro Circuit doubles titles, and at Florida helped lead the Gators to two SEC titles...

Kaplan Virtual Education, the online middle and high school, announced an exclusive partnership with the Player Development program of USTA. Through the partnership, USTA's 70,000 junior members in grades 6-12 will have access to a "robust, flexible online curriculum they can customize to meet their needs. Our partnership will enable us to provide [USTA] young members with an online education that will help them be as competitive in the academic arena as they are on the court," said Graham Frey, chancellor of Kaplan Virtual Education Private Schools.

DELRAY BEACH -- The Delray Beach City Commission approved a contract with Match Point, organizers of the ATP Delray Beach event, for an additional ATP Champions Tour senior event in the city, with the date to be announced. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, under contract the city will pay $375,000 but can cancel after two years.

PALM BEACH COUNTY -- USTA Florida and The Palm Beach County Sports Commission are scheduled to again team for the 2009 Kids' Fitness Festival, July 16-17 at the Americraft Expo Center on the South Florida Fairgrounds. "Local USTA Florida representatives Susan Allshouse and Janet Sprague have been instrumental in conducting this interactive experience, exposing tennis to over 6,000 kids at last year's event," said Rachel Miller of www.PalmBeachSports.com. "They want to match that number this year."

PINELLAS COUNTY -- Six anonymous individuals who are USTA Florida section members each contributed $100 to the Suncoast Tennis Foundation, which in turn gave a grant of $500 to nationally-ranked wheelchair player Brittany Bennett for her French tournament tour. The Foundation is also contributing funds so Barrett can compete at the US Open.

PLANT CITY -- The Canon Tennis Challenge of Tampa Bay 2, which benefits The Larry King Cardiac Foundation, is set for Dec. 11-12 at the Lott Residence in Plant City. Headlining will be the world No. 1 doubles pair of Mike and Bob Bryan. The VIP Party will take place on Friday, Dec. 11 from 7-10 p.m. and the Canon Challenge event will be held Saturday, Dec. 12 from 12-5 p.m., with gates opening at 11 a.m. For more info call (813) 719-0158.

SARASOTA -- Bob and Erik Luxembourg, the five-time USTA National Father & Son Championships winners, have started publishing Totally Tennis, a magazine devoted to promoting the sport in Sarasota, Bradenton Venice, University Park and Englewood. To subscribe or for more info e-mail kathy.whyte@gmail.com.

TAMPA -- The Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) has signed a two-year agreement with the Kelly Jones-affiliated Tampa-based TennisLMS, which boasts a system for tracking tennis players' development and performances through a web application featuring video analysis, match analysis, fitness analysis, mental game development and High Performance Academy Editions. "Most of industry is talking about modern tennis, but it starts with modern tennis coaches," says Jones, TennisLMS president and former world No. 1-ranked doubles player.

USTA Florida Competitive Tennis Coordinator Andy Gladstone breaks out the Roger Federer Wimbledon wear for the monthly staff Booth Cup.
TREASURE COAST --
Three Adult Leagues teams have advanced to the July 17-19 regionals at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach: 3.5 Men -- Martin Downs II (Captain Gary Kanzer, Karl Drehobl, Howard Maunus, Brandon Tucker, Michael Owen, Jeff Kernan, Chad Palma, Jim Glover, Richard Delgaillo, Richard McLean, Jeremy Sexsmith); 4.0 Women -- Monarch (Captain Pamela Rucks, Co-captain Sandy Dotson, Patricia Brimlow, Somhathai Immerman, Rose Kernan, Dorothy Liddle, Linda Emilson, Ann Chauss, Debra Rhinesmith, Kathleen Bourret, Stephanie De Windt, Ruth Ann Nordgren, Patricia Wagaman, Ingrid Kutz, Natalie Humes, Beth Johnson, Deborah Bradford); and 4.5 Women -- North River Shores (Captain Mary Murray, Susan Gore, Meg Jackson, Maria Vallecillo-Dunn, Beate Rempis, Karin Decoste, Susan Dennett, Ann Chauss, Katherine Zanon, Nancy Hinterleiter, Elaine Zumsteg).

UNIVERSITY PARK -- The GETTEL NISSAN Tennis Series will kick off in November for the 2009-2010 season, featuring six events at three area tennis facilities. Mark your calendar for: Nov. 12-15 National Ultra Senior Father & Son Championship at Palm Aire Country Club; Dec. 12-13 World Class Senior Doubles Championship at Lakewood Ranch Athletic Club; Jan. 16-17 World Class Women's Doubles Championship at Lakewood Ranch Athletic Club; Feb. 13-14 World Class Men's Doubles Classic at Palm Aire Country Club; March 13-14 World Class Mixed Doubles Invitational at Palm Aire Country Club; and April 8-11 National Senior 75 Father & Son Championship at University Park Country Club. For further info contact Bob Luxembourg at katfur2000@yahoo.com.

VERO BEACH -- The success of the Pelican Island Elementary School/Mardy Fish Music Club and Health & Fitness Club has encouraged the Mardy Fish Foundation to open three additional after-school programs this fall in Indian River County. The after school programs will provide a place for children to partake in various personal growth activities through sports and music. Glendale Elementary School, Sebastian Elementary School and JA Thompson Magnet Elementary School have been chosen to be beneficiaries of the Mardy Fish Foundation at the suggestion of Indian River County School District Superintendent Dr. Harry La Cava. Each school will use the funds to open an after-school program that will allow deserving student participants to become involved in sports and music activities. Current programs includes a Music Club, with a focus on playing the guitar; Health & Fitness Club, Drama Club, Basketball Club, Tennis Club, and Dance Club that includes several genres of dance and cheerleading. The Foundation has also recently announced support for the Youth Guidance Foundation, and also continues to provide funds to the Boys & Girls Club of Vero Beach.

WESLEY CHAPEL -- Florida resident and former No. 1 Jennifer Capriati survived elimination during a tough start in week one of ABC's 'The Superstars' competition. Partnered with actor David Charvet of the show Baywatch, Capriati finished last in the first challenge which involved biking and running, and at the end of the second kayaking competition they were still in last on the leaderboard. But Capriati/Charvet stepped up to avoid elimination in the final round, which saw the team of NFL star Terrell Owens and supermodel Joanna Krupa eliminated. The Superstars airs Tuesday night on ABC.

CORRECTIONS:  Sunil Patel did not win the men's doubles wheelchair title at the Pensacola Open.

Got Florida tennis news? E-mail news to news@florida.usta.com

 

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