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Naples Couple USTA Florida US Open Contest Winners

September 9, 2009 07:00 PM

Roger and Amber Hill of Naples, Fla., were the big winners of USTA Florida's adult membership drive, returning this week from their Grand Prize trip to the US Open, including two tickets for two sessions to Arthur Ashe Stadium, roundtrip airfare for two, and two nights hotel accommodations.

"Taking 'The 7' [subway] from Grand Central Station to Flushing and then walking right into USTA's Fan Appreciation Day was great!" Roger said. "Walking into Arthur Ashe stadium was such a rush it was surreal. Seeing Venus [Williams] then Rafa [Nadal] with the sun setting, the crowd...We couldn't have had a better start to our trip. Saturday we hit the jackpot -- Roger Federer vs. Lleyton Hewitt, then [Maria] Sharapova vs. [Melanie] Oudin, then [Andy] Roddick vs. [John] Isner all in one day was the best session of the tournament."

The Hills won the Grand Prize by renewing or joining USTA Florida for a 3-year or 5-year membership. Second prize was two box seats in Stadium Court at the Sony Ericsson Open for two sessions. Third prize was two nights stay at the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Fla., with a twosome of golf. Fourth prize was an autographed Venus Williams book.

“When I called Roger to inform him of the Grand Prize, he was in shock, it was the greatest reaction," said USTA Florida Marketing & Membership Coordinator Trina Singian. "He called me an hour after and told me to tell his wife, because she could not believe they won. They also happen to be USTA Florida volunteers and avid tennis players, so the prize could not go to more deserving people."

Amber says the trip to their first US Open was a dream come true.

"We constantly were saying to ourselves, 'Do you believe we are HERE!'" Amber said. "We became huge fans of Melanie [Oudin] -- as the entire country did. One of the most amazing things to me about being there live was to see the power of the fans. The crowd is really cheering for both players. Unlike a lot of other sports, most of the [tennis] fans are players themselves and have that emotional connection and truly feel for the underdog. Whenever a player was doing poorly, the support of the crowd went to that player. Of course everyone has a favorite, but it was amazing to see how the support of the crowd really moved and changed the way a player was playing. Another thing that floored me was the raw, genuine emotion of the players. We were both brought to tears by this."

Roger is a 4.0 player and Amber a 3.0 player in Naples tennis leagues, and they also play in the Mixed 7.0 league together.

"Tennis is part of our lives year round," Amber said. "My husband has played tennis his whole life and I am newer to the game. I actually took it up three years ago and have never been more passionate about a sport."

To enter the 2010 membership contest and qualify to win a trip to the 2010 US Open or other prizes, check back to the USTA Florida Membership webpage beginning in January 2010.







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