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USTA Florida November Notes: Henin Gives Training Peek; National League Results

October 25, 2009 07:00 PM
Compiled by Rick Vach, USTA Florida

USTA Florida's monthly round-up of news briefs and looks at upcoming events:



Husband-Wife gold ball winners
Frank and Trudy Vermeer of Jacksonville

Destin's Alexa Guarachi committed to play for the University of Alabama. Prior to beginning classes Guarachi won the Tallahassee portion of the ITA Collegiate summer circuit, and has thus far also won the SEC Fall Classic in Nashville and the Milwaukee College Tennis Classic...

Jacksonville Beach's Mark Frisk, unseeded, lost to No. 5 seed Carlos Gomez-Diaz of Ft. Lauderdale in the all-Florida final of the USTA National Men's 40 Clay Court Championships in Savannah, Ga., in October. It was the third national gold ball this year for Gomez-Diaz...

Florida State University women's tennis senior Jessica Sucupira became the school's all-time career doubles wins leader at the Furman Fall Classic when she earned her 74th career win...

Ormond Beach native and former University of Florida player Greg Ouellette won his first professional tennis title in October at the ITF Netherlands F5 Futures event in Almere, the Netherlands.


The senior women 4.5 national runners-up
from Altamonte Springs (photo: Andrew Ong/USTA)

The women's 4.5 senior team from Altamonte Springs reached the final of the USTA 4.5 Senior National Championships in Tucson, Ariz., on Oct. 23-25, 2009, losing to Midwest (Arlington Heights, Ill.) 2-1 in the championship match. In the semifinals the Florida women beat Southern California (Irvine) 2-1. The team is captained by Debbie McMillan and features Nancy Westrate, Ligia Bottinelli, Debbie Toomey, Susan Till and Paula Madsen, and plays out of Sanlado Park.
AMELIA ISLAND -- The Amelia Island Futures Championships Wild Card Tournament, open to the first 64 players to enter, will be held Nov. 10-12, 2009, with an entry deadline of Nov. 9, 2009. Call (904) 277-5145 to enter. The winner of the tournament will receive a wildcard into the main draw of the Futures event. For more info on the wild card tournament or the Futures event, call the Amelia Island Plantation pro shop at (904) 277-5145.

DAYTONA BEACH -- The Florida Tennis Center was abuzz with high-level junior activity in October. Former WTA Tour star Gigi Fernandez, a 17-time Grand Slam doubles winner, worked with groups of juniors in high-level tennis camps. In late October the center also hosted a High Performance Junior Training Camp, led by Jay Berger and other top USTA national coaches. Juniors attending the camp were selected by USTA talent identification coach Martin Blackman and USTA Florida staff.

FORT WALTON BEACH -- The $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Fort Walton Beach has moved to March 15-21 for 2010.


Justine Henin and coach Carlos Rodriguez

How about spending Halloween with Justine? Former No. 1 and 2010 comeback player Justine Henin is having an open practice session for Florida fans on Oct. 31, 2009, at her 6th Sense Tennis Academy at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., right outside of Orlando. The festivities begin Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. when Henin and coach Carlos Rodriguez hold a one-hour practice session followed by a 30-minute autograph session and press conference. After that from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. there will be tennis demonstrations, games and other on-court activities, followed by an on-court practice demonstration using the 6th Sense methodology. "I am very excited to make my comeback to the tour in 2010 and hold the celebration with Carlos at our academy in Florida to share with everyone," Henin told the media. "The time away from the tour has helped me better understand myself, but I missed it a lot and now I have new objectives and purposes that I want to accomplish because tennis is an important part of my life." For more info go to www.6thsenseacademy.com.

JACKSONVILLE -- The MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation (MWKF) is seeking volunteers to help coordinate food drives with their school, club, organization, work place and church during the month of November. All collected food items will go directly to the children and families of MWKF. Non-perishables (including breakfast foods, pasta/rice, staple items and canned goods) are preferred. For more info, or to register your group, please contact Ashley at (904) 359-KIDS (5437) or Ashley@malwashington.com.

The MPS Group, the Jacksonville-based staffing group and title sponsor of the WTA Tour MPS Group Championships at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, is being bought. It was reported that the Swiss staffing firm Adecco would acquire MPS Group Inc. in a $1.3 billion cash deal. Adecco says it will continue MPS Group operations in Jacksonville, which will serve as the hub for Adecco's North America operations.


The women's 3.0 Florida section
champs from Avalon Park/Orlando

ORLANDO -- The women's 3.0 squad from Avalon Park
finished in 4th place at the 2009 USTA Adult League 3.0 National Championships on October in Tucson, Ariz. The team was comprised of Jill Renee Meunier, Noel Crystal Price, Alexia Michelle Jowers, Tracy Lynn Canning, Lisa Kent Meyer, Dahianna Florez Teagle, Tracey Turner, Teresa Jane Bethel, Marilu Barroso, Karin Hammond, Celeen Lincoln, Donna Kroskey Faris, Cyndi Vancampen (captain), Janet Franklin, Monica Andre, and Debbie Anne Haughton. The Orlando women lost to eventual champion Southern in the semifinals, and to New England in the 3rd/4th place playoff.

PENSACOLA -- The Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Community Center on Oct. 23, 2009, hosted a seminar for area organizers interested in junior tennis. USTA Florida Executive Director Doug Booth gave a presentation on the state of tennis in Florida and the U.S. "Organizers are attempting to totally re-energize and expand the influence of the Pensacola Junior Tennis Association," wrote tennis columnist Scott Page of the Gulf Breeze News.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH --  The annual USTA Husband-Wife National Clay Court Championships on Oct. 23-25, 2009, at the ATP Tennis Club in Ponte Vedra Beach featured PGA Tour star Matt Kuchar and his wife Sybi, a former tennis standout at Georgia Tech, as well as the No. 1 and No. 2-ranked teams in the country in Marc Keleske and Vicky Leroux from Colorado, and Michael and Krista Edge of Gulf Breeze, Fla. The USTA national gold ball was taken home by Jacksonville locals Frank and Trudy Vermeer, the No. 4 seeds, who upset the No. 2-seeded Edges 6-0, 6-4 in the final. Click here to read the player blog from the Husband-Wife event in PVB.

ST. AUGUSTINE -- A USTA Senior & Super Senior Morning Mixer will be held on Saturday, Nov. 14 (new date) from 10 a.m. to noon at the tennis club at March Creek Country Club. "It will be a fun morning of playing tennis, with a doubles round robin and other fun tennis games, and learning more about USTA senior and super senior leagues," says USTA Florida regional Tennis Program Coordinator Amanda Becker. "There will be opportunity for on-site USTA League registration for the upcoming 2010 season, a continental breakfast, prizes, and meeting new people to play tennis with." For more info contact Amanda Becker at becker@florida.usta.com.

TALLAHASSEE -- The men's and women's tennis teams at Florida State University won the 18th annual Golden Torch Awards in October, recognizing the outstanding academic achievements of Florida State's student-athletes. The men's team had the highest average GPA of any sports team at 3.05 with seven members on the ACC Honor Roll and two members named to the ACC All Academic Team. The women's team won the Golden Torch Award for the 13th consecutive year with a 3.34 GPA.


USTA Florida staff in pink in recognition
of Breast Cancer Awareness Month


ACES -- Yvonne "Boots" Van Nostrand and King Van Nostrand of Vero Beach have been selected to represent the United States in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Super Seniors World Team Championships to be held Nov. 2-7 on grasscourts in Perth, Western Australia. Mrs. Van Nostrand will be the playing captain of the defending champion American Queen's Cup Team for women 75 and over. Mr. Van Nostrand will play in the No. 1 singles position for the defending champion men's 75 and over Bitsy Grant Cup Team...

In October, Florida Southern's Senka Softic became the school's first female player to advance to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's small college national championships since the ITA went to individual singles play in 1994...

Palmetto's Egan Adams finished fourth in October at the USTA National Mens 50's Clay Court Championships in Sarasota, and Adams and his partner finished runner-up in the doubles...

Tampa's Fred Farzanegan captured the gold ball in October with the Men's 70s singles title at the USTA National Men's 70, 85 & 90 Clay Court Championships in Pinehurst, NC., and finished runner-up in the doubles. Boca Raton's John Benn won the Men's 85 doubles title...

Bradenton's Sekou Bangoura Jr., the No. 9 seed, won the Pan-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla. In the girl's doubles final, the match ended after one point when an ill Beatrice Capra of Maryland and partner Alexandra Cercone of Seminole retired...

Jillian O'Neill of Hillsborough Community College won the Junior/Community division women's singles title at the 2009 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Small College Championships in Mobile, Ala., in October. O'Neill and partner Olivia Howlett lost in the doubles final...

Ft. Lauderdale's Mary Clayton has committed to play for Duke University...

Tampa's James Blake has split with coach Brian Barker. Barker had coached Blake since his juniors and through his entire pro career. The split was mutual, and Blake will be coached through the remainder of 2009 by fellow Floridian Kelly Jones, the former No. 1-ranked doubles player on the ATP circuit. Jones has worked with other Floridians, including Mardy Fish and John Isner...


USTA Florida Adult Competitive Council
Chair Larry Turville

Dunnellon's Larry Turville has been appointed by USTA Florida President Donn Davis as the new chair of the USTA Florida Adult Competitive Council. "Larry is quite qualified to take on the responsibility of reorganizing this council, having been a member of the Adult Competitive Council for some time," Davis said. "Larry understands the needs in Adult Competitive tennis, being a very successful tournament player in his own right. Dan Casey, a long-time council member as well, was instrumental in making this happen so thanks to Dan for all of his work as well."...

Bradenton's 17-year-old Ryan Harrison won his second career pro title in October at the Men's $10,000 Future in Laguna Niguel, Calif., as an unseeded player, in the final topping No. 5 seed Richard Bloomfield of Great Britain. Harrison's first pro title came in June at the Men's $15,000 Future in Shingle Springs, Calif...

Sarasota's Clem Hopp was selected to be a playing member of the U.S. Gardnar Mulloy Cup Team for men 80 and over, representing the U.S. at the ITF Sr. World Team Championships on the grass courts of Perth, Australia on Nov. 2-7, 2009. Hopp is the current European Champion for the last four out of six years, the USTA National Hardcourt Champion the last two years, and the current No. 1-ranked player in the world in the ITF World Rankings...

Boca Raton's 16-year-old Sloane Stephens, who recently turned pro, will on Dec. 3 compete in the 2009 Icy Hot Chattanooga Challenge exhibition against US Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin...

Boca Raton's Bob van Overbeek has committed to play for the University of Florida...

Longboat Key's Morgan Mays jumped 736 spots in the ITF World Junior Rankings in October on the strength of four tournament wins when he accumulated a 19-0 win-loss record. The 16-year-old Mays rose to No. 328 after winning the singles and doubles at the Boys 18s ITF Copa Mangu in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and the singles at the Boys 18s ITF, Curacao Junior Open in Netherland Antilles, and the Boys 18s ITF event in Port of Spain, Trinidad...

USTA Florida Executive Board member Barbara Manzo has been named director of Lee County Parks & Recreation. The 19-year veteran of the department had been serving as acting director since the retirement of the former director last year...

Kim Clijsters, talking to the Wall Street Journal, says Palm Beach Gardens' William sisters have it right, stretching out their careers by not being totally focused on tennis: "That's why [Venus and Serena] have been so successful for so many years. People might have some negative comments about how they weren't always focused on tennis, but I don't think they would have been out there for so many years at such a high level if they didn't do other things."...

Pembroke Pines' 11-year-old Stefan Kozlov won the 12s title in October at The Nike Junior Tour's International Masters competition in the Dominican Republic. Unseeded 13-year-old Alexandria Stiteler of Bradenton reached the semifinals of the 14s division.

BRADENTON -- Team captain Bill King is gearing up for another national run after his USTA Florida Super Senior 8.0 Men's squad captured the 2008-2009 USTA National Super Senior 8.0 National Championship earlier this year. It was the first-ever national championship won by the El Conquistador Racquet Club and the first from the Bradenton-Sarasota area in the Super Senior (60 and over) division. "The victory for the national championship was truly a team effort, every member of the team played in the national tournament," King said. "Butch Hill was our inspiration leader and only player that was undefeated in the tournament...all players overcame the time change (three hours) and the hard courts (we play on soft courts) to win the national championship." Other team members were Thomas Declerck (Pittsford, N.Y.), Arnold Vance (University Park), and from Bradenton Edward Scarboro, James McDonald, James Higley, Herb Pattison, John Robinson, Charles King, and M.D. Hill.

CLEARWATER -- Registration for the Frenchy's 17th Annual Gumbo Tennis Classic closes on Nov. 11, 2009. The charity event includes men's, women's and mixed doubles. The tournament benefits the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. Register at Advantage Yours or McMullen Tennis Complex. The event will be held Nov. 20-22, 2009. For more details, call (727) 518-8860.

LEE COUNTY -- The Lee County Community Tennis Association is hosting QuickStart Clinics for youth age 14 and under to gain confidence immediately using specialized techniques with age-appropriate racquets and balls. Clinics meet once a week for seven weeks, with a cost of $89 per child for the entire seven weeks. No prior tennis experience necessary. Park locations throughout Lee County, including Rutenberg and Hancock. For more info contact Katie Barham at (239) 823-9429 or go to www.leecountytennis.com.

LONGBOAT KEY -- The Bud Collins Hackers Open will be held at its new location, the Longboat Key Club, during the week of Dec. 7-12, 2009. Contact Robin Bailey at rbailey@champion-industries.com for more info.

MIAMI -- Andre Agassi will be at Books-A-Million in Sawgrass Mills Mall from 4-6 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2009, and at Temple Judea in Coral Gables at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2009, to promote his new autobiography 'Open,' which will be available in bookstores on Nov. 9, 2009. The Coral Gables stop includes a Books & Books-sponsored 45-minute interview with Miami Herald columnist Edwin Pope (go to booksandbooks.com for information on tickets).

MIAMI SHORES -- This year the Miami Shores Country Club celebrates its 70th birthday -- by opening to the public. The formerly private club is now welcoming public members, whether they are Miami Shores residents or not, for golf and tennis or simply social memberships. Members must still adhere to the "casually elegant" dress code (no flip-flops, tank tops, t-shirts, jeans, or shorts) at the country club, but the times are changing in Miami Shores. "We should have done this years ago," Alberto Pozzi, the club's general manager since 1991, told the Biscayne Times. "There are a lot of people who never set foot in here, and that includes Miami Shores residents."

NAPLES -- A two-day tennis, golf and running event on Nov. 15-16, 2009, will benefit the The Boys & Girls Club of Collier County, held at Windstar on Naples Bay. The Tennis Pro-Am will be held on Nov. 16 with a cost of $100 and includes a cocktail reception. For more info contact Mike Manzella at 775-3400, ext. 206.

PEMBROKE PINES -- The Children's Cup, the international tennis team competition for boys and girls 12-14 and under, will be held on Dec. 2-4, 2009, at Pembroke Lakes Racquet Club. Each team can have up to four players (two singles and one doubles) with a draw of 16 teams and feed-in consolation. Coaching is allowed on court during matches under ITF/USTA team event regulations. For more info go to www.childrens-cup.org.

PLANT CITY -- The world's No. 1 doubles team, the Bryan Brothers, and TV talk show host Larry King are teaming up to fight heart disease for the Zeno/Canon Tennis Challenge 2. The event is set for Dec. 11-12, 2009, at the Lott residence. Tickets are $75 each, with group rates available. There is also a VIP "Meet and Greet" Party on Friday night preceding the event for sponsors and VIP's. There will be a live auction Friday night for the rare opportunity to play a musical set with Bob and Mike Bryan before the main event. All tickets include food, drinks, music, valet parking and entertainment. Proceeds from Zeno/Canon Tennis Challenge 2 will benefit the Larry King Cardiac Foundation. For ticket information, sponsorship opportunities, or media credentials please contact Rhett Rollyson at (813) 719-0158 or visit www.acesportsgroup.com.

PORT ST. LUCIE -- The Treasure Coast region is hosting a 2009 USTA Florida Captain Appreciation Event with a Team Tennis play day (World TeamTennis format) on Sat., Nov. 9, 2009, from 10 a.m.-noon at PGA Country Club, and appetizers and a captain's recognition from noon-2 p.m. at Duffy's Sports Bar. "USTA Florida would like to recognize all the hard work captains do to make our 2009 USTA Leagues successful," said USTA Florida Local League Coordinator Laura Toth. For more info or to RSVP contact Toth at ljtandft@bellsouth.net.

SEBRING -- The Highlands County Tennis Association hosted a Rally for the Cure Ladies Tennis Event on Oct. 24, including morning refreshments, three 6-game matches in the morning, lunch, and three 6-game matches in the afternoon. Prizes were awarded to the winners and each participant received a goody bag with Komen breast health information and other Rally items.

TAMPA -- A Recreational QuickStart Tennis Workshop will be held on Oct. 31, 2009, from 1-4 p.m. at the Harbour Island Athletic Club. The registration fee is $20/person. This 3-hour interactive on-court workshop is for beginner tennis teachers, recreational coaches, parent coaches and Jr. Team Tennis captains and volunteers who will be working with 10-and-under beginners, particularly those in a team tennis setting. This workshop gives an overview of the QuickStart Tennis format and the six variables that all QuickStart Tennis programs should adhere to. Each participant receives QuickStart Tennis practice plans. For additional info please contact Gregg Gruhl at (813) 202-1950 or email gruhl@florida.usta.com.

VERO BEACH -- The Mardy Fish Foundation, which supports the youth of Indian River County, has introduced three additional after-school programs, including the Mardy Fish Foundation Kids on Courts program. Kids on Courts is a five-week tennis program that will allow kids ages 7-12 to enjoy match play and tennis instruction. The hour-long sessions take place on Sunday afternoons in Vero Beach and begin with a 10-minute lesson followed by tournament style match play. The children are placed into three groups based on age and skill assessment. There will be three five-week sessions with the first to begin on Sunday, November 22, 2009. "I believe that participating in sports provides great value to youth by enabling higher self-esteem and team work," Fish says. "Sports provide such a positive vehicle for children and I am excited to be able to provide this opportunity to the youth of Vero Beach." The Mardy Fish Foundation is assisting in funding the court fees, equipment, and tennis pro fees.

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






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