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Florida Juniors Get Chance of a Lifetime

March 15, 2007 03:48 PM

Sachia Vickery, Madison Keys, Alexandra Kiick, and Nicole Robinson are four top ranked players (G12s) who got a chance of a lifetime.   The girls played an exhibition match in front of 40 notable celebrities and athletes at the Fisher Island Grand Slam Tennis Center on Saturday, March 17.  The event benefited the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, an organization that promotes health charities through sport. 

Each year, the Fisher Island Grand Slam Tennis Center plays host to the world’s greatest players preparing for the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, which immediately follows the Laureus event.  Keith Robinson, father of No. 14 ranked Nicole Robinson, is thrilled that the girls had the opportunity to participate.

“This is a great way to introduce newcomers to the sport that they will be a part of in the future,” he said.  “The girls have worked hard and put themselves in this position.”

Special celebrity attendees included Jim Kiick (retired Miami Dolphin and father of No. 5 ranked Alexandra Kiick), professional tennis players Dmitry Tursunov (No. 22 in world) and Daniel Nestor, Tennis Hall of Fame members Bud Collins and Fred Stolle, Gardnar Malloy (only player in the history of tennis who has maintained world top-ten status within his age group over most of a seven-decades), distinguished track athletes Edwin Moses and Bob Beamon, NBA stars John Starks and Nate Archibald, plus many more!

Saturday’s event kicked off at 1:00 p.m. with the girls' exhibition match, commented by the ever so animated Bud Collins; tennis writer, reporter and fan.  The ATP & Fox Sports will air a highlights show of the event on a future broadcast.  

The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa treated the girls like stars as they housed them in the same hotel as other celebrities, plus the girls got to travel from Fisher Island to the hotel by yacht.  In fact, before the event even started on Saturday, the girls got a boat tour of the area followed by lunch.  Very sophisticated!

More events like this one need to give junior players an opportunity to showcase their skills and meet some of their idols.  It was a special weekend for the girls as they got to share the experience with one another, rather than practice the normal competition on the court. 

Word around town was...they even impressed Bud Collins!


photo by Roz Robinson






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