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Tournament Spotlight – State NTRP Championships

May 8, 2009 02:59 PM

By: Tori Townsend

The USTA Florida State NTRP Championships, held April 17-20 at Heathrow Country Club, brought together 160 talented men and women Florida players in NTRP (National Tennis Rating Program) singles, doubles and mixed divisions. The adult state championship awards the maximum number of ranking points and is unique because draws are based according to ability, not age.

For the past three years, Jeff Cohen, director of tennis of Heathrow Country Club and tournament director, has run the relatively new NTRP championship event at Heathrow, which has become a favorite destination for players throughout the country searching for diverse competition and a good time. With special amenities provided, including a players’ party with refreshments, cold beer and live music before the event, nourishment during the event with bagels, bananas and Gatorade, and the vanity of a state championship title, Cohen says the event is second to none.

“To be honest, I’ve been playing tournaments for over 30 years and running USTA tournaments for nearly 20 and I never knew what NTRP even was until maybe 10 years ago,” said Cohen, who has made his mark on the tennis world, from USPTA Divisional Volunteer of the Year to USPTA Divisional Professional of the Year, National Player of the Year and International Gold Medalist. “The cool thing is that it’s the same ability level so technically you could have a 20-year-old kid play a 60-year-old man, which we did this year.”

Cohen does a mandatory sign-up for consolation which he says helps with scheduling and gives participants an opportunity to play again.

“There is nothing worse than waking up at 6 a.m. and driving over to find out your competitor defaulted,” said Cohen, who easily put on over 100 matches all weekend long.

Cohen admits that running tournaments can be quite exhausting, but it’s something he wouldn’t change for the world because he enjoys doing it.

“It is part of what I do. It’s a passion of mine and it has been rewarding going to work doing something that I love.”

Cohen finds the perfect balance between running tournaments and fulfilling his club members’ wishes – a task that isn’t always easy.

“I could never hold this event at my club if a majority of the membership didn’t play,” explained Cohen, who was thrilled that Heathrow club members Jeannie Elliott (W2.5s), Dan Cotrone and Bob Kissman (M3.5d) took home titles.

With almost 200 entrants and nothing but positive feedback from the event, USTA Florida is pleased to recognize the State NTRP Championship at Heathrow Country Club as a Tournament Spotlight!






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