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Florida Briefs: 2011 Tennis Night in America/Youth Registration, Junior Orange Bowl Preview, More

December 9, 2010 03:37 PM
Sampras Says: Florida Facilities Sign-up Now for 2011 Tennis Night in America/Youth Registration Events

tennis night in america-webNow is the time for Florida tennis facilities, clubs, schools, Community Tennis Associations (CTAs) and any other tennis organization to sign-up to host a USTA 2011 Tennis Night in America/Youth Registration event to celebrate youth and grow tennis in the local community.

Tennis Night in America/Youth Registration events jump-start junior tennis sign-ups for spring and summer programs and get parents involved. Youth Registration events across the country are hosted by the USTA to encourage more kids to sign-up for tennis programs at the start of the league tennis season.

Former world No. 1 Pete Sampras is the honorary spokesperson for Tennis Night in America in 2011, which will culminate on Feb. 28, 2011, when Sampras faces Andre Agassi, and John McEnroe takes on Ivan Lendl at the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York, to be televised.

"Tennis was a great sport for me when I was young, and having tennis facilities around the country come together to promote the game and the BNP Paribas Showdown makes for a great celebration for tennis," Sampras said. "Last year, Tennis Night had over 700 tennis facilities involved. I would like to see that reach 1,000 in 2011...We can hopefully really grow the sport and get to the grassroots level."

To receive USTA support to host a Tennis Night in America/Youth Registration event, go to www.usta.com/yrhost/

Preview: Junior Orange Bowl 49th International Tennis Championship

Jr-Orange-Bowl-logo-2010Following the big boys and girls at the Dunlop Orange Bowl, the "little"-big boys and girls, comprising the top-ranked 14-and-under and 12-and-under players in the world, will in a week's time converge on Coral Gables, Fla., to contest the title at the 49th annual Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship on Dec. 17-23.

The event has received over 1,200 entry applications from 75 countries and continents, including Asia, Europe, North, South, and Central America. Approximately 40 U.S. states will be represented, not counting contestants in the qualifying, held Dec. 14-16, 2010.

Coral Gables will be the place to see the future stars of tomorrow, as past Junior Orange Bowl participants include US Open winner Juan Martin Del Potro, who won the 2002 Boys' 14-and-under championship; former No. 1 Justine Henin, who won the 1996 Girls' 14-and-under championship; former No. 1 Andy Roddick, current world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, former No. 1s Kim Clijsters, Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Jimmy Connors, Steffi Graf, Chris Evert and Jim Courier, and local favorite Mary Jo Fernandez.

Twenty of the Top 25 in the U.S. boys' 14-and-under rankings have entered the tournament, including No. 1 Daniel Kernerman from Brooklyn; No. 2 Zandrix Acob from Hilo, HI; and No. 3 Javier Andres Restrepo from Miami. Other Floridians include No. 14 Stefan Kozlov of Pembroke Pines, who was the Junior Orange Bowl runner-up last year in the Boys' 12-and-under; and No. 18 David Crisovan of Hallandale Beach.

Prominent European players attending this year include No. 1 Gianluigi Quinzi from Italy, and No. 3 Joshua Sapwell from Great Britain. The top 14-and-under South American boys attending are No. 3 Christian Garin from Chile and No. 6 Lautaro Pane from Argentina.

Twelve of the Top 20-ranked U.S. girls in the 14-and-under division are participating, including No. 3 Brooke Austin from Indianapolis, who was the 2009 Junior Orange Bowl Girls 14-and-under runner-up, and No. 7 Dasha Ivanova from Beaverton, OR. Local players include Julia O'Loughlin and Rianna Valdes, both of Boca Raton.

No. 1 Ulyana Ayzatulina from Russia and No. 4 Ioana Ducu from Romania are among the top European girls in the 14-and-under division.

Top-ranked American boys in the 12-and-under division include No. 1 Nathan Ponwith from Scottsdale, AZ, and No. 2 William Blumberg from Greenwich, CT. No. 6 Alex Del Corral of Doral, FL, will be a local favorite. Top-ranked 12-and-under girls participating include No. 1 Cristina Rovira of Port St. Lucie, FL, and No. 3 Anna Sofia Kenin from Pembroke Pines, FL.

2009 Junior Orange Bowl Finals:
Girl's 14: Yuki Chiang (USA) d. Brooke Austin (USA)
Girl's 12: Francoise Abanda (CAN) d. Julia O'Loughlin (Florida, USA)
Boy's 14: Thien Nguyen (VIE) d. Mackenzie McDonald (USA)
Boy's 12: Seongchan Hong (KOR) d. Stefan Kozlov (Florida, USA)

Jupiter Ocean & Racquet Club to Host 4th Annual Rally For The Cure Tennis Tournament

rally-for-the-cure-tennis-lThe Jupiter Ocean & Racquet Club in Jupiter, Fla., will host the 4th Annual Rally For The Cure Tennis Tournament on the dates of Feb. 12, 2011, and Feb. 19. The Feb. 12 date will be the mixed doubles event, and the Feb. 19 date will be the Women & Men's Doubles One Day Tournament. The events will be a round robin format, with lunch and "goody bags" for all participants.

"This is our fourth year running the Rally For The Cure and it just grows larger every year," said Jupiter Ocean & Racquet Club Manager Amy Uzdilla. "It is so wonderful to be able to support such a great cause while playing the game we love."

For more information or to sign up, e-mail JORCtennis@gmail.com or call (561) 747-1500.

2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro Joins 2011 Delray Beach Field

Juan Martin Del Potro has announced he will play in the 2011 Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (ITC), joining an ATP World Tour event singles draw that includes Americans Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and John Isner.

The 19th annual event takes place Feb. 18-27, 2011, at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center. The ATP World Tour stars will be chasing not only the ITC title and its $75,000 winner's check, but also a 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera.

Headlining the second-year ATP Champions Tour event are John McEnroe and Mark Philippoussis, who are providing the star power for the eight-player tournament that features former world-ranked No. 1 players, Grand Slam champions and finalists and Davis Cup winners. McEnroe is returning to Delray Beach after reaching last year's final, while Philippoussis is making his first appearance. Individual session tickets for the 18-session, 10-day ITC went on sale Dec. 1.

"With two US Open champions already signed, without a doubt this ATP World Tour singles draw is shaping up to be the best in our history," said Tournament Director Mark Baron. "Mardy Fish and John Isner finished 2010 in the Top 20, and Fish could be in the Top 10 by tournament time. And having tennis' favorite 'bad boy' (McEnroe) back for our ATP Champions Tour event just makes us ecstatic about 2011."

Please go to www.YellowTennisBall.com or call the ticket office at (561) 330-6000 for further information.

Roddick to Return to U.S. Davis Cup Team in 2011

American No. 1 Andy Roddick will return to the U.S. Davis Cup fold under new captain Jim Courier after sitting out the 2010 campaign to focus on raising his ranking and getting healthy after various injuries and illnesses.

The U.S. team will travel to Chile for first-round play on red clay on March 4-6, 2011.

"I'm very excited to be back on the U.S. Davis Cup team," Roddick said. "I have always said that Davis Cup is something you should commit to for the entire season and not when it is convenient. Trying to win the Davis Cup again is a top priority for me in 2011. Nothing compares to the atmosphere of playing a Davis Cup match and representing your country."

Roddick competed for nine consecutive years (2001-09) for the U.S. squad, compiling a 31-11 singles record, second in U.S. history only behind John McEnroe's 41 wins.

Courier said that Roddick will be a strong addition to the singles line-up that was last year held up primarily by Sam Querrey and Florida residents residents John Isner and Mardy Fish.

"Having Andy commit to the 2011 campaign is huge for our team," Courier said. "Andy not only brings his outstanding Davis Cup record but also his experience and team leadership which will be invaluable to our efforts."

Roddick led the U.S.'s last title-winning effort in 2007.

"I look forward to working with Jim next season," Roddick said. "It will be strange to be sitting next to someone other than [former captain] Patrick [McEnroe] on the bench, but I have a great deal of respect for Jim. He is a fierce competitor and I know he holds Davis Cup in the same esteem that I do. He had so many memorable Davis Cup victories, but the one that will always stick with me most is when he clinched the title for the United States in 1992 since I was in Fort Worth to see that match in person as a kid."

Tennis Hall of Famer Stan Smith at BallenIsles Event for At-risk Kids
A special exhibition and clinic by International Tennis Hall of Famer Stan Smith at BallenIsles Country Club on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010, will provide a rare opportunity for children participating in a program developed by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's department that uses the values and skills of tennis to help fight crime.

Smith, a world No. 1-ranked player and winner of US Open, Wimbledon, Davis Cup, and Australian Open doubles titles, will mentor participants in the new after-school program started this summer in Palm Beach County for at-risk kids. The Kids and Police Tennis Association (KAPTA) was founded by Palm Beach County Deputy Sheriff, Ira Peskowitz, and uses tennis to establish an encouraging environment for children who might otherwise be exposed to crime.
"We're very grateful to Stan Smith for offering so generously of his time and to BallenIsles' members for their generosity in providing these kids access to the exceptional courts at its new state-of-the-art Sports Complex," Peskowitz said. The KAPTA program also received a grant in 2010 from USTA Florida's "Share the Love" campaign to support tennis programs and facilities across Florida.

Sponsored by Prince Racquets, the tennis extravaganza begins at 9 a.m. with a Stan Smith Clinic, followed by an exhibition by the Tennis Hall of Famer and an opportunity to try the latest in Prince Racquets. "BallenIsles tennis professionals are also donating their time to KAPTA and promoting the entire program statewide and eventually nationwide," said BallenIsles Tennis Director Trish Faulkner.

For more information on the event go to www.BallenIsles.org.






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