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Florida Tennis Briefs(2): US Open Playoffs Winners; Florida Wal-Mart Tennis Tour

May 31, 2011 08:51 PM
From right: US Open Playoffs-Florida mixed doubles winners Ellis Ferreira and Amanda Rodgers, and runners-up Tiffany Davis and
Milos Koprivica
US Open Playoffs-Florida women's champion Caroline Dailey (left) and runner-up Clarke Tatje
Ferreira-Rodgers Win US Open Playoffs-Florida Mixed Doubles, Dailey Wins Women's

Two-time Grand Slam winner Ellis Ferreira of Holmes Beach, Fla., and student/partner Amanda Rodgers of Bradenton won the US Open Playoffs-Florida tournament over the weekend, and will now advance to the national competition where they will have a chance to earn a main draw US Open Mixed Doubles wildcard.

The pair did not lose a set en route to the title, in the final defeating Milos Koprivica (Lakeland) and Tiffany Davis (Bradenton) 6-4, 6-3.

"We'd like to win," Ferreira told the Herald Tribune of potentially gaining a spot in the US Open Mixed Doubles main draw. "It's a pretty big carrot."

The US Open National Playoffs is a series of tournaments that gives any player 14 years of age or older who meets the eligibility requirements the opportunity to qualify for the 2011 US Open. The winner of each Sectional Qualifying Tournament in each division (men's singles, women's singles, mixed doubles) will advance to the US Open National Playoffs Championships in their respective division taking place in New Haven, CT at Yale University during the WTA tour New Haven Open at Yale (Aug. 18-21 for singles, Aug. 24-27 for mixed doubles).

"Making your way to an event like the US Open [usually] takes many years of earning ranking points in order to make the cut," Ferreira says. "The costs are high and many people can't reach their goals. This gives them that one-time shot to make that a reality."

Ferreira hopes to ultimately navigate the national playoffs to return to Flushing Meadows, N.Y., and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the site of one of his greatest pro tennis memories.
"My best memory of the US Open was my doubles final there in 2000," Ferreira said. "I was playing with Rick Leach against Lleyton Hewitt and Max Mirnyi. A friend of mine was able to fly my wife and two children up for the final in their private jet. Ashley had just given birth to our second girl in late March, so she was not in New York. She could not be in Australia earlier that year when we won the title there because she was expecting, so this was great to have her see me hopefully win another Grand Slam title. Unfortunately we lost 7-6 in the third set, but it is still a great memory. I am obviously hoping to win the event so that Amanda will get the opportunity to experience the Open. She has real talent and a great opportunity herself to one day be there playing singles."

Caroline Dailey of Sarasota won the women's title, defeating Eustis' Clarke Tatje 6-2, 6-1 in the final.

Daily did not drop a set the entire tournament. Tatje plays collegiately for Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The winner of each national men's and women's singles championship will receive a wildcard entry to compete in the 2011 US Open Qualifying Tournament (August 23-26), while the winning team of the National Mixed Doubles Championship will receive a wildcard entry to compete in the main draw of the 2011 US Open Mixed Doubles (commencing Aug. 31) at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The men's final on Wednesday will feature Bradenton's Mark Oljaca against Oleg Dmitriev of Dania Beach.

For updated results or draws for the US Open Playoffs-Florida go to http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=107975.

USTA's SmashZone Mobile Tour to Introduce Tennis to Children of All Ages
Wal-Mart stores in Tampa, Oldsmar, Bradenton and Sarasota to feature events

SmashZone, the premiere interactive fan experience at the US Open is now mobile and will introduce 10 and Under Tennis to kids and adults as part of USTA's youth initiative. The mobile tour will be at 16 participating Wal-Mart stores across the state of Florida in an effort to get kids active and lead a healthy lifestyle through sports and fitness. The mobile tour will be hitting the road and kicks off in Tampa Bay and surrounding areas.

Thursday, June 2, 2011 in Tampa, FL
Friday, June 3, 2011 in Oldsmar, FL
Saturday, June 4, 2011 in Bradenton, FL
Sunday, June 5, 2011 in Sarasota, FL

Walmart Store #2740 -- 19910 Bruce B. Downs Road, Tampa, FL 33647
Walmart Store #2796 -- 3801 Tampa Road, Oldsmar, FL 34677
Walmart Store #1004 -- 5315 Cortez Rd West, Bradenton, FL 34210
Walmart Store #2459 -- 4381 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota, FL 34233

SmashZone will be hitting the road for a 16-city mobile tour across Florida. SmashZone is equipped with a tennis court, interactive games, prizes, and local tennis program information. Children will have the opportunity to play tennis games, such as Champion of the Court and a Target Challenge. The SmashZone is a complement to the USTA's ongoing youth participation initiative, 10 and Under Tennis. 

10 and Under Tennis is part of an ongoing effort to encourage young people across the country to get active and start playing the sport. Similar to other youth sports where equipment and playing fields are scaled-to-size for kids, 10 and Under Tennis, utilizing the QuickStart Tennis play format, gives children age 10 and under the chance to achieve immediate success by playing tennis on smaller courts, using smaller and lighter racquets, and slower-moving and lower-bouncing balls. These monumental changes to the sport make tennis more fun for kids by allowing them to learn and develop their skills in an enjoyable way, increasing the likelihood that kids will continue to play and continue to improve. The USTA Florida Section will be at all locations to provide 10 and Under Tennis program information and to get kids playing at their local tennis facilities.

For more information contact Trina Singian at (914) 697-2223 or singian@usta.com.





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