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Florida Tennis Briefs(3): 10 Under Spotlight; Tampa Women's Event; Serena Commits to Fed Cup

August 11, 2011 11:13 AM
Miramar Tennis Program Benefits from 10 and Under Tennis, USTA Florida Grant

Tennis coach Tom Roach is seeing a difference in his students learning the game since switching to 10 and Under Tennis equipment, featuring the QuickStart play format -- and looks back on his days of teaching small children with large racquets, imposingly-tall nets and high-bouncing balls, and wonders how he did it.

"Three years ago, when I got my program going I did not have the funds to purchase the QuickStart nets and equipment. The kids seemed to enjoy and learn, but looking back now, it was much harder for the kids to learn the game and the kids checked out after a few months," Roach said. "That is not going to happen this time around."

Roach attended a USTA Florida QuickStart recreational teacher training workshop, and shortly thereafter applied for and received a $750 USTA Florida "Share the Love" grant for 10 and Under Tennis equipment. Now he talks about tennis at local schools in the Miramar/Broward County area, such as a recent presentation and exhibition of 10 and Under Tennis at the Coral Cove Elementary School Annual Career Day to talk about tennis and what a tennis coach does. 

"I must of seen 200-plus children in a three-hour period," Roach said. "I had with me some of the QuickStart tennis rackets and starter foam balls, and I let the kids hit the soft balls. Wow! The kids went wild and they had a blast hitting the balls all over the classroom. Their enthusiasm was a thrill to behold. I showed the video of QuickStart tennis with First Lady Michelle Obama on the big screen with the children attentively watching the action. The kids seemed to be spellbound."

Other marketing efforts such as hanging up banners and distributing flyers soon had Roach's program, which started with a handful of kids, filling up with children.

"I went to my local print shop and had them make a two-by-eight foot banner, which was attached to the top of the fence for all to see," Roach said. "From the new banner and the flyer put in the school, my new QuickStart program took off and now a month later I now have 21 promising tennis stars. The enthusiasm has been wonderful and the parents have been very helpful."

Roach says he is also encouraging team play, and hopes to migrate his students into a local USTA Jr. Team Tennis league, which features age divisions 8-under to 18-under at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

"I have pushed for a team concept," Roach says. "We now have a team logo on white t-shirts with blue-colored shorts. I have promised the kids that I would find other tennis teams in the area to compete against us. So please give me a call. We will be ready."

Roach emphasizes the difference that parents have made in helping with the 10 and Under Tennis program, which is parent-friendly even for adults who have never played the game and want to rally with their children. For more info on 10 and Under Tennis in the Miramar area, contact Coach Tom at (954) 442-8869 or tenniscoachtom@comcast.net.              

2011 4th Annual HCTA Women's Doubles Tennis Tournament in Tampa

HCTA logo-newHillsborough County's biggest tennis tournament is back as the 4th Annual HCTA (Hillsborough County Tennis Association) Women's Doubles event will take place Saturday, Oct. 22-23, 2011, hosted at Hunters Green Golf and Country Club and Emerald Greens Country Club.

Proceeds from this women's multi-level tournament will go to Tampa Bay FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), which supports hereditary breast and ovarian cancer research and treatment, Ovacome (Ovarian Cancer and Gynecologic Support & Advocacy), and the HCTA Scholarship Fund.

"Last year, with support from area clubs and tennis players, over 150 wonderful women tennis players, and our many sponsors, raised more than $18,000 to fight cancer," says Tournament Director Marisol Casablanca. "This year we aim to do even better."

Play in the 3.0 to Open levels will begin Saturday, Oct. 22 at 8 a.m. at the two host locations. Lunch will be served and tournament t-shirts will be provided to all participating players. Winners from each site at each level will continue on to Hunter's Green for the Sunday afternoon championship matches, beginning at 4 p.m.

To register, visit HCTA online at www.tampatennis.org. The per-player fee is $50 for HCTA Ace members, and for non-HCTA members. For further information, contact Marisol Casablanca at HCTA2011@gmail.com and Nola Smith reveley@aol.com Emerald Greens Country Club. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or for gift donations, please contact Susan Goldenberg susang@facingourrisk.org or Nola Smith reveley@aol.com.

The Hillsborough County Tennis Association (www.tampatennis.org) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization; all donations (including entry fees and payment for party tickets) are tax deductible.  Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE) is a national nonprofit organization devoted to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (facingourrisk.org). Ovacome USA, Inc. (ovacome.org), the Ovarian and Gynecologic Cancer Support and Advocacy Group of the Tampa Bay area is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the support, education, and empowerment of Ovarian and other Gynecologic Cancer patients.

Serena Williams to Lead U.S. Fed Cup Charge in 2012

Williams-Serena-waving-webThe USTA and Serena Williams made a joint announcement this week that the younger Williams sister will compete in both U.S. Fed Cup matches in 2012 in an effort to become eligible for the 2012 Olympics.

It would be the first Fed Cup appearance for Williams since 2007. Her sister Venus is also expected to participate if her health allows. Both Williams sisters have fought a slate of injuries and health issues over the last 12 months.

International Tennis Federation (ITF) rules state that to be eligible for the 2012 Olympics to be held at Wimbledon, players must have made themselves available to represent their country in Fed Cup play twice from 2009-12.
"I am committing to play in both of the U.S. Fed Cup team's ties in 2012," Serena Williams said in a statement. "After being physically unable to participate in the last few ties, I am eager to compete in Fed Cup and help my country return to the World Group."

In April the U.S. was beaten 5-0 in the World Group Playoff round by Germany, knocking the U.S. out of the World Group for the first time in the history of the competition. If the U.S. defeats Belarus in Feb. 2012, it will advance to the April World Group Playoff round and a chance to re-join the elite World Group for 2013.

"Given the extenuating circumstances that kept Serena out of competition for nearly a year with serious health issues and unable to play Fed Cup in 2011, from the USTA's perspective Serena will be in good standing and eligible for the 2012 United States Olympic tennis team if she participates in both Fed Cup ties in 2012," said a statement from the USTA. "That being said, the ITF will make the final decision regarding Serena's Olympic eligibility."

U.S. Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez says she welcomes back Serena, who is 4-0 in singles and 3-0 in doubles career during her U.S. Fed Cup participation.

"Serena Williams is one of the best players in the history of our sport, and I'm thrilled that she has committed to play in both of our team's ties next year," Fernandez said. "Her presence both on the court and off will undoubtedly help our team as we attempt to return to the World Group for 2013."

The U.S. is the winningest country in the history of the Fed Cup competition. For more info go to www.fedcup.org.






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