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Florida Tennis Briefs(3): US Open Playoffs Mixed, 10-U Miami PlayDay, Jax Tri-Level

August 24, 2011 08:55 AM
Florida's Ferreira/Rodgers Begin US Open Playoffs Mixed Wildcard Quest

From right: Ellis Ferreira and Amanda Rodgers
The USTA announced the 14 teams that will compete in the first-ever US Open National Playoffs-Mixed Doubles Championship, to be held Aug. 24-27, 2011, at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale in New Haven, Conn. The tournament is being held in conjunction with the New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara, the final Olympus US Open Series women's event of the summer. The winning team will receive a wildcard into the main draw of the 2011 US Open Mixed Doubles Tournament, starting Wednesday, Aug. 31, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., the home of the US Open.

Florida will be represented by USTA Florida Section tournament winners Ellis Ferreira of Holmes Beach and Amanda Rodgers of Bradenton. The 41-year-old Ferreira is a two-time Grand Slam doubles champion from his days on the ATP tour, while the 18-year-old Rodgers is his student, about to begin her freshman year at Syracuse.

"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."

Mixed doubles was added to the US Open National Playoffs this year, following the debut of men's and women's singles last year. This year, 192 teams competed in mixed doubles at one of 16 Sectional Qualifying Tournaments, and 14 teams have advanced to New Haven (two teams have withdrawn). The US Open National Playoffs function as a series of tournaments held throughout the United States to make the US Open eligible to anyone and everyone 14 and over with the passion to compete, regardless of playing ability or nationality.

The top-seeded team is comprised of David Martin and Christina Fusano, who have combined to win 31 USTA Pro Circuit doubles crowns (20 for Martin, 11 for Fusano). Other notable pairings are the brother-sister team of Samantha and Harrison Adams, who advanced out of Texas, and a pair of coaches from the University of Oklahoma, Dave Mullins and Brook Connelly, who won the Missouri Valley title.

A one-hour documentary on the 2011 US Open National Playoffs will be broadcast on Tennis Channel, airing Monday, Sept. 12.

Free 10-under Tennis PlayDay at Michael-Ann Russell JCC in Miami

10_UnderPlayDays logoA free USTA 10 and Under Tennis PlayDay will be held on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 at 12:30-5 p.m. at the Michael-Ann Russell Soffer Family Tennis Center in North Miami Beach, featuring 36-foot and 60-foot courts specifically for children age 10 and under.

"We are thrilled to host the PlayDay event at our facility," said Donna Tollefsen, director of the Michael-Ann Russell JCC. "The staff at the JCC is committed to bringing this new 10 and Under Tennis to our children. Our staff has been trained and we are excited."

From 12:30-2:30 p.m. the 36-foot and 60-foot courts will be featured along with 10 and Under Tennis, which is designed for children utilizing kid-sized racquets, nets, lower-bouncing balls and smaller court sizes focusing on fun.

"From 3-5 p.m. we want to see the 12 and older kids to come out and learn more about Jr. Team Tennis," said Desi Pierre, USTA Jr. Team Tennis coordinator. "This is a wonderful program that gives kids the opportunity to play in local league competition in the age and level division that suits them best. North Miami is proud to say that in our first time at the Jr. Team Tennis Florida Sectional event, our 12-and-under players won in their division."

USTA Jr. Team Tennis (JTT) brings kids age 5-18 together in teams to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles against other teams in co-ed play. For beginner to advanced players, JTT is divided by age groups (8-under, 10-under, 12-under, 14-under, 18-under) and levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced).

Children age 10 and under who have never been USTA members can also sign up for a free USTA junior membership.

For more PlayDay information contact Cathy Nordlund, USTA Florida tennis program coordinator for the Miami area, at nordlund@florida.usta.com.

Register on-line for this free event and you will be entered to win a prize package including a 10 and Under Tennis mini-net, junior racquet, and low pressure balls, or for 12-and-over JTT kids a Wilson Flexpoint Radical Tour tennis racquet. Must be present to win.

To register for the event go to www.ustamiami.com.

Jacksonville Wraps Up Largest USTA Tri-Level League Tennis Season

The USTA Jacksonville Tri-Level Women's League closed its season on Aug. 18, 2011, with an invitational tournament featuring more than 50 players.
"Deerwood Country Club hosted this wonderful and fun event where over 50 ladies competed for their teams in the final matches of the season," said league organizer Carson Phillips. "Our format is unique and allows a wide latitude of players to join together for one team."

The USTA Tri-Level League is for players 18 and older who want to play with friends that are all at different NTRP (National Tennis Rating Program) levels, or for players who have a hard time finding enough players at one level to form a team. Players can compete on a team consisting of three or more NTRP levels (example: one 3.0 doubles team, one 3.5 doubles and one 4.0 doubles = Tri-Level team). This socially competitive league is a great way to enjoy the camaraderie of friends in the ultimate team experience.

"The purpose of our league is to provide friendly competition and fellowship for our players during our hot summer months," Phillips said. "We have enjoyed a steady growth in league participation over the last four years to an all-time high this season."

The Ponte Vedra/Barbone team finished in first place for Division 1 teams, and the San Jose/Moore team finished in first place for Division 2 teams. In the men's league the Boone Park team captained by Quincy Pham defeated Hidden Hills/Salvador 2-1 in the final.

For more information on Jacksonville USTA Tri-Level League play contact Carson Phillips at ustacarson@gmail.com.






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