Florida Tennis Briefs(4): Challenger Pre-Q; Peschke Awarded; Querrey Delray Wildcard

February 15, 2011 10:37 AM
Tallahassee Challenger Tennis to Feature FAMU Wildcard Tournament
Tallahassee-CH-logo-2011The USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger is offering any male player a chance to work his way into a pro tournament when it hosts the FAMU Wildcard Tennis Tournament on April 1-3, 2011, at the Florida A&M Tennis Center in Tallahassee.
“This tournament raises money to support the FAMU tennis teams,” says Tallahassee Challenger Tournament Director Karen Vogter. “It is the only way a person without ATP points can get into the Challenger other than a wildcard. We have all sorts of folks play in it -- kids from academies, up-and-coming juniors, older players and those who just think it would be fun to see how they do against other good players.”
The winner of the FAMU Wildcard Tennis Tournament will receive a wildcard entry into singles qualifying tournament for the Tallahassee Challenger. Entry fee for the FAMU Wildcard Tennis Tournament on April 1-3 is $50.
Entry deadline for the event is March 30, 2011. For an entry form e-mail simbarashe20032003@yahoo.com or carl.goodman@famu.edu. The tournament draw will be posted on March 31 at www.TallahasseeChallenger.com.
The Challenger, an official USTA Pro Circuit event, is in its 12th year. The beginning of qualifying on Saturday, April 9 through the final on Saturday, April 16 will be highlighted by multiple special events at the City of Tallahassee’s Forestmeadows Tennis Complex.
Past winners include Mardy Fish, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and John Isner, and fans can also see up-and-coming stars such as Ryan Harrison and Ricardis Berankis.
“A pass for the entire week of the tournament is only $40,” Vogter says. Children under 10 are free for the entire tournament. It’s a great and inexpensive way to let your children see a pro tournament.”
The Tallahassee Challenger also remains a strong supporter of children’s events and community support.
“In addition to a Special Olympics event for children, we have QuickStart Tennis play format events for four schools of 2nd graders each year,” Vogter says. “The Challenger buys a bunch of equipment for all our events and after everything is over I divide it up among the four schools who came each year, hoping to jump start their programs at their schools. It has actually worked pretty well -- most of the schools have incorporated quick start into their curriculums or after school programs.”
The tournament also hosts events for the Boys & Girls Club, Boys Town, First Serve participants, holds free clinics for adults and children, and will feature QuickStart Tennis on the feature court during the evening match.
Money raised from the Tallahassee Challenger goes to benefit the D. Mark Vogter, M.D. Memorial Endowment for the Neuro-Intensive Care and the Sharon Ewing Walker Breast Health Center at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, and the Yealdhall Challenger Tennis Fund at Friends of Our Parks.
“Friends of Our Parks Foundation is the fundraising arm for parks and recreation here in Tallahassee,” Vogter said. “All of us involved in the Challenger are very interested in giving as much back to our community as possible in addition to providing a first class USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Tallahassee. All our money is donated back to improve health care and our tennis facilities in Leon County. Free tennis clinics conducted by our local USPTA professionals are offered for everyone during the event. We realize that without community support this event could not happen. We are very lucky to have strong partnerships with the City of Tallahassee Parks Recreation & Neighborhood Affairs, the USTA Pro Circuit and the USTA Florida Section. Over the years these relationships have served to improve the tournament and have contributed to our community in many ways.”
Alachua County Boys & Girls Club Granted '10 and Under Tennis' Equipment
The Alachua County Boys & Girls Club will be honing potential future tennis champions, and hooking children on the "sport of a lifetime," following the announcement of a USTA Florida "Share the Love" grant for 10 and Under Tennis featuring the QuickStart play format equipment for the Gainesville facility.
BoysGirls_Alachua logoUSTA 10 and Under Tennis featuring the QuickStart play format is designed for children featuring smaller court sizes, racquet sizes, low-compression balls, a simple scoring system, and net heights that enable kids to learn, rally, play, and compete right from the start. Similar child-size-appropriate formats have long been popular in Europe, where stars such as Roger Federer, Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes. To see a video of 10 and Under Tennis in action go to: http://10andundertennis.usta.com.
"We are very fortunate to have received this generous donation of tennis equipment to begin the QuickStart Tennis program with our children," said Alachua County Boys & Girls Club Director, Development & Special Events Laura Javidi. "This program, through the Share the Love grant, will ensure our children receive the proper training and tennis equipment to enhance their chances of success."
Located at 2700 NW 51st Street in Gainesville, the Alachua County Boys & Girls Club carries out its mission to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.
"Our kids have a fun place to go every day after school," said Alachua County Boys & Girls Club President Keith Blanchard. "When they are at the club, it doesn't matter if their parents have a job or not. It doesn't matter if they don't have a computer. It doesn't matter if they are not wearing designer clothes. All that matters is there are professional staff who care about them and provide programs that are fun and build good character along the way. Clubs help kids see that they can be whatever they want to be -- regardless of their family situation."
USTA Florida annually directs 90% of member dollars back into the community to support tennis programs and projects throughout Florida. USTA Florida's Share the Love grant program helps fund tennis programs and projects throughout Florida communities during challenging economic times. Funding priorities include 10 and Under Tennis and Jr. Team Tennis (coordinator training, start-up, etc.), public facility funding (schools, parks, conversion to permanent 10 and Under courts, etc.), community tennis awareness (innovative pro-active start-ups, program expansion), school programs and senior tennis programs/projects.
"We look forward to hearing of the future success of children learning with the Ten and Under Tennis equipment at the Boys & Girls Club," said USTA Florida Director of Community Tennis Linda Curtis. "It is with USTA membership dollars that we are able to offer program grants to childrens organizations like these."
Share the Love grant applications are still being accepted by USTA Florida at www.USTASharetheLove.com, or questions can be e-mailed to grants@florida.usta.com. For more information on the 10-and-Under Tennis play format in Florida, go to www.ustaflorida.com.
For more information on Alachua County Boys & Girls Club programs go to www.facebook.com/BoysandGirlsClubofAlachuaCounty.
Sarasota’s Peschke Named PTR Touring Pro Tennis Coach of the Year
PTR.jpgProfessional Tennis Registry (PTR) will present its annual awards next week during the 2011 PTR International Tennis Symposium. The event, which includes 50-plus on court and classroom presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, a tennis trade show and tournament is being held Feb. 18-24, 2011 at PTR Headquarters on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Torsten Peschke, of Sarasota, Florida, will be named PTR’s Coach Jim Verdieck Touring Pro Coach of the Year Award. Peschke has been a PTR certified professional since 1994, when at just 17, he was one of the youngest coaches ever certified in Germany. Peschke started his coaching career at the Berlin SC Siemensstadt Tennis Club, and since then, has gone on to become one of the most successful and respected coaches on the WTA tour.
Peschke began coaching on the women’s tour at ITF events in 1995, when he started working with rising Czech star Kveta Hrdlickova, now better known as Kveta Peschke (they married in 2003). They have enjoyed extraordinary success together, with Torsten Peschke guiding Kveta to a career-high ranking of 26 in singles and No. 3 in doubles, along with a WTA singles title and 17 doubles titles.
During this time, Torsten Peschke also ran a successful sports complex in Berlin, but sold his share of the business in 2007, to be able to focus fully on his Tour coaching.
In addition to working as Kveta’s personal coach for the last 15 years, Torsten Peschke is also credited as the team coach with the players Kveta has so successfully partnered with over the years, including Lisa Raymond, Francesca Schiavone, Rennae Stubbs and Katarina Srebotnik. H e also served as a Fed Cup Coach and sparring partner for the Czech team in eight ties from 1998-2008.
 In 2010, as the team coach for Kveta Peschke/ Katarina Srebotnik, he guided the team to tournament wins in Indian Wells and New Haven, as well as the finals in seven other events, including Roland Garros and the prestigious WTA Championships in Doha. Peschke/Srebotnik finished their highly successful year as the No. 2 team in the world rankings. Torsten Peschke also worked closely with Kveta and Aisam Qureshi in their run to the US Open mixed doubles final, and coached Czech star Lucie Safarova during the US summer swing.
Querrey Receives Final Wildcard For ATP Delray Beach ITC
Sam Querrey (left) with U.S. Davis Cup partner John Isner
World No. 18 Sam Querrey has accepted a wildcard to play in the 19th annual Delray Beach International Tennis Championships' (ITC) World Tour event which begins Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, at the Delray Beach Stadium and Tennis Center.
The ATP World Tour event now has the top four Americans in its draw, including Andy Roddick (No. 8), Mardy Fish (No. 17), Querrey and John Isner (No. 24). Additionally, two-time ITC finalist and former Top 10 player James Blake is playing in Delray Beach. Blake and 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro received the other two wildcards for the event.
Querrey, a 23-year-old Las Vegas resident, had his best season in 2010 with a Top 20 finish and four ATP World Tour titles -- the third highest total on tour behind Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. He has a 5-3 record in Delray Beach and reached the semifinals in 2008. 
Individual session tickets range in price from $15 for grandstand seats to $85 for box seats, while a wide variety of tournament packages are available from $200 to $490. A limited number of ON-COURT "Best Seats in the House" remain, and there are unique "Fan Experiences" also available for purchase. For all information go to www.YellowTennisBall.com or call (561) 330-6000.