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Florida Tennis Briefs(4): Collins, McCourt Win Jr. Titles; Davis Cup to Austin?; More

March 21, 2011 02:02 PM
Danielle Collins web
Danielle Collins
Zack McCourt
Collins, McCourt Win USTA 18 Spring Nationals Tennis

St. Petersburg's Danielle Collins and Zack McCourt of Weston won the USTA 18s Spring National Championships over the weekend in Mobile, Ala. Collins defeated Catherine Harrison 6-1, 6-1, and McCourt won his first career gold ball with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over Austin Smith.

The two Floridian friends told zootennis.com that it was a nice turn-around after early exits at the recent national event in Florida.

"We didn't have the best experience in Tampa two weeks ago," said the 17-year-old Collins. "I think we cried together. We were sulking, it was bad."

The 18-year-old McCourt was the No. 17 seed at the event, and will play for Princeton this fall. Collins was the defending champion in Mobile, and is again reaching top form after injury and illness last year.

"I played so well today," the sixth-seeded Collins said. "It was different today, because a lot of my matches in this tournament, I was really thinking about it, but today I was on a whole other planet, reacting to whatever she did, and I think that worked better for me, because I was more relaxed."

Both players also won the tournament sportsmanship awards.

"We normally try not to give the Sportsmanship Award to the tournament champion but this year these two players had the best sportsmanship hands down," Tournament Director Scott Novak told the Press-Register. "Between sets Danielle Collins was talking to kids in the crowd and relaxing. She worked with the St. Luke's kids earlier in the week and has been outstanding. And Zack McCourt came out on Friday while he was cramping to help me set up the courts for a clinic we were having for a group of little kids. He didn't have to do that. I tried to talk him out of it. They have both been model players on and off the court all week."

For more go to www.zootennis.com.

Austin, Texas, Likely to Host U.S. Davis Cup Versus Spain

USTA National has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday in Austin, where according to local media it's expected they will announce the city will host the U.S. Davis Cup quarterfinal match hosting Spain. The match-up, which will be held the weekend after the 2011 Wimbledon final on July 8-10, will likely feature world No. 1 Rafael Nadal for the Spanish squad.

American Andy Roddick has been campaigning to hold the tie in his home town of Austin.

"Obviously I appreciate the USTA considering it; it's been something I've wanted for a long time," Roddick said after the U.S. defeated Chile in the opening round, setting up a home tie against Spain. "So, I appreciate the effort that's been put in and hopefully we get it. I've done what I could, and hopefully we can get it there, because it would be a dream come true."

Roddick, at the age of 10 as a spectator, attended the last Davis Cup tie hosted in Texas, in Fort Worth in 1992.

The Erwin Center in Austin would be the site of the Davis Cup matches, and speculation is that the matches would be played on a fast indoor carpet. The U.S. has won 32 Davis Cup titles, the last coming in 2007, led by Roddick who is 33-11 career in Davis Cup singles matches, and 12-0 in tie-winning match situations.

Sarasota's 16-year-old Daily Wins USTA Pro Circuit Wildcard Event

Caroline Daily defeated fellow 16-year-old Viktoria Lavretyeva 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 on Sunday in the final of the wildcard event at The Oaks Club in Sarasota, Fla., earning a main draw wildcard at next month's $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit women's event at The Oaks Club.

Lavretyeva's runner-up effort earns her a wildcard into the qualifying for the event. The main draw will be held from April 10-17, 2010.

Daily is a student at Out-of-Door Academy and trains at the Next Generation Tennis Academy at the Longwood Athletic Center.

"I got to 5-0 and I kind of relaxed a little bit," Daily said of the third set, speaking to the Herald-Tribune. "I started to make more errors again. I had really buckled down in that third set, knowing I needed to be more aggressive again and put away every shot that I had the opportunity to."

Lavretyeva trains at IMG Academies in Bradenton.

"Getting into the qualifier is good because it means I can win some matches and get into the main draw," she said. "It's better to have something rather than nothing."

Florida's Ginnard, McKenna, Nichols, on U.S. Title-winning ITF Seniors World Chp. Teams
Mary Ginnard eye on ball web.jpg
Mary Ginnard
McKenna, Vesna (2)
Vesna McKenna
Carolyn Nichols
Florida players were on two of the three U.S. teams that captured championships in New Zealand in late February at the 31st ITF Seniors World Team Championships.

Fort Lauderdale's Carolyn Nichols (captain) and Mary Ginnard were on the first-place U.S. Maureen Connolly Cup (55 and over) team which beat Great Britain 3-0 in the final. Other U.S. team members were Glandale, California's Tina Karwasky and Scottsdale's Sherri Bronson.

"We won the Cup this year without the loss of a set," Nichols said in her blog for www.ustaflorida.com. "After the doubles concluded, we had the medal ceremony, where we received gold medals, stuffed kiwi birds and of course the Maureen Connolly Cup."

The Maureen Connolly Cup was the last event to be decided at the 2011 Seniors World Team Championships. Karwasky got the U.S. off to a winning start, defeating Sally Freeman (GBR) in straight sets 6-2, 6-1. Nichols (USA) then faced Frances Candy (GBR) in a rematch of last year's semifinal at the Seniors World Individual Championships in Mexico, in which Candy was triumphant. This year, Nichols, scored a convincing 6-0, 6-1 win over the Brit to secure a fifth consecutive victory for the U.S. The Americans Ginnard and Bronson then capped the tie with a doubles win.

Hollywood, Florida's Vesna McKenna was on the first place Young Cup (40 and over) that defeated France 2-1 in the final. Also on the U.S. Young Cup team were captain Amy Alcini of Malibu, Calif.; Julie Cass of Austin, Tex.; and Rebecca Stapp of Olympia, Wash.

The U.S. successfully defended its titles from last year in both the Connolly Cup and Young Cup competitions.

Lakeland's Trish Riddell was on the Suzanne Lenglen Cup (35 and over) team that finished in fourth place, losing 2-1 to Great Britain.

Much of the play was cancelled following earthquakes in New Zealand, but all six U.S. teams that took to the court in Timaru and Ashburton finished in the top four of their respective divisions. Although no one was hurt in the wake of the earthquake that struck Christchurch, there was severe damage to the host tennis facility, resulting in the cancelation of all four ITF Seniors World Championships Cups (Italia, Dubler, Fred Perry and Margaret Court Cup) scheduled to take place there. As a result, the American teams will still be recognized as the reigning champions of the Fred Perry Cup and Margaret Court Cup in 2012. 






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