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Florida Tennis Briefs(4): Free Miami 10-U Play Day; Jax H.S. Tennis Event Raises $19K; More

August 17, 2011 04:22 PM
Free Kids Playday, 10-U Courts Grand Opening at Tamiami Tennis Center

10_UnderPlayDays logoA free 10 and Under Tennis Playday will mark the grand opening of permanent 10 and Under Tennis courts at the Tamiami Tennis Center on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 3-5 p.m.

The family-friendly event, free and open to the public, will debut four permanent 36-foot 10 and Under Tennis courts, and six courts painted with blended lines for 60-foot court play for youngsters using USTA's 10 and Under Tennis featuring the QuickStart play format. Courts will also be set up with multiple fun activities and stations for children.

"Tamiami Tennis Center has been a wonderful collaboration between Miami-Dade County Parks & Recreation, Friends of Miami Tennis, and the USTA to embrace and bring QuickStart Tennis from the very start of the 10 and Under Tennis movement to this facility," said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator for the Miami area Cathy Nordlund. "We are so excited to unveil the new 36-foot and 60-foot courts at this free event."

Tamiami Tennis Center is the first Miami facility to install permanent 36-foot courts for beginning tennis players utilizing the 10 and Under Tennis format, which features kid-sized racquets, nets, and lower-bouncing balls so children can learn proper technique in a fun format, rather than struggling with adult-sized equipment.

The Tamiami 10 and Under Tennis courts are the result of $24,000 in grant assistance from the USTA Florida "Share the Love" initiative, USTA national, and Friends of Miami Tennis. Friends of Miami Tennis, an official USTA Community Tennis Association (CTA), is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization which manages the center, and also organizes adaptive tennis sessions for physically-challenged youth, hosts QuickStart workshops, annual Special Olympics clinics, and USTA Tennis Block Parties among other activities.

When parents register their children online for this free event at ustamiami.com they will automatically be entered in a drawing to win a prize package of a free 10 and Under Tennis mini-net, a junior racquet and low-pressure balls, a $200 value. Parents can also sign-up on-site for a free USTA junior membership for kids 10 and Under who are new members, a $19 value.

To register or for more information go to www.ustamiami.com or contact Cathy Nordlund at (305) 2525-6591 or Nordlund@florida.usta.com


Jacksonville 'Serve an Ace' Event Raises $19,000 for High School Tennis

Jax-pros
From left: MaliVai Washington, Todd Martin, San Jose C.C. pro Marie Waller, Brian Gottfried and Amer Delic
Jax-clinics
Supporters participate in afternoon clinics
A rain delay between the afternoon clinics and the evening pro exhibition could not dampen the enthusiasm of more than 150 tennis supporters who attended the "Serve an Ace for Our Students" tennis exhibition on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011 at the San Jose Country Club in Jacksonville to end a week of events that raised $19,000 to offset district budget cuts for Jacksonville high school tennis.

The Save Jax High School Tennis Group announced their plans on Monday, Aug. 8 for a week of fundraising starting with pizza sales on Tuesday and Wednesday along with a full day of fundraising at the San Jose Country Club on Saturday.

The full-day fundraiser included morning and afternoon clinics with local teaching pros, and an evening doubles exhibition featuring current ATP pro and Jacksonville high school tennis product Amer Delic and former Wimbledon finalist MaliVai Washington against former Top 5 players Todd Martin and Brian Gottfried.

High School students and adults paid to participate in the clinics filling 12 courts to capacity in the morning and six courts in the afternoon.  Twenty-two pros donated their time for the clinic event. All money raised goes to the Save Jax High School Tennis campaign.

"A substantial amount of money was raised and the day was a huge success," said Leo Vorwerk, director of tennis at San Jose Country Club. "This event could not have happened without the pros' participation."
 
High School students, parents, and coaches assisted in the sale of tickets to the clinics and tennis exhibition and also raised money with Pizza sales on Tuesday and Wednesday, selling 200 pizzas donated by Papa Murphy pizza. Stephen Ireland from Stanton High School was recognized at the pro exhibition as the student who raised the most money, and was awarded a Wilson racquet.

Additionally, $1,000 donations came from the San Jose Ladies Tennis Association, Timuquana Club, Florida Yacht Club, and USTA Florida.

"In addition to the money raised, high school tennis benefits in so many ways as awareness is raised on the importance of the sport and the support in our community," said event organizer Celia Rehm. "We received in-kind contributions exceeding $10,000 from individuals, Moe's Southwest Grill, Firehouse Subs, Papa Murphy's and Sweet! Cupcakes, Head/Penn Racquet Sports, Wilson Racquet Sports, Mint Magazine, Publix and Winn Dixie."

The "Save Jax High School Tennis" group, in consultation with Jon Fox, the Duval County Public Schools athletics director, has a goal to raise $44,000 to cover the costs of tennis for the 2011-12 school term. Due to educational spending cuts by the State of Florida, the Duval County School Board made a decision early in the year to eliminate the boys' and girls' tennis teams as part of cuts in varsity sports. As a result, none of Duval County's 17 high schools are currently scheduled to offer students the opportunity to play tennis during the coming spring season.

Rehm says the "Save High School Tennis" group, made up of representatives from the Jax Youth Tennis Association, the Northeast Florida Professional Tennis Association, the First Coast Tennis Foundation and other organizations, greatly appreciates the support from the Greater Jacksonville area and the tennis community to help raise the necessary funds to keep tennis in Duval County Public Schools.

For more information on the future fundraising plans of the "Save High School Tennis" group in Jacksonville, contact Celia Rehm at cylrhem@bellsouth.net.


New Fan Enhancements at 2011 US Open

US OpenThe USTA has announced a series of enhanced fan experiences and expanded programming for the 2011 US Open that will include new musical entertainment, upgrades to the facility, new mobile technology offerings and a full slate of activities for the sports youngest fans.

This year's Opening Night ceremony will celebrate youth tennis in an innovative way that will incorporate player images and special lighting effects for the first time, as well as a musical performance by Taio Cruz. Following Cruz, young singer Greyson Chance will perform the Star Spangled Banner. On Finals Weekend, the USTA and the US Open will remember those whose lives were lost on Sept. 11, 2001, with a pair of pre-match ceremonies in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Prior to the start of the prime-time women's singles final on Saturday, Sept. 10, there will be a special performance by Grammy and Emmy Award-winner Cyndi Lauper. On Sunday, Sept. 11, Queen Latifah -- musician, television and film actress, label president and author -- will preside over a tribute before the start of the men's singles final. For both the women's and men's singles championships "9-11-01" will be painted on the stadium court as part of this memorial tribute.

The USTA will unveil a new show court -- Court 17 -- for this year's tournament. The court will have full television capabilities, state-of-the-art video screens, and will include the Chase Review electronic line calling system. All match play on this court will be part of USOpen.org's live streaming. Court 17 will seat more than 2,500, making it the fourth-largest court at the US Open. The court will become the sixth television court for the tournament.

Other additions include opening the food court during the free qualifying weekend with added player autograph sessions and 10 and Under Tennis demonstrations, a new American Express Fan Experience outside the indoor tennis facility, a live draw on Thursday, Aug. 25 at noon on ESPN's SportsCenter, and more. For a full list of events go to www.usopen.org.


Hewitt, Harrison, Young Among Men's Wildcards for US Open

Harrison-backhand-2011
Ryan Harrison
The USTA announced that 2001 US Open champion Lleyton Hewitt of Australia and a group of Americans consisting of former US Open semifinalist Robby Ginepri, teenager Ryan Harrison, reigning NCAA champion Steve Johnson, Jack Sock, who won his second consecutive USTA Boys' 18s title on Sunday, and current world No. 89 Donald Young, along with France's Julien Benneteau, have been awarded men's singles main draw wildcard entries into the 2011 US Open Tennis Championships. 

The 2011 US Open will be played Aug. 29-Sept. 11 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

One additional wildcard will be given to the winner of the 2011 US Open Wild Card Playoff, an eight-player invitational event held by USTA Player Development at the Junior Tennis Champions Center, a USTA Certified Regional Training Center in College Park, Md., this week.

Both the men's and women's US Open singles champions will win $1.8 million in prize money with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total potential payout of $2.8 million) based on their performance in the 2011 Olympus US Open Series.

In addition to the eight US Open men's singles main draw wildcards, the USTA also announced eight men who have been awarded wildcard entries into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, which will be held Aug. 23-26 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. One additional US Open qualifying wildcard will be awarded to the winner of the 2011 US Open National Playoffs-Men's Championship, taking place August 18-21 in New Haven, Conn. 

Players receiving 2011 US Open qualifying wildcards are: 2011 USTA Boys' 18s runner-up Mitchell Frank (18, Annandale, Va.); 2011 French Open boys' singles champion Bjorn Fratangelo (18, Plum, Pa.); 2011 Easter Bowl champion Marcos Giron (18, Thousand Oaks, Calif.); Bradley Klahn (20, Poway, Calif.), the 2010 NCAA men's singles champion and a rising senior at Stanford; Daniel Kosakowski (19, Huntington Park, Calif.), who recently turned professional after his freshman year at UCLA; Denis Kudla (18, Arlington, Va.), who recently reached the quarterfinals at the ATP World Tour event in Newport, R.I.; and two University of Tennessee standouts -- Tennys Sandgren (20, Gallatin, Tenn.), who won back-to-back titles on the USTA Pro Circuit this summer; and 2011 NCAA men's singles runner-up Rhyne Williams (20, Knoxville, Tenn.), who turned professional this summer.
 
 

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