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Florida Tennis Briefs(4): USTA French Open Wild Card Playoffs Announced; More

April 20, 2011 12:11 PM
USTA French Open Wild Card Playoffs This Week in Boca Raton, Fla.

Boca Raton's Madison Keys
Six men and six women have been invited to participate in the USTA 2011 French Open Wild Card Playoffs, April 20-22, 2011 at the Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla. 

The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which men's and women's singles main draw wildcards into the 2011 French Open and the 2011 US Open are exchanged. Earning French Open wildcards last year at the USTA playoffs were Ryan Sweeting, who won his first ATP World Tour title at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships earlier this month, and Christina McHale, who recently broke into the WTA Top 100.

The six men who will compete are: Andrea Collarini (Boca Raton, Fla.), who reached the boys' singles final at the 2010 French Open; Jordan Cox (Duluth, Ga.), the 2009 Wimbledon boys' singles runner-up; Denis Kudla (Arlington, Va.), the 2010 US Open boys' singles runner-up; Tim Smyczek (Milwaukee, Wisc.), who made his Grand Slam tournament debut at the 2010 US Open after winning a similar playoff to earn a main draw wildcard; Donald Young (Atlanta) who recently upset world No. 5 Andy Murray en route to the third round at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., and won the Tallahassee Challenger, beating James Blake; and Alexios Halebian (Glendale, Calif.), who upset the world's top-ranked junior player en route to the semifinals of the 2010 Dunlop Orange Bowl.

Young is the top seed in the draw and receives a bye, and will play the winner of Collarini and Cox. Smyczek is the No. 2 seed and received a bye, and will play the winner of Kudla and Halebian.

The six women invited to compete are: Julia Boserup (Boca Raton, Fla.), the 2008 Dunlop Orange Bowl champion; Beatrice Capra (Ellicott City, Md.), who won a similar playoff to earn a wildcard into the 2010 US Open and beat then-world No. 20 Aravane Rezai en route to the third round; Lauren Davis (Gates Mills, Ohio), who made her Grand Slam tournament debut at the 2011 Australian Open after winning a similar playoff last December to earn a wildcard; Irina Falconi (Atlanta), the former collegiate All-American who successfully qualified for both the 2010 US Open and the 2011 Australian Open; Madison Keys (Boca Raton, Fla.), who at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., in 2009 became the youngest player to win a main draw WTA match since Martina Hingis; and Grace Min (Duluth, Ga.), who was the runner-up at the 2010 Dunlop Orange Bowl.

Falconi is the top seed and received a bye, and will play the winner of Keys and Davis. Capra is the No. 2 seed and received a bye, and will play the winner of Boserup and Min.

Matches will start at 10 a.m. ET each day. 

Kiwi Tennis Club in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., to Host 2011 50K MIMA Foundation Pro Tennis Classic

KiwiLOGO.jpgThe 2011 MIMA Foundation Pro Tennis Classic presented by Audi Melbourne is again being hosted at Kiwi Tennis Club on May 1-8, 2011, and remains the premiere women's USTA Pro Circuit event on the East Coast of Florida. Players from all over the world will be coming to Indian Harbour Beach to prepare for the 2011 French Open in Paris, which follows the MIMA tournament on the women's WTA schedule. 

Past MIMA champions include Melanie Oudin, Edina Gallovits-Hall, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, and Yanina Wickmayer. 

This year's MIMA Foundation Pro Tennis Classic eight-day claycourt event includes a number of community events:

April 21-22 --  Pre-Qualifying Wild Card Tournament, free admission
Sunday, May 1 -- USTA Kids Day; 1st Round of Qualifying; Mike Cherry High School Skills Competition; free admission to all
Monday, May 2 -- 2nd Round of Qualifying, free admission
Tuesday, May 3 -- Last Round Qualifying/Round 1 Main Draw; Feature Match at 6 p.m., free admission
Wednesday, May 4 -- Rounds 1 & 2; Health Awareness Day; Sponsor Pro Am; Kiwi Member Appreciation Night, free admission
Thursday, May 5 -- Round of 16 and doubles; Space Coast Ladies Day, free admission
Friday, May 6 -- Quarterfinals; Free Beer 6-7 p.m.; USTA League Member Appreciation Day
Saturday, May 7 -- Semifinals; Feature Match and Cocktail Party, dinner, silent auction
Sunday, May 8 -- Finals. Audi Car Giveaway Drawing, Mother's Day Brunch

For the full schedule of events and ticket information, go to www.mimafoundationtennisclassic.org

New Events at 2011 Sarasota Challenger

Sarasota-Open-2011-webRanging from new technology, more broadcasting outlets, increased purse money, fine art and a new charitable foundation, fans and athletes alike will enjoy the new initiatives at the 2011 Sarasota Open, an official USTA Pro Circuit event this month at The Tennis Gardens at The Longboat Key Club & Resort this month.
The Sarasota Open has added a new, more-visible scoreboard to center court and digital speed guns to track the power coming off the player's serves -- always a favorite for spectators. On top off this, there is a subscription-based live feed available to those fans outside the tournament's gates. A broadcasting commitment from Fox Sports Network adds to the world-wide reach of The Sarasota Open.
Balancing this technology is a fine-art presence. Many travelers along Gulf of Mexico Drive have enjoyed the recent installation of Malcolm Robertson's 'Wave 2 Me' -- relocated from the Sarasota bay front's Season of Sculpture to it's permanent home at the entrance of Longboat Key Club & Resort. Tournament spectators will enjoy a sampling of the UK artist's 'Wave After Wave' exhibition with a number of interior pieces plus two impressive outdoor sculptures entitled 'Ebb' and 'Flow' which flank the event entrance entry steps.
The purse money has increased to $75,000 this year, qualifying The Sarasota Open as an official USTA Pro Circuit event. Also this year, the Sarasota Open Foundation was formed to continue the tournament's tradition of donating a portion of event revenues to youth-centric charities like Taking Back Lives. 18-year-old LPGA rookie Jessica Korda, daughter of former Australian Open winner Petr Korda, recently named The Sarasota Open Foundation as her official charity.
The 2011 Sarasota Open is again being hosted at The Tennis Gardens at Longboat Key Club & Resort, and it remains the premiere Men's USTA/ATP Professional Tournament on the West Coast of Florida. For more information go to www.SarasotaOpen.org.

Bradenton's 12-year-old Shishkina Wins All-Florida Easter Bowl Tennis Final

Maria Shishkina (left) last year at the USTA Florida Jr. State Closed
Bradenton, Fla. resident and Maria Shishkina upped her quarterfinals effort at last year's Easter Bowl, capturing the 2011 title in the 14s division with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Miami resident Katerina Stewart.

The 12-year-old Shishkina, seeded No. 5, turned the tables on the No. 8-seeded Stewart, who had beaten her in their last meeting.

"I loved how I played today," Shishkina told zootennis.com. "I wanted to win so badly. I had to stay consistent, because she made some mistakes, but she's a great player, and I just tried to do my best."

Shishkina trains at the IMG/Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and Stewart at the Next Level Tennis Academy in Miami with her father.

Stewart had beaten the diminutive Shiskina in their last meeting on claycourts.

"I think on hardcourts she can easily take the balls on the rise, better than on clay," Stewart said. "On clay, my style of ball jumps up higher than normal, so it helped me last time."

In the latest April 19 updated rankings for the Florida Girls' 14s, Shiskina is No. 1, followed by Stewart, and joined in the Top 5 by Julia O'Loughlin (Lighthouse Point), Tornado Ali Black (Boca Raton), and Mia Horvit (Parkland). 






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