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Florida Tennis Briefs(4): USTA Pro Circuit Wildcard Tourney; Jacksonville 10-Under Grants; More

February 22, 2011 11:06 AM
2011-Clearwater-Open-webWildcard Tournament Deadline This Week for USTA Pro Circuit Clearwater Women's Open
 
A local women’s wildcard tennis tournament will be held on Feb. 26-28, 2011, where the winner will receive a wildcard into the main draw of the 7th Annual Sheriff Jim Coats Clearwater Women's Open in Clearwater, Fla. The tournament is a USTA Pro Circuit event.
 
Entry deadline for the tournament is Feb. 24. The event will be held at the Henry L. McMullen Tennis Complex, located at 1000 Edenville Avenue in Clearwater. Entry fee for the event is $50 for singles and $50 for doubles per team.
 
The proceeds from the event benefit two local youth programs -- the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast and the Pinellas Sheriff's Police Athletic League (PAL).
 
"The Clearwater Women's Open brings the rising stars in women's tennis to town for a great cause," said Sheriff Jim Coats. "It provides a positive example in professional sports for the youth in our community."
 
The wildcard tournament winner will receive a wildcard into the main draw of the 7th Annual Sheriff Jim Coats Clearwater Women's Open, held March 6-13, 2011, and the runner-up will receive a wildcard into the tournament qualifying, to be held March 7-8. Doubles winners will receive a wildcard into the main draw doubles.
 
For additional information about the tournament or to register visit www.clearwateropen.com
 
 
Roddick Withdraws from ATP Delray Beach Citing Illness   
 
Top seed Andy Roddick has pulled out of the Delray Beach International Championships because of illness.
 
Roddick said during a press conference late Monday afternoon that he began experiencing flu-like symptoms prior to his Memphis final and has been prescribed antibiotics.
 
NEW DelrayITC.jpg"I'm very disappointed. I've waited too long to come back and play this tournament," said Roddick, who is a former resident of nearby Boca Raton where he played in high school. "It's just unfortunate timing. I was looking forward to coming back. I honestly don't feel I can go out there and give my best."
 
Roddick won his 30th ATP World Tour title Sunday when he defeated Canadian Milos Raonic in three sets at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis, joining Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as the only active tennis players to win at least 30 career ATP titles. Roddick, ranked No. 8 in world, notched the victory with a remarkable diving forehand shot down the line on match point.
 
Roddick's spot atop the bracket has been filled by qualifier Marinko Matosevic. The top seed at the event is now Mardy Fish, who won the title in 2009.
 
On Monday No. 3 seed Sam Querrey outlasted Germany's Dustin Brown 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, while American up-and-comer Ryan Harrison was not so lucky, losing in three sets to France’s Florent Serra.
 
Tuesday night session play at Delray Beach will feature former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro vs. former world No. 1-ranked junior Ricardis Berankis, and Aaron Krickstein vs. Mark Philippoussis in the Champions Tour final.
 
 
No. 2 Florida Women Topped by No. 1 Stanford in ITA National Team Indoor Chps.
 
Gator-Tennis.jpgStacey Tan's three-set victory powered No. 1 Stanford to a 4-2 win over No. 2 Florida on Monday en route to capturing a record 10th ITA National Women's Team Indoor title. The match was a rematch of the 2010 NCAA Championships in which Stanford also claimed victory over the Gators 4-3.
 
Stanford (9-0) captured its first indoor tournament title since 2006, when the Cardinal blanked Texas 4-0. Only Florida and No. 8 Michigan (4-1) managed to come away with points in their matches against Stanford, as No. 19 Arkansas and No. 4 North Carolina were both blanked 4-0.
 
In a reversal of last year's NCAA title match, Stanford won the doubles point on Monday and started out with a 1-0 lead. After the first two matches split, the No. 3 pairing of Carolyn McVeigh and Stacey Tan ground out an 8-6 win over Alex Cercone and Olivia Janowicz to claim the point.
 
Florida bounced back quickly in singles play, collecting a pair of straight-set victories on courts two and six to grab a 2-1 lead before Lauren Embree booked a 6-4, 6-4 victory at the No. 2 spot over Mallory Burdette, last year's NCAA Tournament MVP. The Gators earned their second point when Olivia Janowicz put away McVeigh 6-1, 6-1 at the No. 6 spot.
 
Meanwhile, Stanford freshmen Kristie Ahn and Nicole Gibbs have proven to be consistent winners early on this year despite alternating at the middle spots of the lineup. The rookies were impressive once again on Monday, with both players winning in succession as the Cardinal retook control of the match at 3-2.
 
Ahn breezed past Sofie Oyen 6-4, 6-2 at the No. 3 spot before Gibbs bested Joanna Mather 7-6 (2), 6-3 at the No. 4 position. That left two matches remaining on court. Second-ranked Hilary Barte was battling seventh-ranked Allie Will at No. 1, and Tan was squaring off against Cercone at No. 5. The first two sets were split in both contests.
 
Barte held leads of 5-4 and 6-5 against Will, but was unable to close out. Meanwhile, Tan was up 5-4 in her match and with Barte racing out to a 5-2 lead in her tiebreaker against Will, things were looking good for Stanford. Tan then closed out the third set at 6-4, securing the match and tournament title.
 
 
Jacksonville Tops State's Tennis 10-Under Numbers; 5 New Area USTA Florida Grants Announced
 
Jacksonville, Fla., is quickly becoming the QuickStart play format capital of the U.S., according to United States Tennis Association (USTA) statistics. In January 2011, the USTA Florida Section had the largest membership gains of all USTA sections in the United States, and within Florida, Region 2 (Jacksonville area) had the largest gains.
 
Much of that total is comprised of junior and 10 and Under Tennis players, and the momentum will be maintained following the announcement of five new USTA Florida "Share the Love" grants in the Greater Jacksonville area:
 
10andundertennis-logo-register-2011
mediawallsharethelovepe
Jax Youth Tennis Association
The newly-formed Jax Youth Tennis Association (JYTA) is a registered USTA non-profit organization that is teaming with the City of Jacksonville (JaxParks) to provide 10 and Under Tennis featuring the QuickStart play format at large public parks throughout the Jacksonville area. The JYTA has a mission to promote and develop junior programs in the public sector of Jacksonville, focusing on 10 and Under Tennis and USTA Jr. Team Tennis (for children 18 and younger), initially at the Southside Tennis complex, Boone Park and Burnett park.
 
"The Share the Love grant awarded by USTA Florida has made it possible to provide QuickStart Tennis equipment to three public sites to get this exciting project off the ground," said JYTA founder Celia Rehm, who received a $4,000 grant. "Other wonderful resources such as the QuickStart Tennis workshops, the training videos, and the assistance of the area USTA Florida tennis program coordinator and USTA Jr. Team Tennis coordinator have helped tremendously."
 
The start of the Spring Season of USTA Jr. Team Tennis featuring the QuickStart format of play in the area will be March 29-May 12. For more information on JYTA junior tennis call Celia Rehm at (904) 262-1399 or e-mail JYTAjam@gmail.com, or go to www.jaxparks.com.
 
MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation/City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation
USTA Florida's "Share the Love" initiative has provided a $4,000 grant for the "Summer Night Lights and Mid-Summer Jamboree" projects, a partnership between Jacksonville's MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation (MWKF) and the City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation department to reduce crime in the area of Emmett Reed Park for eight weekends beginning June 24th, from 7 p.m. to midnight.
 
"Last year, at four pilot sites, crime was reduced by 21-23% compared to the same time frame the previous year," said MWKF Executive Director Terri Florio. "Emmett Reed Park is a new site this year and the grant will allow us to add a tennis component and music on our side of the street. Since this event attracts families as well as teens, we will focus on introducing QuickStart, although we will have clinics for teenagers and adults as well."
 
In July the MWKF will also host a QuickStart Jamboree for area camps, inviting area tennis pros as one of the 15th anniversary celebratory events for the foundation. For more info go to www.malwashington.com or e-mail terri@malwashington.com.
 
Eagle Harbor, Julington Creek Plantation Grants
Jacksonville-area tennis directors Randy Jenks of Eagle Harbor Country Club and Scott Miller at Julington Creek Plantation have, with the help of a "Share the Love" grant, organized a first-time "QuickStart Grand Prix Circuit" at their respective clubs. The circuit will utilize USTA 10 and Under Tennis featuring the QuickStart play format equipment. The 2011 monthly events, which begin in March and end in October, are designed for 8-and-under and 10-and-under novice players to receive a fun introduction to competitive play. Each received an equipment grant for their respective clubs.
 
Miller says the new format of play has increased demand at the 10-and-under age level, and looks forward to using 10 and Under Tennis featuring the QuickStart play format to increase retention of younger players in his 7,500 household community. Jenks says, "Eagle Harbor is pleased to have received grant money to further our QuickStart program that will benefit not only Eagle Harbor youth, but also kids all over Northeast Florida."
 
For more info e-mail Jenks at rjenks@hamptongolfclubs.com or Miller at smiller@jcpcdd.org.
 
Maharaj Tennis, LLC
North of Jacksonville in Fernandina Beach, Maharaj Tennis has received a $2,000 Share the Love grant from USTA Florida for the Nassau County Junior Tennis Program Development project, including 10 and Under Tennis equipment, funding for program marketing and advertising, and funds for scholarships.
 
"Vishnu and I are meeting with local tennis authorities to help launch 10 and Under Tennis at various sites in Nassau County," said Michelle Maharaj.
 
Vishnu Maharaj is also the director of tennis for the Yulee Tennis Foundation, and can be reached at Vishnu@YuleeTennisFoundation.com.
 
USTA 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 adjusted to ease kids into the sport. Similar mini-tennis 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.
 
"QuickStart Tennis balls finally stopped the balls from bouncing over my head. I could actually hit a nice shot!" said Chad, an 11-years-old who got his start with 10 and Under Tennis featuring the QuickStart play format equipment two years ago, advancing from the 60-foot court to full-court tennis. He plays at the St. Johns Golf and Country Club in St. Augustine, Fla., south of Jacksonville.
 
The five new Jacksonville-area grant recipients join seven other Jacksonville-area organizations that have received Share the Love grants from USTA Florida since the inception of the grant initiative in 2010. Other area programs receiving grants were Burnett Park, Kraft Tennis/Amelia Island, Danny Witt Tennis in Ponte Vedra Beach, San Pablo Elementary School, Selva Marina Country Club, Marsh Landing Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, and Deercreek Country Club.
 
"We started using the Quickstart format here at Deercreek Country Club in August of 2010," said Director of Tennis Kris Gouin. "The kids are making contact with the ball more often, and as a result they are having more fun. The bottom line is that the kids enjoy class more because of having more success and confidence."
 
San Pablo Elementary has installed tennis as part of their fitness magnet program.
 
"San Pablo Elementary School loves the Share the Love Grant!" said Principal Kim Bays. "Our after-school tennis program has helped expand our magnet program, increase our enrollment, and most importantly, has given our students a new appreciation for healthy outdoor fun! We look forward to making 10 and Under Tennis a continuing, integral part of our school."
 
Amanda Becker, the regional tennis program coordinator for USTA Florida, says the Share the Love grant initiative has helped kick off the 10 and Under Tennis craze in the Jacksonville area.
 
"Many facilities wanted to start up before, but didn't have the budget to purchase the correct equipment," Becker said. "With these grants they were able to start it up, and combined with [area Jr. Team Tennis Coordinator] Diana Gardner's Jr. Team Tennis league numbers it is really spurring the growth of junior tennis."
 
Barry Curley, the veteran tennis director at the Marsh Landing Country Club, became a 10 and Under Tennis convert after attending a workshop for the QuickStart Tennis play format, with the help of an equipment grant.
 
"When I was in the process of making the decision of whether or not to convert some existing clinics to the QuickStart format, the up-front costs became a barrier," Curley said. "The cost of nets, balls, and possibly racquets for a program that I wasn't sure of whether it would fly or not was a real issue to me. But since we changed to the QuickStart format our clinic participation is way up. Our clinic revenues are way up and we are beginning to offer teams at an age and level that we would never have dreamed of."
 
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.
 
"It is with the annual membership dues from USTA Florida members that we are able to offer these community program grants," said USTA Florida Associate Executive Director, Play Tennis Division, Andy McFarland. "USTA membership does really make a difference in tennis in the Florida community."
 
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.
 
 
 

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