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Florida Tennis Briefs(6): Miami Wildcards; Palm Coast Women's Event; QuickStart Events; More

March 9, 2011 10:01 PM
James Blake
Florida's Blake, Harrison, Keys, Former No. 1 Safina Highlight Sony Ericsson Tennis Wildcards

Floridians James Blake and teenagers Ryan Harrison and Madison Keys highlight the wildcards announced for the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open, which begins March 22 in Key Biscayne, Fla.

Blake, the former world No. 4, is coming back after a season filled with injury in 2010, while the 18-year-old Harrison from Bradenton and the 16-year-old Keys from Boca Raton are climbing the rankings. Other American wildcards went to Jack Sock and Coco Vandeweghe.

Internationals receiving wildcards are Canadian breakout player Milos Raonic, former No. 1 Dinara Safina, Aussie riser Bernard Tomic, Brit Heather Watson, Romanian Sorana Cirstea, and German Sabine Lisicki.
Raonic won his first career title this year in San Jose, and the following week narrowly lost to Andy Roddick in the Memphis final.

The field will also include defending Sony Ericsson Open champ Andy Roddick, 16-time Grand Slam Champion and three-time Sony Ericsson Open winner Roger Federer, reigning Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic, and 2009 Sony Ericsson Open champion Andy Murray, defending Sony Ericsson Open champion Kim Clijsters, three-time Sony Ericsson Open champion Venus Williams, current world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, and three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova among others.

Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast to Host Free Beginner Women's Tennis Event

USTA Florida and the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Fla., will host a USTA F.L. (Fun League) Tennis Blast event, free and open to all area beginning women tennis players, on March 23, 2010, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

League-Florida_2cThe event will feature doubles round robin play with pointers from teaching pros, a "Hit for Prizes," door prize drawings, information on area leagues for beginning players, and lunch which will feature an exhibition match.

"We are excited to host the USTA Fun League Tennis Blast here at Hammock Beach Resort," said Harry Gilbert, director of tennis at Hammock Beach. "This will be a great morning of tennis and fun for these new players. These ladies will have the chance to play a fun league this spring and summer, and hopefully transition to the GVTL (Greater Volusia Tennis League) in the fall and early spring, and then USTA League tennis in late spring and early summer. It's great that the USTA is helping local communities and teaching professionals get these new players started."

Beginning players, typically rated 2.0-2.5 on the NTRP (National Tennis Rating Program) scale, will also get to see 3.5 and 4.0 players compete during the lunchtime exhibition.

USTA League is the country's largest recreational tennis league, helping more than 325,000 players nationwide get on the court, have a good time, and step up their game. USTA League is organized as competitive team match play, with teams made up of a minimum of 5-8 players depending upon division. Teams and matches are set up according to NTRP ratings, so your teammates and opponents will be at your skill level, with leagues ranging from the 2.5 beginner level up to 5.0 advanced and Open divisions. The competition is exciting, the atmosphere is social, and since players compete on teams, you have a built-in cheering section.

"I am really excited to offer this pilot program in the Volusia/Flagler counties," said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator for the Volusia/Flagler county area Molly Zimmer. "This is a collaborative effort with local USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association) tennis pros and the Greater Volusia Tennis League to introduce league play to the residents of Volusia and Flagler counties."
Registration is required by March 18 by e-mailing zimmer@florida.usta.com.

Three QuickStart Jamborees Kick Off Public Parks 10-Under Tennis in Jacksonville

The City of Jacksonville Department of Recreation and Community Services (JaxParks) teamed with the newly-formed Jacksonville Youth Tennis Association (JYTA) to launch 10 and Under Tennis featuring the QuickStart play format on March 5-6, 2011, at Southside Tennis Center, Boone Park Tennis Center and the Burnett Park Tennis Courts in Jacksonville. It was the first time that USTA 10 and Under Tennis programs have been made available in the Jacksonville public parks.

Celia Rehm is the president of the JYTA, a registered USTA non-profit organization with a mission to promote and develop junior programs in the public sector of Jacksonville.

"Southside Tennis had 42 children in attendance, Boone Park had 34 in attendance, and Burnett Park 39 in attendance," Rehm said. "We introduced 115 kids to 10 and Under Tennis and their parents. I think it was a huge success for first-time events in the parks. We received very positive comments from the participants, and we received very good media coverage."

10 and Under Tennis featuring the QuickStart format of play focuses on teaching youth ages 10 and under the fundamentals of tennis, and programs in Jacksonville will run from March 28 through May 12 at Southside Tennis Center (1541 Hendricks Ave.), Boone Park Tennis Center (3700 Park St.), and Burnett Park Tennis Courts (3740 Burnett Park Road).

"Three QuickStart Jamborees in a single weekend was a huge undertaking, however with the combined team  efforts of all working together, we introduced 10 and Under Tennis to almost 120 kids and their parents in a very positive and fun manner," Rehm said.

Registration for 10 and Under Tennis in Jacksonville closes on March 21. For more info e-mail JYTAjam@gmail.com or call (904) 262-1399.

Florida Tennis Facilities -- Register Now for 10 and Under Tennis Support

The national body of the United States Tennis Association is spending millions of dollars promoting 10 and Under Tennis and driving parents and children to www.10andUnderTennis.com to find local tennis programming for children. Become a part of the tennis movement by registering your facility at www.10andUnderTennis.com/register so parents can find your local facility when they visit the website.

Registered facilities can leverage significant USTA support to grow their business, including:

* TV advertising
* Parent and provider-targeted print advertising
* The summer youth mobile tour
* On-site pro tournament and retail location activation
* Ongoing national and local public relations outreach

10andundertennis-logo-register-2011If your club is not offering 10 and Under Tennis featuring the QuickStart play format, visit www.10andUnderTennis.com to learn how easy it is to implement programming and grow business at your facility while engaging children in a fun tennis format that makes it easy to learn, and keeps them coming back for more. With equipment and courts scaled to the size of kids age 10 and under, they can achieve success the first time out -- and sustain that success as they continue to develop and improve their skills.

With more than 18 million children under the age of 10 in the U.S., getting more kids on the court in a fun format and keeping them coming back translates to big growth for tennis. For more information go to www.10andUnderTennis.com.

Broward, Gainesville, Miami, Pinellas, Seminole, Volusia County
Champs at USTA Florida JTT ITC Invitational Jr. Tennis

Seven USTA Jr. Team Tennis championship teams were crowned during the USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis ITC Invitational on Feb. 26-27, 2010 in Delray Beach, Fla., held in conjunction with the ATP Delray Beach International Tennis Championships.

Delray-10-_-Under-group-webTwenty-four teams competed in seven divisions, including 12-, 14-, and 18-under intermediate and advanced, and a 10 and Under Tennis division featuring the QuickStart Tennis play format.

"What a great event, and a great opportunity for the kids and the 10 and Under Tennis play format to be showcased during an ATP professional event," said USTA Florida Team Tennis Coordinator Michelle Willis. "The QuickStart-lined hardcourts are so unobtrusive, we even saw Juan Martin Del Potro practicing on a QuickStart-lined court. Now if we can only get him to play 60-foot court tennis with the orange balls against some of our advanced 10 year olds to see if he can keep up!"

Championship teams were Miami-Dade's Chow Tennis Academy (coach: Andre Chow) in the 10 and Under Tennis division; Pinellas County's "Largo Hulk Smash" (coach: Paul Shimkonis) in the 12-Intermediate division; Broward County's Midtown Athletic Club (coach: Maury Bozman) in the 12-Advanced division; Seminole County's "Sanlando Smashers" (coach: Claudia Fernandez) in the 14-Intermediate division; Gainesville's GLB (coach: Bobbie Mehan) in the 14-Advanced division; Volusia County's "Port Orange Ripdogs" (coach: Todd Palmer) in the 18-Intermediate division; and Miami-Dade's "Serb Mafia" (coach: Cynthia Johnston) in the 18-Advanced division.

USTA Jr. Team Tennis connects kids together in co-ed teams to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles against other teams within a league. Upcoming Florida events include the Jr. Team Tennis Spring Section Championship on April 16-17, 2011, in Daytona Beach, and the Jr. Team Tennis QuickStart Championship on April 29-30, 2011, in Tallahassee.

For more information go to www.florida.usta.com/USTA-Jr-Team-Tennis---New/JTT-Champ or e-mail Michelle Willis at willis@florida.usta.com.

Florida Senior Tennis Opportunity at 2011 Mississippi Gulf Coast Senior Games

Florida senior tennis players age 50 and older are eligible to compete in the USTA-sanctioned 2011 Mississippi Gulf Coast Senior Games Tennis Tournament, to be held on April 14-15 at the Bayou Bluff Tennis Club in Gulfport, Miss.

Events include men's and women's singles and doubles in 3.0-4.5 NTRP divisions on hard and claycourts. The entry fee includes a player's lunch, Senior Games t-shirt, and a Welcome Reception and Sock Hop at the Donal Snyder Community Center.

For more info call (228) 896-5683 or visit www.gulfcoastseniorgames.org.






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