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Florida Tennis Briefs: JTT Nationals; Henin Partnership; USTA/ITA Regional

October 27, 2010 12:58 PM
The Sanlando Acers at the USTA Jr. Team Tennis 14-and-under
National Championships
Orlando Receives Team Spirit Award at USTA Jr. Team Tennis 14-under National Chps.

While none of the teams representing USTA Florida finished in the Top 4 in the Intermediate or Advanced divisions at the 2010 USTA Jr. Team Tennis 14-and-under National Championships, USTA Florida's Sanlando team took home the Team Spirit Award.

The 2010 USTA Jr. Team Tennis 14-and-under National Championships were held Oct. 21-24, 2010, at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz.

In the 14-and-under Advanced division USTA Northern (Fridley, Minn.) captured the title, defeating USTA Southwest (Albuquerque, NM) 38 games to 16. USTA Middle States (Pittsburgh, Penn.) won the 3rd/4th playoff, defeating USTA Southern (Alpharetta, Ga.) 37 games to 14. In the Intermediate division USTA Caribbean (Ponce, PR) captured first place, defeating USTA Eastern (Warren/Edison, NJ) 27 games to 24. USTA Southern (Athens, Ga.) won the 3rd/4th playoff, defeating USTA Texas (Southlake) 31 games to 25.

The 2010 USTA Jr. Team Tennis 18-and-under National Championships will be held Oct. 28-31, 2010, at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz.

From left: FSU's Clint Bowles, USTA Florida's Amanda Tobin, and UGA's Will Spencer
FSU's Bowles Runner-up at USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Championships

Florida State's Clint Bowles took out a number of Florida Gator competitors en route to the final, but was stopped short of the title at the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Championships at the University of Florida in Gainesville over the weekend.

The Tampa native Bowles defeated UF's Andrew Butz in the quarterfinals and Sekou Bangoura in the semifinals, but came up short in the final against the University of Georgia's Will Spencer 6-4, 6-2.

"I thought it was a very competitive match, very tight," said FSU Head Coach Dwayne Hultquist. "Clint made a nice run in the tournament but went down to start the match. Will Spencer played really well, very consistent, and didn't make very many errors. I thought Clint played a good match, I think he played a little bit better yesterday but he played good tennis. The match was very good and well played on both sides."

Florida coach Andy Jackson was pleased with the effort by his Gator squad.

"I thought overall we had a good showing this weekend," Jackson said. "It was a great run by Sekou to make it into the semifinals, and now we have to get back to work and continue preparing for the spring."

Florida senior Alexandre Lacroix already qualified for November's USTA/ITA National Collegiate Indoor Championships at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., and did not compete over the weekend.

Carlos Rodriguez (left), Justine Henin (right), and
6th Sense Tennis Academy students 
Henin 6th Sense Tennis Academy Partners with Boarding School

The 6th Sense Tennis Academy-Florida announced a formal partnership with Montverde Academy, a college preparatory independent boarding school for grades PK3-12, located 20 miles west of Orlando, beginning with the fall 2010 school semester.

"With this new partnership, we are proud to be able to offer able to offer exceptional college preparation with our players because we can share our knowledge regarding the tennis, and provide a great education at the same time," said Carlos Rodriguez, founder of the 6th Sense Tennis Academy. "The Montverde Academy's facilities are incredible and Mr. Kesselring, the headmaster of the Academy, understands perfectly what the students need to reach a high level in tennis. The 6th Sense's goal matches 100% with Montverde's goal because we want to help players reach the top both on the court, but also off the court."

Montverde Academy offers similar education programs in golf and swimming, with students enrolled from all over the world. The academy features a recently-completed five million dollar athletic complex that includes an eight-lane track, fields for soccer, lacrosse and football, baseball and softball fields, golf putting greens and tennis courts where players practice with 6th Sense coaches so they never have to leave the campus.

Created in 2007 by seven-time Grand Slam champion and former world No. 1 Justine Henin and long-time coach Carlos Rodriguez, 6th Sense also has a full-time program at Mission Inn Resort & Spa, short-term programs and adult programs.

The U.S. Fed Cup team earlier this year after defeating Russia
Fernandez Names Mattek-Sands, Oudin, Huber, Vandeweghe for U.S. Fed Cup Final

The USTA and U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez announced on Tuesday that the core group of Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Melanie Oudin, and world No. 1 doubles player Liezel Huber, along with Fed Cup rookie Coco Vandeweghe, will represent the U.S. in the 2010 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group final against Italy on an indoor hard court at the San Diego Sports Arena on Nov. 6-7, 2010. 

"Melanie, Liezel and Bethanie have repeatedly answered the call to play for their country and have together led the U.S. to its second consecutive Fed Cup final," said Fernandez, who became the first U.S. captain since 1986-87 to lead the U.S. to consecutive Fed Cup final appearances in the first two years of captaincy. "We also are bringing on up-and-comer Coco, who is playing the best tennis of her young career, including a win this summer over (current world No. 2) Vera Zvonareva. The team is extremely motivated to try and win the Fed Cup for the U.S. for the first time in 10 years."

Mattek-Sands, 25, will make her fourth appearance for the U.S. Fed Cup team. With the U.S. trailing Russia 2-1 in this year's semifinals, she won the fourth singles match to force the decisive double rubber. She then partnered with Huber to beat Elena Dementieva and Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3, 6-1, and clinch a spot in the final for the U.S. Oudin, 19, won two singles victories against France in this year's quarterfinal and went 1-1 in singles versus Russia in the semifinals. Huber, 34, has won five of her six career doubles matches for the U.S. Fed Cup team, including tie-clinching semifinal matches in both 2009 and 2010 with partner Mattek-Sands.  

Vandeweghe, 18, is currently ranked No. 115 after ending 2009 ranked No. 354. The 2008 US Open girls' champion had a breakthrough performance this summer, reaching the quarterfinals of the Olympus US Open Series event in San Diego as a qualifier. That run included a third-round win over Vera Zvonareva. Last month, she reached the quarterfinals of the $2 million WTA event in Tokyo. She won a USTA wild card playoff to earn a berth into the 2010 Australian Open and won consecutive USTA Pro Circuit events this spring. 
This will be the second consecutive Fed Cup final between the U.S. and Italy, and Italy is in the final for the fourth time in the last five years, winning in the 2009 final without losing a match.

Tennis Channel will present daily live coverage beginning at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.  






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