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Florida Tennis Briefs: Make-a-Wish Tourney; Jr. Profile; Fernandez Fed Cup

September 10, 2010 10:00 AM
Fernandez Mary Joe
Mary Joe Fernandez
U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez Receives Two-Year Contract Extension

The USTA agreed to a two-year extension with USTA Florida Hall of Fame members and U.S. Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez that will run through the 2012 season. Fernandez took over as captain last year after serving one season as team coach. She is 4-1 at the helm of the U.S. Fed Cup team and has led the U.S. to consecutive Fed Cup finals appearances in her first two years as captain, becoming the first U.S. captain to accomplish that feat since Marty Riessen in 1986-87. 

Fernandez will attempt to lead the U.S. to its first Fed Cup title since 2000 when the U.S. hosts Italy in San Diego on Nov. 6-7, 2010. The U.S. also faced Italy in last year's final in Reggio Calabria, Italy, losing 4-0.

World No. 1 Serena Williams and world No. 4 Venus Williams have committed to represent the U.S. in the final, joining the core U.S. Fed Cup group of Melanie Oudin, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and world No. 1 doubles player and 2010 US Open mixed doubles champion Liezel Huber. This year will mark the first time the Fed Cup Final has been played in the United States since 2000, when the U.S. won its record 17th Fed Cup title.  

 
Junior Profile -- Land O'Lakes' Brian Boehm

by Nancy Morgan, TennisLife-Florida Region 3 columnist
 
region-3-Boehm-web
Brian Boehm
 
It takes a lot to keep Brian Boehm down.

Even though Brian is only nine years old, he's learned to take life in stride and to focus on the positive. Born with a PDA heart condition, diagnosed with a small hole in his heart at four and fitted for a pacemaker at six, young Brian showed a natural determination to be an active youngster.

When he had to give up soccer after the installation of the pacemaker that also required him to wear a chest protector during activity, it took Brian little time to take up tennis and karate.

"Brian's a good sport and loves to be out there being busy," said Brian's mom Karen. "And, he deals with everything he's been through so well. After he had to stop playing soccer, he started karate and earned a brown belt. A couple of years ago after karate class, we had gone to the library and Brian asked if we could stop by and watch tennis that his P.E. teacher was leading. He's been playing tennis ever since and he's pretty good. He just loves being out there."

Karen Turman, Brian's physical education teacher at Pineview Elementary School in Land O'Lakes, also coaches a local high school girls' tennis team during the school year and teaches tennis at the Land O'Lakes recreation center in the summer. For the last two years, Dean Colosimo has also taught at the Land O'Lakes site and suggested participation in USTA Jr. Team Tennis (JTT) for the area players.

"Brian is a joy to be around, and the kind you want to teach because he wants to be better and wants to play," Colosimo said. "By his activity level, you wouldn't know he had any health issues -- he hustles and tries more than anybody. Sometimes, it's hard to even get him off the court!"

Over the last two years, Colosimo and Turman in Land O'Lakes and Christina Hill in the New Port Richey area have combined efforts to provide the JTT program to the area kids. Brian has been among the most enthusiastic players.
Brian's heart issues are not over as he waits for a second pacemaker that will be suitable for him. Currently, pacemakers include nickel, which Brian is allergic to, said his mom. Until that time comes, look for Brian with his positive attitude and high energy level -- watching is not one of Brian's sports!

  
Sarasota's Make-A-Wish Tournament: Tennis for a Great Cause

by Noel Charette, TennisLife-Florida Region 5 columnist

make a wishOn Nov. 6-7, 2010, the Sarasota Bath and Racquet Club will once again host its annual Make-A-Wish Doubles Tournament. The proceeds of this event are contributed to the Make-A-Wish foundation of Sarasota. This is not only a great local tennis tournament but it benefits a great local charitable organization.

The Make-A-Wish Charity was founded in 1980 to enrich the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions. They do this by granting wishes to terminally ill children in order explore their imaginations and provide an opportunity to literally, make a wish come true. They have brought hope and joy to over 193,000 children around the world, and with over 25,000 volunteers, their mission remains steadfast: "Wish children of the past, present, and future will have an opportunity to share the power of the wish."

The tournament is a massive two-day event that provides an opportunity for players of all levels to compete and contribute. Men's and women's flights in doubles and mixed range from the Open level, and 6.0-9.0 combined. With the amount of divisions available, there is no reason not to participate. 

I would like to encourage anyone involved in tennis within our community to play, volunteer, donate or contribute in any way you can. On a personal note, my son was born 15 weeks premature and spent 93 days in the Sarasota Memorial Hospital NICU. Vincent is home now and doing well and despite it being the most difficult experience my wife and I have ever had, I cannot imagine the amount of difficulty a family with a sick child must endure. Through my experience, I learned a lot about what is important in the world and can attest there is nothing in the world worse than worrying about your child's health.

I hope to see as many of my friends and rivals at the event because it has become so important to me, not only tennis, but in life. I look forward to playing in the event and having a lot of fun supporting the charity. 
Entries open on Aug. 31, and you can sign up for the event by contacting the Sarasota Bath and Racquet Club or through our website at tennislink.com. See you there!


 
 

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