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Florida Tennis Briefs: Mal Washington Grant; Floridians at ITF Sr. Chps.; More

January 11, 2011 08:11 PM
Malivai Washington Kids Foundation of Jacksonville Receives USTA National Grant

The USTA announced this week that the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation Inc., in Jacksonville, Fla. has been awarded a Community Partnership Investment Grant (CPI). The grant, in the amount of $65,000, is one of seven CPI grants totaling $370,000 awarded by the USTA.
MaliVai Washington and students
"We are excited to receive this grant from the USTA to continue to expand our recreational and competitive tennis programs through our MaliVai Washington Youth Center," said founder MaliVai Washington. "Since the center opened in May 2008, we have been steadily increasing our community tennis programs, which support our core after-school program. This funding will allow us to increase 10 and Under Tennis programs for the community, as well as allow additional Jr. Team Tennis participation throughout the community, among other efforts."

The USTA also distributed $83,000 in Program/Project Support grants to 15 non-profit organizations throughout the country, and awarded more than $450,000 in Recreational Tennis Grants to deserving organizations during its current grant cycle. Combined with $315,000 in grant funding that was awarded in May, the USTA awarded more than $765,000 in Recreational Tennis Grants to qualified applicants in 2010.

These grants are designed to support community-based organizations that build tennis communities through collaborative and lasting partnerships. The organizations that were selected met the following criteria: increasing tennis participation, supporting tennis programming and fostering diversity in both participation and programming.

"The USTA is extremely pleased to have invested more than $765,000 in 2010 to those organizations that believe tennis can be the vehicle to improve the quality of life for both children and adults," said Kurt Kamperman, chief executive, Community Tennis, USTA. "By adopting the USTA's mission to grow the game of tennis, Malivai Washington Kids Foundation Inc. is not only helping to grow the game using pathways such as 10 and Under Tennis and Jr. Team Tennis, it is ensuring the growth of the Jacksonville community. We are proud to honor those organizations that show such spirit and passion for tennis, and proud to be able to assist them in their efforts."

The MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation was founded by former ATP tennis star and Wimbledon finalist MaliVai Washington in 1997 as a way for him to give back to the sport. Its mission is to develop champions in classrooms, on tennis courts and throughout communities. By providing tennis, education and mentoring to the under-served children in the Jacksonville area, the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation has improved the lives of thousands of children.

The organization has expanded from a tennis organization to a full-service youth development organization -- offering after-school programs, summer camps and tennis lessons to youth and adults. The organization is based out of the MaliVai Washington Youth Center, which has eight tennis courts, three 10 and Under Tennis courts, and a youth center with a state-of-the-art computer lab.

The Malivai Washington Kids Foundation, Inc. is one of seven recipients of the Community Partnership Investment Grants. Other recipients of the $35,000 to $70,000 grant include: Bucks County Tennis Association Inc., Langhorne, Penn.; City of Houston, Houston, Texas; Inner City Tennis Clinics, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio; Special Populations Tennis Program Inc., Roswell, Ga.; The Sportsmen's Tennis Club, Boston, Mass.; and Vegas Tennis Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis Foundation, Las Vegas, Nev.

Tabares, Mario
Mario Tabares
Riddell, Trish
Trish Riddell
McKenna, Vesna (2)
Vesna McKenna
Ginnard, Mary (2)
Mary Ginnard
Florida's Tabares, Riddell, McKenna, Ginnard at ITF Senior Chps. in New Zealand

Four Florida players will represent the United States at the 31st ITF (International Tennis Federation) Seniors World Team Championships in New Zealand, joining other top American tennis players in age divisions 35-55 on Feb. 21-26, 2011, in Christchurch, Ashburton and Timaru, New Zealand.  
The ITF Seniors/Super-Seniors World Team Championships is the most coveted team event on the ITF Seniors circuit. Since its inception in 1981, the number of competitors attracted to this event has increased year by year. In 1993, the ITF expanded the Seniors World Championships into two groups -- Seniors (age 35-55) and Super-Seniors (60-80 for men and 60-75 for women).

All 10 Cups will be played on hardcourts this year. The men's Italia (35), Dubler (45) and Fred Perry (50) and women's Margaret Court (45) Cups will be played in Christchurch. The men's Austria (55) and women's Maria Bueno (50) and Maureen Connolly (55) Cups will be played in Ashburton, an hour south of Christchurch. The men's Tony Trabert (40s) and women's Suzanne Lenglen (35) and Young (40) Cups will be played in the port city of Timaru, about two hours south of Christchurch.

The Florida players representing the USA in New Zealand are: Mario Tabares, Miami; Trish Riddell, Lakeland; Vesna McKenna, Hollywood and Mary Ginnard, Fort Lauderdale.

Tabares has been named to the Dubler Cup team. His teammates will be Rick Leach, Newport Beach, CA; Leland Rolling, Ramona, CA and Andy Stoner, Cave Creek, AZ. Tabares' play in 2010 was remarkable. He started the year winning the ITF World Championships in San Luis Potosi, Mexico in the 40s division in singles and, playing with his brother from Spain, won the 35 doubles. In the U.S. he won the Indoor and Grass 45s singles; the 45 Grass doubles and the 40 Grass singles. The USA Dubler Cup team finished third in 2010 in Mexico City.

Riddell has been named to the Lenglen Cup team along with Patricia Zerdan, Dallas, TX; Carolina Blouin, Raleigh, NC; and Mary Beth Williams, Harrisburg, PA. Riddell ended 2010 ranked No. 1 in the 30 singles. She won the 30 Grass singles and the 30 Clay doubles (with Mary Dailey, Delray Beach). In the 35s, she reached the final of the Indoors and Grass (losing to Zerdan, who was undefeated in 2010) and won the 35 Grass doubles. She ended the year ranked No. 2 in singles and doubles in the 35s. The 2010 Lenglen Cup team finished fourth in Mexico City.

McKenna was named to the Young Cup team along with Amy Alcini, Malibu, CA;  Julie Cass, Austin, TX; and Rebecca Stapp, Olympia, WA. McKenna divided her time between the 40s and 45s, reaching the 45 Clay singles and doubles finals and the singles final at the 40 Grass and Clay. With Cass she won the 40 Grass and Clay doubles titles. She was instrumental in the USA's Young Cup victory in Mexico City, going undefeated at No. 2 singles. She won the world doubles title in Mexico with Cass.

MARY GINNARD, Fort Lauderdale
Ginnard returns to the Connolly Cup after a year's absence. She will be joined by Carolyn Nichols, Rancho Santa Fe, CA; Tina Karwasky, Glendale, CA; and Sherri Bronson, Scottsdale, AZ. Ginnard and Karwasky won the doubles title at the National Hard and at the Babolat Super Category II tournament. They reached the final of the doubles at the World Championships. In 2010 the USA won the Connolly Cup for the fourth straight year.

A list of all 40 players selected to the senior teams can be found here: http://www.usta.com/2011_senior_international_senior_teams/
Photos of these players can be found here: http://picasaweb.google.com/CarolynANichols/SeniorTeamsNZ#

Tech Tennis Center Receives USTA Florida Grant for 10 and Under Tennis Parks Program

The Tech Tennis Center, a high-performance tennis academy in Weston, has received a "Share the Love" grant from USTA Florida to expand a 10 and Under Tennis community program at nearby Markham Park in Sunrise, Fla.

The grant for 10 and Under Tennis equipment will allow Tech Tennis Center instructors to utilize smaller racquets and low-compression balls to teach beginning students and small children the basics of tennis in a fun format.
Left to right: Director Alejandro Ciffoni, former ATP player Victor Estrella, Director Sixto Camacho
The 10-and-under Tennis play format is designed for children featuring smaller court sizes, racquet sizes, foam and decompressed 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 current 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 the 10-and-under Tennis play format in action go to: http://10andundertennis.usta.com.

"On behalf of Tech Tennis Center, Alejandro Ciffoni and Sixto Camacho would like to thank USTA Florida for granting us help to continue to promote the game of tennis through our programs in our community, and for enabling us to provide kids the opportunity to get on court, have fun and learn the game of tennis 'The Right Way,'" said Tech Tennis Center co-founder Alejandro Ciffoni.

The Markham Park tennis program is part of Tech Tennis Center's community involvement that extends not only to high-performance players. With the 10 and Under Tennis program the Tech Tennis Center seeks to, like many of the programs across Florida that have adopted 10 and Under Tennis, introduce children to the game in a fun format that has proven to develop children quickly in the basics of the game.

"The 10 and Under Tennis program will allow us to start the development of young kids from an early age, molding their moves and technique," Ciffoni said. "When they grow up and continue their development, they can go through all of the programs and stages of development until reaching their full potential."

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. Funding priorities include 10-and-under Tennis and Jr. Team Tennis (coordinator training, start-up, etc.), public facility funding (schools, parks, conversion to permanent 10-and-under play format courts, etc.), community tennis awareness (innovative pro-active start-ups, program expansion), school programs and senior tennis programs/projects.

"It's with USTA membership dollars that we are able to offer program grants to programs like these," said USTA Florida Associate Executive Director, Play Tennis Division, Andy McFarland.

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.

For more information on Tech Tennis Center, visit www.techtenniscenter.com.

Florida's Rinaldi Wins ITF Coffee Bowl Doubles

Palm Bay's Michael Rinaldi won the ITF Grade 1 Coffee Bowl doubles title in Costa Rica last weekend, teaming with Australia's William Kwok to defeat Gabriel Pereira and Francisco Rambon of Brazil 7-6(3), 3-6, 11-9. Both teams were unseeded.

Rinaldi and Kwok also won the Casablanca Cup title the week prior.

"Kwok and Rinaldi were up 8-6 in the match tiebreaker, but lost the next three points to face a match point, but saved that and took the next two points for a 7-6(3), 3-6, 11-9 victory," wrote Colette Lewis at zootennis.com. "Kwok and Rinaldi had beaten the No. 2-seeded team of Hugo Dellien of Bolivia and Diego Hidalgo of Ecuador in the second round, and No. 3 seeds Bjorn Fratangelo and Alex Petrone in the semifinals, both 10-8 in match tiebreakers, so they had good memories to draw on when facing a similar scenario in the final."

In the boys singles final, No. 1 seed Hugo Dellien defeated No. 2 Bjorn Fratangelo, who trains at the USTA Training Center in Boca Raton, Fla., 6-2, 6-4.

Entries Open for Special Events at Delray Beach International Tennis Championships

The 2011 Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (ITC), the world's only combined 10-day ATP Champions Tour event (Feb. 18-22, 2011) featuring John McEnroe, Mats Wilander, Mark Philippoussis, Pat Cash and Todd Martin, and ATP World Tour (Feb. 21?27) event featuring Andy Roddick, John Isner, Juan Martin Del Potro, and Mardy Fish, invite all USTA members to the 2011 ITC "fan-favorite" special events -- all of which were SOLD OUT in 2010.

If you have any questions or would like to register for one of the below unique, one-of-a-kind events, please call (561) 330-6000 or log onto www.YellowTennisBall.com.
NEW DelrayITC.jpg
Mon., Feb. 21, Wed, Feb. 23 & Thurs., Feb. 24
Some have senior moments, we have Senior Days -- Buy 1 Reserved seat or Box seat and get 1 FREE. Tickets must be purchased at the on-site box office. http://www.yellowtennisball.com/online2/senior-days.html

Mon., Feb. 21 & Tues., Feb. 22
One-of-a-kind round-robin events held on-site during the Delray Beach ITC Event. This special event will consist of the "best of the best" Men's & Women's doubles teams (3.5 & 4.0) from various clubs competing against one another, with each winning divisional team receiving awards & the ITC Cup on Stadium Court!
Don't miss out! Deadline: January 28, 2011 http://www.yellowtennisball.com/online2/doubles-club.html

LADIES DAY LUNCHEONS presented by Altier Jewelers
Wed, Feb. 23 & Thurs., Feb. 24
One of the most popular events at the ITC! Spend the day with your gal pals, favorite players, delicious food and tasty drinks. $59 ? $78pp, includes Box seats or Reserved seats, plus a gift bag.

Sun., Feb. 20
ONCE IN A LIFETIME SHOT AT PLAYING ON STADIUM COURT -- Participants competing with ATP Champions Tour and ATP World Tour doubles players with the finals being played on Stadium Court. Includes a chair umpire, ball kids, luncheon in the Players Lounge, and two box seats (with parking) for two sessions.

Sat., Feb. 26, 11 a.m.
Kidz 12 & under receive a FREE Grandstand ticket complements of the Delray Beach ITC (up to four per paid adult admission), USTA Florida Quickstart activities and games, complimentary Rita's Water Ices, bounce house, face-painting, sand art and more. Following Kidz Day fun, buckle up for the day's singles and doubles semifinals! http://www.yellowtennisball.com/online2/kidz-day.html

Key Biscayne to Host Hispanic National Bar Association Tennis Tournament
The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) will host its first annual Tennis Tournament for Lawyers, Judges, Students and members of the community on Feb. 5, 2011. The tournament and networking activities will take place at Crandon Park Tennis Center, Key Biscayne, home of the Sony Ericsson Open.

The event will consist of a team tennis format with six players at mixed levels, with teams randomly formed by the tournament director.

"Being a good tennis player is not a prerequisite, but wanting to have fun is," say tournament organizers. "All skill levels are welcome to play, even beginners. This is your chance to network and have fun in (tennis) court."

Other events during the tournament will include dominoes, croquet, bocce and Wii tennis tournaments, and a cocktail reception and dinner. For registration info go to https://www.cvent.com/EVENTS/Register/IdentityConfirmation.aspx?e=82792ee6-c9d0-41f9-b368-6846594bf66f

2011 USTA Pro Circuit Kicks Off with Men's and Women's Event in Plantation, Fla.

The 32nd season of the USTA Pro Circuit began this week with the Plantation Open, a combined men's and women's claycourt event in Plantation, Fla. In total, the 2011 USTA Pro Circuit will feature 88 events -- including a record 30 tournaments scheduled to be played on clay -- and a total prize money purse in excess of $3 million.

The Plantation Open begins a string of four consecutive $10,000 men's Futures events and two consecutive $25,000 women's events to be played on clay in Florida.   
usta pro circuit logo-collage
American Jesse Levine and Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal are the No. 1 seeds in their respective entry fields at Plantation.  Levine, a former All-American at the University of Florida, reached the third round at Wimbledon in 2009, while Larcher de Brito had advanced to the third round of the 2009 French Open as a 16-year-old qualifier.

Other players scheduled to begin their season in Plantation include: 2010 US Open boys' finalist Denis Kudla; Beatrice Capra, who reached the third round of the 2010 US Open; Christian Harrison, who won the boys' 16s title at the 2008 USTA International Spring Championships as a 13-year-old and was sidelined for much of 2009 and 2010 with injuries; Shelby Rogers, the reigning USTA Girls' 18s National Champion; University of Virginia freshman Alex Domijan, who spent much of 2009 as the No. 1 player in the USTA Boys' 18s national standings; and Julie Ditty, the all-time leader in career USTA Pro Circuit titles with 36.

Since 1979, 15 USTA Pro Circuit alums (including five Americans) achieved the No. 1 world singles ranking. Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Lindsay Davenport, Jelena Jankovic, Pete Sampras, Justine Henin, Jim Courier and Andre Agassi are among the game's top stars who began their career on the USTA Pro Circuit. The past few years have seen breakout performances by USTA Pro Circuit players, including that of Melanie Oudin, Sam Querrey and John Isner.

Support Yulee Tennis Foundation with 2011 The Players TPC Championship Tickets

The Yulee Tennis Foundation (YTF) will participate in the '2011 Chip in for Youth Sports' program presented by The Players TPC Championship Sawgrass, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., on May 9-15, 2011.
Judith Turner from Yulee, FL, & Scooby Doo know how to make kids happy on the tennis courts
Judith Turner and Yulee Tennis Foundation students
"Supporters can enter the code TP2ALY on the TicketMaster page when purchasing tickets," says Judith H. Turner, president of the Yulee Tennis Foundation. "Our code must be entered in order for us to receive credit for the ticket purchase."

YTF will receive $25 for any grounds ticket sold. The money is specifically for the four Nassau County High School tennis teams and to promote the sport of tennis in schools.
More information is available on the chipinforyouthsports.playerschampionship.com website, and on the Yulee Tennis Foundation website at www.yuleetennisfoundation.com.
Questions may also be directed to davejudi@bellsouth.net or (904) 583-7587.






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