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Florida Tennis Briefs: Roddick Returns; Gator Profiles

October 15, 2010 10:19 AM
Roddicke-news.jpgRoddick Returns to ATP Delray Beach; Ticket Promotion

Andy Roddick is coming back to "The Beach." The former Boca Raton resident and 2003 US Open champion will return to the tournament where he made his pro debut when he plays in the 2011 Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (ITC) ATP World Tour event next February.

The 19th annual Delray Beach ITC will be held Feb. 18-27, 2011, at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center, and will include both the ATP World Tour event alongside the 2nd annual ATP Champions Tour event featuring John McEnroe.

"It's so great to have Andy come home where he started," said Tournament Director Mark Baron, who gave a 17-year-old Roddick his first wildcard into an ATP-level event in 2000. "Everyone has been asking for the last six years, 'When is he going to come back?' We're expecting the phones to be ringing off the hook."

To celebrate Roddick's signing, the ITC is running a discounted ticket promotion from Oct. 1-17. All single session reserved seats are 20% off (regular price $35-$85) while single session box seats are 10% off (regular price $65-$85). Reserved series ticket packages are also discounted 10%. Fans can order online through www.YellowTennisBall.com or by calling 561-330-6000.

"I am excited to return to Delray Beach," said the 28-year old Roddick. "I received my first wildcard as a professional tennis player in Delray so the tournament certainly has a special significance in my career."

All ticket opportunities, prices and amenities are explained in detail at www.YellowTennisBall.com. For more information, please call the tournament office at 561-330-6000.

Bob van Overbeek and Sekou Bangoura Jr. (photo: zootennis.com)
Profiles: Florida Gators Have Major Impact at the 'Zoo

By Colette Lewis, TennisLife-Florida writer, zootennis.com

After playing one dual-match season for Andy Jackson's University of Florida Gators, Bob van Overbeek and Sekou Bangoura Jr. arrived in Kalamazoo for August's USTA Boys 18s National Championships prepared to finish their junior tennis careers with a bang. They did just that, earning wildcards into the US Open with outstanding performances in singles and doubles.

Van Overbeek, from Boca Raton, Fla., reached the singles final of the country's most prestigious USTA tournament as the No. 9 seed. The 18-year-old right-hander defeated No. 6 seed Evan King and No. 2 seed Denis Kudla on his way to the championship match, saving three match points in his thrilling semifinal victory over Kudla. Although he fell in straight sets to No. 3 seed Jack Sock in the best-of-five-sets final, van Overbeek's performance earned him a wildcard into the men's qualifying draw at the US Open.

"This tournament obviously rates as one my best," said van Overbeek, who trains at Nick Saviano's Tennis Academy in Sunrise when not in Gainesville. "To play the guys who I've been playing tennis with since I was 11 and 12, it's definitely up there."

Bangoura, of Bradenton, Fla., teamed with Nathan Pasha to win the doubles title, and with it, a main draw wildcard into the US Open men's doubles competition. Seeded second, Bangoura and Pasha were playing Kalamazoo together for the third consecutive time, with the pair improving their finish each year. Winning the 16s bronze ball in 2008, Bangoura and Pasha took silver last year, and in their final year of eligibility captured the gold, beating Matthew Kandath and Sock, the No. 6 seeds, 7-5, 6-3.  All six of their victories came in straight sets.

"We've been rolling," Bangoura said. "This is only our second time playing together this year, but we click well together."

Bangoura also won the consolation draw of the 18s singles tournament, finishing in fifth place. He posted seven consecutive victories after falling in the fourth round of the main draw.





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