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Florida Tennis Briefs: Todd Martin Beats Chang with Wood Racquet, More

October 3, 2011 12:49 PM
Florida's Todd Martin Wins Champions Series Tennis with Wood Racquet

Martin12Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida's Todd Martin, a late-entry replacement for the injured John McEnroe, defeated Michael Chang 8-5 in the final of the Leeann Chin Challenge Champions Series event on Sept. 30, 2011 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn.

With Chang serving at 5-7 in the eight-game pro set, Martin took to the court with a vintage 1970s Wilson Jack Kramer Pro Staff wood racquet, surprising the former French Open champion with some pinpoint placement, including two crosscourt winners.

"Often times I feel like I play better with it than the rackets we use today," Martin said. "It felt really good to use it. I had very low expectations coming in here, but this format rewards the player who plays the best in a very short amount of time."

Martin reached the final by defeating Andre Agassi 6-4 in the semifinals, while Chang reached the championship match by defeating Jim Courier 6-4.

"Good thing he didn't start the night with it," Chang said of Martin's secret wooden weapon. Martin was never broken on serve in the semis or in the final.

For the victory, Martin earned 400 points in the 2011 official Champions Series rankings in his first appearance. Pete Sampras remains on top with 900 points, while Chang moved into second place with a total of 700 after four events. The Top 3 finishers at the end of the 2011 Champions Series will share a one million dollar bonus pool.

The 2011 Champions Series, a competitive tennis circuit featuring legendary tennis icons and world-renowned champions, is a 12-city tour of one-night tournaments being played in major U.S. arenas from Sept. 22-Oct. 22, 2011. For more info go to www.championsseriestennis.com.

USPTA World Conference Awards BallenIsles Barnett 'Facility Manager of the Year'

Derrick-Barnett-USPTA-AwardHonoring those who stand out and go above and beyond in all aspects of the tennis industry, the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) awarded BallenIsles General Manager Derrick Barnett "Facility Manager of the Year -- Large Facility" during its annual World Conference on Sept. 19-24, 2011.
This is the second USPTA award this year to Barnett. Earlier this summer, the USPTA Florida Division also recognized his leadership with the distinction, "Facility Manager of the Year." Announcing the award, the USPTA noted that Barnett oversaw the planning, design and completion of a 62,000-square-foot sports complex with extensive tennis and fitness facilities at BallenIsles.

"He also approved additional special event funds targeted to create excitement and promote the sport of tennis," stated a USPTA release. "This has included a calendar full of exhibition matches with current and former tour players. "All tennis professionals are encouraged to participate in local workshops, maintain membership and attend conventions, all of which the club supports financially. The club also believes in giving back to the community by donating courts for at least six charity tournaments a year and by supporting various outreach programs, including free clinics through Tennis Across America and First Serve."

Barnett's tenure at BallenIsles has overseen capital improvements including a $9 million East golf course redesign, a new BallenIsles Golf Academy, a $3.6 million refurbishment of BallenIsles Grand Clubhouse and a brand new $26 million Sports Complex.

The tennis program at BallenIsles continues to attract a "Who's Who" of former and current Grand Slam champions including Venus Williams, Virginia Wade, Stan Smith, Fred Stolle, Mats Wilander, Brenda Schultz-McCarthy, Mikael Pernfors, Jimmy Arias, Aaron Krickstein, Van Winitsky, Gigi Fernandez and Alina Jidkova. Also this year, out of nearly 200 clubs managed worldwide by Troon Golf, BallenIsles was awarded "Facility of the Year."






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