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Florida Tennis Briefs: U.S. Davis Cup Mania Begins; USTA July President's Message

June 23, 2011 09:11 AM
U.S. Davis Cup Hosts Nadal, Spain, Full Slate of Events Following Wimbledon

DavisCupLogoUSAThe USTA announced that it will host a variety of public events in Austin, Texas, to give fans greater access to the players participating in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Quarterfinal between the United States and Spain, July 8-10, 2011, at the University of Texas' Frank Erwin Center.

Events include a free Tennis Festival hosted by USTA Texas; an appearance of the Mobile SmashZone; open practices sessions for both the U.S. and Spanish Davis Cup teams; and the official Davis Cup draw ceremony at Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater that will feature a special musical performance by Asleep at The Wheel.

Expected to be among the announced competitors are world No. 1 Rafael Nadal on the Spanish side, and Andy Roddick and the Bryan brothers for the U.S.

"The interest in this Davis Cup quarterfinal is as great as any event we have hosted in years," said Jeff Ryan, USTA senior director of team events. "We have planned more activities around this event to give fans even greater access to the players as they prepare for three days of intense competition."

The free Tennis Festival on Tuesday, July 5, from 6-8:30 p.m. at the University of Texas' Penick-Allison Tennis Center in downtown Austin will include an appearance by members of the U.S. Davis Cup team and will feature games, music and activities for people of all ages and abilities. Select participants will be able to play tennis with the U.S. Davis Cup team.

SmashZone, the premiere fan interactive attraction at the US Open, will make a stop in Austin on Wednesday, July 6, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the North Plaza (near the flagpoles) of the Frank Erwin Center. The Mobile SmashZone is a 53-foot traile, which anchors four kid-sized tennis courts for youth play and complements the USTA's ongoing 10 and Under Tennis initiative. The trailer features interactive activities, including a Tennis Magazine Green Screen Cover Shoot, Wii Tennis and Touch Screen Kiosks. Participants can also try their skills on any of the four 10 and Under Courts.

Following the Mobile SmashZone appearance, the U.S. and Spanish Davis Cup teams will each hold open practice sessions from 4-6:00 p.m., at the Frank Erwin Center. The U.S. Davis Cup team practice will be open to the public at 4 p.m. and fans can also watch the first hour of the Spanish Davis Cup practice starting at 5 p.m.

The event is free and limited to the first 600 fans, who will receive tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis at the North Box Office of the Frank Erwin Center, starting at 3 p.m.

The Davis Cup Draw Ceremony will be open to the public on Thursday, July 7, at Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater. The draw ceremony will feature a special musical performance by nine-time Grammy Award-winning Asleep at The Wheel, followed by the introduction of the U.S. and Spanish Davis Cup teams and the official draw. The event will begin at noon (doors will open at 11 a.m.) and will be a ticketed event. Food and beverage will be available for purchase.

Tickets for the event are $5 plus fees, and the USTA will donate its proceeds to the Joplin Schools Tornado Relief Fund. Tickets go on sale on Friday, June 24, at 10 a.m. CT., and will be available online through www.acl-live.com or www.ticketfly.com, charge by phone at (877) 435-9849 or purchase in store at Waterloo Records.

USTA Florida July President's Message: Road Trip

By Dan Casey, USTA Florida president and volunteer

dan-casey-head-webIn today's ever-growing electronic world of emails, texting and conference calling, where we rely on Blackberrys and iPhones as the tools for basic communication, I thought it was time to invest some personal time by visiting our USTA Florida volunteers and supporters. 

Recently I took a five-day, 1,200 mile road trip to meet with volunteer board members, independent contractors, committee chairpersons and staff who play such an active role in the association's operation and shaping its future. Although I wish I could have reached more people, I did meet in over a dozen cities across the entire state.

Given my time between visits, I recalled my initial involvement with the USTA, which was a meeting attended by over 250 tennis enthusiasts in Daytona Beach about 10 years ago.  Although I had been a USTA member for many years through tournament play, I had no clue so many were involved with the association. Driving the state learning more about those promoting the sport reminds me that my own efforts to help the game fall way short of many others.

By way of example, Jeff Davis is the coordinator of the 10 and Under Tennis initiative in Hillsborough County, which is funded in large part by the national USTA (which selected Hillsborough Co. as a pilot market) and your membership dues. Jeff, who is a top national player and teaching professional, has designed a four-pronged method of reaching kids in that county -- including schools, where 30,000 kids will be playing in PE classes, Jr. Team Tennis, summer camps and introductory play days. He is further supported by the waiving of membership fees for first-time USTA junior members; you will hear more about 10 and Under Tennis during the US Open Series television commercials this summer.

While few can reach 30,000 kids, rest assured there are many Jeff Davis' out there -- from the team captains to league coordinators, committee volunteers, periodic event volunteers, teaching professionals, tournament directors, parks and rec. personnel, board members and the dedicated USTA Florida staff -- all of whom are coordinating their efforts to grow and improve our great game.






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