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Florida Tennis Briefs: US Open Playoffs-Women; 'Fresh Courts'; QuickStart Line Grants

July 29, 2010 08:56 AM
Alina Jidkova
Alina Jidkova
By Rick Vach, ustaflorida.com

Florida's Jidkova Wins, Abaza Falls at US Open National Playoffs-Women's Tennis

Two Florida players were in action on Wednesday on the first day of the US Open National Playoffs--Women's Championships, held concurrently with the WTA Tour event in Stanford, the Bank of the West Classic. Top-seeded Alina Jidkova of Boca Raton advanced into the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Syracuse University standout Eleanor Peters, while Deerfield Beach 15-year-old Jan Abaza fell to fellow 15-year-old Evangeline Repic 6-3, 7-6(2).

The 33-year-old Jidkova is in the final year of her pro career, and holds career wins over Serena Williams, Samantha Stosur, Jelena Jankovic and Daniela Hantuchova.

The 15-year-old Abaza, determined to make a career in women's pro tennis, earlier this year won the pre-qualifying tournament for the WTA Tour MPS Group Championships in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Abaza struggled during her match on second serve points, losing 70% of second serve points, had six double faults to no aces, and converted five of 11 break points on Repic's serve.

Jidkova will next face 18-year-old Kaitlyn Christian, who also won on Wednesday.

Another Florida player, 16-year-old Boca Raton resident Jessica Pegula, will start on Thursday against Megan Falcon, who earned All-American honors at Louisiana State University and gained entry to the Women's Championship by winning the USTA Missouri Valley Section Qualifier. Pegula, who was playing tournaments in Europe during the USTA Florida Section Qualifier, played and won the USTA Intermountain Section Qualifier.

Live scoring is available throughout the week via the WTA Tour website, and the US Open National Playoffs--Women's Championship final is scheduled to take place on Sunday, Aug. 1, not before 4:30 p.m. on the stadium court, shown live on Tennis Channel and available live on ESPN3.com.

American Express and USTA Team for 'Fresh Courts' Program

The USTA announced that long-time partner American Express will present the inaugural "Fresh Courts" program, a philanthropic effort to invest in developing communities through the renovation of existing, disrepaired tennis facilities in various markets across the U.S. The 2010 program targets 17 tennis courts in three cities -- Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and New York, during Olympus US Open Series events and the US Open.

Annually, the USTA refurbishes nearly 700 courts in approximately 200 communities around the country.

All work on the courts will be performed or supervised by the USTA's Facility Assistance department. Work is scheduled to begin in all three markets in September, with the goal of having all three sites completed by early fall.

"American Express' Fresh Courts program will impact thousands of tennis fans and is a tremendous example of our partners giving back to communities that support tennis," said Lucy S. Garvin, USTA president and chairman of the board. "With their support we can bring our new QuickStart play format to more kids than ever before."

Efforts will include 17 courts and a legacy of 22 lined or permanent courts for the QuickStart play format that targets kids under the age of 10.

2010 USTA Florida QuickStart Tennis Line Grant for 2011 Rookie Tournament Directors

Painting permanent QuickStart Tennis lines at tennis facilities is the next step in creating permanency for the format that is changing the face of youth tennis in America. USTA Florida wants to partner with facilities to help accomplish this common goal, and grow the format to its fullest.

Starting in 2011 all USTA Florida sanctioned "Rookie 10 and under divisions" will be required to use the QuickStart Tennis format of play, which means playing tournament tennis on a 60-foot lined court, inclusive of all six components of the QuickStart Tennis format of play.

USTA Florida will provide funding to facilities the cost of painting blended 60 foot QuickStart Tennis lines on existing 78 foot courts. Currently the cost to line QuickStart Tennis courts is approximately $250 to $450 per court.

Application deadline: All 2010 grant applications must be received by Oct. 1, 2010. For further information please contact USTA Florida Competitive Education Coordinator Ann Brown at brown@florida.usta.com, or USTA Florida Director of Community Tennis Linda Curtis at curtisL@florida.usta.com.






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