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Florida Tennis Notes -- November 2010

October 24, 2010 04:16 PM
By Rick Vach, ustaflorida.com

Miscellaneous news, happenings, and previews of upcoming tennis events across the state of Florida:


ACES -- USTA Florida volunteer Vishnu Maharaj was named the new city tennis pro for Fernandina Beach, approved by city commissioners in September. Maharaj will collect 80 percent of all tennis-related revenues after they are deposited with the city, and will pay the city a rental fee of $100 a month to use the Central Park tennis courts. The three-year contract begins on Nov. 1. Maharaj is director of tennis for the Yulee Tennis Foundation and was a tennis instructor at Amelia Island Plantation. He also worked as a manager of the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne and as director of tennis at Sea Palms Golf and Tennis Resort on St. Simons Island, Ga.

Betty Wachob.jpg
Betty Wachob
Panama City's playing captain Betty Wachob led the USA Kitty Godfree Cup team to the 30th ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championship final round, held on red clay in Ali Bey Resort, Antalya, Turkey. After beating Spain, Australia and South Africa to win their flight, the USA Kitty Godfree Cup Women's 65-and-over team composed of Wachob, Charlene Hillebrand (San Pedro, Calif.), Suella Steel (La Jolla, Calif.), and Lee Delfausse (Waitsfield, Vt.) upset second seeds Germany in the semifinal, but against defending champion Great Britain lost a nail biter. Wachob, down 4-2 in the first set, fought her way to a three-set win. Great Britain leveled the tie, winning line two singles over Hillebrand. The two Americans battled in the three-set deciding doubles match but Great Britain took home their second consecutive Kitty Godfree Cup.

University of Florida sophomore Allie Will won the consolation singles draw of the 2010 Riviera/ITA Women's All American Championships, held at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., in October, beating Texas' No. 15-ranked Aeriel Ellis in the final. It is her third collegiate singles championship after the 2009 SEC Coaches Fall Classic Flight A draw, and the 2009 ITA Southeast Regional singles crown.

The Embry-Riddle doubles team of Yi Ching Chen and Josefine Strom captured the school's first national doubles title in women's tennis at the NAIA division of the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala., in October. The No. 3-seeded juniors won the championship match 7-5, 6-3 over Kirstin Strimple and Ashley Litchfield from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. The title earned them a spot in the small-colleges "Super Bowl," where they advanced to the final before coming up short against the No. 1-ranked NCAA Division II team of Alida Muller-Wehlau and Barbora Krtickova of Armstrong Atlantic. Chen also finished runner-up in singles at the Small College Championships.
Jacksonville's unseeded Frank Vermeer won the consolation draw of the USTA National Men's 40 Clay Court Championships in Savannah, Ga., in October.
Palm Beach Gardens' Chris and Tara Pressley were champions at the USTA National Husband-Wife Mixed Clay Court Championship at the ATP Club in Ponte Vedra Beach in October, defeating West Palm Beach's Bjorn and Kristy Munroe in the final.

AMELIA ISLAND -- The Ravenswood Winery Amelia Island Futures Championships, a $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit men's event, will be held at Omni Amelia Island Plantation's Racquet Park on Nov. 12-21, 2010. Tickets are free from Nov. 12 (beginning of qualifying) to Nov. 19, and $10 for the semifinals and finals on the weekend. The tournament will benefit Communities in Schools of Nassau County and Tennis without Borders. For more information call (904) 277-5145, or e-mail Kelly Gunterman at gunterman.kelly@aipfl.com.

DESTIN -- Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort is hosting a Family Getaway Weekend Jr./QuickStart Tournament on Nov. 13. All studio rooms (2 beds) at The Grand and The Village at Sandestin are discounted to $99.00 per night for Friday, Nov. 12 and Saturday, Nov. 13. Two-bedroom units are also available at a higher price but at a discounted rate. To receive the discounted room rates, please call Amy Natalie at (850) 267-4465 and mention QuickStart. For tournament information e-mail Cindy Lozier at cllozier@mchsi.com or call (850) 324-0669.

GAINESVILLE -- USTA Florida volunteer Jerry Lee McGriff died of a heart attack in late September, doing what he liked to do best, cheering on the Florida Gators in the stands at Ben Hill Griffin stadium. The 64-year-old Starke resident was an avid tennis supporter and former coach. "I think he died happy," said Steve Futch, a longtime friend whose season ticket seat was near McGriff's, speaking to the Gainesville Sun. "He was such a big fan, and he was so generous." McGriff was a retired Bradford County High School science teacher and coach.

The University of Florida women's tennis team will play host to the U.S. Junior National Team on Wed., Jan. 19, 2011, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Ring Tennis Complex. Admission is free. The Gators and the U.S. Junior National Team will play a dual match using the collegiate format and is an exempt competition, not counting against Florida's 25-match limit per NCAA rules. "The USTA is really making an effort to promote college tennis and
expose young U.S. players to college more so now than in previous years," UF Head Coach Roland Thornqvist said. "It's a win-win for both because we enjoy the exposure as well and we get another competition in January."

USTA Campus Showdown logoJACKSONVILLE -- New Jacksonville University coach Justin Miles will host men's and women's USTA Campus Showdown events on Nov. 13, 2010, in Jacksonville, Fla. USTA Campus Showdowns are fun, competitive one-days events held on college campuses that are open to all -- college and high school players, juniors, adults, league players and weekend hackers. Singles and doubles are usually offered at the events, which give junior and college players opportunities for varied competition and a chance to see college campuses and college life. The events also help the host colleges build stronger ties between college programs and the local tennis community. For more info contact: jmiles3@ju.edu.

ORLANDO -- For the first time since its inception, Professional Tennis Registry's (PTR) Professional Development Weekend was held outside its normal environs on Hilton Head Island, SC. The Hyatt Grand Cypress in Orlando provided the locale with its own tennis facility, replete with covered stadium seating, as well as a beach tennis court adjacent to a private lake. Fifty-four percent of the participants hailed from Florida, but pros traveled from as far as California and England to attend. Among the speakers were Pat Etcheberry, Rodney Harmon, Daniel Spatz, Doug Cash, Anne Davis, Anne Pankhurst, Michele Krause, Jorge Capestany, and Doug Booth and USTA Florida staff were on hand to help pros incorporate QuickStart Tennis in their programs.

PENSACOLA -- Former University of West Florida tennis player Mark McGuigan was named head tennis coach at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Ala. A 2008 graduate from West Florida, McGuigan is the first full-time tennis coach in Montevallo's tennis program history. McGuigan was a four-year member of the men's tennis team at UWF, playing for the Argos in 2004-2006. He was part of the 2004 and 2005 Argo teams that won the NCAA Division II National Championship. Following a successful playing career at UWF, McGuigan served as an assistant coach for the men's and women's programs at West Florida for three seasons.


Robin Keener
ACES -- Melbourne's Robin Keener, director of tennis at Swiss Inn Tennis Center in Rockledge, Fla., received the USPTA national Women's 35 Player of the Year award for 2010. It is the sixth time in the past eight years she has received the honor. The 43-year-old won the 2009 USPTA International Championships on Marco Island, the 2010 USPTA National Claycourt Championships in West Palm Beach, and the 2009 USPTA Florida Grand Prix Masters at Isleworth Country Club. In June she received a record eighth consecutive USPTA Florida Division Women's 35 Player of the Year award.

Player/captain Yvonne "Boots" Van Nostrand of Vero Beach headed the U.S. Queen's Club team that won gold at the prestigious International Tennis Federation World Team Tennis Championships held Oct. 11-16 on the red clay courts of the Ali Bey Club Manavgat tennis resort in Antalya, Turkey. The team, also composed of Dorothy Matthiessen (Pasadena, Calif.), Burnett Herrick (Tarboro, NC), and Mary Boswell (Damascus, Md.), defeated New Zealand 3-0 in the final match. The Americans were undefeated in round robin group competition, beating Germany and Switzerland to earn their way into the playoff round. The Americans then defeated Great Britain and New Zealand to win the gold. Matthiessen led the team at No. 1 singles, Herrick at No. 2 singles, and Van Nostrand and Boswell played the doubles spot. The entire team went through the week undefeated, dropping only one set on the way to the gold medal.

Left to right: The champion ITF USA Queen's Club team of Yvonne "Boots" Van Nostrand, Dorothy Matthiessen, Burnett Herrick, and Mary Boswell
Boca Raton's Madison Keys won the singles and the doubles at the Pan-American Closed ITF Championships junior event in Tulsa in October, with the No. 3-seeded Keys beating Christina Makarova 6-2, 6-1 in the singles final.

Tampa resident James Blake was recently announced as a "Poker Ambassador" and "Friend of Full Tilt" for the website Full Tilt Poker. "He is an avid poker player also an active volunteer at the Harlem Junior Tennis Program -- the very place he learned to play tennis," according to a press release.

Wesley Chapel, Florida's Alex Domijan won the 2010 D'Novo/ITA Men's All-American Championships, the ITA's first major championship of the year, in October as part of his freshman debut at the University of Virginia. In the semifinals he defeated Florida's No. 9-ranked Alexandre Lacroix, and in the final reigning NCAA champion Bradley Klahn from Stanford.

Bradenton's Ryan Harrison lost to top-seeded Tobias Kamke of Germany 6-1, 6-1 in the final of the Royal Bank of Scotland Tiburon Challenger in late October in Tiburon, Calif.

University of Miami assistant women's tennis coach Jeff Thomsen has been named associate head coach to head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews. "Jeff has been an integral part of this program's success and this title change is rightly due," Yaroshuk-Tews said. "I am appreciative of his dedication to the past, current and future success of this program."

Korey Love web small
Korey Love
Korey Love of Spruce Creek has signed to play tennis for Southern Illinois, and Caitlin McGraw of Winter Park has committed to play for Kentucky.

A few months after being named a national recipient of the 2010 ITA/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Leadership and Sportsmanship Award, Florida Tech alum Natalia Ramos received her accolade during a trip to New York City during the US Open. As the lone women's honoree for Division II, she joined nine other national leadership and sportsmanship award winners. The select group were treated by the International Tennis Association (ITA) and the USTA to a weekend in the Big Apple. The festivities included an Italian feast at Carmine's, an ITA awards luncheon hosted by the USTA in the President's Dining Room Suite, and the Arthur Ashe Kids' Day event, held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

American Alexandria Stiteler has won four consecutive ITF junior circuit events since enrolling at the new International Tennis Academy at Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port St. Lucie, Fla. "Alexandria has been training with us for just under three months and has fully immersed herself into our program which has proven to be effective on a monumental scale," said ITA-USA coach Scott Del Mastro. "Her winning four tournaments in a row is a tribute to her hard work and dedication in this intense environment." The 14-year-old Stiteler most recently defeated fellow American Kandis Legall 6-1, 6-2 at the Curacao Juniors Open 2010 for her fourth straight tournament title, her 18th consecutive win on the junior circuit. She also won titles at the Honduras Bowl in La Ceiba, Honduras; in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico at the Copa Coqui; and at the Copa Mangu in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (where she also won the doubles title). Miramar's Robert Livi, another ITA student, won the Copa Arabe Internacional in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and student Michael Rinaldi of Palm City (nephew of former WTA pro Kathy Rinaldi) won the Copa Merengue title in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

frenchys gumbo classic 18th logo12-year-old Jessie Aney, who trains at the USTA National Training Center in Boca Raton, is one of 10 finalists for the 2010 Sports Illustrated For Kids "SportsKid of the Year" Award. The Minnesota native will appear in the December issue of Sports Illustrated For Kids, with the winner gracing the cover. The winner of the "SportsKid of the Year" contest will also be honored at the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Award Ceremony in New York.

BOCA RATON -- At the USTA National Training Center in Boca Raton, Jean Desdunes has been named senior director, Junior and Collegiate Competition, replacing Timon Corwin who left in May. Desdunes has held the positions of lead national women's coach at the National Training Center, and head men's coach at Georgia Tech for 10 years.

CLEARWATER -- Frenchy's 18th Annual Gumbo Tennis Classic will be held Nov. 5-7, 2010, at the McMullen Tennis Complex. The men's, women's and mixed doubles events benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters and is a qualifier for the STF Tournament of Champions. Register by phone at (727)518-8860 or e-mail DawnS@bbbspc.org for more info.

According to TBO.com, "in its efforts to cut costs, the City of Clearwater has turned the lights out for tennis and basketball players. Last week, city staff began making inoperable the lights at 28 outdoor basketball and tennis courts peppered throughout the city. The move is expected to save Clearwater $20,800 a year, city spokeswoman Joelle Castelli said."

Andy Roddick and Bobby Curtis enjoying the moment with laughter, mutual respect, and friendship
Andy Roddick and legendary Florida junior tennis organizer Bobby Curtis 
DELRAY BEACH -- 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.
The event will also host three Survivor Wildcard tournaments, open to all and offering players a shot at earning a qualifying wildcard for the 2011 Delray Beach ITC. For more info go to www.yellowtennisball.com.

Chris Evert Celebrity Classic On Court
On court at the Evert Celebrity Classic
For more than 20 years, former No. 1 Chris Evert has been dedicated to helping abused and neglected children in South Florida through the work of her foundation, Chris Evert Charities, Inc., and the centerpiece of the organization is the annual Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic. Evert, who earlier this year was named one of Florida Governor Charlie Crist's "Governor's Point of Light," will continue her effort to help children when the 21st annual event returns Nov. 6-7, 2010, at the Delray Beach Tennis Center, along with the annual "Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity Gala," scheduled for Nov. 6 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton. Since the first event in 1989, the Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic has raised more than $18 million to help abused and neglected children in South Florida. For more info visit http://www.chrisevert.org.

NAPLES -- The Club at Mediterra announced that it has recently hired Tim Bauer as the new sports director. Bauer is the former women's head tennis coach for Michigan State University, women's assistant tennis coach at Florida State University, has coached several ATP and WTA players, and served as the director of tennis for the Eau Gallie Yacht Club in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., and The Boar's Head in Charlottesville, Virginia.

QuickStart TennisPLANTATION -- USTA Florida staff came to Plantation to host a 2011 Rookie Tournament Director's Workshop for the 10-and-under initiative in October. Twenty-five tournament directors from South Florida came to the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation to learn about the 10-and-under division using the QuickStart format of play in USTA Florida's Rookie tournaments. "They learned about the rule change and how it would affect their 2011 Rookie tournaments, what they needed to do to get ready for the next year's tournament schedule, and what they can do to improve their tournaments to maintain the standard of excellence required to run sanctioned USTA Florida tournaments," said USTA Florida Competitive Education Coordinator Ann Brown. USTA Florida Associate Executive Director, Play Tennis Division, Andy McFarland added, "USTA Florida is phasing in the 10-and-under initiative into our junior tournaments throughout Florida in 2011 by introducing the QuickStart Tennis format in our Rookie tournament format. By 2012, we expect to increase the visibility of QuickStart Tennis in our other USTA sanctioned junior tournaments, but that has yet to be decided. In an effort to be proactive, USTA Florida is training all Rookie tournament directors that offer the under-10 age division with the QuickStart Tennis format of play so they are well prepared to handle this new change in 10-and-under tennis. We applaud the efforts and participation of those Rookie tournament directors that are willing and wanting to learn about QuickStart Tennis by attending our workshops."

TAMPA -- Hillsborough Community College will host a co-ed USTA Campus Showdown events on Nov. 6, 2010. USTA Campus Showdowns are fun, competitive one-days events held on college campuses that are open to all -- college and high school players, juniors, adults, league players and weekend hackers. "We have approximately 100 USTA Campus Showdowns scheduled across the country, and we're hoping to add 25-50 additional events by the end of the year," said Erica Perkins, senior manager, junior and collegiate competition at USTA national. Singles and doubles are usually offered at the events, which give junior and college players opportunities for varied competition and a chance to see college campuses and college life. The events also help the host colleges build stronger ties between college programs and the local tennis community. For more info contact: chadberryhill@yahoo.com.

VERO BEACH -- Ivan Lendl and Bob and Mike Bryan, the most prolific doubles team in tennis history, will join Mardy Fish at this year's annual Mardy's Tennis & Jake's Music Fest, which benefits the Mardy Fish Foundation, in Vero Beach, Dec. 10-11, 2010. This marks the second occasion that the Bryans have joined Fish and childhood friend, Grammy nominated RCA recording artist Jake Owen, for their weekend event that includes a tennis exhibition with Mardy Fish and his pro friends at Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club, and a concert by Jake Owen, with Platinum-selling Capitol Records Nashville group Little Big Town as special guests, which has been moved to historic Vero Beach Sports Village Holman Stadium (formerly Dodgertown) on Friday, Dec. 10, 2010. "In September, I played in the Bryan Brothers charity event out in California, so it's great that Bob and Mike are returning the favor and bringing their trademark brand of doubles to Vero Beach," Fish said. "I know that all the participants in this year's Mardy's Tennis & Jake's Music Fest from the tennis players, musicians and the fans are in for a great weekend of fun."

USTA Campus Showdown logoWEST PALM BEACH -- Palm Beach Atlantic will host a women's USTA Campus Showdown events on Nov. 20, 2010, in West Palm Beach. USTA Campus Showdowns are fun, competitive one-days events held on college campuses that are open to all -- college and high school players, juniors, adults, league players and weekend hackers. Singles and doubles are usually offered at the events, which give junior and college players opportunities for varied competition and a chance to see college campuses and college life. The events also help the host colleges build stronger ties between college programs and the local tennis community. For more info contact: chi_ly@pba.edu.






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