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Blog: US Open Playoffs-Florida Tennis Tournament -- Day 1

May 26, 2012 10:19 PM
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Ryler DeHeart making a fashion statement
USTA Florida staffer Rick Vach blogs from the 2012 US Open Playoffs-Florida, starting May 26 at the Henry L. McMullen Tennis Complex in Clearwater, Fla.
"You hit a lot of topspin, I thought you would hit it flatter like most older people do."
That’s when I started laughing and my 14-year-old opponent caught himself with a smile and said, "Not that I’m saying you're old…"
When you’re more than three times your opponent’s age you feel pretty old, but that’s the kind of wacky match-ups you get in the US Open Playoffs. I won 6-0, 6-2, but my opponent gave me a lot of points, admitting in the end that he felt intimidated as one of the youngest players in the draw. He was a super-nice kid with heavy shots, and I tried to remember what I was like as a 14-year-old tennis player, playing against adults, I would have been a wreck.
Temperatures nearing the mid-90s greeted players in Clearwater, where the competition was exceedingly respectful. In few other tournaments do you hear so many players saying "nice shot" and talking amicably during changeovers, or players tracking down former tour player Ryler DeHeart to get a cell phone picture with him. Win or lose, competitors came off the court with an appreciation for playing in a qualifying tournament for the US Open, the only Grand Slam event offering local player participation.
"It's unbelievable to be playing in the same tournament as Ryler DeHeart, I saw his match at the US Open when he lost to Rafael Nadal, it is amazing," said player Chris De Tone after a first-round loss. "I think the tournament is a great idea and I'll keep coming back every year."
Kurt Collis of Deland, who runs his own tennis academy, took time to come to Clearwater.
"I took a couple days off from running my academy to play this because I really miss the competition," Collis said. "I found myself hitting a lot of balls [in the match] as if I were trying to hit it right to him like a teaching pro and thinking, 'What are you doing?!?' This makes me want to start training immediately for next year's event, I think this is great."
Jessica Ho, who has won multiple USTA national tournament titles this year, was enjoying the day for another reason.
"I just like the opportunity to play mixed doubles with my brother," said Ho, who had never played in a tournament with her older brother. The pair lost a tight match 7-5, 7-5 to DeHeart and his wife Megan, with long points drawing frequent applause from the center court crowd.
The day also started with a Family Tennis Festival where kids and parents experienced 10 and Under Tennis on the facility’s claycourts, and one lucky 10 and Under Tennis player drew four tickets to the 2012 US Open in a give-away.
Here are the Day 1 results from the 2012 US Open Playoffs-Florida:
Men's Sectional Qualifying (Round of 64)
Riggs, Danny Pompano Beach, FL def. Kurtis, Scott New York, NY 6-4; 6-0
Medvick, Aaron Tampa, FL def. Mullin, Dale Ormond Beach, FL 6-0; 6-0
Becerra, Mario Pembroke Pines, FL def. D'Angelo, Anthony Bradenton, FL 6-1; 6-1
Bao, T ianyu Bradenton, FL def. Tahiri, Mehdi Beverly Hills, FL 6-2; 6-1
Mata, Franco Naples, FL def. Rohan, Hareegesh Tampa, FL 6-2; 6-0
Canamo, Joey Orlando, FL def. De Tone, Christopher Clearwater, FL 6-2; 6-3
Ravoory, Vikram Ocoee, FL def. Grady, Anthony Orlando, FL 4-6; 6-4; 6-4
Ochoa, Alvaro Port Saint Lucie, FL def. Armellino, Daneil Royal Palm Beach, FL 6-0; 6-1
Men's Sectional Qualifying (Round of 32)
DeHeart, Ryler Tampa, FL def. Krums, Janis Sarasota, FL 6-2; 6-0
Dadamo, Jeff (1) Tampa, FL def. Navelkar, Rohit Tampa, FL 6-0; 6-1
Moore, Jackson Bradenton, FL def. Parker, Murphey Atlanta, GA 7-6(5); 7-6(4)
Ochoa, Alvaro Port Saint Lucie, FL def. Zhou, Qifa Gainesville, FL Wd (emerg)
Riggs, Danny Pompano Beach, FL def. Beiler, Michael Palm Harbor, FL 4-6; 6-3; 6-1
Snyder, Jarred New York, NY def. Collis, Kurt Deland, FL 6-3; 6-0
Becerra, Mario Pembroke Pines, FL def. Hayslett, Parker Clearwater, FL 6-2; 6-1
Osment, Joseph Naples, FL def. Segura, Stephen Palm Harbor, FL Wd (inj)
Vach, Rick Jacksonville, FL def. Marinskiy, Michael Tampa, FL 6-0; 6-2
Bao, T ianyu Bradenton, FL def. Dowis, William Lakeland, FL 6-3; 6-4
Mata, Franco Naples, FL def. Oljaca, Mark Bradenton, FL 6-3; 6-3
Donaldson, Brandon Wellington, FL def. Canamo, Joey Orlando, FL 6-1; 6-1
Hechtman, Eric Miami, FL def. Cundy, Thomas Fort Lauderdale, FL 6-0; 6-0
Cotrone, Dominic Bradenton, FL def. Eriksen, Eric Bradenton, FL 6-0; 6-0
Ravoory, Vikram Ocoee, FL def. Cadogan, Joe (2) Lauderhill, FL 6-1; 6-1
Ho, Jonathan Wexford, PA def. Medvick, Aaron Tampa, FL 6-0; 6-1
Women's Sectional Qualifying (Round of 16)
Dailey, Caroline Sarasota, FL def. Castaneda, Gabriella Miramar, FL 6-4; 6-1; 6-3
Women's Sectional Qualifying (Quarterfinal Round)
Roma, Sandra Naples, FL def. Cespedes, Maria Orlando, FL 6-0; 6-0
Dailey, Caroline Sarasota, FL def. Vranov, Simone Windermere, FL 4-6; 6-3; 6-3
Osadzinska, Kasia Lake Mary, FL def. Moore, Montana Bradenton, FL Wd (emerg)
Ho, Jessica Wexford, PA def. Schultz, Ava Valentina Bradenton, FL 6-0; 6-0
Mixed Doubles Sectional Qualifying (Semifinal Round)
DeHeart, Ryler / Fudge, Megan def. Ho, Jessica / Ho, Jonathan 7-5; 7-5
Ryler DeHeart and wife Megan Fudge
Here is another Day One entry from guest blogger and player Megan Fudge:
Day 1 of a long journey into the US Open has just finished. What a great day to play tennis in Florida with 90 degrees and  a light breeze. I got to play my first ever Mixed Doubles match with my husband Ryler DeHeart. And we won! It was a little nerve racking playing with him and I put myself under quite some pressure to not disappoint my husband but came through in crunch times!

The atmosphere was really great, we had some support out there from kids and families we coach at RD Tennis which was very helpful to keep us going... especially when we were set points down in the second! Thanks to them!

Some singles matches went pretty fast, but there was also some very exciting matches that the crowd got to enjoy. We are hoping for a dry early start tomorrow for some singles for Ryler and hopefully keep the "winning streak" going in Mixed Doubles.

Thanks for a great tournament so far - Double DeHearts :) - Megan Fudge
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