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Florida Briefs(2): Tennis on TV This Weekend; Boca 10-U Festival

July 12, 2012 12:28 PM
Tennis on TV This Weekend; Venus Ready for Olympics, US Open Series

emirates_us_open_series_logoFresh off her singles and doubles triumphs at Wimbledon, Florida's Serena Williams is defending her 2011 championship run this week at the WTA Bank of the West Classic, on the campus of Stanford University in California.

On Friday the younger Williams sister will meet No. 6 seed Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa, with the tournament shown in the U.S. on Tennis Channel from 5-9 p.m., and 10 p.m.-midnight. Saturday's TV schedule is 4-6 p.m. and 10 p.m.-midnight, both on ESPN2. The Sunday final will be shown at 4-6 p.m. on ESPN2 (all times Eastern and subject to change).

Elder sister and fellow Palm Beach Gardens resident Venus is not playing Stanford this week, but did some media appearances following her Wimbledon doubles victory. She talked about how she is looking forward to the Olympics, and playing the Emirates Airline US Open Series events in Cincinnati and Montreal prior to the US Open.

"Winning the [Wimbledon] doubles was amazing. I am so excited about that and Serena winning singles. I am very, very happy," said Venus at NBC's The Today Show in New York City. "I am always learning and continuing to learn with my new life here. I am not impatient. I know I can play great tennis, and I just need some time to pull everything together to where I want it."

Adjusting to last year's diagnosis of Sjogren's syndrome, Venus has been on a raw vegan diet to combat the energy-sapping side effects of Sjogren's.

"Dry eyes and dry mouth are the hallmark symptoms, but fatigue can be so heavy that sitting in a chair is a huge effort," she told CBS news. "So, as a professional athlete, if you have fatigue, then that's tough. You can also have joint pain...issues with your internal systems."

She has been supported by housemate and sister Serena, who sometimes shares her sister's diet, and tries to keep non-diet or tempting foods out of the house.

"Changing my diet has made a big difference," Venus said. "I'm not perfect, so I forgive myself when I make mistakes [with my diet]. I do a lot of juicing as well, a lot of wheat grass shots...lots of fresh juices and things like that."

Venus says she is battle-ready whether it comes to dealing with Sjogren's, or taking to the court later this month to represent the U.S. in singles and doubles at the London Olympics. She looks to improve on the singles gold she won in 2000, and the two doubles gold medals with her sister in 2000 and 2008.

"I've made huge improvements since I was first diagnosed, so that has been huge for me," Venus said. "And it's a journey that I continue on."

The Boca Raton Tennis Center Free Tennis Festival for 10-U Children, Families 

10_UnderPlayDaysThe City of Boca Raton Parks & Recreation Department will sponsor a Free 10 and Under Tennis Festival in partnership with USTA Florida. This event is targeted toward children ages 5-10 years old. The event will be held on Aug. 4, 2012, from 9-11 a.m. at the Boca Raton Tennis Center in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Boca Raton Tennis Festival will feature arts and crafts, face painting, refreshments, games, matches and more.

"We welcome children of all levels, from those never having picked up a racquet to those that are frequent players," says USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator Janet Sprague. "It's about getting the parents and kids out together in a fun, friendly atmosphere and enjoying tennis activities for the day. Information will be on hand about on-going programs at the tennis center, USTA Jr. Team Tennis, and 10 and Under USTA membership."

10 and Under Tennis features the right-sized equipment for kids age 10 and under, utilizing smaller, lighter racquets and softer, lower-bouncing balls, and kid-sized nets and court sizes. 10 and Under Tennis is creating a whole new generation of players in the U.S., introducing kids to tennis in a fun format rather than with the frustration of regular tennis balls that bounce over their heads, heavy adult-sized racquets and too much court for little legs to cover.

The Boca Raton Tennis Center is located at 271 NW Boca Raton Blvd. in Boca Raton.

For more information contact Janet Sprague at sprague@florida.usta.com.






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