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Florida Family Tennis Champs; Michael Chang in Tampa

September 13, 2012 12:30 PM
2 Florida Families Win at National Family Tennis Championships
Andy Lake (middle), daughter Evan (left) and son Thomas
David King and Kim Cashman
Two Florida families captured titles at the inaugural National Family Tennis Championships, held at the Waldorf Astoria in Naples, Fla., on Sept. 6-9, 2012. The five divisions of play for the event were Father/Son, Mother/Son, Mother/Daughter, Father/Daughter, and Husband/Wife.
Andrew Lake and daughter Evan (age 14) won the Father/Daughter division. The Lakes are from Davie, Fla., and play out of the Lauderdale Tennis Club. David King and Kim Cashman of Clearwater, Fla., won the Husband/Wife title. They play out of the Henry L. McMullen Tennis Complex, and in the final defeated Ben Goodman and Caroline Clark of Birmingham, Ala., 7-5, 6-4.
Lake and his son Thomas also lost in the final of the Father/Son division.
After participating in local competitions at tennis facilities in eight states, 18 teams earned an invitation to the national championships, which included three nights of hotel accommodations at the Waldorf-Astoria Naples. After an opening night reception, the teams took to the courts in a round-robin tournament to determine a champion in the five divisions of play.
"This was a phenomenal event," said Brad Goodman, who teamed with his son Benjamin to capture the Father/Son title. "It was great to play tennis with my family and meet other families with a similar passion for tennis.  This was the best tournament that I have had the good fortune to participate in and a weekend our family will remember forever."
Eighteen husband/wife and parent/child teams from eight states: Texas, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Alabama, Florida and Georgia competed in the inaugural family national championship finals.
The 2013 local competitions will commence in the spring and summer of 2013, followed by "Super Regional Playoffs," with the winners advancing to the 2013 National Family Tennis Championships finals, to be held in New York City in August. Each winning regional doubles team will be treated to a complimentary stay (one room per team) in New York City featuring double room accommodations, daily breakfast and lunch, first-class tennis facilities and more.
For more information on the 2013 event visit www.FamilyTennis.com.
Chang Replaces Connors for Tampa Tennis Legends Event
Chang009InsideOut Sports + Entertainment announced that Ivan Lendl (four events) and Michael Chang (two events) will be replacing Jimmy Connors in the six events that Connors was scheduled to compete in, after he was forced to withdraw from the 2012 PowerShares Series due to a hip injury.
The Tampa event on Nov. 9 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum will feature Chang, John McEnroe, Mats Wilander and Jim Courier.
Formerly known as the Champions Series, the PowerShares Series will visit a total of 12 U.S. cities during its seven-week season.
In addition to Chang and Lendl, the tour, co-produced by legendary impresario Larry Magid, will feature fellow Grand Slam champions McEnroe, Courier, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Wilander and Patrick Rafter along with Davis Cup champion Todd Martin. The athletes will be competing for a prize pool totaling $1 million to be shared by the top three finishers at the conclusion of the season. 
"I’m very disappointed that I cannot return to the PowerShares Series later this year," Connors said. "I had such a great time last year and was really looking forward to playing with all the guys again. Unfortunately, my hip prohibits me from doing so and I will be out of tennis through the end of 2012.  But then I’m back, and so looking forward to be part of the future."
Pete Sampras earned $500,000 by finishing the 2011 season as the No. 1-ranked player, followed by Jim Courier earning $350,000 at No. 2 and Andre Agassi collecting $150,000 at No. 3.
For complete tour and ticket information, visit www.PowerSharesSeries.com.
USTA Florida Leagues: 4th Time's the Charm for Pinecrest 'United Nations of Players'

By Barbara Eisner Bayer, USTA Florida Region 8 (North Gold Coast) columnist
Some say that the third time's the charm, but for Captain Alex Bahamonde and the men's 3.5 team from Coral Pine Park in Pinecrest, it was the fabulous fourth year that finally landed them a spot at the 2012 Regionals. The eight core players, who had finished second for three consecutive years, were proud and super-excited to represent Miami Dade in the post-season, which occurred July 13 to 15 at BallenIsles Country Club in West Palm Beach.

How did the excited eight break through? According to Bahamonde, there were two reasons. First, cohesiveness - the players get along well, both on and off the court, and treat each other with respect. "We function well as a team, and there's good morale," says the captain, proudly.

The second reason is simple: practice, practice, practice. The team spent an intensive amount of time working together, becoming familiar with each other's games. The team wanted to beat all the others in the field - and that's exactly what they accomplished.

Bahamonde lovingly calls his team the "United Nations of Players," because the men represent a variety of countries. Teammates hail from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela, with one gentleman of Indian descent who was born in Singapore. One challenge, however, is that court chatter often occurs in Spanish. When that happens, the captain must remind everyone to speak in English - to respect (and include) their American compadres. He doesn't want anyone thinking that they're talking about him behind his back.

The Regionals were a great experience for the team, and the competition was close and intense. During the weekend, one of their key players was called to active military duty - immediately - and he had to leave. As a result, the team had to forfeit a match, and wound up tying 2-2, with the forfeit being the deciding match. The military man felt awful, and kept texting and calling during and after the match. He was upset, but when duty calls, he knew what his priorities were.

Even though the team didn't win, they were thrilled to compete. They know what it's like finishing second. They also know what they need to do to break through and finish first, and plan on going for it again next year.





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