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Florida Tennis Briefs(2): U.S. gains Fed Cup World Group, More

April 23, 2012 10:34 AM
U.S. Beats Ukraine to Gain 2013 Fed Cup World Group
Behind Americans Christina McHale and Serena Williams in singles, the U.S. swept the Ukraine 5-0 over the weekend in the Fed Cup Playoffs round to advance to the World Group for 2013.
On the second day of the tie, Serena Williams defeated Lesia Tsurenko 6-3, 6-2, to clinch the weekend encounter 3-0 and remain unbeaten in her Fed Cup career. On the opening Saturday Williams defeated Elina Svitolina, and McHale beat Tsurenko.
World No. 1 doubles player Liezel Huber and partner Sloane Stephens, playing in her first career Fed Cup match for the U.S., defeated Nadiya and Lyudmyla Kichenok in the doubles 6-4, 6-1 to complete the sweep.
With 17 titles, the U.S. is the most successful nation in Fed Cup history and regains its spot in the World Group next year in what will be the 50th anniversary of Fed Cup competition.
"We are so excited," said U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez. "(Returning to the World Group) was our goal this year. It was our first time out of the World Group, and we couldn't wait to get back. We did a great job of really focusing and getting the job done, so we are thrilled to be back."
Williams added she also enjoyed the camaraderie of the U.S. squad.
"I absolutely love this team," she said. "I love Liezel. She is just so amazing and so perfect. Christina is awesome, as well, and Sloane and I get along like two peas in a pod. Mary Joe is a young coach. She hasn't been off tour for too long, so she has so much experience. It is a fabulous opportunity for me. I absolutely love it."

10 and Under Tennis Featured at Florida Girl Scouts 100-year Celebration
The Gateway Council Girl Scouts of North Florida will experience the easy-to-play 10 and Under Tennis format on April 28, 2012, during the Gateway Council Girl Scouts 100th' Anniversary "Celebrate a Century" event, featuring a full weekend of activities, including camping, sports and entertainment, to celebrate a century of Girl Scouts. More than 5,000 girls and family members are expected to attend at the new North Fork Leadership Center in Middleburg, Fla.
"We will kick of the weekend Friday night with a campfire sing-a-long," say event organizers, "Saturday's celebration will get started at 10:30 a.m. with entertainment all day long at the stage in the Great Pasture -- including a DJ to get people moving, and special guest recording artists Emily Hearn and Girls Nite Out."
Tennis activities will start on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. with two 36-foot courts (compared to regular-sized 78-foot courts) for family members who can try their hand at 10 and Under Tennis, which features smaller court sizes, child-sized racquets instead of heavy adult racquets, and low-compression balls that don't bounce over kids' heads.
Similar mini-tennis formats have long been popular for beginning and intermediate youth players in Europe, where current stars such as Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes.
"USTA Florida is excited to be partnering up with the Girl Scouts for this first-time event that will allow thousands of local troops to get a chance to play tennis on our 36-foot courts," said Amanda Becker, USTA Florida tennis program coordinator for Northeast Florida.
For more information on 10 and Under Tennis in Florida, go to: http://www.florida.usta.com/youth_tennis/10_and_under_tennis.





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