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Florida Tennis Briefs(2): Wood Tourney; Jrs. at Fed Cup

February 6, 2014 10:26 PM
Historic St. Augustine Charity Tennis Tournament in March

tropical_tournament_2014The charity wood-racquet-only tennis tournament that began in the 1800s in St. Augustine, Fla., returns in 2014 when the 2nd Annual Tropical Tennis Tournament will be held on the weekends of March 7-9 and 14-15 at the Harbour Island Tennis Centre.

The Coastal Rotary of St. Johns County plays host to the event, with funds raised distributed to charity.

"Two weekends of tennis play includes an Art Festival, an awards dinner and silent auctions, and the tennis finals on March 15," says Harbour Island Tennis Centre Director of Tennis Bryce Melcher. "All proceeds will benefit the Coastal Rotary Club of St. Johns County for distribution to worthy local and international charities, including polio eradication."

Known in the 1800s on the East Coast as the first annual outdoor tournament of the year, the event originally took place on wooden tennis courts (now a parking lot) behind The Alcazar Hotel & Casino in St. Augustine. The tournament's nearly-two-foot tall sterling silver trophy, cast as a replica of the City Gates, is currently on display at Flagler College in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Ponce de Leon Hotel. City founder Henry Flagler eventually evolved the tournament celebration to include a 25-piece orchestra and gala ball that was held at the Ponce de Leon Hotel.

"To maintain the historical spirit of the tournament, players are strongly encouraged to dress in traditional tennis whites or attire from the period, including men in white trousers and women in long dresses," Melcher says. "To heighten the stakes, players will also be required to use wooden racquets, and the tennis centre will have wooden racquets available to rent."     

Events include men's and women's singles and doubles, and the entry deadline is March 3 by noon. Registration is $100 for singles and $150 for doubles ($75 per person), and a $10 discount will be applied for players who play in both divisions. The entry fees include refreshments, light snacks, and an invitation to the dinner and award presentation. 

For more info or to enter go to www.harbourislandtennis.com/tropicalchampionship.html.

5 Florida Junior Girls at USTA Fed Cup Player Development Camp
FedCupLogoSix top junior players will take part in USTA Player Development's Fed Cup camp, which will be held alongside the United States' Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Quarterfinal tie vs. reigning champion Italy on Feb. 8-9, at Cleveland's Public Auditorium. 

Amanda Anisimova (age 12; Hallandale Beach, Fla.), Tornado Alicia Black (15; Boca Raton, Fla.), Hurricane Tyra Black (12; Boca Raton, Fla.), Elizabeth Halbauer (16; Boca Raton, Fla.), Sofia Kenin (15; Pembroke Pines, Fla.), and Alexis Nelson (15; St. Paul, Minn.) will take part in the camp, an opportunity traditionally held in conjunction with Fed Cup ties in the U.S.

The camp is an opportunity for some of America's top young players to train with one another, as well as watch and interact with the U.S. Fed Cup team of Captain Mary Joe Fernandez, Madison Keys, Alison Riske, Christina McHale, and Cleveland native Lauren Davis. The juniors are training at The Cleveland Racquet Club. USTA national coaches Kathy Rinaldi and Jamea Jackson will run the camp.

Tornado Alicia Black is ranked a career-high No. 4 in the ITF World Junior Rankings, making her the top-ranked American girl. Black advanced to the final of the girls' singles event at the 2013 US Open Junior Championships. Immediately following the US Open, she won her first pro title at the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Amelia Island, Fla. Black's sister, Hurricane Tyra, is also a promising young player as the USTA's national champion among 12-and-unders in 2013. She also won the Girls' 12s singles title at the 2013 Junior Orange Bowl.

Kenin reached the singles semifinals and doubles final of the 2013 Girls' 18s Orange Bowl as a 15-year old and is ranked a career-high No. 33 in the world in the ITF World Junior Rankings. Halbauer won her first career singles title at the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit women's event in Hilton Head Island, S.C., in October 2013. Anisimova won the Girls' 12s singles title at the 2013 USTA Spring National Tennis Championships.






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