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Florida Tennis Briefs(3): ATP Delray, Jax 10-U, Vero Wildcard

March 5, 2012 12:14 PM
Anderson Stops Matosevic Run for ATP Delray Title

anderson_story2Kevin Anderson of South Africa captured the ATP Delray Beach International Tennis Championship on Sunday, with the No. 7 seed ending the run of Australian qualifier Marinko Matosevic 6-4, 7-6(2) in the final. Anderson in the semifinals upended top-seeded John Isner.

Anderson was 0-8 in break point opportunities in the second set, but closed it out in the tiebreak after an almost two-hour match. Anderson improved to 2-1 in title matches, adding to his victory on home soil in Johannesburg last year. The South African has a 10-4 record this season. Matosevic was contesting his first ATP World Tour final.

"Both of us were a little nervous at the start of match, so I had to find my rhythm," Anderson said. "I think at the end, I felt I was mentally composed throughout. I didn't let any patches of bad tennis affect my mindset."

Anderson played NCAA tennis at Illinois.

"It's my first [title] in the United States, which is great," Anderson said. "I feel apart from South Africa, this is my new home."

In the doubles final No. 3 seeds Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins of Great Britain battled past the Slovak/Brazilian duo of Michal Mertinak and Andre Sa 2-6, 7-6(5), 15-13, saving a match point to win their first title of the season.

More than 350 Turn Out for Jacksonville 10-U Tennis Festival

A chilly morning gave way to bright sunshine and enthusiastic little ones with tennis racquets in hand as approximately 350 children and parents filled the Burnett Park tennis courts in Jacksonville for a 10 and Under Tennis Festival on Feb. 25, 2012 from 1-3 p.m.

"It was exciting to have so many kids out there enjoying tennis, many of them for the first time," said USTA Florida organizer Amanda Becker, who partnered for the event with Jax Parks & Recreation and the Jax Youth Tennis Association (JYTA). "The off-court activities such as face painting, tennis ball cookie decorating, and tennis ball arts and crafts gave the kids lots of fun activities to do that revolved around the sport."

Courts at Burnett Park were divided into four mini-courts with smaller 10 and Under Tennis nets for smaller children, while children age 9-10 played on shorter 60-foot courts, assisted by more than 30 volunteers.


"The exposure for tennis was tremendous," said Celia Rehm, president of the JYTA, "It was amazing to see the tennis courts packed with kids having fun. I was so happy to be part of this wonderful family event that provided great exposure for tennis. Great way to spend an afternoon in the park."

The festival was a kick-off for a $100,000 grant Jacksonville received from the United States Tennis Association (USTA) national body, and USTA Florida as a designated Target Market Initiative to grow 10 and Under Tennis through local community partnerships, and tennis programming in K-12 Duval County schools and beyond.
Other partners in the Jacksonville venture include public and private tennis facilities and schools, the Jacksonville Mayor's Office, Atlantic Beach Parks, District 2 of the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) Florida Section, First Coast YMCA, the Jacksonville Police Athletic League, the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation, the Jacksonville Youth Tennis Association, and USTA national trainers among others.

The festival was also featured on the Jacksonville morning TV show "First Coast Living," click here to view:
"We like to think of 10 and Under Tennis as being kind of the equivalent of t-ball in baseball," Becker told the hosts. "The basic idea is to introduce kids to tennis on shorter courts with equipment made specially for them so that they can enjoy some success right away."
The $100,000 USTA grants are for a three-year period to provide a pathway for 10 and Under Tennis to USTA Jr. Team Tennis, middle school and high school play, onto college, USTA Tennis on Campus and adult league/tournament play. The primary effort is to boost the number of players age 10 and under, where the U.S. trails many of the larger developed countries.
"These three-year initiatives in Hillsborough, Seminole, Village of Wellington, and now Jacksonville are unique because they bring everyone to the same table, whereas in most communities, all these entities are working independently to grow tennis," said USTA Florida Associate Executive Director Andy McFarland.
10 and Under Tennis is designed for children featuring smaller court sizes, racquet sizes, foam and decompressed balls, a simple scoring system, and net heights adjusted to ease kids into the sport. Similar mini-tennis formats have long been popular in Europe, where current stars such as Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes. To see a video of 10 and Under Tennis in action go to: http://10andundertennis.usta.com.
For more information contact Amanda Becker at becker@florida.usta.com or go to www.ustajacksonville.com.

Wildcard Event at Vero Beach USTA Pro Circuit Tennis

usta pro circuit logo-collageA wildcard men's tennis tournament will be held April 23-25, 2012, at the Golden Isles Tennis Center in Hallendale, Fla., with the winner receiving a wildcard into the main draw for the USTA Pro Circuit Men's Futures event in Vero Beach during the week of April 30.

The finalist in the wildcard event will receive a wildcard into the tournament qualifying draw.

Entry fee for the event is $50, with a deadline of April 21 at midnight.

For more information go to http://tennislink.usta.com/TOURNAMENTS/TournamentHome_New/Tournament.aspx?T=122293.






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