Delray Beach to Host U.S. Fed Cup vs. Sweden in April
The Delray Beach Tennis Center in Delray Beach, Fla., has been selected as the site for the 2013 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Playoff between the United States and Sweden on April 20-21, 2013.
"Delray Beach has a strong history of hosting Fed Cup competition, so we know that the fans will come out to cheer on the U.S. team to victory," said U.S. Fed Cup Team Captain Mary Joe Fernandez. "The team fought hard on the road in the first round in Italy, so we are excited to play at home this time and take on Sweden. There is nothing like playing Fed Cup in front of a patriotic crowd."
The event is being organized, staged and promoted by the USTA. Ticket information will be available at a later date. Fans can call the U.S. Fed Cup hotline at (888) 334-8782 or visit www.usta.com/fedcup
to receive the latest ticket information. Local sponsors include the City of Delray Beach, Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency and the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
"Our city is proud to host Fed Cup," said Thomas Carney, Delray Beach mayor. "We are known for our hospitality and top-rated sports facilities. This event is a win for Fed Cup and a win for Delray Beach. Our community is excited to show the world what a great place this is."
The winner of this match will advance to the 2014 World Group and have a chance to compete for the Fed Cup title next year. The loser will be relegated to World Group II in 2014. The U.S. fell to Italy, 3-2, in the 2013 World Group first round in Rimini, Italy, Feb. 9-10, despite two singles victories by world No. 25 Varvara Lepchenko over world No. 8 Sara Errani and world No. 16 Roberta Vinci in Lepchenko's Fed Cup debut.
This will be the fourth Fed Cup tie played in Florida and the third played at the Delray Beach Tennis Center, making it the only venue to host a U.S. Fed Cup tie on three occasions. The U.S. squad has never lost a match in its three previous trips to Florida, posting 5-0 sweeps over Austria in the 1995 World Group quarterfinal in Aventura, and against Belgium in the 2005 World Group quarterfinal and the 2007 World Group quarterfinal, both in Delray Beach. The U.S. is 36-4 all-time in Fed Cup ties played at home.
The best-of-five match series begins on Saturday, April 20, with two singles matches, and is followed by two reverse singles matches and the doubles match on Sunday, April 21. Tennis Channel will present live daily coverage of the World Group Playoff.
Youth Tennis Participants Better Citizens According to Report
USTA Serves, the national charitable foundation of the United States Tennis Association, announced the results of the USTA Serves Special Report, "More Than a Sport: Tennis, Education and Health."
The study, conducted among high school students, is the first nationwide study to analyze the educational, behavioral and health benefits to adolescents who participate in tennis. Results from the study show that, when compared to non-athletes and participants in many other sports, young people who participate in tennis get better grades, devote more hours to studying, think more about their future, aspire to attend and graduate from college, and have lower suspension and expulsion rates.
Key findings from the report include tennis players spend more time doing homework, have lower rates of disciplinary measures, participate in more extracurricular activities, volunteer more in their communities, and have lower rates of unhealthy behavior among other findings.
"While most people may not be surprised to learn that the majority of adolescent tennis players score better than most other athletes (and all non-athletes) on education and social behavior, what is less known is that those benefits also cross all socioeconomics levels in varying degrees," said Executive Director of USTA Serves Deborah Slaner Larkin. "Hopefully, this evidence-based research will encourage more educators, health policy makers and parents to promote tennis in physical education classes as well as in school and community-based sports programs so that students across the country will reap these important education and health benefits."
The results confirm USTA Serves' belief in tennis as a sport of opportunity and validate its mission to support programs that enhance the lives of children and families through the integration of tennis, health and education.
"The evidence shows that tennis participation is clearly linked with educational achievement, health, and social involvement among U.S. adolescents," said Don Sabo, Ph.D., principal investigator. "USTA Serves is commended for its use of evidence-based research to evaluate the contributions that tennis makes in the lives of U.S. adolescents."
To date, USTA Serves has awarded more than $15 million in grants and scholarships to people and programs throughout the country in order to provide at-risk and underserved youth with greater opportunities to realize success.
The report used data from Monitoring the Future (MTF), a federally-funded survey, in order to compare the education and health profiles of tennis players with other high school athletes, as well as with high school students who do not participate in sports.
5 Florida Players to Represent U.S. at ITF Seniors World Team Championships
By Carolyn Nichols, special to USTA Florida
Five of the 40 tennis players who will represent the United States at the 33rd ITF Seniors World Team Championships in Antalya, Turkey, are from Florida. They will join the other top American men and women in age divisions 35-55 to compete March 18-23, 2013, at the Ali Bey Resort on red clay.
The ITF Seniors/Super-Seniors World Team Championships is the most coveted team event on the ITF Seniors circuit. Since its inception in 1981, the number of competitors attracted to this event has increased year by year. In 1993, the ITF divided the Seniors World Championships into two groups -- Seniors (35-55) and Super-Seniors (60-80).
Last year the USA won the Maureen Connolly Cup (women's 55), and finished second in the following cups: Young (women's 40), Maria Bueno (women's 50), Tony Trabert (men's 40), Fred Perry (men's 50) and Austria (men's 55); and finished third in the Suzanne Lenglen Cup (women's 35) and Dubler Cup (men's 45). These events were held in San Diego, Calif., on hard courts.
The Florida players representing the USA are Jason Touchstone, Weston; Mario Tabares, Miami; Trish Riddell, Lakeland; Mary Dailey, Delray Beach; and Vesna McKenna, Hollywood.
Touchstone has been named to his first Cup team, the Italia Cup, for men 35 and over. He won the bronze ball in singles at the 2012 National 35 Clay and won the Florida State Closed 35 singles title. His teammates are Stuart Duncan (Laguna Beach, Calif., playing captain), Mark Tepes (Medford, NJ) and Gabriel Venter (Blue Ash, Ohio). The Italia Cup team finished sixth out of 19 teams in 2012 in San Diego.
Tabares was named the playing captain for the Dubler Cup for the second straight year. He won a coveted "Gold Slam" in 2011 in 45 singles, winning the Clay, Hard, Grass and Indoor national singles titles. In 2012 Tabares was a singles finalist at the 45 Clay and won the 30 Clay mixed (with Rocio Rodriguez, Fort Lauderdale). Tabares was the 2011 Florida player of the year. His teammates are Jeff Tarango (Manhattan Beach, Calif.); Eoin Collins (Houston, Tex.) and Kelly Ward (League City, Tex.).
Dailey has been selected to the Lenglen Cup team. Dailey won a Gold Slam in 2011 in 35 doubles. Despite undergoing knee surgery mid-year, she compiled an impressive list of accomplishments in 2011 -- she won the 35 Clay, Grass, Hard and Indoor doubles with different partners (the Clay with Michelle King, Austin, Tex.; the Indoor and Hard with Erika Smith, Oakland, Calif., and the Grass with Riddell) along with the 45 Grass and Indoor doubles titles (with Smith). In 2012 she won the 35 Grass (with Riddell); the 40 Indoor (with Rhona Kaczmarczyk); and 50 Indoor (with Susan Wright, Grand Junction, Col.), was a finalist at the 45 Grass (with Erika Smith, Oakland, Calif.) and placed third at the 40 Grass (with Riddell). Dailey remarkably reached a doubles final in every senior age division for which she's eligible in 2012: 35, 40, 45, and 50. Her teammates are Sophie Woorons-Johnston (Anderson, S.C.), Patricia Zerdan (Dallas, Tex., playing captain) and Carolina Blouin (Augusta, Ga.). This is the melting pot team, as Woorons-Johnston is a native of France, Zerdan is a native of Argentina, and Blouin hails originally from Brazil.
Riddell was chosen to be the playing captain for the Young Cup team. She won the 35 Grass singles and doubles in 2011 and 2012, and the 40 Grass doubles in 2011. She was a finalist in doubles at the 2011 40 Clay and 2011 30 Clay. She was a singles finalist at the 2012 40 Grass, where she beat her teammate, Debbie Higa (Solana Beach, Calif.) en route to the final. She will be joined by McKenna and Stephanie Stone (Carpinteria, Calif.).
McKenna, a firefighter in Miami, won the National 40 Grass doubles (with Julie Cass, Austin, Tex.) in her first tournament back from shoulder surgery last summer. In 2011 she was third in singles at the 40 Grass, won the 40 Clay doubles (with Amy Alcini, Malibu, Calif.) and reached the doubles final 40 Grass (with Cass) and 45 Clay (with Kim Cashman, Clearwater, Fla.).