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Florida Tennis Briefs(3): Tamiami Family Fest; UF Women in Spotlight

February 19, 2013 01:45 PM
Free Family Tennis Day at Tamiami Tennis Center in Miami
'Grand-reopening' of center celebrates construction of additional permanent kid-sized courts
 
36-foot_courtThe Tamiami Tennis Center in Miami will host a public "Grand Re-opening" on Saturday, March 2, 2013, for children and families to celebrate the new, permanent 36' and 60' tennis courts designed especially for kids. Games, prize-giveaways and more will be held from 2-4 p.m., free and open to the public.
 
"We want the Miami tennis community, kids and families, to come out and support this event celebrating the Tamiami Tennis Center as one of the most kid-friendly tennis facilities in the country," said USTA Florida Miami-area Tennis Program Coordinator Cathy Nordlund. "The center after the construction now features four permanent 36' courts, and four permanent 60' courts."
 
Parents can register on line for the Tamiami event at http://tamiamigrandopening.eventbrite.com where they will also be automatically entered to win prizes.
 
Tamiami Tennis Center was the first facility in Florida to feature both 36' and 60' permanent courts for kids (compared to a full 78' court). The Tamiami courts are the result of a collaboration of grants from the USTA national body, the USTA Florida Section, the USTA Florida Section Foundation, and Friends of Miami Tennis. Friends of Miami Tennis, a 501(c)3 organization, manages the Tamiami Tennis Center. A number of USTA programs for both children and adults of all ages and skill levels are available at the facility, including USTA Leagues and Jr. Team Tennis.
 
To find a program that fits you, visit www.USTAMiami.com.
 
Tamiami Tennis Center and Tamiami Park are public facilities under Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation, the largest parks and recreation organization in Florida.
 
All the courts built or renovated were specially lined to enable participation in the USTA's youth participation initiative, 10 and Under Tennis. Youth tennis is geared towards getting more kids to participate in tennis using modified equipment and courts tailored to a child's age and ability. By featuring shorter and lighter racquets, slower-bouncing balls, smaller courts and simplified scoring, children learn to play more quickly and easily while having more fun in the process.
 
Information will also be available regarding local USTA Jr. Team Tennis (JTT) play opportunities. JTT brings kids together in teams to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles against other teams. It promotes social skills and important values by fostering cooperation and unity, as well as individual self-growth. It is designed for kids ages 5-18, and matches can be held anywhere from a local park or school to a commercial or private club. JTT teams are co-ed and divided by the play levels beginner, intermediate and advanced, and utilize the 10 and Under Tennis format for the 10-U and 8-U leagues.
 
The Tamiami Tennis Center is located at 11201 SW 24th St, Miami, Fla. 33165, and can be reached at (305) 223-7076.
 
For event registration go to http://tamiamigrandopening.eventbrite.com, or for additional information about the event contact Cathy Nordlund at nordlund@florida.usta.com.
 
 
UF Tennis Women Lose to Duke, Rebound to Upset No. 1 North Carolina
 
Gator-Tennis.jpgEntering last week at No. 2 in the country, the University of Florida women's tennis team, within the span of a couple days, lost its first match of the season to No. 4-ranked Duke on Sunday, then upset No. 1 North Carolina on Monday.
 
The Lady Gators fell 4-0 to Duke at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center in Durham, N.C., stopping the Gators' overall win streak at 25, dating to last year when the team lost 5-2 at Stanford on Feb. 12, 2012. Duke improved to 7-1 on the season, while Florida fell to 3-1.
 
"[Duke] played with great passion and had a great crowd," UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. "I thought they were the better team today. Our job now is to forget it and play again tomorrow at a high level. Even though we lost this one, this trip is exactly what we need. We need quality opponents. Our team will continue to improve with these quality matches that we're playing."
 
And regroup the UF women did, on Monday topping No. 1 North Carolina 4-2 at their opponent's Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. The Gators improved to 4-1 on the season, dropping the Tar Heels to 9-1. The match was played indoors, a surface that North Carolina dominated during last weekend's run to win the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
 
"I don't want to make any excuses, but we were definitely tired -- mentally and some of us physically," senior Gina Suarez-Malaguti told the Daily Tar Heel. "Some of us being tired and a little bit out of shape hurt us."
 
Like their battle against Duke, the Gators lost the hard-fought doubles point to begin the match, but this time battled back in the singles.
 
"Today was the day we found out that our team had heart," Thornqvist said. "If you want to achieve anything, that's the number one ingredient. I told them after the match that I was more proud of this achievement, to play away at North Carolina, after losing the doubles point, after losing to Duke, and comeback from behind to do what we did today shows what we have to work with."
 
After North Carolina won the doubles point they jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Florida won the first set in singles on four courts and North Carolina on the other two, as the Tar Heels put extra pressure on the visiting Gators. That's when Florida mounted its comeback, as Olivia Janowicz (Palm Bay, Fla.) posted the first singles win a 6-2, 6-1 upset against No. 79-ranked Tessa Lyons. Freshman Brianna Morgan (Beverly Hills, Calif.) then posted a 6-1, 6-1 win against Lauren McHale and evened the team scoring at 2-2.
 
That's when Florida's Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) rallied on court No. 1, where she was facing No. 7-ranked Gina Suarez-Malaguti. The No. 4-ranked Gator won a tough opening set 6-4, but dropped the second 6-1. She then took her game to another level and closed out the match 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, giving Florida the 3-2 lead. Sofie Oyen (Belgium) clinched for the Gators, beating UNC's Zoe De Bruycker 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
 
"This is one of the best wins that I can remember," Thornqvist said. "The biggest hole we've been in as a unit and to be able to dig ourselves out of it against this quality of a team that North Carolina has."
 
The Gators improved to 9-7 all-time against No. 1-ranked teams, including last year's 4-0 victory against then-No. 1 UCLA in the final of the 2012 NCAA Championships.
 
 
UF Women's Tennis Spotlighted for USTA's New College MatchDay Series
 
USTA_College_MatchDay_graphicThe USTA national body announced that it will spotlight men's and women's college tennis with its new "College MatchDay" series beginning this season, and the first College MatchDay will feature the University of Florida women hosting Stanford University on Sunday, Feb. 24, in Gainesville, Fla.
 
The match is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET at Linder Stadium at the Ring Tennis Complex, where admission to all regular-season matches is free.
 
The USTA is giving out hats to the first 200 kids in attendance, while the UF University Athletic Association will be providing free "BEAT STANFORD" t-shirts to the first 500 fans. Prior to the match, kids can participate in the Kid's Korner for poster making, coloring, and meet Alberta and receive Gator head tattoos from the Dazzlers. There also will be a post-match meet and greet with the Gator team.
 
The College MatchDay series will highlight a number of premier men's and women's college tennis team matches each season, organizing activities and local outreach surrounding the host team's campus. Additionally, Ken Thomas will broadcast each College MatchDay on www.RadioTennis.com.
 
College MatchDay will also come to Charlottesville, Va., when the University of Virginia men host Duke University on March 22. College MatchDay will feature a team match every week beginning in 2013.
 
"There is so much great competition in college tennis, and we're thrilled to be able to spotlight some of the game's finest teams, players and coaches with College MatchDay," said USTA Director, Collegiate Tennis and Market Development Virgil Christian. "We've got four of America's finest college tennis programs launching College MatchDay this season, and we're looking forward to growing the series in the years to come."
 
Florida, the two-time defending NCAA women's team champion, is currently the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's No. 2-ranked women's team and features two of the ITA's top-ranked singles players: No. 4 Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) and No. 9 Sofie Oyen. Stanford, which won the NCAA title in 2010 with a 4-3 win against the Gators, is ranked No. 7 and features the reigning NCAA singles champion Nicole Gibbs (Santa Monica, Calif.) as well as the ITA's No. 10-ranked player, Krista Hardebeck (Santa Ana, Calif.).
 
 
 
 

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