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Florida Tennis Briefs(3): US Open Wildcards, 'Sets in the City,' More

August 16, 2012 09:24 AM
Duval in Main Draw, 4 Floridians Receive Q Wildcards for 2012 US Open

Duval Victoria 2011Bradenton's 16-year-old Victoria Duval is one of five female players receiving wildcards into the main draw or qualifying for the 2012 US Open later this month, the USTA announced this week.

Contrasting the players granted wildcards by the USTA, the teenage Duval earned her wildcard by winning the USTA Girls' 18 National Championships, knocking off five Top 10 seeds, and receiving the US Open main draw wildcard that annually goes to the winner of the event.

Duval, who currently works with USTA coach and former Top 10 U.S. player Kathy Rinaldi, last year reached the quarterfinals of the US Open Girls' Singles, en route upsetting defending champion Daria Gavrilova.

Other US Open main draw women's wildcards went to Mallory Burdette (age 21, Jackson, Ga.), former University of Florida and University of Miami player Julia Cohen (23, Philadelphia), Nicole Gibbs (19, Manhattan Beach, Calif.), U.S. Fed Cup team members Bethanie Mattek-Sands (27, Phoenix, Ariz.) and Melanie Oudin (20, Marietta, Ga.), Casey Dellacqua (27, Perth, Australia) who receives her wildcard through a reciprocal arrangement with Tennis Australia, and Kristina Mladenovic (19, Saint Pol sue Mer, France), who receives her wildcard through a reciprocal arrangement with the French Tennis Federation.

Floridians receiving wildcards into the US Open women's qualifying draw are 2008 Orange Bowl champion Julia Boserup (20, Boca Raton), 2012 Easter Bowl and USTA Girls' 18s doubles champion Samantha Crawford (17, Tamarac), 2012 USTA Girls' 18s singles runner-up and doubles champion Alexandra Kiick (17, Plantation), and world No. 9 junior Chalena Scholl (16, Pompano Beach).

Other qualifying wildcards went to 2012 Easter Bowl singles finalist Brooke Austin (16, Indianapolis), who also represented the U.S. in Junior Fed Cup this year; Gail Brodsky (21, Brooklyn, N.Y.), who trains at the USTA Training Center-East at the home of the US Open and won the 2008 USTA Girls' 18s title; 2010 USTA Girls' 18s singles champion Shelby Rogers (19, Charleston, S.C.); and Ashley Weinhold (23, Spicewood, Texas), the 2007 USTA Girls' 18s national champion.

The 2012 US Open will be played Aug. 27-Sept. 9 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Both the men's and women's US Open singles champions will earn a record $1.9 million, with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total $2.9 million potential payout) based on their performances in the Emirates Airline US Open Series.

2nd Annual 'Sets in the City' Tennis for Jacksonville Young Professionals Fundraiser on Nov. 9-10

Sets-in-the-City-2012-frontYoung professionals will have a chance to play tennis and raise money for the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation in Jacksonville when USTA Florida and MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation (MWKF) partner to host the 2nd Annual "Sets in the City" on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. The presenting sponsor for the event is Pat and Wayne Hogan, longtime supporters of the MWKF.

The event is open to all levels of play, from complete beginners to advanced players. Prior to the tennis on Nov. 9, a player's social will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at SUITE at the St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville. At the social, players will receive two free drink tickets and enjoy complimentary appetizers.

"We are targeting young professionals age 21-40 of any tennis level who enjoy fun social gatherings that raise money for a good cause," said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator for the Jacksonville area Amanda Becker. "We are very excited to partner a second time with the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation for this cause-worthy event. Not only is it raising money for a great organization, but it is also helping bring tennis back into the lives of young professionals that have not played since their high school or junior days."

The tennis event, which features a tennis clinic hosted by MaliVai Washington, and round-robin play will be held from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the MaliVai Washington Youth Center on Nov. 10. Lunch will be provided for all participants by TacoLu Baja Mexicana.

"If you don't play tennis but still want to be part of the fun, Sets in the City offers a social-only ticket which includes entry to the social at SUITE on Friday night, TacoLu lunch on Saturday, and the opportunity to cheer on your friends while they play in the round-robin event," Becker said.

Registrations accepted for the event will be limited, and participants can register today at www.malwashington.com/sets-in-the-city. The fee for early registration (before Oct. 30) is $40, and $45 after Oct. 30. The social-only registration is $25 (no tennis, but entry to player social at SUITE and TacoLu lunch on Saturday).

All proceeds from the event will benefit the MWKF, whose mission is to develop champions in classrooms, on tennis courts and throughout communities via after-school programs and camps for at-risk youth. Event sponsors include Pat and Wayne Hogan, USTA Florida, The NETworkers Young Professionals Group of Jacksonville, MWKF, and restaurants SUITE and TacoLu Baja Mexicana.

The MaliVai Washington Youth Center is located at Emmett Reed Park on the corner of 6th and Payne, at 1096 West 6th Street, Jacksonville, Fla., 32209. For more information contact Amanda Becker at becker@florida.usta.com, or Katelyn Walters Katelyn@malwashington.com.

Weston's Midtown Athletic Club Launches Preschool Tennis Program

midtown_preschool_programAs a father of twin 3-year-old boys, Midtown Athletic Club Tennis Director Maury Bozeman knows that it's never too early to introduce the game to the next generation of tennis enthusiasts.

This fall, Bozeman and Midtown in Weston, Fla., will launch a new curriculum entitled "Tennis Explorers" geared specifically towards introducing 3 and 4 year olds to tennis. Midtown membership is not required and the first session will begin Sept. 4.

"The program will deliver a fun and creative approach to giving children a great start in tennis and a boost in developing their fundamental motor skills - the foundation of all athletics," Bozeman said. Consisting of 10 weekly, 45-minute classes, the program is designed to inspire children through play and imagination, blending physical activities, tennis skills and storytelling in a unique, on-court environment.

"Tennis Explorers offers more than simply developing tennis and fundamental movement skills," Bozeman said. "The program teaches key skills to enhance early literacy, math skills, health and social development. No other tennis school is developing preschool programming quite like this."

Each child participant will receive a mini backpack and age-appropriate tennis racquet, both specially designed by Wilson Sporting Goods. Other program materials include a passport booklet, activity sheets, stickers and a t-shirt.

"Using world geography, imaginary characters and storytelling about different places and cultures is a wonderful way to introduce kids to tennis," Bozeman said. "While our aim is familiarize them to a love of tennis, our goal is for them to become physically active and socially interactive."

For more information on the program call Midtown Athletic Club in Weston at (954) 384-2582 or visit www.midtown.com.






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