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Florida Tennis Briefs(4): Davis Cup Legacy in Jax; Orange Bowl Preview

December 5, 2013 12:53 PM
Brown Park in Urban Jacksonville Unveils USTA Refurbished Tennis Courts
An example of a 36-foot youth court

The City of Jacksonville Department of Parks and Recreation (JaxParks), City Council Member E. Denise Lee (District 8), and the Julius Guinyard Tennis Association will celebrate the unveiling of four youth tennis courts at Clanzel T. Brown Park in Jacksonville, Fla., on Dec. 6, 2013.

The courts were funded in part by the United States Tennis Association as part of its Davis Cup Legacy Program.

The United States Tennis Association provided $20,000 to assist in converting a standard tennis court at Clanzel T. Brown Park into four youth-appropriate courts with permanent fencing, nets and center straps. The courts will allow youth ages 10 and under to learn the sport of tennis using racquets, balls and court dimensions designed for smaller players.

"This is a great example of how investing in sports and entertainment can create a lasting investment for our community," said Mayor Alvin Brown. "The USTA and Davis Cup Legacy program should be commended for helping the City of Jacksonville carry out this important work in our community."

In January the U.S. Davis Cup team hosted Brazil in Jacksonville, where John Isner, Sam Querrey, and the Bryan brothers propelled the team past the Brazilians into the second round of the international team competition.

"We are having a very positive experience in Jacksonville and are pleased with the way the community has embraced tennis and the Davis Cup," said Dave Haggerty, USTA chairman, CEO and president.

The City of Jacksonville funded the remaining $43,913.25 for the project. In addition to the youth courts, seven standard courts were also resurfaced at the public facility.

Florida Tennis Teen Profile: Vicky Duval, Bradenton

By Colette Lewis, USTA Florida junior tennis columnist

DuvalUSTAFlaBradenton's Vicky Duval made a huge splash at the US Open back in September, defeating former champion Samantha Stosur of Australia in the first round. Two months later, Duval won her first two professional titles, sweeping both singles and doubles at the $50,000 ITF Women's Circuit challenger in Toronto.

Duval, who has been training at the IMG Bollettieri Academy for the past several months, has broken into the WTA Top 200 with her recent results, a rise she attributes to her breakout win in New York.

"I think that tournament prepared me for bigger things to come," said Duval, who turned 18 at the end of November. "The US Open helped me get experience, but it's a process. I have to go through the challengers to get back there again."

Duval has been invited to compete in the USTA's Australian Open Wild Card tournament in Atlanta later this month, but she will travel Down Under for the first time regardless of the outcome of that tournament.

"Hopefully, I get that wild card, but if not, I'll be playing Brisbane, probably Hobart, and Australian qualifying," said Duval, now ranked a career-high 168.

Although her win over Stosur remains the best result of her career, the 2012 USTA National 18s champion picked up some impressive victories in Toronto. As the No. 7 seed, Duval beat No. 2 seed Mandy Minella of Luxembourg in the quarterfinals and No. 4 seed Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic in the semifinals. In the final, Duval held the winner's trophy when top seed Timea Babos of Hungary retired after losing the first set 7-5.

"I've been working pretty hard since the Open," Duval said. "I had a tough tournament in Saguenay the week before, but I bounced back pretty well, so I was happy with that."

Tampa-area Jr. Team Tennis Fun; League Captains Celebration

by Nancy Morgan, USTA Florida Region 3 (Tampa/St. Pete area) Columnist

PinellasCreative planning led Abby Kronk from Tarpon Springs and Christina Hill of New Port Richey to an unusual schedule for their combined 2013 Fall Fun League Jr Team Tennis.

The result -- about 30 kids played either the full season, half season or just by the day. With so many other activities available, the two teaching pros thought offering a variety of play options would, hopefully, bring out more kids for tennis.

Matches were played on the red clay at Tarpon Tennis in Tarpon Springs and on the hard courts in New Port Richey.

"We just had our season-ending party where division winners received trophies as well as a sportsmanship award in each division," Hill said. "Both Abby and I believe good sportsmanship is very important to recognize.

"At the party, we hit for prizes, had some pizza, cookies and drinks. We've planned a Play Day later this month for this group and will invite some others to join in the matches."

The fall season is over, but be sure that Christina and Abby have more plans for the kids to play!     

Celebrating USTA League Captains  

USTA Florida local league coordinators (LLCs) in Region 3 Pinellas County hosted a celebration for the 2012 team captains recently. In all, there were 212 captains that included 142 individuals serving as captain for more than one team.

"Captains are certainly deserving of recognizing because it is a lot of responsibility," said Ruth Ann Ott, LLC for women's play (Adult 18, 40, 55 and 65 and Combo 18 and 40). "We appreciate the captains who follow the listed guidelines and keep us LLCs informed."

Countryside Country Club in Clearwater hosted the celebration that included recognizing captains of league winning teams and enjoying hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Also, each captain received a 12-pack Dual Compartment Kooler Bag imprinted with "USTA League Pinellas Captain."  

Also recognized were captains whose teams advanced to USTA League 2012 National Championships -- Diana Gabay of St. Petersburg Tennis Center's 4.5 women's senior team; Sandy Lamy of McMullen in Clearwater's 8.0 women's super senior team, and Terry Payton of McMullen men's 9.0 super senior squad.    

According to Ott, USTA Florida distributed money to LLCs to help stage the celebration.

Assisting Ott in the celebration were Jeanne Matthews, LLC for men's Adult 18, 40, 55 and 65 and Combo 18 and 40, and Tom Johnson, LLC of mixed doubles 18 and 40 leagues. 

Top Florida Juniors Ready for 2013 Orange Bowl Tennis

2013_Orange_Bowl_logo_4cMany of the world's top junior tennis players, including Germany's Alexander Zverev, the No. 1-ranked boy, and 2013 US Open junior finalist Tornado Alicia Black (15, Boca Raton, Fla.), will converge in Plantation, Fla., next week to compete in the 67th Metropolia Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships, held Dec. 9-15 at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center.
Regarded as the longest-running international junior tennis tournament in the world, the Orange Bowl features singles and doubles competition for boys and girls in 18-and-under and 16-and-under divisions. It will be played on clay -- the surface on which it was played from 1947 to 1998 -- for the third straight year.
In addition to Zverev, a 2013 French Open finalist, the boys' 18s field includes No. 7 Johan Sebastien Tatlot, of France, and No. 8 Filippo Baldi, of Italy.

No. 14 Stefan Kozlov (15, Pembroke Pines, Fla.), who made his ATP main draw debut at Newport, R.I., in July, and nearly defeated No. 113-ranked Michal Przysiezny in a second-set tiebreak, leads the American contingent, along with No. 19 Michael Mmoh (15, Temple Hills, Md.), and No. 38 Francis Tiafoe (15, College Park, Md.), who are three of the four 15-year olds in the Top 40 of the world junior rankings.
Russia's Varvara Flink, ranked No. 5 in the world, tops a girls 18s field that includes No. 10 Ivana Jorovic, of Serbia, and Black, ranked No. 11, who made headlines in September for her run to the final of the US Open Junior Championship as an unseeded wild card.
Martin Redlicki (18, Hawthorn Woods, Ill.), Spencer Papa (17, Edmond, Okla.), Danny Kerznerman (17, Brooklyn, N.Y.), Dennis Uspensky (17, Atlantic Beach, N.Y.), Alex Rybakov (16, Coral Springs, Fla.), Julian Zlobinsky (17, Greenvale, N.Y.) and Henrik Wiersholm (16, Kirkland, Wash.) are also slated to play in the boys' 18s main draw, along with wild card selections Taylor Fritz (16, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.), Tommy Paul (16, Coconut Creek, Fla.) and Alex Knight (16, Miami Shores, Fla.).
Other Americans in the girls' 18s main draw are Johnnise Renaud (17, North Miami, Fla.), Katrine Steffensen (17, Scarsdale, N.Y.), Dasha Ivanova (17, Beaverton, Ore.), Michaela Gordon (14, Los Altos Hills, Calif.), Usue Arconada (14, College Park, Md.), Rianna Valdes (17, Boca Raton, Fla.), Kaitlyn McCarthy (15, Cary, N.C.) and Madison Bourguignon (16, Boynton Beach, Fla.), as well as wild card selections CiCi Bellis (14, Atherton, Calif.), Katerina Stewart (16, Miami), Ellie Halbauer (16, Boca Raton, Fla.), Sofia Kenin (15, Pembroke Pines, Fla.) and Gabby Castaneda (17, Miramar, Fla.).
Past winners of the Orange Bowl 18-and-under singles titles include: Chris Evert (1969, 1970), Bjorn Borg (1972), John McEnroe (1976), Ivan Lendl (1977), Gabriela Sabatini (1984), Mary Joe Fernandez (1985), Jim Courier (1987) and Anna Kournikova (1995). Roger Federer (1998), Elena Dementieva (1998), Andy Roddick (1999), Vera Zvonareva (2000, 2001), Marcos Baghdatis (2003), Nicole Vaidisova (2003) and Caroline Wozniacki (2005) all won the event on hard courts.
For more information on the 2013 Orange Bowl, visit www.orangebowltennis.org.






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