Adult Leagues Adult Tournaments Junior Tournaments Jr. Team Tennis Learn more

Florida Tennis Briefs(4): Eddie Herr Winners, More

December 11, 2013 02:57 PM
Florida's Duval, Top U.S. Hopes Headline USTA Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs

Duval_US_Open_2012Victoria Duval, the 18-year old breakout star of the 2013 US Open, and top 21-year old Denis Kudla will headline the up-and-coming Americans playing for a singles wild card entry into January's Australian Open at the 2013 USTA Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs, held Dec. 20-22, 2013 at Life Time Athletic at Peachtree Corners in Norcross, Ga.
Florida's Duval, who has overcome extraordinary adversity on her way to becoming the fifth-youngest player in the WTA Top 200 at No. 168, upset 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur in the first round of the US Open this August. When formerly training in Atlanta she met the family of real estate developer Harry Kitchen, who later helped rescue her father after he was buried alive during the 2010 Haiti earthquake, having him airlifted to the United States for treatment.

Also competing in the women's field are No. 125 Shelby Rogers, who won USTA wild cards into the 2013 French Open and US Open; No. 150 Madison Brengle, who won USTA wild cards into the 2007 and 2008 Australian Opens; No. 175 Maria Sanchez, once the top-ranked college singles player at USC; No. 184 Nicole Gibbs, the two-time reigning NCAA singles champion from Stanford; No. 188 Julia Cohen, a former Top 100 player; and No. 195-ranked Floridian Sachia Vickery, the 2013 USTA Girls 18s national champion who reached the second round at the 2013 US Open.
Men's competitors will be Jarmere Jenkins, Rhyne Williams, Steve Johnson, Tennys Sandgren, Floridians Austin Krajicek and Bjorn Fratangelo, and Chase Buchanan.

The USTA secured this opportunity through a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia, where the two national federations exchanged wild cards for the 2013 US Open and 2014 Australian Open.
To help kick off the event, former tennis pros and celebrities Luke and Murphy Jensen, whose underdog run to the 1993 French Open doubles championship both captivated and influenced the tennis world, will play doubles against five local teams in the "Battle of Georgia" exhibition on Saturday, Dec. 21. The Jensen brothers will also host a women's tennis clinic at Life Time on the morning of Friday, Dec. 20. The club will also host a kids' day on Saturday morning, featuring the players competing in the playoffs, with all kids attending receiving free admission to Saturday's matches.
Tickets for the Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs, Battle of Georgia exhibition and women's clinic can be purchased by visiting www.australianwildcard.com.

3 Florida Players Win Eddie Herr Titles
Alfredo Perez

Alfredo Perez in the Boys' 16s, Sofia Sewing in the Girls' 14s, and Adam Neff in the Boys' 12s were Florida players that captured titles at the Eddie Herr International Junior Championships, held Nov. 28-Dec. 8, 2013 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Coral Gables' Perez posted the biggest upset as an unseeded player, toppling top seed Yunseong Chung of Korea 7-6, 6-2 in the Boys' 16s final.

"I was a little more aggressive than he was," Perez told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. "I tried to play smarter than him. I think that was the difference. It feels good. I have confidence."

Perez upset No. 10-seeded American Chase Colton in the first round and never looked back, winning his first four matches without dropping a set, including an upset of No. 2 seed Mate Valkusz. In the semifinals he defeated friend and practice partner Kalman Boyd 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

Doral's Sewing defeated Russia's Olesia Pervushina 6-3, 6-4 in the Girls 14s final. Seeded No. 2, she did not drop a set throughout the event. Sewing has now won two ITF titles this year in four finals.

Bradenton's Neff won the Boys' 12s crown with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria in the final. The No. 2-seeded Neff weathered three-setters in the round of 16 and quarterfinals before coming from a set down to defeat the No. 4-seeded Andreev in the final.

Boca Raton's Hurricane Black lost in the Girls' 12s final when she retired with injury in the first set against Anastasia Potapova of Russia.

Notable past champions at the prestigious Eddie Herr International Junior Championships include eventual world No. 1s Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Andy Roddick and Marcelo Rios, as well as tour players Ana Kournikova, David Nalbandian, Melanie Oudin, Madison Keys, Marin Cilic, and Bernard Tomic.

This Month's Tennis Parent Tools and Strategies

Growing_ChampionsThis month's fresh tennis parent content is now available at the USTA Florida "Growing Champions for Life" website, a partnership with David Benzel's organization dedicated to creating cohesive families and principle-centered athletes who win at life, not just at sports.

If helping your child overcome sport-related fears is important, register for the FREE webinar entitled "How to Help Your Child Conquer Fear," online Dec. 19. It includes valuable insights into the nature of fear and info on learning how to help children deal with those feelings effectively.

Also featured is the article "Taming the Beast within Your Child's Coach," which explains four styles of coaching and the reasons behind each one.

This month's Positive Parent Video, "The End of Defensive Conversations with Your Child" gives specific strategies for the car ride home that really work. The whole family will benefit from the simple tips taught in this video. It includes an audio interview with Don Deluzio, a typical sports dad with four young athletes -- until he suddenly became the legal guardian of five more kids, all of whom played sports!

For more information go to www.florida.usta.com/youth_tennis/david_benzel_growing_champions_or_life.

FSU's Hultquist Wins USTA/ITA National Campus Community Outreach Award

hultquist_dwayneThe Intercollegiate Tennis Association and United States Tennis Association named head coach Dwayne Hultquist of Florida State University as a recipient of the 2013 USTA/ITA National Campus & Community Outreach Award, one of college tennis' most esteemed awards.
Hultquist receives a travel stipend to attend the 2013 ITA Coaches Convention at the Waldorf Astoria in Naples, Fla., where he will be presented with the award during the ITA Membership and Awards Banquet on Sunday, Dec. 15.
The USTA/ITA National Campus & Community Outreach Award is presented this year to one men's and one women's college coach who provide a leadership role in increasing tennis participation throughout his or her community, both on and off campus. Among the USTA/ITA partner programs available to assist coaches in giving back are Campus Kids' Days, 10 and Under Tennis, Campus Showdowns and Tennis On Campus.

Hultquist has seen a great deal of success on and off the tennis courts. At the helm of Florida State men's tennis for 15 years, Hultquist has turned the Seminoles into one of the top programs in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the nation. His 183 career wins are a school record and he's led his team to nine straight trips to the NCAA Championships.
Hultquist has brought his program to the forefront of 10 and Under Tennis initiatives by hosting events during Florida State University tennis matches. This past spring he ran several after-school programs for kids as part of FSU's Seminole High Performance Tennis programs, working with 500 students from Robert's Elementary School in an event with the Florida State University tennis team.
He said exposing young kids to tennis is key, which is why he sees value in activities such as taking his team to a local elementary school.

"Our guys invested one morning in what typically what would have been practice, and we turned it into reaching out to 500 kids. There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm and our team really embraced that and they did a great job. Hopefully some of those kids will take it up because we came out there," he said.
On campus, the team further supports the growth of tennis by holding Florida State University tennis club clinics and a free tennis day with Florida State University students, when 25 participating students got the chance to hit with Florida State University tennis players.
"I have a passion for the Florida State University tennis club [Tennis on Campus]," he said. "I want to see them be successful and improve their games. At the same time, those are the people that are coming out and watching our matches. By giving back and helping the club in turn we're building relationships that people want to follow us too. The Florida State University club now has 70 members, and we want tennis on campus to grow and more people to play as it will help us elevate our program as well."
For the past two years, Hultquist has teamed up with the USTA to host the USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational, a tournament that showcases both top college and junior players. This year's tournament was expanded to include both men and women, and Hultquist said he wants to grow it into one of the country's elite tournaments.  This year, he even helped secure 10 hours of live coverage on ESPN3.
"Every year we have to do something better," he said. "Getting college tennis more exposed is a really good thing, so the exposure of being on ESPN is a big deal."
On being awarded the 2013 USTA/ITA National Campus & Community Outreach Award, Hultquist says community outreach is something he strongly believes in.

"I always try to involve the community. As coaches we want to win, and win at the highest level, but we need to be good role models and inspire other people and encourage them to take part in tennis," he said.
Hultquist was selected from a group of USTA Sectional winners that included coaches of teams from different divisions. Award applications are open each year to ITA member varsity coaches from NCAA Divisions I, II, and III, NAIA and Junior & Community Colleges.






Print Article Email Article Newsletter Signup Share