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Florida Tennis Briefs(4): H.S. Contest; USTA Pro Circuit Events

January 7, 2014 11:19 AM
Family Fun Day Kicks off Daytona Pro Women's Tourney

Florida Tennis Center logo.jpgProfessional tennis comes to Daytona Beach when the USTA Pro Circuit's $25,000 Women's Open will be contested at the Florida Tennis Center on Jan. 20-26, 2014.

On Sunday, Jan. 19, the gates will open from 2-4 p.m. for the community to come out and enjoy watching the pros and participating in a fun day for the whole family. Admission to the event is free and will include on-court carnival-like games for all ages, hitting for prizes, free pizza and more. Beginners are welcome, and free equipment will be provided for use.

The Family Fun Day is sponsored by the FTC Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization with a mission to introduce tennis to children under 10 years old.

Foundation volunteers will be taking sign-ups and answering questions about their free after-school program, Tennis Xpress,  scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays starting on Jan. 28 at 4:15 p.m. All sessions take place at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach.

For more information contact Dave Brown at (386) 795-2449 or dbrown@icihomes.com.


Florida's Isner, Washington Receive ATP ACES for Charity Grants

atp_aces_for_charity_logoFlorida's MaliVai Washington of Ponte Vedra Beach and John Isner of Tampa were alumni or current ATP pros announced as recipients of ATP ACES For Charity program awards in 2014, each receiving $15,000 grants for their respective programs.

The MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation, established in 1997, promotes academic achievement and positive life skills in Jacksonville, Fla., youth through the game of tennis. In 2008, the foundation opened the MaliVai Washington Youth Center, a multi-use facility with tennis courts, a multimedia center and computer lab, community room, classrooms, fitness center and more. 

The ATP ACES For Charity grant will be used to support Tennis 'n Tutoring (TnT), a daily after-school youth development program that includes homework assistance, life skills classes, community service opportunities and tennis lessons. 

Isner's grant will support The UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, which serves the people in his birth state of North Carolina and brings together leading physicians and scientists to investigate and improve the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer.

The center successfully treated Isner's mother, Karen, who was told that her cancer was incurable. Isner hosts an annual charity event in North Carolina in support of UNC Lineberger.

Entering its fourth year in 2014, the ATP ACES For Charity program is a global initiative aimed at giving back to communities where ATP World Tour events are played, as well as recognizing and supporting tournament, player and alumni charitable initiatives. Since 2011, the grant program has awarded 49 grants totalling more than $530,000 in donations. For more info go to www.atpworldtour.com.


Team Tennis Contest Offers Free H.S. Team Uniforms
 
FHSTCA_logoThe Florida High School Tennis Coaches Association is debuting the 'FHSTCA & Team Connection Team Challenge,' offering free team uniforms for boys or girls tennis teams that accumulate the most points at various Florida team tennis events during the year.

"Florida high school tennis players and coaches have the opportunity to earn team uniforms for their boys' or girls' 2015 tennis teams," says FHSTCA Executive Director John Danise. "The team which accumulates the most points by Oct. 1, 2014 will earn a dozen free tennis uniforms, compliments of our partner Team Connection, for their high school 2015 boys or girls tennis team."

The point system throughout 2014 will be:
  • One point for each time player conducts a volunteer service hour
  • One point for each time player participates in FHSTCA Team Challenges
  • One point for each time player participates in Wilson/USTA Florida Team Tennis Challenges
  • One point for each time player participates in a sanctioned USTA tournament
  • One point for each player lettering on team; must play four matches to letter
  • One point for each team member playing multiple sports at high school
  • One point for each team win
  • One point for each player win
  • One point for each player in FHSTCA/YTF April All Star Tournament
  • One point for coach who attends FACA Spring Workshop
  • One point for coach attending USPTA Florida Region Education Day training
  • One point for coach attending PTR 11 to 17 training day
  • Four points for player with 4.0 GPA
  • Three points for player with 3.5 GPA
  • Two points for player with 3.0 GPA
  • One point for team participating in FHSAA State Championship
 
Players will turn their individual points in to their high school representative, who will turn in the total team points to their FHSTCA regional directors by Oct. 15, 2014. The two school winners will be notified by Nov. 1, 2014.
 
"Show your school colors and support your 2015 tennis program with free tennis uniforms," Danise says.

For more info go to www.fhstca.org or e-mail John Danise at coachdanise.fhstca@att.net.


35th Season of USTA Pro Circuit Kicks Off in Florida
 
usta-pro-circuitRyan Sweeting, the new husband of "Big Bang Theory" actress Kaley Cuoco, is returning from injury, joining names such as Ryan Harrison, Donald Young, 2014 Australian Open wildcard winner Sachia Vickery of Florida, and 15-year-old Florida phenom Tornado Alicia Black as the 35th season of the USTA Pro Circuit begins this week in Florida with claycourt events in Plantation (men) and Vero Beach (women).

The USTA Pro Circuit, the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, is scheduled to feature 87 events this year, including eight $100,000 events and a record 36 tournaments on clay, and will award nearly $3 million in total prize money.
 
The Plantation tournament begins a string of seven claycourt men's Futures events, and the Vero Beach tournament is the first of three consecutive $25,000 women's events to be played on clay. This is the first of two claycourt seasons on the USTA Pro Circuit calendar; the other begins in the spring prior to the French Open. In conjunction with USTA Player Development, the USTA Pro Circuit continues to emphasize the importance of increased training for younger players on clay, particularly at the $10,000/$25,000 level for women, and $10,000/$15,000 level for men.
 
"For 35 years, the USTA Pro Circuit has developed hundreds of American players and brought world-class tennis to local communities nationwide," said Brian Earley, director of the USTA Pro Circuit. "We are excited to begin 2014 with strong playing fields and look forward to what the year will bring -- from high-quality live streaming for fans, coaches and players to the chance for players to compete in Grand Slam events through their results on the Pro Circuit."
 
Following its success in 2013, live streaming will continue this year for all 16 USTA Pro Circuit men's Challengers (prize money of $50,000 and higher). Live streaming will begin on Jan. 20 at the $50,000 Royal Lahaina Challenger in Maui, Hawaii. The stream can be viewed at www.procircuit.usta.com. Live streaming will be offered for select women's events this year as well.
 
In addition, this year USTA Player Development will again award wild cards into the main draws of the French Open and US Open based on players' results on the USTA Pro Circuit. In April, a series of three men's events (the $100,000 Challenger in Sarasota, Fla.; and $50,000 events in Savannah, Ga.; and Tallahassee, Fla.) and three women's events ($50,000 events in Dothan, Ala.; Charlottesville, Va.; and Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.) will comprise of the Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge, with Har-Tru signing on for another year as the sponsor of the wild card events. In July and August, a series of hardcourt men's and women's events will decide the men's and women's wild card into the 2014 US Open.
 
Since 1979, 17 USTA Pro Circuit alums (including five Americans) have achieved the No. 1 world singles rankings. Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Lindsay Davenport, Pete Sampras, Justine Henin, Jim Courier and Andre Agassi are among the game's top stars who began their career on the USTA Pro Circuit. The past few years have seen breakout performances by a number of USTA Pro Circuit players, including John Isner, Sloane Stephens, Jack Sock, and Madison Keys. For more info go to www.usta.com/Pro-Tennis/Pro-Circuit.

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