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Florida Tennis Briefs(4): Sharapova Cousin Plays; USTA School Franchise; More

March 21, 2012 11:33 AM
Free Adult USTA Tennis Event in Hillsborough County

Tennis Blast logo-GREEN--2.5-BLASTHunter's Green Country Club in Tampa will host a USTA Florida 2.5 F.L. (Fun League) Tennis Blast event for beginner adult players on Saturday, March 31 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Beginner players are typically rated 2.5 on the USTA League NTRP (National Tennis Rating Program) rating scale.

"This will be an exciting event for Hillsborough County tennis, as there are very few 2.5 USTA-rated players in Hillsborough County, and this event will allow these players and other adult players who have had some tennis training to come together," said USTA Florida Local League Coordinator Barbara Jones. "This is also a great opportunity for the local league coordinators to contribute to tennis in the community and hopefully get players back out on the court and playing competitive tennis."

The free event is open to adult beginner and adult advanced-beginner players who want to play round robin tennis, meet other players and get tips from area teaching pros. Lunch will be provided, and prizes will be awarded and information on local USTA Leagues made available.

"Bring your tennis racquet, your energy and your smile," Jones says. Other USTA Florida local league coordinators organizing the event include Sylvie Roy and Alan Williams.

Participants will also receive info on local league play opportunities. USTA League is the country's largest recreational tennis league, helping more than 325,000 players nationwide get on the court, have a good time, and step up their game. The League is organized as competitive team match play, with teams made up of a minimum of 5-8 players depending upon division. Teams and matches are set up according to NTRP ratings, so teammates and opponents are at the same skill level, with leagues ranging from the 2.5 beginner level up to 5.0 advanced and Open divisions. The competition is exciting, the atmosphere is social, and since players compete on teams, they have a built-in cheering section.

The deadline for registering for the event is March 25. To register contact Sylvie Roy at sylvieroy@gmail.com  or (813) 505-6516.

USTA, TGA Announce Premier Youth Tennis Franchise Partnership

TGA_TennisLogoThe USTA has teamed with the newly-launched TGA Premier Youth Tennis (TGA), a youth sports franchise firm, to help introduce tennis to kindergarten through 8th grade youth throughout the country. The partnership supports USTA's 10 and Under Tennis youth initiative, which is geared towards getting more kids to participate in tennis using modified equipment and courts tailored to a child's size.

The organizations have developed a model that impacts the landscape of the tennis industry and its future growth prospects.

The USTA has been implementing programs to attract youngsters to tennis, and recognized the success that TGA has had with its golf business. Currently, thousands of schools nationwide participate in TGA's after-school enrichment programs. Using its current business philosophy of enriching kids' lives through physical fitness, health and nutrition, education, and character building, along with its scalable business model, the USTA and TGA have worked together to develop curriculums for K-3rd grade and 4th-8th grade.

"The partnership is a great fit and will build a pathway for elementary and middle school kids to enjoy tennis through after school programs," said Kurt Kamperman, USTA chief executive, community tennis. "TGA's enrichment curriculum along with USTA's tennis program will bring many kids to the court while enabling them to improve life skills and character development."

TGA began forming its alliance with the USTA in December 2011, and is expected to become a pipeline for the game by introducing tennis to boys and girls enrolled in elementary and middle schools, child care centers and community-based organizations throughout the U.S. Children who participate in the programs will have the opportunity to transition from at-school programs to junior camps, clinics, and USTA programs at facilities nationwide.

In addition to exposing kids to a life-long, character-building sport, the full service franchise company will create jobs and business ownership opportunities within the industry. This month the company will begin awarding TGA tennis franchises to the public, which is expected to attract tennis professionals as well as business professionals within the 17 USTA sections around the country. Self-starters who are passionate about tennis and have an interest in youth sports can embrace a business opportunity while benefiting their communities.

"TGA believes that an important component to growing tennis is to bring the sport to schools and provide a full-service, affordable and accessible after-school program that combines tennis instruction with academics, physical activity and life skills," said Joshua Jacobs, TGA's founder and CEO. "We are proud to partner with the USTA to not only grow tennis, but also to generate business ownership opportunities and jobs in the tennis industry through our sustainable, replicable and scalable franchise model."

For more information on franchise opportunities go to www.franchise.org/FranchisorDetailsView.aspx?id=55770.

Maria Sharapova's Cousin Dasha Enters Sarasota Open Ladies Invitational

Photo: IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy
The Sarasota Open has announced the addition of its second player in the 2012 Ladies Invitational Tournament, Dasha Sharapova.

"The 16-year-old IMG Bollettieri Academy student began playing at the age of five and moved to America from Russia when she was nine years old," said tournament spokesperson Sandra Rios. "Not withstanding the cultural changes of such a move, Dasha found the most significant change was the increased amount of tennis she plays. Off the courts Dasha enjoys reading Russian novels and dabbles in photography, a hobby that was inspired by her father."

Dasha is the cousin of current world No. 2 Maria Sharapova, who she says is her role model.

The young Sharapova joins former Wimbledon semifinalist Alexandra Stevenson as players announced for the 16-woman field, which will be played concurrently with the men's USTA Pro Circuit event on April 14-22, 2012.

For tickets or more information go to www.SarasotaOpen.org.

Florida College Tennis Upset Alert: No. 7 UWF d. No. 5 Lynn

UWF logoThe No. 7- ranked University of West Florida men's tennis team (11-2) recorded its second straight victory over a Top 5 opponent as the Argos disposed of No. 5 Lynn 5-4 on Tuesday in Boca Raton, Fla. The previous day UWF defeated No. 2 Barry 5-4. The loss was only Lynn's second of the season.
West Florida earned the first point of the day at the No. 1 doubles position, where Argos Kevin Ducros (Aix-en-Provence, France) and Bruno Savi (Santana do Livramento, Brazil) teamed to defeat Willi Wolfer and Vlad Cirla 8-4. Leandro Ferreira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Andrey Pozhidaev (Sochi, Russia) defeated George Laffey and Amaury Van Haelen 9-7 at No. 2. UWF's lone loss in doubles came at the No. 3 line, where Alessio Iannozzi and Luca Pavanelli defeated Mike Lue (Richmond Hill, Ontario) and Domenico Sano (Macaray, Venezuela) 8-1.
The Argonauts took the 2-1 lead into singles play. No. 10-ranked Savi tallied a straight set 6-4, 6-2, victory over No. 12-ranked Cirla at the No. 2 position. West Florida suffered its first singles loss of the day as No. 49-ranked Pavanelli defeated No. 16-ranked Ferreira 6-2, 7-5, at No. 4.

UWF freshman Elio Latela (Sydney, Australia) made the score 4-2 for UWF as he recorded a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Iannozzi at the No. 5 line.

Pozhidaev clinched the match for the Argonauts as he defeated Max Kouyate at the No. 3 position in three sets 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Van Haelen defeated Lue 6-1, 5-7, 6-1, at No. 6. In the final match standing, Wolfer, who is ranked No. 5 in singles nationally, needed three sets and a tiebreaker to defeat UWF's Ducros 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(5) at the No. 1 position.






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