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Florida Tennis Briefs(5): Fla. Kids Lead U.S. Davis, Fed Cup; More

September 20, 2013 09:24 AM

USTA Florida Seeking Masters Tennis Ambassadors to Grow Game

mediawall-masters-tennisUSTA Florida has announced the first five "Masters Tennis ambassadors," volunteers responsible for promoting the Masters Tennis program in their cities/regions.
USTA Florida is seeking additional Masters Tennis ambassadors to spread the word of the easy-to-learn program in Florida communities to increase tennis participation.
Masters Tennis, the 60-foot short-court option played within a full-size 78-foot tennis court, is taking off in the Sunshine State with approximately 20 play sites, the largest in Lee County (Southwest Florida) hosting approximately 80 players in five park locations.
USTA Florida will be providing necessary resources, including education and training, for current and future Masters Tennis ambassadors.
"The Ambassador program is a great way to use local volunteers to help Masters Tennis grow at the grassroots level," says USTA Florida Masters Tennis organizer Carla Williams. "By arranging hands-on experiences like Masters Tennis 'Demo Days' and play opportunities, ambassadors will be a major advantage in having players and facilities accept and embrace the new format. We're looking for volunteers to help support a sport they love, while bringing their passion along with new people back to the courts!"
Current Masters Tennis ambassadors are:
Alachua/Marion counties -- Ebony Evans-Molock
Apopka/N.W. Orange County -- Eli Rivera
St. Augustine -- Patrick Swafford
St. Petersburg -- Mike Mayo
The Villages -- Sandy Clark
Masters Tennis is for a wide array of players -- veterans looking to get back in the game after injuries, players who can no longer cover a full court, or adults newer to the game looking for a fun challenge. The 60-foot Masters Tennis court with the lower-bouncing "orange ball" is less court to cover and more fun.
"Clubs and players in Florida with our older demographic have been asking us for a program like this for years," says USTA Florida Executive Director Doug Booth. "Anyone can play with the smaller racquets, slower balls and smaller courts. Players who left the game due to age or injuries can again play with this format, truly making tennis the 'Sport of a Lifetime.'"
Experienced players that have stopped playing tennis altogether due to injuries have found that coming back to tennis with the Masters Tennis format is more forgiving and accessible, while remaining competitive and fun.
For more information about Masters Tennis and to apply to become an Ambassador, go to the Masters Tennis website at www.MastersTennisFlorida.com.

USTA Team Tennis Kids' Registration Event in Palm Beach

team velociti - lakeland team tennisA USTA Team Tennis kids player evaluation and registration day will be held on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 at 3 p.m. at the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
The full court (78') Yellow Ball Division league is for children age 10 and above from Northern Palm Beach County, including Juno Beach, Jupiter, Lake Park, North Palm Beach, and Palm Beach Gardens.
The player evaluation and registration day event is the kick-off for leagues which will be held on Sundays at 3 p.m. from Oct. 13 through Dec. 15, 2013.
USTA Team Tennis leagues bring kids together in teams to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles against other teams. The leagues promote social skills and important values by fostering a spirit of cooperation and unity, as well as individual self-growth.
Team captains are still needed, and training is provided. All players must RSVP for the event to Melanie Maret at craiggmel2000@aol.com. Registration for the league will be on site during the event. League fees are $45 for USTA members and $55 for non-members. To inquire about financial assistance, contact Janet at (561) 385-7399.
For more information or to RSVP contact Melanie Maret at craiggmel2000@aol.com.

Florida's Kozlov, Stewart Lead U.S. Jr. Davis Cup, Fed Cup Teams

Katerina Stewart
Stefan Kozlov (15, Pembroke Pines, Fla.), the youngest player in the Top 15 of the world junior rankings, and USTA Girls' 16s national champion Katerina Stewart (16, Miami) will lead the United States in the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals -- the premier world team competitions for players age 16 and under - on Sept. 24-29 in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
Kozlov, a 2013 Wimbledon junior quarterfinalist, will be joined by USTA Boys' 16s national champion Tommy Paul (16, Coconut Creek, Fla.) and Henrik Wiersholm (16, Kirkland, Wash.) on the Junior Davis Cup Team, coached by USTA National Coach Nicolas Todero.
Joining Stewart on the Junior Fed Cup team are Michaela Gordon (14, Los Altos Hills, Calif.), who helped lead the U.S. to its sixth 14-and-under World Junior Tennis championship in the Czech Republic in August, and Kaitlyn McCarthy (15, Cary, N.C.), ranked No. 3 in the USTA Girls' 18s national rankings. The team will be coached by USTA National Coach Freddie Rodriguez.
Kozlov, who trains with Wiersholm at the USTA Training Center-Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., has been ranked as high as No. 9 in the world for juniors age 18 and under and, in his first ATP-level main draw match in July in Newport, R.I., pushed then-No. 113 Michal Przysiezny to three sets, nearly winning in a second-set tiebreak.
Paul, the top-ranked player in the USTA Boys' 16s national rankings, won the 16s singles titles this year at both the USTA National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., and the USTA National Clay Court Championships in Delray Beach, Fla.
The U.S. will look to win its second consecutive Junior Fed Cup title and third the past six years. Taylor Townsend, Louisa Chirico and Gabby Andrews won the Junior Fed Cup title last year in Barcelona, Spain, while the Christina McHale-led Junior Fed Cup team captured the United States' first such championship in 2008.
The U.S. will also be going after its third Junior Davis Cup title after reaching the semifinals last year in Barcelona, where Kozlov went 4-1 in singles as a 14-year old. The U.S. also won Junior Davis Cup titles in 2008 and 1999.
Other former U.S. junior international team members include Jim Courier, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Sloane Stephens and Lindsay Davenport. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have also represented their countries in junior international team competition.

Tournaments Combining Tennis Collegians, Juniors Begin This Weekend

disney-goofy-tennisThe USTA's fall series of three events combining juniors and collegians begins this week with the Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic, a boys' tournament held Sept. 20-22, 2013 at Meadowood Napa Valley in St. Helena, Calif.
The series will also include the second annual USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational (boys and girls) hosted by Florida State University on Oct. 24-27, 2013 at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., and the second-annual USTA Collegiate Invitational (girls) Nov. 1-3, 2013 in Portland, Ore.
ESPN3 will live-stream 10 hours of match play of the USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational hosted by Florida State on Sunday, Oct. 27.
"Many of the top juniors today are choosing to play in college, and college tennis remains an important part of the competitive pathway toward becoming a professional," said USTA Player Development General Manager Patrick McEnroe. "Being able to bring a lot of great college and junior talent together at tournaments like these creates unique and beneficial opportunities for all of these players."
Each event will combine teams of top college players with a collection of juniors, awarding a wildcard entry into a future USTA Pro Circuit tournament to each event's champion.
The Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic is in its 13th year, with juniors incorporated since 2010, when Jack Sock, now a Top 100 player, won the title. This year, a group of eight USTA juniors will compete against players from Alabama, Boise State, California Berkeley, Florida State, San Diego, Stanford and Texas A&M.
The USTA inaugurated both the Collegiate Clay Court Invitational in Orlando and Collegiate Invitational in Portland last year, as boys' and girls' events, respectively. They both return for the second year, with the addition of a girls' tournament in Orlando. Those events will include juniors and collegians to be named.

RSI Changes Name to Tennis Industry Magazine

Racquet Sports Industry (RSI), the world's largest tennis trade magazine, has announced it is changing its name to Tennis Industry (TI), going back to the publication's original name after 10 years. The new name, along with a redesign, will debut with the January issue.
In 2014, the new Tennis Industry (TI) magazine will begin its 42nd year covering the sport. TI is the official publication of the Tennis Industry Association (TIA), U.S. Racquet Stringers Association (USRSA), and American Sports Builders Association (ASBA). Tennis Industry will continue to publish 10 issues a year, including print and digital editions.
"We're pleased to take this opportunity to rebrand and rename this industry's premier trade magazine," says David Bone, co-publisher of RSI/TI and the executive director of the USRSA. "While we still plan on offering coverage of all racquet sports, our name change back to Tennis Industry reflects the growing importance of tennis to this country's recreational choices."
Co-publisher Jeff Williams adds, "With so many important initiatives now helping to increase tennis participation, including 10 and Under Tennis, PlayTennis.com and new programs to help drive more business to tennis retailers, we feel this is the right time to re-emphasize our key connection to the sport."
RSI magazine was created in 2003 when Tennis Industry merged with Racquet Tech magazine, which was the magazine of membership for the USRSA.
For more info go to www.tennisindustrymag.com.





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