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Florida Tennis Briefs(5): Gainesville, Jax Score at League Nationals; Manzo Honored

May 4, 2012 08:46 AM
Gainesville, Jacksonville Teams Score at USTA Super Senior 6.0 and 8.0 League Nationals

The Gainesville Super Senior Men's 6.0 second-place finishers
The Jacksonville Super Senior Women's 8.0 third-place finishers
Teams representing the USTA Florida Section placed second and third at the 2011 USTA League Super Senior 6.0 and 8.0 National Championships, wrapping up last year's regular-season league play, held at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz., on April 20-22, 2012.

The Florida 6.0 Super Senior men's team from Gainesville finished runner-up to the San Juan, P.R. team, representing the USTA Caribbean Section, by a team score of 3-0.

The Gainesville team was comprised of captain Patrick Phelan, Albert Guarino, William Lee Wiltbank, Peter Amish, John William Johnston, Alex Kesler, Raymond Findley, Malcolm Maden, and Russ Metler.

The Gainesville team finished second to the Volusia/Flagler team at the Florida Section Super Senior Championships by a score of 0-3, but advanced to nationals when the Volusia/Flagler team could not make the trip. To gain the final at nationals the Florida squad defeated USTA Southern (Bluffton, S.C.) 2-1 in the semifinals. USTA Southern lost the 3rd/4th place playoff to USTA Pacific Northwest.

The Gainesville team includes Johnston, a wheelchair player who was making his second appearance at a USTA League National Championship, approximately 20 years after becoming the first wheelchair player to play USTA League tennis.

"I was the very first one to play able-bodied USTA League tennis," said the 63-year-old Johnston, who reached a career-high wheelchair tennis ranking of No. 24 in the world. "I started telling other guys in chairs about it, trying to get them involved. There are not many of us. I would say probably 10 to 15 at most."

The Florida 8.0 Super Senior women from Jacksonville placed third, defeating USTA Intermountain 3-0 in the 3rd/4th place playoff.

The Jacksonville team was comprised of captain Mary Armstrong, Darlene Morris, Katharine Dake, Myrle Robinson, Janett Thomas, Susan Bracco, Leslie Polsen, Dianna Crislip, and Virginia Shuman.
USTA Southwest won the championship, defeating USTA Middle States 3-0 in the final.

For full results go to www.usta.com/Play-Tennis/USTA-League/National-Championships/60-80-Super-Seniors/60_80_super_senior_national_champs_crowned.

Querrey Wins Sarasota Challenger Title

Sam Querrey (left) and pal John Isner
American Sam Querrey defeated Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-3 in the final of the $100,000 Sarasota Challenger on April 29, 2012, at The Tennis Gardens at the Longboat Key Club & Resort.

"I have played a lot of challenger events in America, and this is probably the best one I have ever played," Querrey told the crowd afterwards.

Querrey is on the comeback trail after an injury to his elbow, on track to raise his ranking where he will again receive direct entrance into tour-level events.

"I feel great," Querrey said. "Anytime you win five matches in a week and get a tournament win, it feels great."

Lorenzi defeated top-seeded James Blake in the quarterfinals. Querrey had in tow his new coach, Philip Farmer, and adds the Sarasota result to the tour-level doubles championship he collected earlier in April with Blake at Houston.

Former Wimbledon semifinalist Alexandra Stevenson defeated Gabriella Dabrowski 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 to win the $10,000 Women's Invitation at the event.
Manzo Honored with Naming of Tennis Center in Ft. Myers

Barbara Manzo.jpg
Barbara Manzo
Lee County commissioners renamed the Tennis Center at Three Oaks Park in honor of retiring Lee Parks & Recreation Director Barbara Manzo at the May 1, 2012, board meeting. The facility now will be called the Barbara Manzo Tennis Center at Three Oaks Park.

Manzo has been with Lee County Parks & Recreation for 22 years. May 2 was her last day of overseeing a department with 250 positions, a $25 million budget and more than 29,400 acres of parks, preserves, facilities and other sites.

The move to change the tennis facility's name came from the Lee County Community Tennis Association Board of Directors.

"For the past 21 years, Barbara has distinguished herself as an advocate, innovator and architect of a model tennis program in Lee County," said Interim Executive Director Harriett Bohannon, who called the Three Oaks facility "a flagship tennis center."

The 12-court center sits between Interstate 75 and Three Oaks Parkway, with a sound barrier blocking noise from the interstate. The Lee County Sports Authority, the county's sports tourism department, has recruited national tournaments to the site, which is also the home of junior tournaments and many Lee County Community Tennis Association lessons and programs.

For more information on the Barbara Manzo Tennis Center and other Lee County Parks & Recreation sites, visit www.leeparks.org. For Lee County Community Tennis Association information, visit www.leecountytennis.com.

USTA Orlando Flex League Celebrates Season with Winter Playoff

Val Woska and Sue Gagne, winners of the
Women's 3.0 Doubles
The USTA Orlando Flex League, serving Orange and Seminole counties, held its Winter Playoff at the end of March at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

"There were around 40 players invited for the playoff tournament for a chance to play some great matches in an actual tournament setting and have a chance to win a trophy," said league organizer Chelsea Maratta. "Players look forward to this each season and love to get to play in a fun tournament. The levels played were men's and women's singles from 3.0-4.0, women's doubles for the 3.0 and 3.5, along with mixed doubles combined rating of 7.0-8.0. It was great weather and great matches."

Winners included Amy Blakely -- Women's 3.0 Singles, Adrian Dean -- Men's 3.5 Singles, and Val Woska/Sue Gagne -- Women's 3.0 Doubles.

"The Flex League does not effect USTA ratings, so they are stress-free matches," Maratta said. "Just for registering, players get entered into a drawing for two tickets to the US Open, including flight, hotel and gift cards to Tennis Warehouse. You do not have to be a USTA member to play, but if you are you get $10 off this very inexpensive league."

For more information go to www.ustaflex.com.

American Townsend Rises to No. 1 in the ITF World Junior Tennis Rankings

The next generation of U.S. women's tennis is hungry to make its mark, and now add to the ranks 16-year-old Taylor Townsend of Stockbridge, Ga., who in April rose to the world No. 1 spot on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Junior Rankings for players age 18 and younger.

She is the first American girl to earn the No. 1 ranking since the ITF combined singles and doubles rankings in 2004. 

Donald Young was the last American to reach No. 1 in the boys' rankings in 2005. Coincidentally, Young's parents were Townsend's first tennis coaches.

In January, Townsend swept the girls' singles and doubles titles at the Australian Open, becoming the first American to accomplish the feat at a Grand Slam event since Lindsay Davenport did it at the 1992 US Open. In addition, Townsend captured the prestigious Easter Bowl title in April in Rancho Mirage, Calif., where she also reached the doubles final. She has recorded a 19-2 singles record in ITF World Junior competition in 2012.

Townsend trains full-time at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla.






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