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Florida Tennis Briefs(5): U.S. Davis Cup Team Named; Family Chps.

January 22, 2013 03:16 PM
Isner, Querrey, Bryans named to U.S. Davis Cup Team to face Brazil
 
QuerreyIsnerDavisCup2010-web
Sam Querrey and John Isner
For the fourth consecutive tie, John Isner will lead the U.S. Davis Cup Team as the No. 1 singles player, joining Sam Querrey and Bob and Mike Bryan on the U.S. team that opens its 2013 campaign against Brazil in Jacksonville, Fla.
 
U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier will lead his team against a Brazilian squad of world No. 33 Thomaz Bellucci, Thiago Alves, Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares, Feb. 1-3, at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. It is the first home tie for the U.S. since the 2011 quarterfinal against Spain in Austin, Tex., and the first home tie for both Isner and Querrey in their Davis Cup careers.
 
"We're excited about 2013 as a team," Courier said on a conference call in December. "We're proud of what 2012 ended up being for us given how challenging the draw was. We've earned some home ties this year, which we're really looking forward to, assuming we win our first one. We have Brazil, which will be challenging."
 
Isner, the No. 13 player in the world, went 4-2 in singles play for the U.S. in 2012, including upsetting 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the first round against Switzerland, and defeating Top 20 players Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon in the quarterfinals against France, to help send the U.S. to the Davis Cup semifinals for the first time since 2008.
 
Isner has faced Bellucci, likely Brazil's No. 1 singles player, just once in his career, going 0-1, but the two have not played since 2010 or on hard courts, the surface of choice for the first-round tie. Isner has never faced Alves, the world No. 145.
 
"(Bellucci)'s capable, but he's a guy that likes time. That's something that our team historically is pretty good at taking away from players," Courier said. "All of our singles players have big serves. That's something we'll certainly look to do with Thomaz, is to take time away from him."
 
The U.S. fell, 3-1, in last year's semifinals against Spain, with its sole point coming from the clutch 12-time Grand Slam champion Bryans, who remained undefeated in away ties in their illustrious Davis Cup careers. As a team, Bob and Mike went 2-0 in 2012 to improve their Davis Cup records to an impressive 20-2 together. Mike Bryan added another win in 2012, teaming with Mardy Fish to win the doubles rubber against Switzerland, as Bob missed the tie due to the recent birth of his daughter.
 
Last year Querrey, currently No. 22 in the world, made his return to the U.S. Davis Cup Team after a two-year absence, for the first time since 2010 against Spain, and now for the second straight tie will likely be the team's No. 2 singles player behind Isner. Querrey has never faced either Bellucci or Alves.
 
The official order of play and lineup for each team will be announced at the official draw ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 31.
 
The competition begins Friday, Feb. 1, and will be broadcast live on Tennis Channel, featuring each team's No. 1 singles player against the opposing team's No. 2 player. The doubles rubber, likely to feature the Bryans against Melo, the doubles world No. 17, and Soares, the doubles world No. 19, will be played Saturday. Sunday then will feature the No. 1 and No. 2 players squaring off.
 
 
Entries for Regional Host Sites Open for 2013 National Family Tennis Chps.
 
national-family-tennis-chps-logoThere's a new tennis tournament that doubles as family time. The 2013 National Family Tennis Championships offers thousands of amateur players all across America the opportunity to team up with a family member to earn the right to play for a national title in New York City from Aug. 22-26, 2013. Tennis facilities interested in being one of the 300 host sites have until Feb. 28 to sign-up.
 
Each local host site receives a free tournament kit with everything they need to promote and run the event including counter cards, promotional posters, NFTC banners, player premiums, tennis balls, plus winner and runner-up awards for each division. In addition, they receive $10 from every team entry fee and the chance for their winners to advance to one of four Super Regional Tournaments. For more information or to register as a local host site visit www.familytennis.com.
 
At last year's national championship, two Florida families captured titles -- Andrew Lake and daughter Evan (age 14) won the Father/Daughter division. The Lakes are from Davie, Fla., and play out of the Lauderdale Tennis Club. David King and Kim Cashman of Clearwater, Fla., won the Husband/Wife title. They play out of the Henry L. McMullen Tennis Complex.
 
"We encourage all tennis facilities to join our family and offer their families the chance to compete on a national stage," said Kathleen Francis of the 2013 National Family Tennis Championships. "This program is a great way for facilities to excite and grow their customer base by offering family members and non-club members the chance to join in on the fun."
 
Tennis facilities have until June 30, to conduct their local tournaments for up to six divisions of play including Husband/Wife, Brother/Sister, Father/Son, Father/Daughter, Mother/Son and Mother/Daughter. Host sites are encouraged to offer at least three of the six divisions. Players of all levels compete in the same division with the only limitations being a son or daughter must be under the age of 18 and a father or mother is required to be the minor's legal guardian.
 
"Tennis is a wonderful sport for the whole family. We're excited to support the National Family Tennis Championships as it promotes tennis to all family members and affords players of all ages and abilities an opportunity to get on the court and play." said Kurt Kamperman, USTA chief executive of community tennis.
 
During July and August, local winners in each division can advance to one of four Super Regional Tournaments. The top teams at each regional advance to the National Championships in New York City. Teams will receive travel, meals and three nights of hotel accommodations as well as tickets to see the best in the game play at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
 
For more information, visit www.familytennis.com.
 
 
Red Bug Lake Park to Host Free 10 and Under Tennis Festival
 
10andunderlogowebTennis right-sized for kids will be on display when Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry, Fla., hosts a free 10 and Under Tennis Festival on Feb. 16, 2013, from 1-3 p.m.
 
"Our festivals include kids from a number of our local elementary schools, many who have recently received an all-day assembly showcasing 10 and Under Tennis at their schools," says 10 and Under Tennis Coordinator for Seminole County Sheryl Rivas. "Our festivals provide a fun way for the school kids and their families to come out and enjoy a day of snow cones, popcorn, music and tennis. We also have an end-of-festival raffle, which provides the opportunity to win a number of prizes including USTA racquets, t-shirts and even free tennis lessons at Sanlando. It's a great way to 'try' tennis, while having a lot of fun on our new 10 and Under equipment."
 
The event will showcase the USTA 10 and Under Tennis format, which allows smaller children to play tennis on smaller court sizes, with racquet sizes that fit their hands, foam and low-compression balls, a simple scoring system, all adjusted to ease kids into the sport. Similar mini-tennis formats have long been popular in Europe, where stars such as Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes.
 
"I think that it is an advantage from the beginning," said Maria Sharapova regarding the USTA's 10 and Under Tennis initiative. "It is much easier to have the lighter balls, and much easier to have a smaller court and I think it gives them a better sense of the game in a way. Whereas you are coming onto the tennis courts for the first time, and since it is one-on-one sport, it can be quite overwhelming. So for a young player that is trying it out, I think it is a wonderful opportunity."
 
Information will also be available for parents and players on local USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis leagues and other play opportunities. USTA Jr. Team Tennis (JTT) brings kids together in teams to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles against other teams. It promotes social skills and important values by fostering cooperation and unity, as well as individual self-growth. It is designed for kids ages 5-18, and matches can be held anywhere from a local park or school to a commercial or private club. JTT teams are co-ed and divided by the play levels Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and utilize the 10 and Under Tennis format for the 10-under and 8-under leagues.
 
Players age 10 and under new to the USTA can also sign-up for a free one-year USTA membership.
 
Red Bug Lake Park is located at 3600 Red Bug Lake Road in Casselberry, Fla.
 
For more event information contact Sheryl Rivas at rivas@florida.usta.com.
 
 
Ginepri Wins Sunrise, Fla., USTA Pro Circuit Event
 
Ginepri2American veteran Robby Ginepri's quest to again reach tour-level events and compete in Slams got off on the right foot when he captured the title at the Match Point Tennis Davie USTA Pro Circuit event on Jan. 20, 2013, at the Sunrise Tennis Club in Sunrise, Fla.
 
In the final the No. 6-seeded 30-year-old, ranked No. 286 currently after rising to No. 15 in 2005, defeated unseeded Benjamin Ballaret of Monaco 6-4, 6-2.
 
In the quarterfinals Ginepri defeated top seed Pedro Sousa of Portugal, and in the semifinals Florida's Bjorn Fratangelo, the former French Open junior champion.
 
Last year Ginepri bounced between the tour and challenger-level events, failing to advance past the second round at a tour-level event, but reaching the final of the Honolulu Challenger early in the year. Ginepri has struggled to regain his form since October 2010 when, swerving to avoid a squirrel while riding his bike, he crashed and broke his elbow.
 
Last September Ginepri married longtime girlfriend Josephine Stafford in Atlanta, with the wedding attended by current and former tour players James Blake, Thomas Blake, Bobby Reynolds, Travis Rettenmaier, Ryan Sweeting, Carsten Ball and Robert Kendrick.
 
This week Ginepri is the No. 4 seed at the Audi Pembroke Pines Weston $10,000 Futures tournament in Weston, Fla.
 
 
4 Top 40 Players, 5 Former Champs at ATP Delray
 
NEW DelrayITC.jpgFour Top 20 players and five former champions highlight the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (ITC) acceptance list of ATP World Tour stars. The 21st annual tournament will be played Feb. 22-March 3, 2013, at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center.
 
The ATP's Top 20 contingent in the ITC includes John Isner (No. 13), Marin Cilic (No. 14), Kei Nishikori (No. 18) and Alexandr Dolgopolov (No. 20), as well as former champions Kevin Anderson (2012), Mardy Fish (2009), Tommy Haas (2006) and Xavier Malisse (2005, 2007). Nishikori was the 2008 ITC winner.
 
The list also confirms the first-ever appearance by former world No. 7 Gael Monfils, who is playing his way back from a knee injury that sidelined him for three and a half months during the 2012 season.
 
"Four Top 20s definitely makes it a great ticket for the fans," says ITC tournament Director Mark Baron. "And we are more than thrilled to have Gael Monfils in our event. He's a legitimate Top 10 player who has to be considered one of the favorites to win our title."
 
The No. 20 Dolgopolov and Spaniard Feliciano Lopez will make their first appearance at the event. In addition to Isner and Fish, 20-year-old Ryan Harrison rounds out the American trio in the 32-player field.
 
The world No. 1 Bryan Brothers will highlight the doubles field at the ITC's ATP World Tour event, while John McEnroe leads a group of six players in the ATP Champions Tour matches on the event's opening weekend (Feb. 22-24).
 
To purchase tickets call (561) 330-6000, order online at www.YellowTennisBall.com or in-person at Walmart's Ticketmaster outlets or the Delray Beach ITC box office.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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