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Florida Tennis Briefs(6): Parent Resources, US Open Announcement, More

March 20, 2013 11:30 AM
USTA Florida Partners with 'Growing Champions for Life' Parent Resources
 
growing_champions_for_life_graphicThe approximately 50,000-strong membership of USTA Florida can now access parent-child sports information, advice and resources through a partnership with Growing Champions for Life, an organization dedicated to creating cohesive families and principle-centered athletes who win at life, not just at sports.
 
Parents that are USTA Florida members now have access to videos, educational webinars, articles and informative newsletters via the USTA Florida website each month.
 
Since parents need positive strategies just like athletes do, parents are encouraged to access content such as this month's Life-Skills Webinar, "Better Than a Zipper -- How to Improve Sport-Family Conversations," and the Positive Parent Video Tip, "Coach Swagger More Than Swing."
 
"USTA Florida is excited to partner with 'Champions for Life' and David Benzel to offer the parents of our junior players access to information that will positively impact their relationship during the junior tennis years together," said USTA Florida Executive Director Doug Booth. "As a parent I have found David's information invaluable not only for sports, but as a parent in general."
 
Each month visitors will find fresh new resources such as:
* Life Skills Monthly Webinar (prepares parents for conversations with their young athletes)
* Positive Parent Videos and Assignments (shares strategies for helping children cope with the ups and downs of practice and competition)
* Winners Connection e-Newsletter (informative articles, updates, tips about sport family resources, and helpful tools)
* The monthly True Hero Parent article (a thought-provoking and relevant expose' each month)
* Expert interviews with pro-athletes, successful coaches, and parents
* Parent's Corner (e-mail Coach David and receive a personalized answer)
 
To see this month's edition of Growing Champions for life, go to www.florida.usta.com/youth_tennis/david_benzel_growing_champions_or_life.
 
 
2nd Annual All Star Tennis to Feature Top Florida H.S. Seniors
 
YTF-logoThe 2nd annual All Star Tennis Tournament, featuring some of the top high school senior tennis players across the state of Florida, will be held on April 27-28, 2013, at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.
 
"This year's Florida high school senior tennis players will once again be rewarded with an All Star Tennis Tournament," said organizer John Danise, executive director of the Florida High School Tennis Coaches Association. "Thanks to the joint efforts of the Youth Tennis Foundation of Florida, the Florida High School Tennis Coaches Association, the Florida Athletic Coaches Association, and Wilson Racquets."
 
Free stroke analysis will be provided for all players by Ricky Barrera, USPTA tennis professional and vice president of MotionTex.com, viewable on players' mobile devices.
 
The event follows the Florida High School Athletic Association State High School Tennis Championship tournaments in April. The field will be comprised of 64 graduating senior tennis players, with four boys and four girls chosen from each of the eight regions of Florida. The eight sections compete against each other using the USTA Tennis on Campus format of play (boys' and girls' singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, with total points determining the winning team).
 
Players and coaches will be provided a pool-side dinner on Saturday evening, lodging, breakfast, lunch, Tennis Express t-Shirts, Wilson goody bags and more.
 
Regional coaches will be:
Region 1 -- Corbin Graves, Maclay H.S.; Kevin Record, Leon H.S.
Region 2 -- Dede Allen, Episcopal H.S.; David Porter, Eastside H.S.
Region 3 -- Christopher Obartuck, Tarpon Springs H.S.; Joe Curtis, Jesuit H.S.
Region 4 -- John Pouzzner, West Orange H.S.; Teresa Cunningham, Winter Park
Region 5 -- Janie Hollinger, Sebring H.S.; Wayne Robertson, Venice H.S.
Region 6 -- Walter Scherer, Martin County H.S.; Morgan Wilmer, Martin County
Region 7 -- Tony Kamen, Naples H.S.; Kevin Walker, Naples H.S.
Region 8 -- Vinnie Borros, Dr. Krop H.S.; Michael Kypriss, Dr. Krop H.S.
 
For more information go to www.fhstca.org.
 
 
USTA Pro Circuit to Determine USTA Wildcard for French Open
 
usta pro circuit logo-collageHar-Tru Sports has signed a three-year agreement to become the title sponsor of the 2013 USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge, the first title sponsor of the event which utilizes the USTA Pro Circuit to award wildcards into the French Open to one American man and one American woman.
 
The American man and American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA tour ranking points at two of three select USTA Pro Circuit clay-court events (see schedule below) earn the designated main draw wildcards into the French Open. Only Americans who did not otherwise earn direct entry into the French Open are eligible. The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which wildcards into the 2013 French and US Opens are exchanged.
 
"We are incredibly excited to be able to sponsor the USTA Pro Circuit," said Pat Hanssen, general manager of Har-Tru Sports. "It's a great opportunity to support the governing body of our sport, the USTA, and its efforts to promote and develop the growth of tennis in the U.S."
 
The Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge will consist of the following events:
 
USTA Pro Circuit Women's Events:
$50,000 Dothan, Ala. (week of April 15)
$50,000 Charlottesville, Va. (week of April 22)
$50,000 Indian Harbour Beach, Fla. (week of April 29)
 
USTA Pro Circuit Men's Events:
$100,000 Sarasota, Fla. (week of April 15)
$50,000 Savannah, Ga. (week of April 22)
$50,000 Tallahassee, Fla. (week of April 29)
 
"The USTA Pro Circuit has long been devoted to developing American world-class players, and now we have a world-class partner in that endeavor in Har-Tru," said Brian Earley, director of the USTA Pro Circuit. "Learning to play on clay is an important part of developing the all-around player in tennis today, and Har-Tru is a top-notch, innovative company that has served the needs of American claycourt tennis for generations."
 
The USTA first used this format for its 2012 French Open wildcards, won by Melanie Oudin and Brian Baker. Oudin and Baker each advanced to the second round at last year's French Open and subsequently broke into the Top 100. In addition, Oudin went on to win her first WTA title at the Wimbledon tune-up in Birmingham, England, and Baker followed up his claycourt run on the USTA Pro Circuit by reaching his first ATP Tour final at the French Open tune-up event in Nice, France, as a qualifier, and advancing to the fourth round of Wimbledon and the second round of the US Open.
 
With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. Mardy Fish, Maria Sharapova, John Isner, Caroline Wozniacki, Sam Querrey, Li Na and Andy Murray are among today's top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.
 
 
Boys & Girls Club in Eatonville, Fla., to Host Kids Tennis Play Day
 
10_UnderPlayDaysTennis right-sized for kids will be on display when the Boys & Girls Club in Eatonville, Fla., hosts a free 10 and Under Tennis Play Day on March 29, 2013, from 1-4 p.m.
 
Play Days introduce kids to competition in a low-pressure setting where results are not documented. These events provide kids with the opportunity to continue to develop and enhance their skills. For both novices and experienced players, Play Days are a welcoming way for kids to experience the social and competitive aspects of tennis. Organized by skill level, kids have the chance to gain additional play experience through a rotation of opponents and short, continuous matches over a two- to three-hour period.
 
"The Boys & Girls Club is happy to be hosting this Play Day, giving their kids that have been participating in tennis this spring the opportunity to compete and have fun with other children that have been playing the 10 and Under Tennis format," said Tina McCall Waters, tennis coordinator. "We look forward to a day of fun, games and prizes."
 
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, low-compression balls, and 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 Florida resident and former No. 1 Maria Sharapova on 10 and Under Tennis. "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 on other local play opportunities such as youth team tennis. Youth team tennis leagues bring 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.
 
Players age 10 and under that are new to the USTA can also sign-up for a free one-year USTA membership to receive USTA youth publications and access to leagues and tournaments.
 
For more information contact Tina McCall Waters at twater_djtc@hotmail.com or (407) 413-7043, or to register online go to www.boysandgirlsclubeatonville.eventbrite.com.
 
 
Madisen's Match Charity Tennis Event in Ft. Myers
 
madisens_match_logo_2013The 5th annual Madisen's Match charity tennis fundraiser for pediatric and adult cancer causes will be held on April 5-6, 2013, at The Landings Yacht, Golf, and Tennis Club in Ft. Myers, Fla., featuring a star-studded line-up of former pros and events.
 
For participants the event is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to play in a pro-am with tennis legends and raise money for a great cause. This year's scheduled legends are Tom Gullikson, Johan Kriek, Mikael Pernfors, Don Johnson, current WTA star Mirjana Lucic, and promising young American Grace Min.
 
"I started Madisen's Match five years ago, after my 3-year-old niece Madisen was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor," said event founder Duane Chaney. "Madisen's Match has donated more than $45,000 to pediatric brain cancer-related charities since its inception."
 
Other events during the two days will include a cocktail hour; live jazz, dinner and auction; legends participant photos, on-court demo, morning clinic and pro-am; exhibition matches; and awards and closing ceremony.
 
Funds raised from the 2013 Madisen's Match event will benefit The Brain Tumor Navigator Program at The Lee Memorial Regional Cancer Center, and the Golisano Children's Hospital Cancer Center Fund of Southwest Florida.
 
For more information on the event go to www.madisensmatch.com.
 
 
US Open Prize Money Increases, to Reach $50 Million by 2017
 
US OpenIn keeping with its mission to grow the sport of tennis, the USTA announced Wednesday it has reached an agreement with the ATP and WTA that ensures the vitality and competitiveness of the US Open as a world class, premier event for many years to come.
 
Presently, the USTA is in the midst of several strategic initiatives, all with a common goal of growing tennis at every level in the United States, from youth to seniors, and from those just starting out in the sport to professionals at the highest level of the game. For the US Open and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center the goal is twofold: to transform the National Tennis Center over the next several years into the most modern and fan- and player-friendly tennis center in the world, and to continue to attract the world's best tennis players. In line with this goal, the USTA has reached a five-year agreement with the ATP and WTA on US Open prize money.
 
As part of this long-term vision, the USTA will provide $50 million in US Open prize money by 2017. Additionally, the USTA will increase base prize money for the 2013 US Open by an additional $4.1 million above the previously announced increase of four million dollars. The original announcement was made in December 2012. Base prize money for the 2013 US Open will now total more than $33.6 million, a more than $8.1 million increase over the $25.5 million available to players at the 2012 US Open.
 
Also, beginning in 2015 the US Open will conclude on the second Sunday of the two-week event with the men's singles championship. To allow for a day of rest for the finalists, the men's singles semifinals will be played on Friday. The women's singles championship will be played on Saturday.
 
"The USTA has a long-term vision in place to ensure that tennis continues to thrive in the United States. This vision encompasses every level of the sport, from energizing existing fans, to attracting new players, to ensuring the US Open remains one of the world's most prestigious sporting events," said David Haggerty, USTA chairman, CEO and president. "With this unprecedented commitment to long-term prize money and recognition of the value that players bring to the sport, we will gain stability for the sport so that we can focus our energy on growing the game and ensuring tennis' vitality in the U.S. for years to come."
 
Former No. 1 Roger Federer applauded the USTA and the partnership approach.
 
"This excellent outcome for the sport of tennis wouldn't have been possible without the open-mindedness and fairness of USTA President Dave Haggerty and the USTA staff," said Federer, president of the ATP Player Council. "They approached our concerns with a true spirit of partnership, and as president of the ATP Player Council I am personally grateful for their support. Everyone I have spoken with is excited about the increases in prize money, as well as the agreement to change the schedule for 2015 and beyond. The US Open is very special, and we all look forward to great competition at Flushing Meadows later this year, and in the years yet to come."
 
The USTA will announce the exact round-by-round distribution of the total prize money increase for the 2013 US Open this summer. Further year-by-year prize money increases are expected to be announced annually prior to that year's US Open.
 
 
 
 
 

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