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Florida Tennis Briefs(7): Wild Cards, Play Days, More

October 15, 2013 12:26 PM
Free Kids Tennis Play Day Nov. 17 at Macy's Florida Mall in Orlando

WTT_Smash_hits_2013_coUSTA Florida and World TeamTennis will host a free WTT Smash Hits Kids Play Day, sponsored by Macy's, on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013 from 12:30-3 p.m. at Macy's Florida Mall in Orlando.

Play Days provide kids and parents of all skill levels with the opportunity to experience tennis in a social and fun setting. The events are open to the public with an emphasis placed on family participation, effort and sportsmanship. Information will also be available on 10 and Under Tennis, Jr. Team Tennis leagues, other local play opportunities, and special free USTA memberships for qualifying participants.

The Play Day is in conjunction with the Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO, a charity night of tennis co-hosted by longtime friends Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King, featuring former world No. 1s Venus Williams and Andy Roddick on Sunday, Nov. 17 at the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. Tennis action is set for 6 p.m. with the pre-match VIP Reception and Auction kicking off at 4:30 p.m. For ticket info go to www.WTTSmashHits.com.
"For more than 20 years, Mylan WTT Smash Hits has been one of the most rewarding and meaningful events in tennis," King said. "Having both Venus and Andy as part of this year's event and returning to the Orlando area will help us continue the momentum we set with last year's record-breaking event."
For smaller children the Play Day event will utilize the USTA 10 and Under Tennis format, which allows kids 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.

To register to participate in the free Play Day go to http://smashhitsplayday.eventbrite.com.

UWF's Savi, Embry-Riddle's Zmak, Lynn's Confalonieri Win Small College Tennis Championships

ITA_logoBruno Savi of West Florida, Embry-Riddle's Deni Zmak, and Lynn's Valentine Confalonieri captured titles over the weekend at the 2013 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, held at the Three Oaks Tennis Center in Fort Myers, Florida. Eight individuals overall won small college division national singles titles, advancing to the Super Bowl stage of the tournament with a spot in the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships on the line.
West Florida's Savi won a tight match against Marko Boskovic of Ouachita Baptist in the Division II men's final 6-4, 6-3, exacting revenge after Savi and his partner lost to Boskovic and his partner in the first round of doubles.
"It's always tough to play against Marko. He's a good player with a huge forehand," Savi said. "The key for me was to be there fighting for every point."
Embry-Riddle's Zmak made it two titles in two days, as he captured the men's singles title in a hard-fought final over Oklahoma Baptist's Marco Carvajal the day after winning the doubles title with Simon Felix.
Zmak's in the singles final fell behind 4-1 before rebounding to win the first set in a tiebreak, and won an easier second set for a 7-6 (2), 6-3 victory.
"I wasn't playing my best tennis and he was playing really good," Zmak said. "He was feeling great on the court -- you could really see that. In the second set it was a bit easier."

In the Division II women's final, Confalonieri of Lynn University in Boca Raton defeated Fanni Varga of Southwest Baptist University 6-3, 6-2. The No. 2 seed did not drop a set on her way to the title.

"Today at the beginning I was a little bit nervous, but then it was great in the second set and I was playing really good," she said.

In the Super Bowl event where the various small school division winners square off, Embry-Riddle's Zmak won the men's overall singles title, defeating Tyler Community College's Mate Cutura 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-4, and the doubles title with partner Simon Felix. Lynn's Confalonieri won the over all women's title, defeating Junior College champion Niriantsa Rosolomalala of Georgia Perimeter 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2 in the final.

Zmak and Confalonieri earn singles wildcards into the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, Nov. 7-10 at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

For more info and updated results go to www.itatennis.com/Events/USTA-ITA-Championships-Events/SmallCollege.htm.

60 Palm Beach School Activity Counselors Receive USTA Kids' Tennis Club Training

Kids_tennis_training_palm_beachesMore than 60 after-school activity counselors participated in a USTA Florida Kids' Tennis Club Training on Oct. 5, 2013, from 9 a.m.-noon at Royal Palm Beach Elementary in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The counselors, employees of the School District of Palm Beach County, learned the basics of organizing USTA Kids' Tennis Clubs at their schools. Kids' Tennis Clubs are designed to give children the opportunity to try tennis in a safe, supportive, extracurricular setting with kid-sized equipment for age and ability.

"The USTA Kids' Tennis Club Training provided an overview of how to administer a Kids' Tennis Club on campus for grades K-5," said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator Janet Sprague. "Staff took part in on-court activities, games and off-court curriculum and lesson planning, as well as a raffle provided four lucky winners with a set of six foam tennis balls."
Kids' Tennis Clubs are for elementary school students, as well as middle school and high school intramurals and interscholastic team play, and are an excellent way for kids to experience camaraderie, cooperation and self-growth. The USTA provides organizers with a Kids' Tennis Club Playbook, pocket playbooks, youth achievement awards, sportsmanship posters, a recognition letter and certificate for offering tennis, and additional assistance on equipment, training and more.

For information on after-school staff training at a school, contact USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator Janet Sprague at (561) 385-7399 or sprague@florida.usta.com.

Junior Winners Crowned at 1st USTA Florida 10s Green Ball Tennis Championships

From left: champion Filip Cebic of Tampa and finalist Seth Neitlich of Osprey
Champion Karina Dergunova of Palm Coast (right) and Julia Dunha-Comin of Deland 
Filip Cebic of Tampa and Karina Dergunova of Palm Coast captured the boys' and girls' singles titles at the first USTA Florida Bobby Curtis State 10s Green Ball Championships, held Oct. 5-7 in the Orlando area.

The boys' championships were held at Sylvan Lake Park in Sanford, while the girls' championships were contested at the Lake Mary Tennis Center in Lake Mary. The championships were contested using the lower-bouncing USTA 10 and Under Tennis "green ball" on full-size (78-foot) courts.

Cebic in the boys' final defeated Seth Neitlich of Osprey 4-0, 4-2. In the girls' championship match, Dergunova outlasted Julia Dunha-Comin of Deland 4-0, 1-4, 1-0(6).

Scoring for the event was sets to four games, best two of three sets using regulation scoring, with a set tiebreak at four games all. A 10-point match tiebreak was played in lieu of a third set. Players competed in two round robin groups, with the winner of each group advancing to the final.

For tournament draws or additional info go to:
boys: http://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=140845
girls: http://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=140634

Bollettieri, Braden, Wilkinson Inducted to USPTA Hall of Fame

USPTA_logoNick Bollettieri, Vic Braden and Steve Wilkinson joined the ranks of only 13 others when they were inducted into the United States Professional Tennis Association's (USPTA) Hall of Fame on Sept. 27, 2013, at the USPTA World Conference during the annual awards presentation at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando.

"I cannot think of three other tennis-teaching giants who deserve this recognition more than Nick, Vic and Steve," said USPTA CEO John Embree. "In their own individual ways they have contributed mightily to our mission of elevating the standards of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches across the country and around the world."

During the association's April Executive Committee meeting, the USPTA Board and Executive Committee voted unanimously to rename the Hall of Fame Award in honor of the late Tim Heckler, who served as the CEO of the USPTA for 30 years from 1982-2012.

Bollettieri of Bradenton, Fla., has been one of the most influential people in tennis. A year after becoming a USPTA member, he founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy (now known as IMG Academy) in Florida in 1978, which was the first full-time tennis boarding school to combine intense training on court with custom-designed academic curriculum. His approach contributed to the molding of 10 No. 1-ranked players in the world over the years: Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Jim Courier, Martina Hingis, Jelena Jankovic, Marcelo Rios, Monica Seles, Maria Sharapova, and Venus and Serena Williams.

Braden has impacted tennis as a player, teaching professional and broadcaster. He is the founder and director of the Vic Braden Tennis College in Coto de Caza, Calif.; the co-founder of Vic Braden Tennis College at Star Island Resort in Kissimmee, Fla.; and the co-founder of Vic Braden Tennis College in St. George, Utah. He and Jack Kramer also co-founded the Jack Kramer Tennis Club in Palos Verdes, Calif. Since joining the USPTA in 1984, he has authored numerous books including "Tennis for the Future," "Teaching Children Tennis the Vic Braden Way," "Quick Fixes" and "Mental Tennis." As a professional player, he was invited to play in the World Tennis Championships three times.

Wilkinson of Saint Peter, Minn., was the head men's coach at Gustavus Adolphus College for 39 years from 1971-2009 and is the winningest coach in the history of men's collegiate tennis with 923 victories. He has coached 46 players to 87 all-American honors (including current ATP tour player Eric Butorac). He founded the Tennis and Life clinics/camps more than 25 years ago and has dedicated his time and effort to improving tennis performance of youth and adults while teaching life lessons that can be used off the court. He has been a USPTA member since 1972.

Orlando Area 'I Play for Sergio' Fundraiser on Dec. 7

sergioA tennis fundraiser, "I Play for Sergio," will be held on Dec. 7, 2013, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Sanlando Park Tennis Center in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

The event benefits Sergio Rivas, a local tennis teaching professional battling Glioblastoma brain cancer.

"Sergio is a beloved tennis coach who has taught in the Orlando area for more than 20 years," say event organizers. "He is now in the battle of his life. If anyone can fight the fight, it's Sergio, but he and his family need your help. The event will help raise money for his rising medical costs, so please come join the fun."

The morning session includes a round robin (women, men and mixed doubles), games such as Beat the Pro, Fast Serve Contest, and more. There will also be raffle prizes and a silent auction, and after the noon lunch a Pro-Am event. Lunch is included with all entries.

Contributions are $50 for the morning session, $300 for Pro-Am general entry, and $500 for Pro-Am select-a-pro. Individuals interested in contributing raffle items or corporate sponsorship can contact Kathy Driggers at (407) 701-3052.

For more info or to register for activities, go to the Facebook event page: I Play for Sergio.

USTA Pro Circuit at Captiva, Fla. to Host Wild Card Tournament

usta_pro_circuitThe South Seas Island Resort Women's Pro Classic will hold a Wild Card Tournament from Oct. 25-27, 2013, to give local tennis players the opportunity to secure a spot in the singles main draw of the upcoming $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Women's Event. 

Taking place at the Pavel & Blackwood Tennis Academy located at the South Seas Island Resort, the entry deadline is Oct. 20 at midnight to sign-up for the Wild Card Tournament that will consist of a 32 singles draw size. The winner of the Wild Card Tournament will receive a singles main draw entry into the Women's Pro Classic and the finalist will receive a singles qualifying draw entry along with the third place finisher.

"We are excited to be hosting a local Wild Card Tournament to give players in the area the opportunity to try and win a spot in the upcoming Women's Pro Classic singles main draw," said Tournament Director Nick Blackwood. "Our event is one of the few USTA Pro Circuit events that will hold a Wild Card Tournament for direct entry into the singles main draw instead of a pre-qualifying event that only allows players a chance to earn a spot in the singles qualifying draw."

The South Seas Island Resort Women's Pro Classic will be held from Nov. 3-10, 2013, at the South Seas Island Resort in Captiva, Fla. As the last USTA Pro Circuit Women's Event on the calendar in 2013, the Women's Pro Classic will showcase world class tennis by bringing the game's emerging and future tennis stars to the area while benefiting three local philanthropic causes -- the Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida, Madisen's Match, and Partners for Breast Cancer Care, Inc.

With over 90 tournaments held 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. More than 2,000 men and women from 70 countries around the world compete annually on the USTA Pro Circuit for nearly $3 million in prize money and valuable ranking points.

To enter the Wild Card Tournament contact the Women's Pro Classic Tournament Director Nick Blackwood at nick@p-bta.com, or call (480) 703-0522. For more information on the South Seas Island Resort Women's Pro Classic, visit http://ssirproclassic.com, on facebook at www.facebook.com/ssirproclassic or on twitter @ssir50k.






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