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Tennis Briefs(4): Florida Award Nominations Open; Jr. Honors; More

May 1, 2014 04:11 PM
Tennis Legends, Local Pros Hold Court at Eglin Air Force Base
Left to right: Mario Contardi, Sam Vickroy Jr, Mario Alvarez, Sam Vickroy Sr, Steve Contardi, Joe D’Aleo, Brett Beattie, Chuck Straley, JoAnne Russell, Glen Howe, Tommy Wade, Dick Stockton, Adriana Solarova, Kevin Dunworth, Greg Bennett, and Andrea Jaeger
Kids and adults at Eglin Air Force Base on the Florida Panhandle received top tennis treatment when former Top 10-ranked Dick Stockton, former world No. 2 Andrea Jaeger, and former Wimbledon doubles champion JoAnne Russell participated in the “T-3 -- Thanking Our Troops Through Tennis” event on April 25, 2014 on the base.
The event, hosted by Stockton’s Blue Sky Foundation, saw approximately 75 participants of family members from Eglin Air Force base ranging from adults to children 5-17 years old receiving lessons and playing games.

The festivities were in conjunction with the grand opening of the base’s eight new tennis courts.  
“In all the years that I have been teaching tennis and all the professionals that day would agree this was one of my most memorable experiences to be able to give back and say thank you to our troops and family members for all that they have done and sacrificed for our country,” said TOPS’L Beach & Racquet Resort Director of Tennis and USPTA-Florida Vice President Joe D’Aleo.

“Dick Stockton by far is a great ambassador to the game of tennis, and this has been a dream of his and his wife to start this venture of going to military bases across the country promoting the game of tennis to the families that serve our country.”
Others in attendance included former WTA pro Adriana Solarova; USPTA Master Professionals Tommy Wade of Decatur, Ala.; Glen Howe of Tallahassee; and Steve Contardi of Cincinnati; military veterans Sam Vickroy Sr., Mario Alvarez; and Chuck Straley with Kevin Dunworth and Greg Bennett working directly on Eglin Air Force Base.
“The older kids came out next using the [traditional] yellow ball, and for the most part for some of the participants, this was their first experience on a tennis court or even holding a tennis racquet where we utilized the [lower-bouncing] orange ball so they were all having fun quickly,” D’Aleo said.   
The mission of the Blue Sky Foundation is to bring the game of tennis to children who may not have access to the game or the ability to pay. Qualified coaches and mentors encourage positive youth development through varied sports programs that encourage physical fitness and offer certified educational curriculum.  

For more information go to www.theblueskyfoundation.com/t3.

2014 USTA Florida Tennis Award Nominations Open
mediawall--awards-webLast year’s awards brought Florida Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Mary Pierce to tears, Male Merit Award winner MaliVai Washington brought laughs from those in attendance, and an awards video took Hall of Fame inductee and former ATP player Ivan Baron on a trip back 25 years.
Who will be recognized this year?
The 2014 USTA Florida community tennis awards, recognizing the top tennis volunteers, players and organizations in Florida, will be presented at the USTA Florida Annual Meeting and Tennis Celebration, held Nov. 22-23, 2014. All nominations must be submitted on the official nomination form.
"No nominations will be accepted after June 30, so go online now, and don't let that special Florida volunteer or organization go unrecognized," said USTA Florida staffer and Awards Committee liaison Lynne Salus.
The 2014 awards will be presented in the following categories:
Hall of Fame -- (Administrative and/or Player)
Merit Award -- (Male)
Merit Award -- (Female)
Tennis Family of the Year
Volunteer of the Year
Member Organization of the Year
Official of the Year
Outstanding Media Excellence
Bobby Curtis Junior Tournament of the Year
Junior Competitive Coach of the Year
Albert Carrington Balink Award (Junior Player of the Year)
Al Mills Memorial Adult Tournament of the Year
Female Player of the Year (Adult/Senior Division)
Male Player of the Year (Adult/Senior Division)
Wheelchair Player of the Year (Adult/Senior/Junior)
USTA League Tennis Coordinator of the Year
Jr. Team Tennis Volunteer of the Year
USTA ‘Tennis on Campus’ Coordinator of the Year
USTA Florida School Tennis Award
10 and Under Tennis Volunteer of the Year
Community Tennis Volunteer of the Year
Jimmy Gantt Memorial Award (junior player who has overcome a physical impairment/injury)
Diversity Achievement Award
See last year's USTA Florida award winners with video presentations for major awards:
Mary Pierce, MaliVai Washington Among 2013 USTA Florida Annual Award Honorees 
To nominate an individual or organization go to https://adobeformscentral.com/?f=5g7i1DjrI2ADsLu4WzN*5Q. For award questions, please email JoAnn Zirpoli at penn2@aol.com.
Florida’s Kenin Leads U.S. Jrs. at International Team Events 
Kenin-2012-NTJ_2G14_Winner_Sophia_Kenin_finals_actionThe USTA announced that Sofia Kenin, the second-youngest player in the Top 30 of the world junior rankings, and 2014 Easter Bowl finalist Nathan Ponwith are among the top young Americans selected to represent the United States in Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas (16-and-under), and the boys' and girls' World Junior Tennis competition (14-and-under) North/Central American and Caribbean Final on May 8-10, 2014 in Montreal, Canada.
This round of each world team competition serves as regional qualifying for the World Finals. The Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup Finals will be held Sept. 23-28 in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The World Junior Tennis Finals will be played August 4-9 in Prostejov, Czech Republic.
Joining the 15-year-old Pembroke Pines resident Kenin on the U.S. Junior Fed Cup team will be Usue Arconada (15, College Park, Md.), Raveena Kingsley (15, Parkton, Md.), and coach Kathy Rinaldi.
All three Junior Fed Cup team members are in the Top 70 of the world junior rankings for players ages 18 and under (Kenin, No. 29; Arconada, No. 35; and Kingsley, No. 62). 
Overall, the U.S. has won six World Junior Tennis girl's titles (1992, 2007-10, 2013), four World Junior Tennis boys' titles (2002-03, 2008, 2012), two Junior Davis Cup titles (1999, 2008) and two Junior Fed cup titles (2008, 2012).
Former U.S. junior international team members include Jim Courier, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport and Sloane Stephens. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have also represented their countries in junior international team competition.
To view all the U.S. team members or for more info go to www.usta.com/news.
Florida Jr. Profile: Coral Gables’ Katerina Stewart
By Colette Lewis, USTA Florida junior tennis writer
From left: Katerina Stewart interviewed by Katrina Adams
Less than a month after winning her first professional singles title, Katerina Stewart captured the Easter Bowl 16s championship, withstanding the pressure of being the top seed and overwhelming favorite at the prestigious junior tournament in Indian Wells, Calif.
Stewart, who won the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Orlando in March, had reached the final of the Easter Bowl’s 14s age division in 2011, so the 16-year-old from Coral Gables felt she had some unfinished business. She played like it, dominating the field until reaching the final against unseeded 13-year-old Claire Liu of California.
After winning three matches by a score of 6-0, 6-0, Stewart looked ready to dominate again, going up 5-0 in the first set against Liu. But Liu fought back, making Stewart earn her 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory.
“She was playing really well in the second set and I kind of pulled back a little bit,” said Stewart, who trains with her father Caesar Stewart at the Next Level Tennis Academy in Coral Gables. “But I played my game in the third.”
Using her final tournament in the 16s age division to build her confidence and work on her game, Stewart was pleased to collect the Easter Bowl title that had eluded her.
“It feels good, finally,” said Stewart, who will be playing the 18s division this summer at the USTA Clay Court and Hard Court tournaments. “My last 16s tournament — it’s a good way to end.”
Stewart, shown above speaking with USTA First Vice President Katrina Adams, will be one of the players featured in the Easter Bowl highlight show, scheduled to debut on Tennis Channel on May 18.





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