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Tennis Briefs(4): Kids 10-U Challenge; USTA French Wildcards; More

May 6, 2014 09:59 PM
Orlando Teams Dominate at Kids 10-U Team Tennis Challenge
The champion Girl Power team
The finalist Top Spinners

Eight teams participated in the 10-Under Orange Ball Division, and four teams in the Red Ball Division at the USTA Florida Team Tennis 10-Under Challenge, presented by Wilson Racquet Sports, and held at the Lake Cane Tennis Center in Orlando on May 4, 2014.

In the Orange Ball Division final the "Girl Power" team defeated the "Top Spinners."

The champion Girl Power team, playing out of the Lake Cane Tennis Center in Orlando, was comprised of captain Tony Graham and players Taylor Graham, Ashlynne Graham, and Jade Ameerah Dhaiti.

The finalist Top Spinners, also playing out of the Lake Cane Tennis Center in Orlando, was comprised of captain Scott Dabney and players Landon Dabney, Chable Graddy, Christian Hamilton and Alex Wang.

The one-day tournament hosted gender-blind teams of no more than six players per team. Players had to be age 10 or under to compete, with "orange ball" and "red ball" divisions.

The USTA Youth Tennis format allows smaller children to emulate adult play on smaller court sizes, with racquet sizes that fit their hands, low-compression low-bouncing 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.

The "BYOT" (bring your own team) events do not require previous team tennis league participation. Both USTA members and non-members can participate, with USTA members receiving a $10 discount on registration.

For more information or to see a calendar of future events across Florida go to www.ustaflorida.com/teamtennischallenges.

Ginepri, Townsend Win USTA French Open Wild Card Challenge


Veteran 31-year-old Robby Ginepri and 18-year-old Taylor Townsend earned French Open wildcards over the weekend by finishing with the top points respectively in the 2014 Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge.

Townsend, the former world No. 1-ranked junior from Houston, will make her Grand Slam debut. Over the weekend she won the singles and doubles titles at the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.

Ranked No. 256 in the world, Townsend turned pro at the start of 2013 and, in her first WTA-level main-draw match, beat then-No. 57 Lucie Hradecka in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. This year, Townsend defeated Top 50 player Karin Knapp to reach the second round of Indian Wells as a wild card and won her first career USTA Pro Circuit titles in Charlottesville, capturing both the singles and doubles titles.

Ginepri, the former world No. 15 on the ATP Rankings, will be making his ninth career appearance in the main draw in Paris.

"It's a big accomplishment, especially with all of the injuries and ups and downs I've had," said Ginepri, who has reached the fourth round twice at Roland Garros. "Last year and the year before, I was contemplating retiring. If this week didn't go well, I could have pulled the trigger on that, as well. This is a good reward and I'm definitely eager to work as hard as I can leading into the French and fight hard."

The Georgia resident, ranked No. 442 entering the Tallahassee Challenger last week, defeated Canadian Frank Dancevic in the final. Ginepri suffered a broken elbow in late 2010 when he fell off his bicycle trying to avoid a squirrel; the injury kept him sidelined through the middle of 2011. He is the only active U.S. man to reach a Grand Slam semifinal at the 2005 US Open.

Ginepri has reached the fourth round or better at all four Grand Slam events and peaked at No. 15 in the world in 2005. He has also competed for the U.S. in Davis Cup (2004) and the Olympics (2008).

Any American that did not receive direct entry into the 2014 French Open was eligible for the wild card, awarded to the man and woman who earn the most ATP/WTA ranking points at select USTA Pro Circuit clay court events. The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2014 French and US Opens are exchanged.

USTA Player Development awards the women's wild card to the player who accumulates the greatest number of WTA ranking points at two of three USTA Pro Circuit $50,000 claycourt events -- the Dothan Pro Classic in Dothan, Ala.; the Boyd Tinsley Clay Court Classic in Charlottesville, Va.; and the Audi Melbourne Pro Tennis Classic in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla. The men's wild card goes to the player who earns the greatest number of ATP ranking points at Challengers in Sarasota, Fla.; Savannah, Ga.; and Tallahassee, Fla.

Former Men's Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge Winners:

2014 -- Robby Ginepri
2013 -- Alex Kuznetsov
2012 -- Brian Baker

Former Women's Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge Winners:

2014 -- Taylor Townsend
2013 -- Shelby Rogers
2012 -- Melanie Oudin

The USTA first used this wild card challenge format for its 2012 French Open wild cards.

For more information go to www.usta.com.

Omni Amelia Island Ranked No. 1 Tennis Destination by Tennis Resorts Online
Amelia_futures_action13The tennis team at Omni Amelia Island, led by Director of Tennis Scott Colebourne, has been reviewed by travelers as the No. 1 locale for a tennis vacation and No. 2 tennis camp in the world according to Tennis Resorts Online.

With 23 Har-Tru courts amongst live oak trees, the resort features adult and junior camp packages, ladies and couples retreats, events, tournaments and game-arranging to accommodate tennis enthusiasts of all levels. While taking a break from tennis, guests can revel in the island's many luxurious amenities, including 54 holes of championship quality golf, a 13,000 sq. ft. salon and spa, world-class fitness center, and a pristine beach on the Atlantic Ocean.
"We are delighted and humbled to receive the No. 1 ranking," Colebourne said. "It's a testament to the amazing associates we have and their dedication to creating fantastic guest experiences."

Omni Amelia Island also partners with USTA Florida to host Team Tennis Challenges for kids, and USTA Pro Circuit events among other tournaments and play opportunities.
To see the full resort rankings go to www.tennisresortsonline.com.

USTA 10s Level 4 Tournment in Boca Raton in May

1477443_10151888153683197_452006174_nOne of the strongest singles and doubles events in the USTA 10s division in Florida this year, the USTA Florida Level 4 Gulfstream at Rick Macci's with boys' and girls' 10s divisions will be held on May 17-19, 2014 at The Rick Macci Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla.

The sign-up deadline for the tournament is May 11.

The tournament will be played on full-size courts with the green-dot balls. The scoring format will be two out of three (first to four, win by two games) sets using regular scoring. A set tiebreak will be played when a set reaches 4-4. A 10-point match tiebreak will be played in lieu of a third set.

All events are planned to be played on the clay courts at Boca Lago Country Club.

For questions e-mail Gill7825@aol.com, or for more info or to enter go to http://tennislink.usta.com/tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=143827.





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