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Tennis Briefs(6): USTA Pro Circuit Winners, College MatchDay, More

March 18, 2014 07:47 AM
Florida's Stewart, Bangoura Win USTA Pro Circuit Titles

G18WKaterinaStewartMiamiMiami's Katerina Stewart, fresh off her first career finalist effort at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Gainesville, last weekend captured her first professional tennis title at the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Orlando.

The 16-year-old Stewart dominated the field, in the final defeating unseeded Elizaveta Ianchuk of the Ukraine 6-1, 6-1.

Winning the qualifying event to reach the main draw in Gainesville, Stewart was granted a special exempt into the main draw in Orlando since her Gainesville finalist effort kept her from participating in the Orlando qualifying. In the Orlando quarterfinals she defeated No. 3 seed Mayo Hibi 6-0 in the third set, and in the semifinals defeated qualifier Natalie Suk 6-0, 6-1.

At the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in California, former University of Florida standout Sekou Bangoura and former University of Michigan Wolverine Evan King won the doubles title, as the No. 1 seeds defeated No. 2 seeds Adam Chadaj and Marek Michalicka 5-7, 6-4, 10-5.

"We've been playing well together this week," King told the Bakersfield Californian after the semifinals. "He (Bangoura) was definitely the stronger one today, which is awesome. We can carry each other when one of us isn't playing our best so that was good."

Since 1979, 17 USTA Pro Circuit alumni (including five Americans) have achieved the No. 1 world singles rankings. Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Lindsay Davenport, Pete Sampras, Justine Henin, Jim Courier and Andre Agassi are among the game's top stars who began their career on the USTA Pro Circuit. The past few years have seen breakout performances by a number of USTA Pro Circuit players, including John Isner, Sloane Stephens, Jack Sock, and Madison Keys.

For more info go to www.usta.com/Pro-Tennis/Pro-Circuit.

UF Women's Tennis Featured on USTA College MatchDay This Weekend

USTA_College_MatchDay_graphicThe University of Florida women's tennis team playing at the University of Alabama will be the USTA College MatchDay feature this weekend on March 23, 2014.
College MatchDay, the nationwide series spotlighting college tennis, features 22 matches on 18 different campuses in 2014, 10 of which will be delivered by ESPN3. College MatchDay weekly highlights marquee team matches featuring the best programs, players and coaches around the country.

In addition to the ESPN3 coverage, eight College MatchDays will feature a 53-foot, interactive Fan Experience trailer on site, where fans can engage in a number of activities before and during the match.
"College tennis is such amazing and exciting competition, and College MatchDay is a way to shine a light on schools, teams, players and coaches," said Virgil Christian, the USTA's director of collegiate tennis. "We hope that College MatchDay can change the landscape of viewing college tennis both in person and at home."
Every MatchDay that will be delivered on ESPN3 will follow a unique, experimental format, as proposed by an advisory group of NCAA Division I athletic directors: all six singles matches will be played first, best of three tiebreak sets, with each singles match worth one point toward the team total (four points are required to win the team match). Once one team reaches four points and clinches the match, the remaining matches will not be completed.

In the case of a 3-3 tie after the singles matches, three doubles matches -- played using 10-point super tiebreakers -- will be used to determine the winner in what amounts to college tennis' version of "overtime." The team that wins two of the three doubles matches wins the team match. All MatchDay dual matches will count toward each team's win-loss record both overall and, if applicable, in conference. For MatchDays that will not be delivered on ESPN3, the participating teams will not be held to the same, experimental format.
For more info go to www.usta.com.

Jensen Brothers to Headline Star-studded Madisen's Match Tennis Charity Event

madisens_match_logoFormer French Open champions Luke and Murphy Jensen, along with tennis legends Mikael Pernfors, Tom Gullikson, Don Johnson and Jared Palmer will headline the 6th Annual Madisen's Match Charity Tennis Clinic, Pro-Am, and Exhibition on March 28-29, 2014 at The Landings Yacht, Golf, and Tennis Club in Fort Myers, Fla.

The tennis charity event benefits the Lee Memorial Health System's Regional Cancer Center, and Barbara's Friends-Golisano Children's Hospital Cancer Fund.

In addition to the Grand Slam Champions Doubles Match featuring the French Open champion Jensen brothers against the former Wimbledon championship team of Johnson-Palmer, spectators will be able to see doubles matches featuring former U.S. Davis Cup team captain Tom Gullikson and French Open finalist Mikael Pernfors. Matches featuring other world-ranked current ATP players and S.W. Florida Pro League All Stars are also scheduled.

Complimentary food and beverages from Tony Sacco's Coal Oven Fired Pizza, and World of Beer are included with exhibition ticket purchase. Exhibition match seating begins at 4 p.m., with matches starting at 4:15 p.m.

Madisen's Match will also offer up to 50 participants the opportunity to get instruction and play alongside some of the greatest players to play the game in an intimate setting at Landings Yacht, Golf, and Tennis Club. The Madisen's Match clinic begins at 8:30 a.m., followed by a catered lunch, with the Pro-Am beginning at 1:30 p.m. Players are paired by skill level and will receive individual instruction from the celebrity world class tennis pros. Clinic and Pro-Am packages include admission to exhibition Matches.

Madisen's Match tennis activities are preceded by the Live Jazz Dinner and Auction on Friday, Mar. 28 at 6 p.m.

To purchase tickets or to register to attend, visit www.madisensmatch.com.

Tampa's MacFarlane Park to Host 10-Under Tennis Festival

YouthTennis.com_largeThe City of Tampa's MacFarlane Park will host a free 10 and Under Tennis Festival on Saturday, March 29, 2014 from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

"Everybody is welcome to enjoy the game of tennis. We will have live music and we will play tennis. The idea is to have lots of fun," says event organizer Barbara Soto. "Tennis can significantly help in a child's brain development since it requires mental alertness and logical or tactical thinking. This is one of the main reasons why many parents are enrolling their kids in infant tennis classes, preschool tennis classes or junior tennis classes."

For children age 10 and under the event will feature the Youth Tennis format, the right-sized equipment for kids age 10 and under, utilizing smaller, lighter racquets and softer, lower-bouncing balls, and kid-sized nets and court sizes. Youth Tennis is creating a whole new generation of players in the U.S., introducing kids to tennis in a fun format rather than with the frustration of regular tennis balls that bounce over their heads, heavy adult-sized racquets and too much court for little legs to cover. For more info go to www.YouthTennis.com.
MacFarlane Park is located at 1700 North MacDill Ave. in Tampa, FL 33607.
For more event information contact Barbara Soto by e-mail at barbarasoto@hotmail.com and by phone at (813) 764-3586, or go to www.tampabaytennislessons.com.

For information on other area Tennis Festivals, go to www.YouthTennis.com.

2014 ITF Seniors in Palm Beaches to be Largest Ever

ITF-SENIORS-LOGO-2014-FINAL-PNGThe International Tennis Federation announced that 39 countries have entered to compete in the 2014 ITF Seniors World Team Championships, which open next month in Palm Beach County. The event will begin with team championships on April 21-26, followed by individual championships from April 27-May 4, 2014.

"We are very pleased that 39 different countries have entered the 2014 ITF Seniors World Team Championships," said ITF Head of Seniors Tennis Luca Santilli. "This is the largest number of countries ever to be represented at the event, and is in line with the ITF's aim to expand seniors tennis throughout the world and continually increase the number of nations participating in our flagship events."

For the first time ever, teams from China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Haiti and Venezuela will also compete.

Eight tennis facilities in Palm Beach County have been selected as venues for the 15-day marquee event: BallenIsles Country Club as host site in North County, Mirasol Country Club, PGA National Resort, Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center, Polo Club of Boca Raton as host site in South County, Boca West Country Club, Boca Grove Country Club and Woodfield Country Club.

"We also have 52 countries in the individual events and expect a few more prior to the March 26 entry deadline," said BallenIsles Tennis Director and Tournament Chairperson Trish Faulkner.

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission has projected that the economic impact of the event could exceed $2.5 million. For more details contact Trish Faulkner at tfaulkner@ballenisles.com.

3rd Annual Florida High School All Star Tennis Tourney in April

FHSTCA_logoThe Winter Park Tennis Center will host the 3rd Annual Florida High School All Star Tennis Tournament on April 26-27, 2014, in Winter Park, Fla.

"This year's Florida high school senior tennis players will once again be rewarded with the Florida All Star Tennis Tournament," said Executive Director, Florida High School Tennis Coaches Association, John Danise. "Thanks to the joint efforts of the Youth Tennis Foundation of Florida, the Florida High School Tennis Coaches Association, Florida Athletic Coaches Association, Wilson Racquets, and others. The Tennis All Star Tournament will follow the Florida High School Athletic Association State High School Tennis Championship tournaments in April."

Ninety-six high school tennis graduating seniors are expected to participate, with three boys and three girls chosen from each of the 16 FHSTCA regions of Florida. The 16 regions will compete against each other using the World TeamTennis format, which is boys' and girls' singles, doubles and mixed doubles play.
Regional team champions will qualify for the World TeamTennis Junior Nationals on July 28-31, 2014. The WTT Nationals will be held at the George E. Barnes Family Tennis Center in San Diego, Calif.
For more info go to www.FHSTCA.org.





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