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Tennis Briefs: 'Masters Tennis' Demo in Miami; Tommy Paul Profile

August 5, 2014 08:51 AM
'Masters Tennis' Demo at Miami's New Arcola Lakes Park Senior Center on Aug. 14
The official ribbon cutting for the Arcola Lakes Park Senior Center

Last week the sprawling new 14,220-square-foot Arcola Lakes Park Senior Center, Miami-Dade County Parks' first recreational facility specifically built for seniors, hosted an opening, dedication ceremony and facilities tour for the much-anticipated complex.

Now in less than two weeks' time, residents will be playing Masters Tennis, the short-court senior-friendly tennis format.

A Masters Tennis Demonstration will be held at Arcola Lakes Park Senior Center on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2014 at 11:15 a.m., free to all players to try the new USTA Florida short-court format.

"We were thrilled to see so many seniors interested in this new program," said USTA Florida Miami-area Tennis Program Coordinator Cathy Nordlund, who says additional Masters Tennis play opportunities will soon be offered at Goulds Park and North Trail Park also. "Many said they played tennis years ago and this would be a way to get back into a sport they used to love to play. We will also be offering weekly classes played indoors with foam balls and mini-nets, and outdoors on the 60-foot blended line tennis courts."

Masters Tennis is the new 60-foot fun short-court option played within a full-size 78-foot tennis court for a wide array of players -- veterans looking to get back in the game after injuries, players who can no longer cover a full court, or adults newer to the game looking for a fun challenge. Players can use their regular tennis racquets, or smaller racquets which provide more control.

"Clubs and players in Florida with our older demographic have been asking us for a program like this for years," says USTA Florida Executive Director Doug Booth. "Anyone can play with the smaller racquets, slower balls and smaller courts. Players who left the game due to age or injuries can again play with this format, truly making tennis the 'Sport of a Lifetime.'"

The Arcola Lakes Park 19-acre property features tennis, racquetball and handball courts, a recreation center and playground, walking and jogging trail, with the senior center featuring state-of-the-art recreational amenities such as a modern exercise room, entertainment areas with flat screen televisions, arts and ceramics areas, a performance stage area, and an outdoor therapeutic pool and whirlpool spa surrounded by 8,324 square feet of deck space.

Masters Tennis programs are currently being played at more than 20 sites across the state of Florida.

Christine Murphy is the USTA Florida Masters Tennis coordinator for the Florida Section.

"USTA Florida is hoping to add Masters Tennis as a permanent tennis division within the Florida Senior Games," Murphy says. "This year Masters Tennis is being showcased as a demonstration sport at various Florida Senior Games locations, and will have a competition at the Florida Senior Games Championships in Lee County in December."

For more information about classes or the Masters Tennis Demo at Arcola Lakes Park Senior Center, contact Allan Tavss at tavssa@miamidade.gov.

For additional information:

Masters Tennis: http://masterstennisflorida.com
Arcola Lakes Park Senior Center: www.miamidade.gov/parks/arcola-lakes.asp

Florida Jr. Tennis Profile: Tommy Paul, Coconut Creek

By Colette Lewis, USTA Florida junior tennis writer

PaulUSTAFloridaTommy Paul can't pinpoint the reasons for it, but there's no doubting his success at the Delray Beach Tennis Center, as the 2013 USTA 16s Clay Courts champion added the 18s Clay Courts title there last month.

"I love playing there, I love it," said Paul, who defeated Reilly Opelka of Palm Coast 7-6(5), 6-1 in the final. "I always play really well on those courts."

The 17-year-old Paul, who is the reigning 16s Kalamazoo champion, faced a familiar opponent across the net in Opelka, who, like Paul, trains at the USTA's National Center in Boca Raton. Opelka lost to Paul in the 16s final, and although both were unseeded this year, they again found themselves meeting with a USTA Gold Ball on the line.

"I went up 5-2 in the first set, and then I completely lost focus," said Paul, who is coached by the USTA's Diego Moyano. "I was down 6-5 and he was serving. I knew I had to make every return in the court. Then we both played a pretty sloppy tiebreaker, but I got the [mini] break and served it out. In the second set, everything kind of went my way -- I got kind of lucky in the second."

Even though Paul has won his last four matches against Opelka, he considers the 6-foot-9 right-hander's serve the best he's ever encountered.

"It's tough playing him. He has a really good serve, the best, definitely," said Paul, now No. 2 in the USTA's 18s rankings.

"Obviously I don't like big servers, but I don't have that hard of a time getting it back. The next ball's always tough for me, and I got lucky with a couple of first balls he missed on big points."

Paul now sets his sights on a second Kalamazoo title, hoping to become the first 16s winner to capture the 18s title the following year since Paul Goldstein in 1992 and 1993.






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