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Tennis Briefs(4): Courier, Serena in U.S. News; Italy Tries to Poach U.S. Player; More

March 3, 2011 02:46 PM
U.S. Tennis Weekend News: Courier Debuts, Serena Heals After Emergency

serenaFlorida's Serena Williams survives a medical scare that will further hinder her comeback to tennis, and Jim Courier makes his debut as U.S. Davis Cup captain this weekend when the U.S. squad featuring Andy Roddick, John Isner and the Bryan brothers travel to Chile.

Blogging from Santiago where he has been preparing his charges all week in the high-altitude red clay, Courier says, "The four guys on the team are all Davis Cup veterans, and we have a great support staff alongside, as well, so I'm kind of the new guy coming into their world in some respects. But I have been around Davis Cup plenty and have been around these guys enough in tournament locker rooms to make this a pretty seamless transition from my perspective. So far everyone seems comfortable and pumped up, which is what we want to be."

Courier says in practice the balls have been quick and high-bouncing, with temperatures in the mid 80s.

"We know Nicolas Massu and Paul Capdeville well, Jorge Aguilar a bit, and we hadn't seen the fourth player, Guillermo Rivera-Aranguiz, at all until this week," Courier says about the opposition, which will be without star Fernando Gonzalez due to injury. "We do know all of these guys like clay, and we also know that they're going to be hungry and ready to use the crowd. We're prepared for a long, hard slog with the Chilean team. I am sure they are prepared for that, too."

Courier notes that Roddick is feeling good after recovering from the flu, and the big man Isner has been looking at ease on the clay.

"We have four dedicated warriors ready to do whatever they can to get our team into round two," Courier said.

On Friday Roddick will lead off against Massu, followed by Isner vs. Capdeville. On Saturday the Bryans will face Massu and Jorge Aguilar, and on Sunday the reverse singles. Coverage begins live at 9 a.m. EST Friday on Tennis Channel.

The 29-year-old Serena Williams, who has been sidelined since Wimbledon last year after a foot injury, received a scare on Monday when she was hospitalized due to a blood clot in her lungs leading to emergency treatment for a hematoma at a Los Angeles hospital.

"I know I will be OK, but am praying and hoping this will all be behind me soon," the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., resident said in a statement. "While I can't make any promises now on my return, I hope to be back by early summer. That said, my main goal is to make sure I get there safely."

The previous night Williams had appeared without her foot "boot" cast, wearing high heels at Elton John's AIDS Foundation viewing party for the Academy Awards, and later appearing at Vanity Fair's post-Oscar party.

American Capra in Attempted Poach by Italian Tennis Federation

capra beatrice 2011 bush enos
Beatrice Capra (photo: Bush Enos/USTA)
According to Zootennis.com and TennisLife-Florida junior tennis columnist Colette Lewis, up-and-coming American pro prospect Beatrice Capra was approached by the Italian Tennis Federation about switching nationalities to represent Italy in Fed Cup play.

Capra, who trains at the Evert Academy in Boca Raton, Fla., and has accepted an offer to play collegiately at Duke in the coming year, politely turned the Italians down.

"After I won the [junior] Italian Open, they got in contact with me, and they want me to represent Italy," said Capra, whose father was born in Italy and has a grandfather still living there. "After the US Open, they had some meetings with my parents, and they offered for me to play on the Italian Fed Cup team, against the U.S. But I said no, I don't think I could do that. But they're really interested in me and they've helped me out a lot, and whenever I go over there, there's always someone there to hit with. They're really helpful, but I don't think I'll be switching federations."

While the pro tour is a lure, and she is close to cracking the Top 200 on the WTA Rankings, she says college is the right choice for her at this time in her development.

"In the women's game you have so much more time now," Capra said. "Going to college will be a good time to break away, improve the stuff I need to improve on, and come out fresh. It's a great opportunity to grow as a person and grow your game."

Tennis' Boland to be Inducted into Rollins College Sports Hall of Fame

Ft. Myers, Florida's Carmen Boland will be one of eight inductees for the 2011 Rollins College Sports Hall of Fame ceremony on March 26.

As a member of the Rollins women's tennis team (class of 1955) Boland was undefeated for four years. After graduation she turned pro and competed in the US Open, Wimbledon, and Italian Open among other events.

Other inductees will be Pamela Clark Brown '76 (Women's Golf), Brian S. Meyer '86 (Baseball), John R. Smith '97 (Men's Soccer), Gregg D. Smyth '95 (Baseball), Jill Razor Wells '01 (Women's Basketball), and Anzela Zguna '02 (Women's Tennis). Professional tennis umpire Lynn L. Welch '78 will be honored with the Alumni Achievement Award.

"Carmen organized the ballboys at Forest Hills in 1979 for a WCT pro event," said USTA Florida Competitive Tennis Coordinator Andy Gladstone. "Ironically I was one of the ballboys for Carmen and have known her since I'm 15 years old. Moving forward, Carmen and I crossed paths years later again when I hired her to work as an official at one of my events that I ran for USTA Florida."

The annual Sports Hall of Fame Breakfast will take place Saturday, March 26 at 9 a.m. as part of Rollins Reunion Weekend 2011.

UWF Women's Tennis Team at No. 5 in New National Div. II Rankings

UWF logoThe University of West Florida women's tennis team (4-4, 1-0 GSC) continues to be ranked No. 5 in the country and third in the South Region in the latest edition of the Campbell's/ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings, it was announced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
The Top 5 national teams remains unchanged from the preseason edition of the rankings, which was released on Nov. 9, 2010. Armstrong Atlantic continues to be listed as the No. 1 women's tennis team in Division II. UWF dropped an 8-1 match to Armstrong Atlantic last Friday in Valdosta, Ga.

BYU-Hawaii, which UWF will host on March 9, comes in at No. 2. Lynn and Barry are listed at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively. On Feb. 18th, Lynn defeated UWF, 9-0, in a neutral site match in Valdosta. Barry defeated the Argonauts, 6-3, also in Valdosta.
In the South Region, UWF is listed at No. 3, behind No. 1 Lynn and No. 2 Barry. Rollins and Florida Southern round out the Top 5, coming in at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively. Nova Southeastern is ranked No. 6, while Saint Leo is the No. 7 team in the South Region. Florida Tech, Tampa and Palm Beach Atlantic wrap up the Top 10, coming in at Nos. 8, 9 and 10.






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