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Tennis Briefs(7): Peachy Inductee; U.S. Fed Cup; Bryans in Aussie Final; Florida Grants; More

January 27, 2011 01:00 PM
Hobe Sound, Orlando Announced as 'USTA Serves' National Tennis Grant Recipients

The Boys & Girls Club of Martin County, Inc., in Hobe Sound, Fla., and Hebni Nutrition Consultants, Inc., in Orlando were announced Tuesday as grant recipients from USTA Serves, the national charitable foundation of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) national office. The two organizations were among 33 year-end grants totaling $420,650. The total number of USTA Serves program grants awarded in 2010 was 59, totaling $855,150, and combined with scholarship awards totaled more than $1 million distributed by USTA Serves grants in 2010.

mediawall-USTA ServesThe bi-annual granting process, a national initiative of USTA Serves, was developed to provide people with disabilities and disadvantaged, at-risk children in under-served communities the opportunity to learn to play tennis and improve their academic skills in a structured format, and also to help combat obesity by promoting healthy lifestyles. To date, USTA Serves has disbursed more than $10 million to a variety of programs that share those aims.

At funded program sites, children between the ages of 5-18 learn about healthy nutrition and lifestyles, responsible citizenship, study skills, and computer literacy. The grant recipients are chosen by a Grant Proposal Review Committee comprised of Foundation Board Members and USTA National staff, with important input from USTA Sections. They are awarded to programs that successfully combine tennis and education and help children pursue their goals and highest dreams by leading healthier lives, succeeding in school and becoming healthier citizens.

The current year-end grants include one award supporting the children of deployed military personnel who are at particular risk for emotional and behavioral difficulties, and four adaptive awards granted to organizations that teach people with disabilities the importance of physical activity and life skills.

"USTA Serves is excited to continue investing financial and other resources to support organizations that believe in the powerful combination of tennis and education," said Deborah Slaner Larkin, executive director, USTA Serves. "We are proud of each organization's expertise, commitment and passion, and commend them for making an impact in the lives of the people they serve."

The following programs were awarded 2010 year-end grants by USTA Serves:

1.      Abundant Waters, Inc., New York, N.Y.
2.      A's & Aces, New Orleans, La.
3.      Azleway, Inc., Tyler, Texas
4.      Boston Inner City Youth Tennis Program, Dorchester, Mass.
5.      Boys & Girls Clubs of Camden County, Inc., Camden, N.J.
6.      Boys & Girls Club of Martin County, Inc., Hobe Sound, Fla.
7.      CREATE Tennis, Inc., Washington, D.C.
8.      Ethel Walker School, Inc., Simsbury, Conn.
9.      Harlem Junior Tennis Program, Inc., New York, N.Y.
10.     Harper for Kids, San Francisco, Calif.
11.     Hebni Nutrition Consultants, Inc., Orlando, Fla.   
12.     HERO, Inc., Purchase, N.Y.
13.     I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County, Boulder, Colo.
14.     International Rescue Committee, Inc., San Diego, Calif.
15.     KIPP Endeavor Academy, Kansas City, Mo.
16.     Latin American Youth Center, Washington, D.C.
17.     MACH Academy, Inc., Augusta, Ga.
18.     Mentoring USA, Inc., New York, N.Y.
19.     New York Junior Tennis League, Woodside, N.Y.
20.     Orthotic and Prosthetic Assistance Fund, Waterloo, Iowa
21.     Our Military Kids Inc., McLean, Va.
22.     Portland After-School Tennis & Education, Inc., Portland, Ore.
23.     Project Lovematch, Inc., Saddle River, N.J.
24.     Reach for College Inc., Washington, D.C.
25.     Rodney Street Tennis & Tutoring Association, Wilmington, Del.
26.     Say Yes to Education, Inc., Syracuse, N.Y.
27.     Sportsmens Tennis Club, Inc., Dorchester, Mass.
28.     Tennis for Charity, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio
29.     United Neighbors, Inc., Davenport, Iowa   
30.     University of Akron, Akron, Ohio    
31.     Up A Break, Inc., Marietta, Ga.         
32.     Youth Tennis Advantage, Oakland, Calif.
33.     Zina Garrison All Court Tennis Academy, Houston, Texas

Henin and Carlos Rodriguez-web
Justine Henin and coach Carlos Rodriguez
Henin Announces Retirement No. 2 After Australian Open Loss

Justine Henin, the former No. 1 Belgian who retired in 2008 and returned to professional tennis at the beginning of 2010, has again announced her retirement following an early-round loss at the 2011 Australian Open and a career-ending elbow injury.

"I turn an incredible page of my life," Henin said. "What a wonderful trip, I have experienced during all these years. Today I am calmer and I can create positive and rewarding look back on this experience in my life...Finally and most importantly, thanks everyone. Thanks for standing by my side during all these years. I will never forget your support and your loyalty."

Last year Henin landed awkwardly on her arm at Wimbledon last year, subsequently injuring her elbow. She was sidelined for the remainder of 2010.

She returned to play in January of this year, but said her elbow was not 100 percent. In 2008 she was the first player ever to retire while at the No. 1 spot on the WTA Tour Rankings. The Belgian was planning before her announcement on teaming with fellow former No. 1 Kim Clijsters to face the U.S. in Fed Cup play in February.

USTA Announces Mattek-Sands, Oudin, Huber to Face Belgium in 2011 Fed Cup 1st Round

With both Serena and Venus Williams sidelined due to injuries, the U.S. Fed Cup team will bring their core group of Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Melanie Oudin, and doubles specialist Liezel Huber to face Kim Clijsters and the Belgian team in Antwerp on Feb. 5-6, 2010.

Justine Henin was also scheduled to represent Belgium before her abrupt retirement announcement this week.
U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez announced the team on Tuesday, and added 2010 US Open and Wimbledon doubles champion Vania King, who returns to the team for the first time since 2009, and who could team with Huber in doubles.

"Once again Bethanie, Melanie and Liezel have answered the call and are ready to start another Fed Cup campaign. Venus (Williams) was going to play until her injury in Australia. Vania King will join the team and is able to help us in singles or doubles," Fernandez said. "We are facing a tough opponent on the road...It is a big challenge, but our team always welcomes the opportunity to represent their country and compete on the Fed Cup stage."

The U.S. is 5-1 all-time against Belgium in Fed Cup competition. The U.S. defeated Belgium 5-0 in the last meeting between the two countries in the 2007 World Group first round in Delray Beach, Fla., as Venus and Serena Williams combined to win three singles matches and Vania King recorded victories in both singles and doubles. 

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas is the world's largest annual international women's team competition with 90 countries competing this year. The United States leads all nations with 17 Fed Cup titles -- the last coming in 2000 -- and is one of eight nations which will compete for the 2011 Fed Cup title as part of the Fed Cup World Group. 

Florida-rooted "Peachy" Kellmeyer to be Inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame

Women's tennis pioneer Fern Lee "Peachy" Kellmeyer has been announced as the sole 2011 inductee in the Contributor Category to the International Tennis Hall of Fame class. She will join Recent Player inductee Andre Agassi, whose induction was announced last week. The Class of 2011 Induction Ceremony will be held on July 9, 2011 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, R.I., in conjunction with the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour event.

Kellmeyer has strong Florida roots, and was a driving force behind the development of women's tennis for most of her life.

Kellmeyer peachy
Peachy Kellmeyer and International Tennis Hall of Fame Chairman Christopher Clouser
By the age of 15 she was the youngest player to be invited to play what is now the US Open, and went on to become a tennis star at the University of Miami, where she became the first woman to compete on a Division I men's team. As an adult, Kellmeyer was ranked nationally in both singles and doubles, and was a competitor at Wimbledon and the US Open.

In 1966 she held the position of physical education director at Marymount College in Boca Raton, where she spearheaded a lawsuit that ultimately led to the dismantling of a National Education Association rule that had prohibited athletic scholarships being awarded to female college athletes in the U.S. The landmark case paved the way for Title IX and contributed greatly to the increase of female athletes in intercollegiate athletics.

Kellmeyer was the first employee of the Women's Tennis Association, now known as the WTA, the international body for women's pro tennis, and was a driving force behind the WTA's campaign to achieve equal prize money for women. During her career with the WTA, Kellmeyer has led the WTA's operations, player and tournament relations and has been at the center of all major policy decisions. The 66-year-old Kellmeyer currently serves as WTA operations executive consultant, is also a member of the ITF Fed Cup Committee, and oversees the WTA's alumni program to ensure that past players and tournament directors remain engaged with the WTA that they helped build.

"This is a tremendous honor, and I'm so grateful for the recognition," Kellmeyer said. "From playing opportunities to prize money, to interest in the game, we've all worked very hard to reach the positive position that women's tennis is in today. I've been fortunate to have truly loved my work all my life, and it's a real joy to see that my efforts have positively impacted women."

During Kellmeyer's tenure in women's pro tennis, prize money on the WTA tour has increased from $309,000 in 1973 to more than $86 million in 2010, and the number of WTA events has increased from 23 domestic tournaments to 53 events in 33 different countries.

Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame has inducted 219 of the greatest players and contributors to the sport since 1955. Inductees are honored in one of three categories -- Recent Player, Master Player and Contributor. In recognition for her immense contributions off the court, Kellmeyer joins the esteemed Contributor Category which includes Hall of Famers such as sports marketing pioneer and agent Donald Dell, and former player turned tennis administrator and tournament director, Butch Buchholz.

Gainesville Receives $5,750 Tennis Grant for Healthy Children Initiatives from USTA Florida

The Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association (GACTA) has been granted $5,750 through the United States Tennis Association-Florida (USTA Florida) "Share the Love" initiative for an extended-day tennis program in Alachua County elementary schools, and an adaptive tennis program for special-needs children. Both programs are targeted to combat obesity and improve the health of children in the region.

GACTA_LogoThe funding will be used for tennis teacher stipends for both programs, and for USTA 10 and Under Tennis equipment.

"The purpose of this program is to provide a healthy academic opportunity to a diverse group of children in the Alachua County schools' Extended Day Enrichment Program, which currently has an enrollment of over 3,000 children," says Anne Koterba, a USTA Gainesville community representative who initiated the grant application. "We are also seeking to introduce the sport of tennis to special-needs children in the Gainesville and Alachua County area."

A pilot program coordinated by Koterba and other tennis activists at the Jonesville Tennis Center in Gainesville catered to the substantial population of children in the area with autism, Down's Syndrome and a variety of other conditions. The group looks to continue the program, utilizing the scaled-down USTA 10 and Under Tennis equipment which provides a more successful and enjoyable tennis experience for children.

The USTA 10 and Under Tennis format is designed for children featuring smaller court sizes, racquet sizes, foam and decompressed balls, a simple scoring system, and net heights adjusted to ease kids into the sport. Similar mini-tennis formats have long been popular in Europe, where current stars such as Roger Federer, Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes. To see a video of 10 and Under Tennis in action go to: http://10andundertennis.usta.com.

"Many school children in our community are facing a number of challenges to their long-term well-being, including obesity, as approximately one-third of school children in our county are overweight or obese," Koterba says. "USTA Florida, by providing funding to projects like these, can make a difference in our community by helping us introduce tennis, a potentially life-long sport, to children of all abilities and socio-economic backgrounds."

In 2011 the GACTA plans to expand the extended-day tennis programs from eight to 12 elementary schools, with qualified tennis teachers overseeing each school. Partners in the program include the Alachua County School District, the Alachua County Choices Program, the Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association, the University of Florida and the Jonesville Tennis Center.

USTA Florida annually directs 90% of member dollars back into the community to support tennis programs and projects throughout Florida. USTA Florida's Share the Love grant program helps fund tennis programs and projects throughout Florida communities during challenging economic times. Funding priorities include 10 and Under Tennis and Jr. Team Tennis (coordinator training, start-up, etc.), public facility funding (schools, parks, conversion to permanent 10 and Under courts, etc.), community tennis awareness (innovative pro-active start-ups, program expansion), school programs and senior tennis programs/projects.

"This is another great example of tennis partnerships in Gainesville between the Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association, the Jonesville Tennis Center, and others that we are proud to support with funding to benefit area children," said USTA Florida Associate Executive Director, Play Tennis Division, Andy McFarland. "It is with USTA membership dollars from adult and junior tennis players across the state of Florida that we are able to offer program grants and give back to communities like these."

Share the Love grant applications are still being accepted by USTA Florida at www.USTASharetheLove.com, or questions can be e-mailed to grants@florida.usta.com. For more information on the 10-and-Under Tennis play format in Florida, go to www.ustaflorida.com.

For more information on the Gainesville program, contact Anne Koterba at akoterba@aol.com, or go to www.gainesvilletennis.com.

USTA National Girls Tennis Team Beats UCF; Boys Beat Alabama

The USTA National Girls Junior Team upped its exhibition record against Florida college competition to 2-1 last week when they defeated the University of Central Florida women's team 6-1.

The USTA Girls swept four doubles matches with the pairings of Samantha Crawford and Lauren Herring, Vicky Duval and Krista Hardebeck, Taylor Townsend and Mia King, and Caroline Doyle and Sachia Vickery all victorious.

UCF recorded its lone point when Swede Josephine Haraldson defeated King 6-4, 4-6, 10-2.

In prior matches the USTA Girls defeated the University of Miami women 5-2, and lost to the 2010 NCAA runner-up University of Florida women 5-2.

The USTA National Boys Junior Team recorded a win against the No. 34-ranked University of Alabama, winning seven of 12 matches contested.

The USTA Boys won two of the four doubles matches, at No. 2 doubles where Nathan Pasha/Thai Kwiatkowski defeated UA's sophomore/freshman combo of Ian Chadwell and Daniil Proskura 8-3, and at No. 3 doubles where Bjorn Fratangelo/Alexios Halebian defeated UA senior Trey Walston and sophomore Jarryd Botha 8-4. The USTA's Jack Sock/Nikko Madregallejo lost in the No. 1 spot, and the USTA's Casey Kay/Spencer Papa lost in the No. 4 position.

In singles the USTA Boys' winners were No. 1 Sock, No. 2 Fratangelo, No. 5 Kwiatkowski, No. 6 Madregallejo, and No. 8 Kay. Singles winners for UA were Vikram Reddy defeating Pasha, Proskura defeating Halebian, and Carlos Taborga beating Papa.

"It was a highly-competitive match," said Alabama Head Coach Billy Pate. "I think we showed a bit of rust and a need for improved fitness coming off the holiday break, but it was a good start for our first time out as a team this season."

bryans-chest-bump-webFlorida-based Bryan Brothers in Australian Open Doubles Final

The Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, who have a training base in Saddlebrook near Davis Cup teammates Mardy Fish and James Blake, will face the "Indian Express," Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes, in the 2011 Australian Open doubles final.

"We haven't played them since 2001, and they are great for doubles," said Bob Bryan of the oft-feuding Indians, who have put their differences aside to compete agains ahead of the upcoming Olympics. "It will be a feisty match. When you are playing a good team, you have to play your best, but I feel more pressure playing a team like that than today, when we played a team we are supposed to beat."

The Bryans are not shy about hitting through opponents, and the Indian Express has shown they are not shy about rankling their opponents during this Australian Open, shouting "Vamos!" against Spanish opponents. Paes will also copy the Bryan's chest bump when playing against them to try and get under their skin.

"Tempers kind of flare," Bob said. "We had a few years we didn't get along too well on court, but usually we drop it. Hopefully it will be cordial out there, but we will be fired up."

In the final they hope to maintain their record of excellence in Melbourne.

"This is our most successful tournament, and when we walk out there, it feels like our home court," Mike said. "Seven out of eight years in the finals -- it's unbelievable. To win our 10th Grand Slam would be awesome, and to win three in a row would be extra sweet."






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