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Tennis Briefs: Florida State Closed Doubles Preview; PTR's Santorum Wins Award; Amelia Island

September 21, 2010 09:19 AM
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Participants at the 2009 State Doubles
USTA Florida State Doubles Championships This Weekend

The top junior tennis players in Florida will gather this weekend for the USTA Florida State Doubles 14,12,10 Championships, held at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach, and the USTA Florida State Doubles 18 & 16 Championships at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, both on Sept. 25-27, 2010.

Seedings and draws will not be released until later this week, but the entries show a number of returning champions from the 2009 State Doubles.
Pompano Beach's Danny Riggs, who last year won the Boys' 18 title with Michael Alford, will this year partner Matthew Saiontz of Miami. In last year's final Riggs/Alford defeated top seeds Andrew Butz/Zachary Katz (Vero Beach/Boca Raton).

Brett Clark/Gordon Watson of Naples will play the Boys' 18 doubles after last year winning the Boys' 16 crown, defeating Dominik Cotrone/Kenneth Sabacinski (Bradenton/Plantation) in the final.

Last year's Boys' 14 champions Sebastien Beltrame/Samuel Lampman (Windermere/Orlando) will this year step up to the Boys' 16 division. Last year they defeated Chase Perez-Blanco/Javier Restrepo (Miami) in the 14s final.

Lakeland's Stephen Madonia, who last year won the Boy's 12 title with Bradenton's Nikola Samardzic, will this year team with David Crisovan of Hallandale Beach.

Quinn Fender of Village of Golf, Fla., last year won the Boys' 10 title with Jordan Skalet of Miami Beach, but this year he will contend the Boys' 12 division with Colter Decoste of Stuart.

The 2009 Girls' 16 champions Marie Babayan/Blair Martin (Bradenton/Tampa) will again team at the USTA Florida State Closed Doubles, this time in the Girls' 18 division.

Ashley Bongart of Bradenton, who last year won the Girls' 12 crown with Parkland's Kellyn Abbanat, will this year team with another Parkland resident in the Girls' 14 division, Remi Ramos.

Dan Santorum Wins ITF Service Award
At the International Tennis Federation's (ITF) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., and the USTA Annual Meeting in New York City, PTR CEO Dan Santorum received the ITF Service to the Game Award. The award is for those who have rendered long and distinguished service to the game of tennis.

Santorum, who has been at the helm of PTR for 25 years, was nominated by the USTA and received the recognition for his outstanding contribution to tennis teaching, both nationally and internationally. He is the only person ever to conduct tennis coaches workshops in all 50 states, as well as in 60 countries on six continents.

A member of the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame and a past recipient of the International Tennis Hall of Fame's Educational Merit Award, Santorum is the 31st recipient from the USA to receive the ITF Service to the Game award since 1971. Remarkably, he is the fourth person from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, to receive this award. He joins fellow Islanders, Stan Smith (1995), Dennis Van der Meer (1999) and Judy Levering (2003).

Amelia Island $10K Women's Tennis Championships Begins This Week

The 2010 Amelia Island $10,000 Women's Tennis Championships, a USTA Pro Circuit event, begins this week at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. Qualifying begins Sept. 26, and the main draw commences on Sept. 28, with the final on Oct. 3.

"The women who will be playing here in September are at the top of their game, and we are looking forward to watching the next generation of great players," said Kelly Gunterman, director of tennis at the OMNI Amelia Island Plantation and tournament director for the USTA Pro Circuit events. "The USTA Pro Circuit events in the tennis world inspire community spirit like the best minor leagues of professional baseball."

Admission to the tournament will be free from Sunday through Friday. On Saturday, Oct. 2 and Sunday, Oct. 3, the Fernandina Beach Rotary Club will sell admission tickets ($10) on site to support not-for-profit programs.

VIP tickets, which will include VIP tent and reserved seating for Oct. 1-3 are available for $75 per ticket. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Tennis Without Borders, helping students pursue life opportunities on and off the court. Tennis Without Borders will also be accepting donations of used racquets (any size, any year, any style). On Saturday, Oct. 2, Brooks Rehabilitation will be on site offering free orthopedic musculoskeletal screenings by a licensed physical therapist.

For tournament and ticket information, contact Kelly Gunterman at gunterman.kelly@aipfl.com, (802) 345-9842 or (904) 277-5145. For interview and press information, contact Amy Tompkins, (914) 260-8407, atompkins@anypumpkin.com.





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