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Tennis Briefs: Michael Chang Celebrate Father's Day in USTA Style; TOPS'L Adult Beginners Fun

June 20, 2011 11:34 AM
Michael Chang Celebrate Father's Day in USTA Style

Michael Chang (right) with Mats Wilander (left) at a USTA charity event in 2010
What better way to celebrate the Father's Day weekend than playing the sport you love with your father?

Former world No. 2 Michael Chang took to the tennis courts of the Newport Beach Tennis Club in Newport Beach, Calif., on June 10-12, 2011 with his father Joe to compete at the USTA National Senior & Super Senior Father & Son Hard Court Championships.

The 69-year-old Joe and his son Michael, who still competes on the ATP and Champions Series senior tours, were supported by mom Betty and Michael's wife, the former Stanford college star Amber Liu, and their 6-month-old child. The family, including brother Carl, all live minutes away from each other in California.

The event was more about family than results for the Changs, who as the No. 2 seeds lost their opening-round match in the Senior Father-Son division, then lost in their second match of the consolation round to Thomas Lackey of Sebring, Fla., and Tom Lackey of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Also competing at the event was former world No. 11 in singles and No. 2 in doubles Scott Davis, a frequent U.S. Davis Cup contributor during his ATP days, and his father Gordon. Competing as the No. 2 seeds in the Super Senior Father-Son division, they were upset in their second match.

TOPS'L Tennis Hosts Adult Beginner Fun, QuickStart Parents

Beginner and advanced-beginner adult tennis players took to the court in a low-pressure, fun environment on the evening of June 17, 2011, when the TOPS'L Beach & Racquet Resort in Miramar Beach, Fla., hosted a free USTA F.L. (Fun League) Tennis Blast event with 31 players.

"Some participants were parents of children that have started the QuickStart [10 and Under Tennis] program, and now they want to learn how to play so they can hit with there kids," said Joe D'Aleo, director of tennis at TOPS'L and the USPTA District 1 president. "It was great to see the excitement in there eyes and laughter throughout the courts so that you knew everyone was having a good time. It was an extraordinary night of friends, fun, food -- and cold beer instead of the ice cream that we would normally do for the kids."

Music played in the background as participants warmed-up with a one-hour clinic, with different strokes/drills offered on different courts.

"A tennis professional and volunteer on each court went over the basics of grips, footwork, groundstrokes and serves using the QuickStart balls so that everyone was having success in getting the balls over the net quickly," D'Aleo said. "After the clinic George English, the USTA Florida tennis program coordinator for the Panhandle region, provided food and refreshments for all the players, which made for a great intermission before we started the round robin. To make it easy for everyone on the playing part we had a pro or volunteer on each court to help with rules and scoring. We also used the orange QuickStart balls so that everyone could keep the ball in play and feel comfortable playing a match."

After round robin doubles the evening ended with a raffle drawing and prizes from USTA Florida. Participants also came away with a USTA F.L. Tennis Blast t-shirt and a USTA Florida League towel.

USPTA tennis professionals and volunteers that donated there time to the event included Patrick Morris, director of junior tennis at Sandestin Resort; Mike Clark, director of tennis at Rosemary Beach; Renee Broxson, head tennis professional at Hidden Dunes; Sam Vickroy, head tennis professional at TOPS'L; USTA Florida staff member George English; local USTA Jr. Team Tennis coordinator Jessica D'Aleo; and adult league coordinators Sherry Cronley, Lois Schmidt and Michelle Walker.

"I believe this is a great time for tennis in our area and across the state, with the cooperation of USTA Florida working with USPTA tennis professionals to help boost participation at tennis facilities," D'Aleo said. "We are going to see just as many adults starting to get into the game, just like the 10 and Under Tennis initiative, they are going to both feed off each other to grow the sport of a lifetime."

For more information on USTA Florida beginner league opportunities or 10 and Under Tennis, go to www.ustaflorida.com.






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