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USTA Florida Tennis Notes -- Sept./Oct. 2010

September 20, 2010 05:21 PM
Miscellaneous news, happenings, and previews of upcoming tennis events across the state of Florida:

NORTH FLORIDA

ACES --
Ponte Vedra Beach's Josie Kuhlman reached the doubles final of the ITF 2010 Kentucky Derby Grade 4 event in September with Indianapolis' Brooke Austin...

Francis Doyle of Ponte Vedra Beach, an active USTA member, volunteer, and league player in the Jacksonville area has been certified by the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR). Doyle received the Instructor rating, and participated in a Quickstart workshop in August. Becoming certified as a tennis teacher has fulfilled a "lifelong dream" for Doyle, who has played tennis since his teenage years and looks forward to beginning this new chapter in his life after recently retiring from his first career as a labor relations director for Conrail and CSX. "Tennis brings people together, gives them a good physical workout, and many times, quite a few laughs, and I look forward to sharing the love I have for this game with others through teaching/coaching players, both old and new," Doyle said...

Orlando's Levan Clark is transferring from Lander University, a Division II school in Greenwood, S.C., to Florida A&M University. "I'm more experienced now," Clark told the Tallahassee Democrat. "I feel I can contribute a lot to make the team better."..

Jacksonville's Andrew Jackson High School 11th grader and tennis team member Alexandra Miller has not missed a day of school SINCE KINDERGARTEN...

The new season of Florida Tennis Cup mini-tournaments in north and south Florida began on Sept. 4, 2010, and runs into 2011. USTA members receive a benefit of $5 off the registration fee on any Florida Tennis Cup tournament. Information on the discount and links to the tournament schedule and other information is available at http://floridatenniscup.visualclubweb.nl/page.aspx?id=11275.

AMELIA ISLAND -- The Omni Hotel chain was the winning bidder at $67.1 million to purchase the bankrupt Amelia Island Plantation, former home of the WTA Tour Bausch & Lomb Championships, in a federal bankruptcy auction in August. Texas billionaire Robert Rowling, the 189th wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of $4.4 billion according to Forbes magazine, is the founder of TRT Holdings, the holding company of Omni Hotels and Gold's Gym International. Although they would not announce detailed plans for the property, Mike Smith, attorney for TRT Holdings, told the Jacksonville Business Journal, "We are very enthusiastic to pursue operations as an Omni hotel." The Plantation property includes a 249-room oceanside hotel, nine restaurants, 23 tennis courts, four 18-hole golf courses, and more than 2,000 condominiums and home lots.

BROOKSVILLE -- The registration deadline is Oct. 19, 2010, for the Fall 2010 USTA Jr. Team Tennis league in 12-under, 14-under and 18-under divisions. All matches will be played on Tuesdays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Oct. 12, 19, 26, and Nov. 2, 9, 16, and 30 at Nature Coast Technical High School and McKethan Park. For more info contact Ace Performance Tennis at (352) 666-0658 or www.louisedowney.usptapro.com.

GAINESVILLE -- The Westside Park tennis complex this summer welcomed a new addition, the Mike Oransky Tennis pro shop. The facility operations were formerly in a small space, but at last year's Climb for Cancer charity tennis exhibition, Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan promised attendees that a new tennis pro-shop would be built at Westside Park. The passage of the Wild Spaces Public Places 1/2-cent sales tax initiative by the citizens of Alachua County has allowed the construction of much-needed renovations and upgrades to many parks in the Gainesville/Alachua County area, and the City of Gainesville added Westside Park to the list. But when the actual income from the sales tax was found to be considerably less than the projected income, a re-prioritization of the projects took place. Thanks to a large turnout of tennis enthusiasts at a city commission meeting, the pro-shop/restroom facility was retained on the list. Ground-breaking took place in March 2010, and the building, complete with restrooms, storage space, office, and pro shop was completed in June 2010.  

JACKSONVILLE -- Tommy Shattuck, who spent 40 years as a tennis teaching professional at Jacksonville's Boone Park, died in August at 67. Shattuck was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in 2005, but his cancer had been in remission for three years. He died from a bacterial infection caused by an insect bite, aided by his cancer-weakened immune system. Shattuck grew up in Jacksonville, winning the junior college national tennis championship in 1963 while at what is now known as Central Florida Community College in Ocala.

Jacksonville University in September announced Justin Miles as head men's and women's tennis coach. Miles brings over nine years of Division I coaching experience to the Dolphins as the former Georgia Southern men's tennis coach, guiding the Eagles to seven Southern Conference quarterfinal appearances. He replaces former head coach Shane Wood, who has moved back to his previous position with Piedmont College. Prior to his time with the Eagles, Miles served as the assistant men's and women's coach at Morehead State for two seasons where he helped guide the men's team to a 33-19 record. A two-year letterwinner at Eastern Illinois, Miles spent one season with his alma mater as an undergraduate coach while his playing career with the Panthers included a selection to the institution's all-academic squad. With a Master's degree in Sports Administration from Moorehead State, Miles has served as a tennis professional in Illinois and has spent numerous summers teaching and directing camps in the Chicago area.
 
Twilight Tennis @ The Landing in September saw more than 400 tennis fans gather at The Landing to watch the US Open women's final and take in activities such as the Fall Tennis Fashion Show, a recognition of area teams that advanced to the USTA League Nationals, QuickStart Tennis mini-courts for adult and kids, a dunking tank and fast-serve booth and more. "Since many people will not ever have the chance to go to the US Open, USTA Florida wants to try and bring that fun tennis experience to them through Twilight Tennis," says First Coast USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator Amanda Becker. After the US Open final, shown on the Jumbotron, the five-piece, power-party rock band C4X performed in the Courtyard at The Landing.

OCALA -- The City of Ocala Parks and Recreation Department is offering Pee Wee Tennis for ages 5-7, from 3-4 p.m. on Mondays through Dec. 6 at the Fort King Tennis Center, 3301 S.E. Fort King St., Ocala. For more info call (352) 629-8453.

ORLANDO -- Official USTA Florida sponsor TennisPlaza has opened a new location in Orlando on International Drive, just east of Wet 'n Wild. Based out of Miami, TennisPlaza sells tennis racquets, tennis shoes, strings, balls, tennis bags, grips, accessories, shirts, shorts, apparel, and equipment. Another store is expected to open in Doral, Fla., near their flagship store, in September 2010. In Orlando TennisPlaza will occupy 3,000 square feet. "TennisPlaza has had great success for the last 20 years in the Miami area," said Leon Echavarria, owner of TennisPlaza. "After some research we saw a very good opportunity in the Orlando area and decided to take a bet on this ever-growing city in Central Florida."

The Orlando Magic's "good luck charm," 8-year-old Orlando Magic singer Gina Incandela, performed with the Jonas Brothers and sung the national anthem before the 15th annual Arthur Ashe Kids Day on Aug. 28, 2010, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. It was Incandela's third consecutive performance at the US Open.

Orlando tennis fans whacked tennis balls for free while kicking it with Power 95.3, Orlando's Hip Hop leader, on Aug. 12, 2010, at the Lake Cane Tennis Center, celebrating the kick-off of the USTA Florida Adult Combo League. Participants met other players while enjoying games, prizes and give-aways, tennis play and demonstrations, while the Power 95.3 Power Bus went live for two hours on location. Former Grand Slam champion, Florida resident and recent Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Gigi Fernandez hit with players and signed autographs, with give-aways from TennisPlaza. "We wanted to try something different to get new folks interested in USTA Leagues," said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator Shelly Licorish. "The partnership with 95.3 was a great success, they said it was the best on-site event they had ever done."

Registration for the Orlando USTA Fall Flex League closes Oct. 4. Players who sign up are entered into a sweepstakes for two tickets to the 2011 US Open. The league begins play Oct. 11. USTA Flex Leagues are specifically designed to help you fit tennis into your busy life. For more info go to www.USTAFlex.com.

SOUTH FLORIDA

ACES -- Jeff Davis
of Treasure Island, the top seed in the Men's 50 division, defeated No. 3 seed Max King of Texas 7-5, 6-3 in the final for the title at the 84th National Public Parks Tennis Championships in St. Louis in August. Santa Rosa Beach's Myke Loomis won the Women's 45 round robin event, No. 2 seed Eddie Beira of Boynton Beach defeated top-seeded Randolph Goodman or Margate in the Men's 4.5 championship match, while Sarasota's Ron Tonidandel lost in the final of the Men's 75 division to Ohio's George McCabe.

Suncica "Sunshine" Beba, a 2010 St. Petersburg High School graduate, will play tennis for the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, Ga...

St. Pete's Tiffany Easton will attend St. Petersburg College on a tennis scholarship.

MELBOURNE -- Florida Tech tennis coach Bill Macom will conduct After School Tennis Clinics from 5 to 6 p.m. on Mondays on Sept. 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25, and Nov. 1, 8, 15 and 22. The fee is $20. The clinics are open to children ages 6 and older. To register, contact Macom at bmacom@fit.edu.

Florida Tech also hosted a USTA One-Day Campus Showdown, open to tennis players of all ages and skill levels, on Aug. 21 for the men, while female players played Aug. 22. The event gave participants an opportunity to compete against NCAA collegiate players and provided varsity athletes a chance to play against competition outside of their regular season.

Have events or news you would like to share? E-mail news@florida.usta.com.

 
 

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