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Table of Contents M ay 2012

USTA Florida Section Staff

FEATURES 8  Super Seniors Section Championship  Men’s and women’s USTA League Super Senior teams advance to represent USTA Florida at league nationals

11  Compassion During Tournament Match Spotlights Special Players “One of the tournament organizers, touched by the display of sportsmanship, asked Richardson after the match if she could come around the tournament desk and give him a hug.”

12  USTA Florida League Age Realignment Check out the championships calendar for the new-look 2013 USTA League

13 Fed Cup Triumph

S erena Williams returns to lead the U.S. back into the World Group for 2013


President’s Message


Around the Courts

15 Volunteer of the Month 16 USTA Florida Region Columnists 25 Junior Profile 26 Quick Shots

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RESOURCES DIVISION Doug Booth Executive Director 386-671-8925 Lynne Salus Volunteer Development & 954-625-6259 Meetings Manager Linda Matthews Executive Administrator 386-671-8940 Julie Claude Accounting Specialist 386-671-8933

PLAY TENNIS DIVISION – COMMUNITY TENNIS Andy McFarland Associate Executive Director, 386-671-8927 Play Tennis Division Linda Curtis Director of Community Tennis 386-671-8934 Rebecca Halpern Schools Coordinator 386-671-8928 Michelle Brown Team Tennis Coordinator 386-671-8937 Elizabeth Coates Administrative Assistant 386-671-8943 Debbie Ellsworth 10 & Under TMI Coordinator 561-313-1083 Village of Wellington Sheryl Rivas 10 & Under TMI Coordinator 407-551-9798 Seminole County Amanda Becker Tennis Program Coordinator, 904-281-1187 North Region 2

Susie Bessire

T ennis Program Coordinator, 941-629-4733 Regions 5 & 7 George English Tennis Program Coordinator, 850-510-6585 Region 1 Shelly Licorish Tennis Program Coordinator, 407-403-5686 West Region 4 Cathy Nordlund Tennis Program Coordinator, 305-252-6591 South Region 8 Janet Sprague Tennis Program Coordinator, 561-385-7399 Region 6 Carla Williams Tennis Program Coordinator, 561-385-7399 Region 3 Molly Zimmer Tennis Program Coordinator, 216-406-8627 East Region 4

LEAGUES Sandy Marshall Director of Leagues/SLC 386-671-8932 Dona Garcia Adult & Senior League 386-671-8936 Coordinator Jodi Manning Mixed, Combo and Super 386-671-8939 Sr. Leagues Coordinator Kelly Vanhorn Administrative Assistant 386-671-8926

COMPETITIVE TENNIS Andy Gladstone Ann Brown Bobby Curtis

 ompetitive Tennis Coordinator 386-671-8931 C Competitive Education 386-671-8942 Coordinator Sanctions Coordinator 386-671-8926


 irector of Marketing 386-671-8930 D & Membership Information Technology 386-671-8929 Coordinator Communications Coordinator 904-535-9489 visit us online at



President’s Message Tennis Etiquette


ow I am no Emily Post, and I do not behave perfectly on the court, but after several outrageously negative experiences on the tennis courts recently, I thought I was the only one who has been disheartened by the lack of common courtesy in and around the tennis courts. As it turns out, I am not.

• N  o cell phone use on and around the courts. Calls are particularly aggravating versus text messaging. Leave the ringers off, as you can still check for missed emergency calls at changeovers.

Dan Casey, USTA Florida President

Quick research and several discussions with operators of public and private facilities, as well as discussions with several professionals in my area, seems to confirm the need for the basics of tennis etiquette with the playing public. Some spectators, or new or “in your face” tennis players, have never been taught. Some conscientious pros offer “etiquette tips of the day” with their “tennis tip of the day;” others post rules in their pro shops, and one south county public facility goes so far to incorporate etiquette into their written rules and regulations, requiring members to sign a sheet upon acceptance to the facility that codifies good etiquette, with serious penalties for violators. What are the basics of good behavior?

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• D  on’t take your court before your time; wait for the end of the game to take possession, and only then if your opposing player or players are there. However, if your last game extends to multiple deuces, give up the court before ending the game. Be reasonable. • Islands between courts are for players, not spectators, unless you ask permission from the neighboring players and get it. Players finishing matches and breaking between changeovers should be aware of their impact to other players on the court next to them. • D  on’t walk in the players’ view while a point is in progress, just pause until it is over. Many people don’t care, but some do. • P  ros are hired for their undivided attention to their students during lessons. Do not bother them or “co-coach” the students unless invited. The time to talk to the pro is after the lesson.

violator about their lack of court etiquette can fuel a personal and nasty reaction, even when politely presented. In the very least, a brief outline of do’s and don’ts should be posted for everyone to see. Pay it forward; I hope tennis will be a little bit more pleasant for us all.

Pros and facility managers should take the responsibility of addressing breaches of etiquette. An aggrieved player “educating” a

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Around the Courts Florida Juniors Win 2 Titles at Easter Bowl, USTA Spring Championships


lorida players appeared in six finals, capturing two titles during the Easter Bowl and six other USTA Spring National Championships for age groups 12-18, held in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and Delray Beach, Fla., in late April. Top-seeded Nicole Conrad won the all-Boca Raton singles final at the USTA Girls’ 12s Spring National Championships in Delray Beach, defeating No. 13 seed Rachel Papavasilopoulos 6-4, 6-2. In the doubles final the unseeded run of Floridians Sasha Belaya of Melbourne and Emma Decoste of Stuart was stopped 6-3, 6-3, by No. 4 seeds Danielle Quevedo, Tyler, Texas, and Emily Thomas, Cincinnati.

The Florida pair of No. 3 seeds Samantha Crawford of Tamarac and Alexandra Kiick of Plantation won the Easter Bowl ITF Tennis Championships 18s doubles title when top seeds Gabrielle Andrews, Pomona, Calif., and Taylor Townsend, Stockbridge, Ga., retired at 3-1 in the first set. Townsend suffered from exhaustion after two singles matches that day, and after the event rose to No. 1 in the world on the ITF Junior Rankings. Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines and partner Parris Todd of Irvine, Calif., were runners-up in doubles at the USTA Girls’ 14s Spring National Championships, with the No. 8 seeds losing to Ena Shibahara, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., and Savannah Slaysman, Phoenix, Ariz., 6-3, 6-4. Boca Raton’s Jake Devine and partner Cameron Klinger of San Jose, Calif., reached the doubles final of the USTA Boys’ 16s Spring National Championships. The unseeded pair lost to No. 5 seeds Joseph Di Giulio, Newport Beach, Calif., and Logan Smith, Carlsbad, Calif., 6-3, 6-3.

Murphy Jensen and Nicole Conrad

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Pembroke Pines’ Boris Kozlov and partner Trent Bryde of Suwanee, Ga., as the No. 3 seeds were upset in the doubles final of the USTA Boys’ 12s Spring National Championships, losing to No. 4 seeds Timothy Sah, San Diego, and Sangeet Sridhar, Simi Valley, Calif., 6-0, 6-7, 6-0.

Live Chat Help for Tennis Parents, Players, Tournaments at USTA Florida Website


n April the USTA Florida website at debuted a live chat feature on its 10 and Under Competitive page, Parent/Coach Information page, and Tournament Director web page. Ann Brown, USTA Florida competitive education coordinator, is available to provide live chat assistance with Florida competitive players, parents, coaches and tournament staff MondayFriday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer questions. “We are always looking for new and innovative ways to get information to our players, parents, tournament directors, and coaches, and this will be a quick and easy way for them to connect,” Brown says. “Most of the time a quick question is all you need answered and with a majority of the competitive community connected to the Internet, they are only a few key strokes away from the answer.” The website addresses with live chat are: 10 and Under Competitive, Tournament Director, and Parent/Coach Education. CLICK HERE to go to the live chat website. For more information on Florida tennis go to visit us online at



Around the Courts Region 6 to Host Two 10 and Under Tennis Workshops in May


ecreational tennis coaches as well as parents, teachers, camp or school staff who work with the age 10 and under population can get certified in the latest USTA 10 and Under Tennis methods when USTA Florida hosts two 10 and Under Tennis Workshops in May in West Palm Beach and Vero Beach.

upon check-in at the workshop. However participants must register online at www.eventbrite. com.

The Lake Lytal Tennis Center in West Palm Beach will host a 10 and Under Tennis Workshop on Sunday, May 6, 2012, from 1-4:30 p.m. The Vero Beach workshop will be held on Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at The Moorings Club.

To register for the West Palm Beach workshop go to: http://10andunderworkshoplakelytal-es1.

The 3-1/2 hour interactive on-court workshops gives an overview of 10 and Under Tennis and the six variables that all programs should adhere to for success. Each participant receives a set of 10 and Under Tennis practice plans.

To register for the Vero Beach workshop go to: http://10andunderworkshopverobeach-es1.

For parents the workshop provides the perfect inroad to get involved and become a tennis volunteer with the 10 and Under Tennis play format in a USTA Jr. Team Tennis league, providing the perceived competence of being a tennis coach and learning the basics for working with small children of beginner and intermediate levels.

10 and Under Tennis allows smaller children to emulate adult play on smaller court sizes, with racquet sizes that fit their hands, foam and low-compression balls, a simple scoring system, all adjusted to ease kids into the sport. Similar mini-tennis formats have long been popular in Europe, where current stars such as Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes.

There is a $15 registration fee to attend the workshop ($20 for late registration), payable

For additional information or questions e-mail Janet Sprague at

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Clearwater Hosts 6th Annual Tennis Block Party on May 5


ne of the largest annual USTA Tennis Block Parties in the U.S., the City of Clearwater, Fla., will host the 6th Annual USTA Tennis Block Party on Saturday, May 5, 2012, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Henry L. McMullen Tennis Complex in Clearwater, Fla. “Celebrate the fastest-growing sport in America by attending this free event open to the public,” says organizer Judy Foster, executive director of the Suncoast Tennis Foundation, which teams with the city to present the event. “No registration or experience is needed, and it’s fun for ages 3 to 90, or above!” Tennis Block Parties feature games and activities for all ages, prizes for everyone, free tennis lessons and advice from pros, adult and junior round robin play, and equipment demos from top tennis companies. Clearwater’s fire and police departments will also offer fingerprinting and fire trucks on site. The event is also supported by the city’s initiative Healthy Choices for a Healthy Clearwater, local tennis teaching professionals, and Advantage Yours Tennis. The four-hour event is part of National Tennis Month, a nationwide effort to celebrate tennis, with Tennis Block Parties across the U.S. supported by the USTA. For further information contact Judy Foster at (727) 725-3681 or visit us online at



Around the Courts USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Match Club — 1st Quarter Standings


he debut 2012 quarterly standings are out for the new USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Match Club, where players can earn a year-end colored bag tag inscribed personally with the players name to indicate their club level. Players need to meet the following criteria by year’s end to reach the club level: Bronze Club — 15 or more tournament matches in 2012; Silver Club — 30 or more; Gold Club — 50 or more; Platinum Club — 60 or more. USTA Florida will be selecting players for select 10 and under tournaments, such as the USTA Florida State Closed, based exclusively on number of matches played.

Registration Open for USTA Florida 8th Annual Multicultural Tennis Training Camp in June


2012 1st Quarter 10 and Under Tennis Match Club Top 10 Standings: Top 10 Boys 1.  Dell, Phillip — Bradenton — 18 matches 2. Dancuart, Mark — Boca Raton — 17 3. Garcia, David Andre — Boca Raton — 15 4. Fischer, Duncan Pascal — Cape Coral — 14 5T. Zhu, Andy — Bradenton — 13 5T. Manibo, Joseph — Fort Myers — 13 7T. Reilly, Timothy John — St. Petersburg — 12 7T. Ayala, Nicholas — Coral Springs — 12 7T. Alcocer, Jesus Uriel — Bradenton — 12 7T. Eutsey, Kevin — West Palm Beach — 12 7T. Reilly, Andrew Steven — St. Petersburg — 12

Top 10 Girls 1.  Tasdemir, Eva Melissa — Bradenton — 15 matches 2.  Kung, Lisa — Bradenton — 14 3.  Russell, Tallia — Weeki Wachee — 12

event at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University,” said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator and Diversity Liaison Shelly Licorish. “The camp is designed to provide training and development opportunities, ensuring that no player is left behind due to cultural dissimilarities.”

STA Florida will present the 8th Annual Multicultural Training Camp — Camp A. C. E. (Achieving through Coaching & Education) for junior tennis players at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Geared toward advanced players, the overnight University in Daytona Beach, Fla., on June 21-24, 2012. residential camp houses participants in dorms on the Embry-Riddle campus. The 2012 camp will The camp was created to provide players age 11-15 feature an orientation for students, parents and of ethnically diverse backgrounds the opportunity to improve their tennis skills in a camp environment coaches; daily tennis instruction with experienced tennis professionals; coaching with USTA national with players of similar age and skills. and college coaches; the latest in fitness, nutrition, “We take great pride in welcoming players to this

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4T. Chetouane, Sandra — Davenport — 11 4T. Cortese, Kimberly Ann — Seminole — 11 4T. Hernandez, Mia — Arecibo — 11 7T. Alcobe-Garibay, Cecilia — Chatham — 10 7T. Beron, Kayleigh Susan — Clearwater — 10 7T. Smejkal, Lara — Boca Raton — 10 10T. Alvarez, Teresa — Coral Gables — 9 10T. Bandes, Zoe — Oldsmar — 9 10T. Opaciuch, Natasha Lauren — Coral Gables — 9 10T. Valbrun, Christi Lorin — Delray Beach — 9 10T. Zambrano, Isabella — Miami — 9

For more 10 and Under Tennis Match Club info and the full standings, go to www.florida.usta. com/Tournaments/10_and_under_tennis_ tournaments/. and college preparatory information; training with former ATP and WTA players; and video analysis to improve strokes and technique. The camp will emphasize match play, parent education and life skills. Past coaches at the camp have included former world No. 6 Chanda Rubin and former USTA national coach Rodney Harmon. Parent attendance for some sessions is highly recommended and will include informative lectures about junior tennis training. The cost of the camp is $350, and there are limited scholarships available. For registration info go to juniors/campace. For more information e-mail Shelly Licorish at

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Super Seniors Collier, Duval, Pinellas Win Big at Florida Super Senior League Championships


ollier, Duval, and Pinellas county teams each swept to two titles, with Volusia/Flagler also advancing to USTA League nationals during the 2012 USTA Florida Super Senior League Section Championships, held April 13-15, at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach.

Jacksonville and Fernandina Beach (Duval), Clearwater (Pinellas), Naples (Collier), and Daytona Beach (Volusia/Flagler).

for the second straight year. The Pinellas men’s 4.5 team finished with the same 2-1 win-loss as the Collier team in round robin play, but was crowned the champion when the tiebreaker came down to number of sets lost.

Cities represented among the winners were

Super Senior (age 60+) teams competed in men’s and women’s 3.0-4.5 divisions during the weekend. The Volusia/Flagler men’s 3.0 and Pinellas men’s 4.5 squads advance to nationals

Division: Women’s 3.0

Division: Women’s 3.5

Division: Women’s 4.0

Winning Team: Duval (3-0) finished ahead of Sarasota/Manatee (1-2) in round robin play

Winning Team: Duval d. Collier 3-0 in final

Winning Team: Pinellas d. Collier 2-1 in final

Team Home Facility: Kraft Tennis Partners, Fernandina Beach, Fla.

Team Home Facility: City of Clearwater, Clearwater, Fla.

Team Members: Carol Gilfillan (captain), Elizabeth Perry, Lois Brough, Diann Schindler, Kris Barger, Cynthia Ann Robertson, Sandy Mann, Mary Jo Hanlon, Nancy Barnes, Sue Gray Ragan, Deborah Hale, Rose Mary Jacobs

Team Members: Sandra Lamy (captain), Lynne Norring, Victoria Tuller, Carol Levin, Donna Dicus, Betty Johnson, Barbara Nicoll, Nancy Morgan, Patti Prestera, Frances Yacko, Mickie Gelestor, Deborah McCleery

Team Home Facility: Southside Tennis Complex, Jacksonville, Fla. Team Members: Bonnie Jo Laster (captain), Barbara Riffel, Patricia Rae Setser, Beverley Thompson, Judy Gabler, Mariana Van Hyning, Cheryl Simmons, Linda Routh, Norma Pauline Buffone, Jessie Del Rosario

The women’s 3.0 champions from Duval County

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The women’s 3.5 champions from Duval County

Here are the winners from the 2012 USTA Florida Super Senior League Section Championships:

The women’s 4.0 champions from Pinellas County

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Super Seniors Division: Men’s 3.0

Division: Men’s 3.5

Winning Team: Volusia/Flagler (3-0) finished ahead of Collier (0-3) in round robin play

Winning Team: Collier d. Hillsborough 3-0 in final

Team Home Facility: Florida Tennis Center, Daytona Beach, Fla. Team Members: Bruce Cotten (captain), Bill Masters, Jim Zeisler, Claude Bigot, William Joseph Shea, Garrett Lane, Ken Gaines, Ronald Vedova, Roger King, Ned Rowley

The men’s 3.0 champions from Volusia/Flagler counties

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Team Home Facility: The Players Club & Spa, Naples, Fla. Team Members: James Moore (captain), Patrick Monti, John Weatherwax, David Saks, Eik Klein, Paul Freeman, Gary Lefebvre, Bruce Houran, David Smith, Larry Weinstein, John Simpson

The men’s 3.5 champions from Collier County

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Super Seniors Division: Men’s 4.0

Division: Men’s 4.5

Winning Team: Collier d. Escambia 2-1 in final

Winning Team: Pinellas (2-1) finished ahead of Collier (2-1) in round robin play (both teams had 2-1 win-loss records and 5-4 individual score win-losses, with the tiebreak coming down to Pinellas’ eight sets lost vs. nine for Collier)

Team Home Facility: The Strand, Naples, Fla. Team Members: George Morton (captain), Thomas Morrison, David Siede, Richard Hoel, John Moter, Ronald Mutchnik, John Suter, James Gelhaar, Richard McNaughton, David Bushey, Jeffrey Macie, Tom Haas, Ronald Bartlett, Bob Boyson, John Weiss

The men’s 4.0 champions from Collier County

Team Home Facility: City of Clearwater, Clearwater, Fla. Team Members: Terry Payton (captain), Richard Bruer, Ronald Massey, Peter Bretagne Bonfa, Mark Rosenfeld, Pat Siracusa, William Christensen, Anthony Ruggiero, William Rogers

The men’s 4.5 champions from Pinellas County

The 2012 USTA League 6.0-9.0 Super Senior National Championships will take place in April 2013 at a location to be determined.

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Junior Spotlight

By Rick Vach,

Compassion During Tournament Match Spotlights Special Player, Tennis Family


unior competitive tournament tennis can be a cutthroat experience, alternating between cheers and tears, deflation or elation. Other times, win or lose, it can be a lifeline to individuals and their families. In one instance last March, it gave a heartwarming glimpse into the sportsmanship and humanity that can exist even in the midst of a tournament match. Eighteen-year-old Grant DeCampli was born with multifactorial complications that displayed themselves in developmental and learning issues as he grew older. As a young child he would watch his sister, an accomplished junior player, compete at tournaments before eventually taking to the court himself. “I remember how excited he was at his first tournament, to get out there and do what his sister had been doing,” said his father, Dr. William DeCampli, the chief of pediatric cardiovascular surgery at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando. “It was a big change for him, from watching competition to being in it.” Grant was playing Rookie-level tournaments by age 14, and training at the Winter Park Tennis Center near his home. “I was watching my sister play, and I started playing when I was five years old,” says Grant, who speaks in measured, enthusiastic tones.

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Grant in his younger playing days

“She was sitting on the bench and I got up and I started hitting the ball with the coach. I love the sport, and it’s a really cool game.” Grant had another self-described “really cool” tournament experience in late March when he hung with the No. 1 seed at a local Orlando-area tournament. Competing at the Winter Park Local tournament

Grant (left) today

in the boys’ 18 division, to say the then-17year-old Grant received a tough draw is an understatement. He drew the No. 2 seed in his first match, and was beaten 6-1, 6-0. In his first consolation match, Grant drew the tournament’s No. 1 seed, Briton Richardson of Wesley Chapel, who had been upset in his first match in the main draw. To read more CLICK HERE. visit us online at



League Calendar USTA Florida Tennis Restructured 2013 League Calendar Released


he USTA Florida League Department has released the 2013 Florida League Championships dates for what will be the debut year of age group restructuring for USTA Leagues across the U.S. The current monikers “Senior” and “Super Senior” will be replaced instead by a more representative grouping based on age — 18-over, 40-over, 55-over, and 65-over. USTA League research and focus group results predict a significant increase in the coming years in league participation, with changes designed to better align age groups with current and future league populations.

The following is the newlyreleased 2013 USTA Florida Section Championship calendar: April 12-14 — Adult 65 & Over League Section Championship April 19-21 — Mixed 55 & Over League Section Championship May 3-5 — Adult 55 & Over League Section Championship July 12-14 and 19-21 — Adult 18 & Over League Section Championship (Some NTRP levels may begin a day early TBA)

“The adult league regional championships will not be offered in 2013 in Florida, so all local league champion teams will advance directly to the adult section championship for their age division,” said USTA Florida Director of Leagues Sandy Marshall. “I believe we are going to see many more close competitive matches at all NTRP levels in both the adult and mixed divisions of play under this national realignment.”

Aug. 9-11 and 16-18 — Adult 40 & Over League Section Championship (Some NTRP levels may begin a day early TBA, and Aug. 19-21 if needed)

As they had previously, adult players will continue to compete by NTRP rating within each division. The 18-over and the 40-over divisions will feature both singles and doubles, while the 55-over and 65-over will consist of three doubles positions. The Mixed age divisions will not change and will continue to offer three doubles lines of play.

Nov. 8-10 — Mixed 40 & Over League Section Championship

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Oct. 4-6 — Mixed 18 & Over League Section Championship (6.0/8.0/10.0) Oct. 11-13 — Mixed 18 & Over League Section Championship (2.5/7.0/9.0)

Dec. 13-15 — Combo Doubles Senior Section Championship

Jan. 17-19, 2014 — Combo Doubles Adult (5.5/7.5/9.5) League Section Championship

Jan. 10-12, 2014 — Combo Doubles Adult (6.5/8.5) League Section Championship

For more information on the 2013 USTA Florida Leagues restructuring CLICK HERE.

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By Rick Vach,

Preview: U.S. Fed Cup Back in World Group, but Tough Times Ahead


ark the date of June 6, 2012, on your calendar.

It won’t be hard to recognize for tennis fans, as we’ll be deep into the second week of the French Open, but for Fed Cup fans the date will be that of a major release — the U.S.’s first-round opponent in the 2013 Fed Cup competition. In 2011 the U.S. Fed Cup team, lacking the Williams sisters who were suffering various injuries and ailments, was knocked out of the Fed Cup World Group for the first time ever. It was a shocker for the country that remains the winningest in the Fed Cup competition with 17 titles, also raising the first-ever trophy when the competition was launched in 1963. But enough of the impressive U.S. resume — now for the U.S. reality check. The year 2013 will be a daunting one for the U.S. Fed Cup team. Depending on the health of Serena and Venus Williams, the squad could be favored to take the title in 2013, or without the Williams another first-round victim. The road will be difficult from the start. Since the U.S. is not in the Top 4 on the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF’s) Fed Cup Rankings, that means they will open in the 2013 first round against one of the Top 4 seeds – either the

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Czech Republic, which this year is appearing in its third straight final behind Wimbledon holder Petra Kvitova; Serbia, which boasts two former No. 1 players in singles, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic; Italy, which is especially difficult on its home clay behind former French Open champ Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta; and U.S. team member Christina McHale high fives the U.S. bench versus the Ukraine traditional powerhouse she was suffering from at last year’s US Open. Russia, which can call Among the many symptoms of the disease on former No. 1 Maria Sharapova, multi-Slam include feeling fatigued, even without the rigors winner Svetlana Kuznetsova, former world No. of professional tennis. 2 Vera Zvonareva, and on an on into its deep bench. Serena Williams, health willing, should be You get the picture — any one of these opponents will be a tough draw for the U.S., Williams sisters or no. Venus Williams will be a question mark for the U.S. as she continues to try and strike a balance between competing on the pro tour and dealing with Sjorgen’s syndrome, which she announced

available, and will be sorely needed, when the U.S. opens against one of the top seeds. In the meantime the U.S. team can revel in regaining the World Group, and the win in the April World Group Playoffs-round over the Ukraine. To read more CLICK HERE.

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Share the Love USTA Florida ‘Share the Love’ Tennis Grants Reach 273 Totaling $557,509


STA Florida’s “Share the Love” grant program has reached 273 grants to Florida organizations totaling $557,509. “We continue, with the support of the USTA memberships of Florida tennis players and supporters, to give back to tennis communities throughout the state,” said USTA Florida Director of Community Tennis Linda Curtis. “These grants make a difference to facilities, clubs, and city recreation departments in getting kids and adults playing tennis, while facilities and programs try and make ends meet during tough economic times.” Organizations receiving grants vary widely, from Senior Mini Tennis in Lee County (Ft. Myers area) and Tallahassee, to the Alliance of Involved Ministers for equipment for a 10 and Under Tennis program in Bunnell, to the Girl Scouts of SE Florida/Everglades Service Unit in Coral Springs, to the Kids and Police Tennis League (KAPTA) in West Palm Beach (see end of story for full list of grantees). “I am writing on behalf of the Lee County Community Tennis Association (LCCTA) Board of Directors to express our appreciation for your support of the Senior Mini Tennis initiative in Lee County,” wrote Executive Director Harriett Bohannon. “One of the unanticipated benefits of this project is a new partnership between the LCCTA and the Lee

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Instructors and students at the Panama City Racquet Club, a recipient of a “Share the Love” grant

Memorial Health System Share Club, which is the community outreach agency of our local hospitals. The mission of the Share Club is to promote health and wellness for seniors throughout Lee County, which is clearly aligned with the goals of our project.” A grant to the club tennis team at Florida State University went far in providing more opportunities for college players who want to stay involved with the game at the club level without the time-consuming rigor of NCAA tennis. “We have about a hundred members and we travel the most in the fall [to Florida ‘Tennis on Campus’ club tournaments],” said FSU club

member Monica Puerto. “We just had our first tournament that we hosted at FSU for the campus series. It was a great success. We had teams from UCF, USF, UF, FGCU, and even LSU came! Also since we knew we had the grant, we provided healthy food and Gatorade to the visiting teams which made our tournament more enjoyable. We are excited to use this grant to also host a tournament open to the community of Tallahassee. Thank you so much for helping us promote what tennis has to offer which is a healthy mind and body!” To read more CLICK HERE.

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Volunteer of the Month Ponte Vedra Middle School Tennis Organizer Named USTA Florida Volunteer of the Month


Coordinator Diana Gardner worked with Neal to organize the league.

When she helped organize the middle school league, more than 70 students alone showed up from one middle school for the first practice. The St. Johns County district gave up funding for school sports and moved to a “pay to play” program, which gave Neal the idea to propose a tennis program.

“We were overwhelmed by the interest which illustrates the need to bring tennis to this middle school demographic,” Gardner said, adding that she simply followed Neal’s lead. “I cannot say enough about the wonderful work Darla Neal has done to initiate this program, contacting sites, making arrangements for the tennis professionals, creating a committee, raising student scholarship donations, and communicating with the SJMSAA and the school sports directors.”

fter less than a year as a volunteer organizer and team captain for the USTA Jr. Team Tennis/St. Johns County Middle School pilot program, Ponte Vedra Beach’s Darla Neal is not only moving the junior tennis needle, she’s breaking the measuring device.

“I wish tennis was introduced to me in my youth,” said Neal, who became an avid player after the game was introduced to her by her husband. Now she sees tennis as a great vehicle for youth not only to stay active, but to learn life lessons. “It is my privilege to introduce the game, sportsmanship and court ethics to our youth.” Neal has been deemed “tennis commissioner” for the St. Johns Middle School Athletic Association (SJMSAA) after getting the league off the ground and serving as a liaison between the SJMSAA and the participating schools’ sports directors. Jacksonville-area USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis MAY 2012

Neal also serves as a team captain, organizing a clinic and a match for the children each week. In the pilot year of the program, 11 teams are participating from eight public middle schools, with matches at five different public park and country club facilities. The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, while not participating this year, plans on participating in future seasons. More than 235 players came to tryouts at five locations. “The St. Johns Middle School Athletic Association offers a model which can be easily duplicated in other areas of Florida as dollars become less available for school sports,” Gardner said.

ABOUT DARLA Birthplace: Jacksonville, Fla. Family Members: Husband Greg, daughter Suzanna Favorite Movie: Life is Beautiful Favorite Food: “Spicy! Asian preferably...” Favorite Travel: Italy Favorite Shot: “Backhand -- shortly after learning the game of tennis, I tore three tendons from my right elbow. I needed surgery to relieve the constant pain. After the surgery, I began learning how to play left handed. Once my right arm became functional, I incorporated it into my stroke. I now play a two-handed forehand and backhand. It’s not attractive but it allows for me to play the game!”

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Region 1 East

by Kelly Tucker

USTA SmashZone Comes to Tallahassee


he USTA’s SmashZone helped celebrate Springtime Tallahassee on March 30 by promoting 10 and Under Tennis. 10 and Under Tennis follows the same logic as other youth sports such as baseball or soccer in that children use the right-sized equipment and playing area. Racquets are sized for small hands and courts are made smaller so they are easier to cover. The balls bounce lower, don’t move as fast through the air, and are much easier to hit, translating into more fun and less frustration for players. By utilizing this format, the benefits are immediate and within a short time children are rallying and getting excited about playing the game. There were 360 children who participated in the on-court activities provided by SmashZone, including “Splat” where players play one on one trying to hit a cone, and “Sweet Spot” where players do bounce ups, dribbling, racket control, and other interactive games. There was the air-conditioned Wii room, an interactive touch screen where you could “design your own racket,” and a photo opportunity using a Tennis magazine superimposed in the background. More than 400 children signed an oversized red and yellow tennis ball symbolizing one of the balls that’s used in 10 and Under tennis.

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For information on how to sign up your children for a 10 and Under Tennis program in Tallahassee, please email Sandy Layne at sandyquickstart@ For those of you that missed this year’s opportunity to participate in SmashZone, it will be coming back next year during Springtime Tallahassee.

25th Anniversary of the Tallahassee Tennis Challenger The Tallahassee Tennis Challenger, celebrating its 25th year, played host to numerous community events for kids throughout the week of April

2-6, including those for the Boys and Girls Club, Boys Town, Walker Ford Recreation Center, and Leon County schools. There were well over 750 children who attended one of the eight tennis events offered during the week. Sponsors of these events were the USTA Pro Circuit, the USTA Florida Section, Red Elephant Pizza and Grill, Chick-fil-A, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Department, and Blue Bell Ice Cream, provided food, bus transportation, t-shirts, and/or equipment. None of these events could have been possible without the many volunteers and teachers/aides who donated their time and energy in helping to make sure that all the children left the tournament with a positive experience. visit us online at



Region 1 West

by Scott Harrison

Charity Events, 10-U, One-day Tourneys 126 at the 9th Annual ITF Pensacola Wheelchair Open


he 9th annual Pensacola Open Wheelchair Open, a segment of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis tour, drew 126 players from all over the world in March. In this Olympic year, players were striving for points to represent their counties at the Para-Olympics. Stephane Houdet (FRA) in the Men’s Open, Esther Vergeer (NED) in the Women’s Open and Noam Gershony (ISR) in the Quad division won titles. Houdet and Vergeer, both defended their 2011 singles titles, are now both four-time champions at the Pensacola Open.

306 in Helen Drake Adult Designated The two-time Florida Adult Tournament of the Year 29th Helen Drake Adult Invitational Designated was held in April in Destin at Tops’l Beach and Racquet Resort and drew 306 players from 17 states. Four hundred matches were played over four and a half days of competition.

$90K Raised at Pensacola Pink Ribbon Ladies Doubles Once again the 10th Anniversary Pensacola Pink Ribbon Tennis Tournament exceeded expectations for funds raised for mammograms for Pensacola-area women who are uninsured, or MAY 2012

who are under insured. All the money raised goes back to the community, as there is no overhead in this allvolunteer organization. One hundred twenty-six teams participated in the two-day Compass Draw event. The sea of pink at Roger Scott Tennis Center was blinding all weekend. The main tournament From the left: Women’s 40 Runner-Up Melissa Nodvin of Atlanta, Tops’l Director of Tennis Joe D’Aleo, and winner committee of Susan Renee Tharpe of Peachtree City, Ga., at the Helen Drake Invitational in Destin Emerson, Jacquie Wallace, Susan Bonsignore, Lori Perkins and Debbie Cook are Resort in Destin and the Panama City Racquet just the best on earth. For more information and Club. Twenty-six kids play on each team. pictures go to:

USTA 10 and Under Play Days on the Emerald Coast Two 10 and Under Tennis PlayDays were held in Pensacola in April with another scheduled for May 1st. Between 20 and 30 players participated in these two events. Five 10 and Under Tennis team matches were played in March and April between teams from Tops’l Beach and Racquet

One-day Tournaments Started at Roger Scott in Pensacola The one -day tournaments initiated by tennis pro Steven Allison at Roger Scott Tennis Center in Pensacola have begun. So far two have been played with the next one scheduled for May 1st. Fifty-five to 60 players have participated in each of the three hour events, with a minimum of three matches per player.

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Region 2

by Rick Vach

Charity Event, Summer Flex Leagues Start Evert, Wilander, Martin Play ‘Match for a Cure’ at Amelia Island


he Omni Amelia Island Plantation and BP Sports and Entertainment will present “Match for a Cure,” an afternoon of tennis at the resort’s Racquet Park on May 6, 2012, at 4 p.m., featuring tennis legends Chris Evert, Mats Wilander and Ponte Vedra Beach local Todd Martin. The headline event is an “Ultimate Miracle Match,” placing Martin against Miracle Match Foundation founder, leukemia survivor and tennis professional Bill Przybysz, all while supporting the March of Dimes and Miracle Match Foundation. Beginner and advanced clinics will be followed by a special pre-match cocktail reception with the players. VIP ticket holders and sponsors are invited to attend the cocktail reception that will feature a question-and-answer session with the players, as well as opportunities for autographs and pictures. Tickets are available by calling 1-800-745-3000 or online at All general admission seats are $45, courtside seats are $65 and courtside VIP tickets, including courtside seats and admission to a pre-match cocktail reception with players, are $150.

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For more information on the Omni Amelia Island Plantation, call 1-800-The-Omni or visit www.

USTA Adult League schedule, Flex League offers a schedule that can be played on a player’s terms, day or night, on a court of the player’s choice.

Jacksonville Summer Flex League Registration Open

“I set up the schedule for players’ level of play and the player sets the time and place to play,” Pfile says. “So if you work during the day...schedule a match after work or on the weekend!”

Jodi Pfile, USTA Flex League organizer for the Jacksonville area, announced that registration is open for the summer Flex League. For players with a schedule too busy to play regular

Check out our website for more information at or e-mail Pfile at ustaflexjax@

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Region 3

by Nancy Morgan

Avila Wins for Sydney


vila Country Club in Tampa pushed its six courts to the limits this spring when it hosted nearly 150 players at its 20th Avila Charity Tennis Tournament. The ACTT raised more than $100,000 to benefit Sydney’s School of Autism in Tampa. It was a weekend of rain – some heavy – but the weather couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the players and the determination of the organizers, led by Avila Tennis Director Roger Cypriano, to get in the tennis playing, treat players and spectators to food, beverages, a silent auction action and great matches. “In spite of the rain, everyone, I believe, had lots of fun,” Cypriano said. “The rain came out of the blue, but we cleaned up the puddles and had some matches going as late as 11:30 p.m. “Even with the economy the way it is, we did well, primarily because the people in the area can relate to the charities we support.” Charities that Avila have supported over the years benefit local kids. About 300 sponsors contributed to the ACTT’s success, including second-year title sponsor Wesley Chapel Toyota/Honda. “This exceeded my expectations, and I thank everyone at Avila, the sponsors, the players and spectators for their generosity,” said Kathy Swenson, founder of Sydney’s School for Autism.

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Avila Tennis Director Roger Cypriano with invitational winners Mirko Pehar and Rhett Rollyson, and Wesley Chapel Toyota/Honda sponsor David Williams

“From 2005 when we opened the school, we now offer a combination of services on one campus and last year opened the doors to children with Down Syndrome, who also deal with autism spectrum disorders and tendencies. “Thanks to the efforts of the Avila event, we are planning to expand our current facility and hope to provide mental health counseling for families.”

Winners in the eight divisions of play include Alexandra Gade and Jana Krechova (women’s 4.5), Juli Bynum and Carol Cotney (4.0), Paige Williams and Judith Henkin (3.5), Mirko Pehar and Rhett Rollyson (men’s invitational), Brandon Muth and David Robbins (5.0), Josh Weiss and Neil Koenk (4.5), Jay Whitaker and Ken Klocke (4.0), and Martin Revello and Dave Pizarro (3.5). visit us online at



Region 4

by Susie Rahimitibar

Coming Soon…Many More 10 and Under Tennis Champions


he Greater Orlando area will soon have a super team of organizers for competitive events for the very important age groups of 10 and under (playing on 60-foot courts with low compression, orange/yellow balls) and 8 and under (playing on a 36-foot courts with very low compression red/yellow or foam balls). The USTA’s 10 and Under Tennis (which includes 8 & under) Leagues Coordinator Amy McCully is joining with Henner Lenhardt (Interlachen Country Club Pro, USPTA pro and USTA volunteer) along with volunteer Eli Rivera to offer touchstone events in the Greater Orlando area called Junior Grand Prix Summer Tournaments. Henner, Amy and Eli hope are working with other area leaders including Shelly Licorish (USTA tennis program coordinator), Marcelo Gouts (president, MG Tennis), Molly Schwartz (tournament director for MG Tennis) and many other local facility directors. For years, Lenhardt had been running USPTA Grand Prix Tournaments, the place to start 10 and under players on the appropriate court format of play. They are ideal because: • They are extremely well organized, with 8-andunder and 10-and-under expert Eli Rivera, who utilizes the proper courts size, balls, rackets, scoring, and net heights.

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• They are completed in an afternoon, only requiring families to give up a few hours. • The staff does a great job of recruiting volunteers, training them and having them assist on the courts with scoring, rules and posting of the scores. • The tournament officials do a great job of explaining the rules not only to the players but to the parents who are often new to the experience. Amy McCully & Eli Rivera have worked hard for the USTA growing and developing events for this same type of players but in a team format in a sixweek session. Recently over 100 players compete in an unbelievably well-organized weekend at Lake Cane Tennis Center. Amy is also offering a series of events in the gyms (no weather concerns). Molly Schwartz, who directs more USTA tournaments per year than anyone in the state of Florida, and has been known to run some of the most successful events anywhere, hopes this new collaboration will lead to more players in the 10 and under age divisions participating in tournaments. For more information about the summer tournaments or to register online go to www. or call Amy McCully at (248) 219-7651.

Sophia Groom kissing her first tennis trophy after finishing 2nd place in the 8 and under category at the Tuscawilla Country Club Jr Grand Prix

The Summer Schedule for the Junior Grand Prix Summer Tournaments is: May 19th at Winter Park Tennis Center; June 9th Heathrow Country Club; June 22 Sanlando Park ; July 14th Red Bug Park ; and August 4th Tuscawilla Country Club. visit us online at



Region 5

by Lance Martin


ostalgia was the tone of the day at the 2012 Sarasota/Manatee Senior Women’s tennis banquet at Stoneybrook Golf and Country Club in Sarasota. Women from across the area, representing 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0 Senior, Super Senior, and Super 70 leagues gathered to mark a few milestones for the USTA and players in the area. This year marks 20 years of USTA Senior League tennis in the Sarasota/Manatee, Region 5 area. Since the inception of Senior leagues in 1992, the program has provided a tennis outlet for USTA members age 50 and over. Since then, Super Seniors (60 and over) and Super 70s leagues have evolved, adding and complimenting the existing league format.

Pictured are, second from left, Sarasota/Bradenton LLC Ginger Ayers and, far right, USTA Florida Director of Leagues Sandy Marshall. Other women in the picture are from the first senior league held in Sarasota/Bradenton back in 1992.

Ginger Ayers has served as Sarasota/ Bradenton’s Senior League LLC for all 20 years. Through her hard work, the area boasts one of the best player retention rates in the state of Florida. USTA Florida’s Director of Leagues, Sandy Marshall, noted that Ginger “has always been able to take whatever we’ve given her and made it work. Her attitude has never been, ‘I can’t.’ Rather, ‘I can and I will.’” Marshall and Southwest Florida’s Tennis Program Coordinator, Susie Bessire, were on hand to present Ayers with a crystal bowl, commemorating her tireless work ethic, professionalism, and deep commitment to the USTA Leagues across the area. MAY 2012

Senior league team members from Serendipity Racquet Club

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Region 6

By Amy Abbott

League Successes, Leagues Starting in Region 6


STA Florida’s Region 6 is excited to be kicking off a new spring season with the Adult League session under way. Good luck to all the players and have a great season. Don’t forget, regionals will be July 13-15 at BallenIsles in Palm Beach Gardens. Good luck to all the Senior and Super Senior teams that will be competing at Sectionals in Daytona. Congratulations to North River Shores captain Lynn Childs, who won the 3.5 Super Senior women’s division, and The Boulevard captain Ray McNulty, won the 4.5 Senior Men’s division. We still have teams competing in the Senior divisions, can’t wait to see who wins! Don’t miss out on mixed doubles, it is right around the corner! The season starts July 9 for both areas in Region 6 and goes through mid-October. The deadline to request a team number is June 11. See contact info below if you need assistance. USTA Jr. Team Tennis is going strong with Palm Beach County (18 & Under) players taking the courts and having fun. Good luck to all players! For more information on USTA Florida Region 6 programs or leagues please

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do not hesitate to contact USTA League Coordinators Lisa Bowser (ustapbc@ for Palm Beach County and Tif fani Buck ley ( for the Treasure Coast, and USTA Jr. Team Tennis Coordinators Joy Crenshaw (palmbeachjtt@ for Palm Beach County and Stacy

Hockenhull ( for the Treasure Coast Also please e-mail Amy Abbott with any USTA news happening in Palm Beach or the Treasure Coast at We would love to share your stories! visit us online at



Region 7 Florida Cup Kicks Off 9th Edition in Late April


s of press time, the 9th annual Florida Cup was set to kick off on April 30, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria in Naples. The East vs. West, Davis Cup-style format annually features a number of heavyweight players from South Florida, such as the West team’s Larry Turville, Clem Hopp and Fred Drilling, all of who are former ITF world No. 1-ranked players. Age divisions for the men’s event are 35-80. This year the West was looking for revenge after the East won for the first time last year, breaking an 11-year winning streak by the West, and winning by the largest-ever point margin 35-15. One notable contender for the

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East was former Australian Open winner and Wimbledon finalist Roscoe Tanner. Players sweeping both the singles and doubles in their respective divisions last year were Chris Pressley and Jamie Feagan (35s), Bob Wuhrman and Jeff Burnett (45s), Jerry Berkheimer and Frank Swope (55s), Larry Turville (60s), Ken Newman and Bill Foreman (65s), Joe Bachmann (70s), and Ron Ryan (80s).


East 35 West 15


West 28 East 22


West 26 East 24

Projected captains for the West team this year were Jamie Faegan (35s age group), Rhett Rollyson (40s), Mark Taylor (45s), Ronen Graziani (50s), Warren Eber (55s), Larry Turville (60s), Evert Jonsson (65s), Joe Bachmann (70s), Gordon Hammes (75s), and Clem Hopp (80s).


West 31 East 19


West 30 East 20


West 29 East 21

The projected captains for the East team were Bob Wuhrman for the 35s-50s, and Joe Bouquin for the 55s-80s.


West 27 East 19


West 22 East 18

To see the updated results for the 2012 Florida Cup CLICK HERE.

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Region 8

by Barbara Eisner Bayer

Battling Breast Cancer in Boca Raton


bout one in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, so it’s more than likely that someone on your tennis team – and certainly at your club — has confronted the disease. In order to raise money to battle this potentially deadly illness, 176 women came together on the tennis court and at the card tables at Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton in March to rally for a cure. The money raised will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The fundraiser began four years ago, when the sister of Madeline Tobin, one of the event’s founders, received the heartbreaking diagnosis at the young age of 35. After undergoing all the treatments, she is fine now, but the ordeal brought to light how little the sisters knew about breast cancer. As a result, they wanted to raise awareness about the disease in the community. They opted to start a tennis fundraiser, because they love tennis, and wanted to do an event that was more than just lectures and education – they wanted participants to have fun, as well.

Country Club has been extremely supportive of the event, offering all their pros to make sure it runs smoothly.

In this year’s event, 76 women played tennis, while 50 signed up for mahjong, and an additional 50 came for lunch. There was a round robin event in three different flights, with the winner at each level taking a prize. The Woodfield

The first year, they raised only around $7,000. But this year was the largest ever, raising $35,000. In addition, they honored Dr. Marla Dudak, a local breast surgeon who plays tennis and lives at Woodfield.

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Participants at the Woodfield Country Club breast cancer charity event

“She’s a great doctor and a great person,” Tobin says. “The funny part is that she had treated about 30 of the women, moms, sisters, or friends of the people at the event.” Participants had a great time, and were all thrilled to use the sport that they love to share love and healing in the world.

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Photo Op

by Colette Lewis

Stefan Kozlov


t’s been a quick ascent for Pembroke Pines’ Stefan Kozlov. Less than four months after he reached the 2011 Junior Orange Bowl final, the 14-year-old right-hander advanced to his first International Tennis Federation Grade 1 final at the International Spring Championships in Carson, Calif. The tournament, one of the most important ITF events held in the United States for 18-andunder competitors, featured 10 of the Top 100 players in the world. Kozlov, ranked 112 at the time, beat two of them — No. 6 seed Austin Siegel and No. 4 seed Mackenzie McDonald ¬— en route to the final. In the championship match, Kozlov, seeded No. 12, lost 6-3, 6-4 to top seed Mitchell Krueger, four years older and ranked nearly 100 places higher. Krueger was generous in his praise of Kozlov and his unique game style, which features sophisticated variety and point construction. “He definitely makes you think,” said Krueger, who is now in the ITF Junior Top 10. “He’s got incredible potential — I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a player like this, maybe Donald Young — and I think he has a chance to maybe do what Donald did. If he keeps going, he’ll do very well.” Kozlov, who went on to reach the quarterfinals in the ITF Grade B1 in Rancho Mirage the

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following week, was pleased with his five victories on the Home Depot Center hardcourts. “I thought I played well,” said Kozlov, who trains at the USTA’s National Center in Boca Raton. “I’m a little bit physically tired, but I fought. It was a good week anyway.”

Kozlov, who trained with his father Andrei at the Kozlov Tennis Academy in Pembroke Pines prior to joining the USTA’s program, is now a career-high 61 in the ITF Junior world rankings. He is the youngest boy in the Top 100 by more than a year.

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Quick Shots

USTA Florida trainer Rita Gladstone (second from left) and other trainers at the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll, which featured 10 and Under Tennis

Miami-based WTA pro Nadia Petrova, following a doubles title at the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open, hosted an exhibition match at her home club, the Midtown Athletic Club in Weston. Pictured left to right are Carolina Reyes, Linda Rios, Petrova, Maria Jose, and Adrianna Marinsky. MAY 2012

Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal is not beneath sweeping his own court, as caught by a camera crew in April

Children participate in a festival at the Tallahassee Challenger in April featuring the 10 and Under Tennis format

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Play Tennis Florida -- May 2012  

Official digital magazine of the United States Tennis Association-Florida Section (USTA Florida).

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