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U S TA F LO R I D A S E C T I O N

Table of Contents N OV E M B ER / D ECE M B ER 2012

USTA Florida Section Staff

FEATURES 7  Adult Mixed League Sectionals

9  Senior Mixed League Sectionals  Alachua, Hillsborough, Indian River Counties take down the competition

See which Florida league teams finished Top 4 at USTA League Nationals

14 J r. Team Tennis Nationals

Florida almost takes home a title, but wins individual honors

DEPARTMENTS 3

President’s Message

4

Around the Courts

13 Tennis on Campus 15 Volunteer of the Month 19 Regional Columns 29 Quick Shots

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

216-406-8627

Molly Zimmer Tennis Program Coordinator, East Region 4 zimmer@florida.usta.com

386-847-2497

LEAGUES

T he top adult mixed doubles teams met in Daytona Beach to see who would advance to USTA League Nationals

10 F  lorida at USTA League Nationals

Carla Williams Tennis Program Coordinator, Region 3 williams@florida.usta.com

RESOURCES
 Doug Booth Executive Director booth@florida.usta.com

386-671-8925

Lynne Salus Volunteer Development & Meetings Manager salus@florida.usta.com

954-625-6259

Linda Matthews Executive Administrator matthews@florida.usta.com

386-671-8940

Julie Claude Accounting Specialist claude@florida.usta.com

386-671-8933

Sandy Marshall Director of Leagues/SLC marshall@florida.usta.com

386-671-8932

Dona Garcia Adult & Senior League Coordinator garcia@florida.usta.com

386-671-8936

Jodi Manning Mixed, Combo and Super Sr. Leagues Coordinator manning@florida.usta.com

386-671-8939

Kelly Vanhorn Leagues Assistant vanhorn@florida.usta.com

386-671-8926

MARKETING / MEMBERSHIP Laura Bowen Director of Marketing & Membership 386-671-8930 bowen@florida.usta.com Rick Vach Communications Coordinator vach@florida.usta.com

904-535-9489

YOUTH TENNIS

Linda Curtis Director of Community Tennis curtisL@florida.usta.com

386-671-8934

Andy McFarland Associate Executive Director, 
 Youth Tennis Division mcfarland@florida.usta.com

904-281-1187

Rebecca Halpern Schools Tennis Coordinator halpern@florida.usta.com

386-671-8928

Amanda Becker Tennis Program Coordinator, North Region 2 becker@florida.usta.com

850-261-6192

George English Tennis Program Coordinator, Region 1 english@florida.usta.com

850-510-6585

Tara Dominguez 10 & Under TMI Coordinator Greater Pensacola dominguez@florida.usta.com

407-551-9798

Shelly Licorish Tennis Program Coordinator, West Region 4 licorish@florida.usta.com

407-403-5686

Sheryl Rivas 10 & Under TMI Coordinator Seminole County rivas@florida.usta.com Ann Brown Competitive Education Coordinator brown@florida.usta.com

386-671-8942

Cathy Nordlund Tennis Program Coordinator, South Region 8 nordlund@florida.usta.com

305-252-6591

Andy Gladstone Competitive Tennis Coordinator gladstone@florida.usta.com

386-671-8931

Janet Sprague Tennis Program Coordinator, Region 6 sprague@florida.usta.com

561-385-7399

COMMUNITY TENNIS


Elizabeth Coates Youth Tennis Division Administrative Assistant coates@florida.usta.com

386-671-8927

386-671-8943

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President’s Message A Time to Celebrate in the New Year

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Strategic Priorities — #1 Grow recreational

t is both an honor and a privilege to be representing the USTA Florida Section as its new president for the next two years. Having been involved as a volunteer now for the last 26 years here in Florida, it is exciting to see how we have continued to embrace change as well as initiate it when the need presents itself.

Bob Pfaender, USTA Florida President

We have completed our new committees and new chairs, appointed our new board of directors, and identified our strategic priorities for this new term. I would like to thank each of these outstanding volunteers for agreeing to serve and lead us forward with some exciting initiatives to grow the game of tennis in Florida. Please see below our leadership group and strategic priorities for 2013-2014: Executive Committee — Dan Casey (Palm Beach

Gardens), Terri Florio (Jacksonville Beach), Robert Hollis (Winter Haven), Nancy Horowitz (Pembroke Pines), Karen MacFarland (Tallahassee), Barbara Manzo (Fort Myers), Bob Pfaender (Lake Mary). For the full list of Board of Directors and committees and members go to www. ustaflorida.com. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

tennis opportunities for all ages (55-over Masters Tennis, 10 and Under, Jr. Team Tennis); #2 Expand and improve our competitive play opportunities (adult leagues, adult and junior tournaments); #3 Grow participation in tennis among the Hispanic population (youth and adult recreational, advocacy/grants); Underlying Strategic Priorities: provide member value, advocacy for tennis, embrace inclusion/diversity. We are celebrating some changes in direction and focus in our organization. The idea being, that if we increase participation in the game of tennis in a much wider range of our population in Florida, then we have a better chance of seeing increases in our programs, tournaments, and the number of people that can use the game for exercise and social enjoyment for a lifetime. Too often in the past, we focused a bit too much on USTA membership as the ultimate goal. We are a membership-driven organization fundamentally and there is nothing wrong with that. At least half of our revenues needed to operate this organization come from membership dollars. And almost 50 percent of your membership cost comes back to our section to help us do all the positive things we do as the governing body of tennis here in Florida each year.

of one-day events R(red ball)O(orange ball) G(green ball)Y(yellow ball) that is replacing our Rookie series of tournaments. ROGY events are age 10’s-18’s using a new format of play that will be completed in a three-hour time period. They will be more fun and have less time constraints for players and parents. We are reaching out to the 55-and-over communities and facilities to create Masters Tennis events. These will be, again, fun/social-based play opportunities using a 60-foot court and the red, orange or green ball that will address the needs of some seniors that have had to stop playing fullcourt tennis. We are very excited to be reaching out to the Hispanic communities in our state to take the game of tennis to them and their families. Beginning with our schools program, kids clubs, tennis festivals and play days in those areas, as well as ROGY and Masters programs, we will be able to introduce and expose even more Floridians to tennis. The underlying theme here is “investing in the future” of the game to insure that next generation can enjoy all the benefits of playing tennis like we have. Get out there and serve them up.

A big shift for us now, is offering many more recreational play opportunities for juniors and seniors in our state. We have a new ROGY Series visit us online at www.ustaflorida.com

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Courts Around the

Jacksonville Davis Cup Ticket Sale

Tickets for the 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group First Round between the United States and Brazil will go on sale to the general public on Friday, Dec. 7, at 10 a.m. EST. An exclusive pre-sale for USTA members begins on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 10 a.m. EST and ends on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 11:59 p.m. (or while supplies last). The best-of-five match series will be played at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Feb. 1-3. Ticket prices range from $90 to $500 and are sold as three-day packages. Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or www.usta.com/daviscup, or by calling Ticketmaster at (888) 484-USTA (8782).

Miami Tennis Cup to Feature Roddick, Murray in Key Biscayne at Crandon Park Tennis Center The first annual Miami Tennis Cup will take place Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2012, at Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Fla., where Andy Murray and Andy Roddick will be joined by four other top players on the ATP tour. USTA members can receive two-for-one tickets using the code USTA21, with a portion of the ticket sales benefiting the USTA Florida Section Foundation. The tournament will also be a tribute to the iconic career of Florida native Andy Roddick, who will also be participating as part of his homecoming farewell tour. Other players include the US Open winner and Olympic gold medalist Murray, French Open champion and former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, Spain’s Nicolas Almagro, Colombian Alejandro Falla, and top-ranked American John Isner.

The U.S. is 109-16 all-time in Davis Cup ties played at home and undefeated in Florida (6-0). This will be the seventh Davis Cup tie played in the state of Florida and first since the U.S. defeated Sweden, 4-1, in the 2004 quarterfinal at the Delray Beach Tennis Center.

On Dec. 1-2, a 12-and-under tournament will take place as part of a weekend-long Family Day series of fun-filled activity, played on courts one and two. Parents are invited to register their kids on-site at Crandon Park Tennis Center.

For more information, including access to player and historical Davis Cup records, go to www.usta. com/daviscup or www.daviscup.com.

For more information or to buy tickets go to www.miamitenniscup.com.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

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Around the Courts Bryans Brothers Shootout in Sarasota Dec. 15 The Bryan Brother’s Shootout Exhibition and Music Party, to benefit Brandy’s Wish, will be held on Dec. 15, 2012, at The Bath & Racquet Fitness Club in Sarasota, Fla. The 11-time Grand Slam champions and Olympic gold medalists Bob and Mike Bryan will face off against former No. 1 doubles player Max Miryni and current Top 10 player Horia Tecau.

The schedule includes a Pro-Am at 2 p.m., doors opening to the public at 3 p.m., a junior exhibition at 3:45 p.m., pro exhibition and live auction at 4:30 p.m., and VIP dinner party, drinks and the Bryan Brothers Band at 6 p.m. Wayne Bryan will be the official MC of the event. The Bryan brothers are this week competing at the year-end Masters event in London, where they previously won the championship in 2003-04 and 2009.

Diversity Grant Deadlines in December Applications close in December for the final available 2013 USTA multicultural/diversity tennis grants. The purpose of the annual USTA multicultural/diversity grants is to provide tennis and education funding to organizations and individuals that lack financial resources, as well as for local program organizers delivering tennis programs to multicultural audiences.

“We encourage all qualifying minority junior tennis players and programs servicing minority players in Florida to apply for these grants, which open up a world of opportunities for competitive tennis players,” said USTA Florida Tennis Program and Diversity Coordinator Shelly Licorish. “These organization and individual awards not only honor groundbreaking players like Althea Gibson and Pancho Gonzalez, but opens doors for the next Althea or Pancho.”

For more event information go to www.premiertennistravel.com/events/bath_racquet. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

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Around the Courts Grants with Dec. 31 deadlines are:

Pancho Gonzalez Scholar Athlete Grant In honor of Pancho Gonzalez, the MexicanAmerican icon who won two U.S. Championships men’s singles titles and whose dedication to the sport of tennis brought together fans from all walks of life, we look to reward a player(s) who works to excel in leading others on and off the court. The recipient(s) must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Number of grants available: 2 grants (one male and one female)

Reward players who work to excel as much in the classroom as in sports. Must be training and competing in tournaments year-round. Have a history of strong national tournaments results and a minimum GPA of 3.0. Grant Amount: $5,000

Althea Gibson Leadership Award Honors the memory, life, and achievements of Althea Gibson, who paved the way for millions who followed. Reward players who work to excel in leading others on and off the court. Must be training and competing in tournaments yearround.

Okechi Womeodu Scholar Athlete Grant

Total Grant Amount available to be awarded annually: $5,000 (up to a maximum total).

Honors the memory, life, and achievements of Okechi Womeodu, who otherwise would have had a very promising future, on and off the court.

To view the full grant applications go to www.usta.com/About-USTA/USTA-Awards/ AwardsandGrants.

Haggerty, Florida’s Martin Among Nominated USTA National Board Members David Haggerty was announced by the USTA national nominating committee as USTA chairman of the board and president for a twoyear term beginning Jan. 1, 2013, and former player and Florida resident Todd Martin was named as a director at large for the board of directors. Haggerty, who has served on numerous national NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

and section-level boards and committees over the years, is currently completing a two-year term as first vice president. Haggerty is the former chairman of Head USA, a position he held until his retirement in March 2010, and formerly worked at Prince and Dunlop. Martin, of Ponte Verde Beach, Fla., is nominated for his first full term as director at large for the

Todd Martin appearing in a commercial for 10 and Under Tennis

board of directors. He currently is completing his role in this same position after being appointed in October 2011. He is the board liaison to the Pro Tennis Council and a member of the USTA Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Also nominated as the slate of new officers and directors of the USTA Board were Katrina Adams, of White Plains, N.Y.; Donald Tisdel, of Lake Oswego, Ore.; Thomas Ho, of Houston, Texas; Patrick Galbraith, of Bainbridge Island, Wash.; Alexander Boyd Andrews IV, of Raleigh, N.C.; Joan Baker, of Shorewood, Minn.; Raymond Benton, of Washington, D.C.; Mark Ein, of Washington, D.C.; Andrew Valdez, of Salt Lake City, Utah; Jeff Williams, of New York, N.Y.; Chanda Rubin, of Lafayette, La.; and Brian Vahaly, of Washington, D.C. Current USTA Chairman of the Board and President Jon Vegosen will remain on the USTA Board of Directors and will serve as immediate past president during the 2013-14 term. visit us online at www.ustaflorida.com

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Around the Courts Pembroke Pines’ Kenin Wins G14 at NJT Masters Tennis Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., captured the girls’ 14 singles title at the 13th annual Nike Junior Tour (NJT) USA National Masters, held at the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Fla. The three-day event brought together 64 of the country’s top boys and girls in the 12s and 14s age groups, competed for the right to represent the United States at the NJT International Masters. Kenin as the No. 2 in the girls’ 14 final defeated No. 4 seed Jessie Aney of Rochester, Minn. 6-2, 7-5. The winners received a spot on the U.S. team at the NJT International Masters, which will feature the best junior players in the world from 34 different countries. It will be played Dec. 5-12, 2012, at the Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Current tennis stars that have won or participated in the NJT International Masters include Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych, and Juan Martin Del Potro.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

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Adult Mixed Sectional Results

Florida Section Mixed League Winners Advance to USTA Nationals U

STA League adult mixed doubles tennis teams from Sarasota/Manatee (Bradenton), Duval (Jacksonville) Leon (Tallahassee), and Hillsborough (Tampa) counties advanced to the USTA League Mixed National Championships after capturing championships at the USTA Florida Section Adult Mixed 6.0, 8.0 & 10.0 Championships (Oct. 12-14, 2012) and the USTA Florida Sectionals Adult Mixed 7.0 & 9.0 League Championships (Oct. 5-7), both held at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach. Jacksonville successfully defended their 6.0 division Florida Section title from 2011, advancing to USTA League Nationals for a second consecutive year. The 2012 USTA League 2.5, 7.0 & 9.0 Mixed National Championships took place Nov. 9-11, 2012 at the Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort in Tucson, Ariz. See the full results and team rosters from the USTA Florida 2.5, 7.0 & 9.0 Sectional.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

The 6.0 Division champion Duval County team, playing out of Boone Park, Jacksonville, defeated Escambia County in the final

The 2012 USTA League 6.0, 8.0 & 10.0 Mixed National Championships took place Nov. 16-18, 2012 at the Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort in Tucson, Ariz.

See the full results and team rosters from the USTA Florida 6.0, 8.0 & 10.0 Sectional.

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Adult Mixed Sectional Results

The 7.0 Division champion Leon County team out of Tallahassee defeated Brevard County in the final

The 8.0 Division champion Hillsborough County team, playing out of Hampton Park, Tampa, defeated Sarasota/Manatee counties in the final

The 9.0 Division champion Hillsborough County team, playing out of Harbour Island Athletic Club, Tampa, defeated South Miami-Dade County in the final

The 10.0 Division champion Sarasota/Manatee counties team, playing out of River Strand Golf & Country Club, Bradenton, finished ahead of Duval County

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

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Adult Mixed Sectional Results Alachua, Hillsborough, Indian River Counties Win at Sr. Mixed Sectional Championships

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illsborough County (Apollo Beach, Tampa) collected two titles, and one each for Alachua County (Gainesville) and Indian River County (Vero Beach) during the 2012 USTA Florida Senior Mixed League Sectional Championships, held Nov. 2-4 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach. In the Senior Mixed 8.0 division, Hillsborough County captured the USTA Florida Section title for the second year in a row, again advancing to represent USTA Florida at the national invitation tournament. Team matches over the weekend consisted of three mixed doubles matches per round. Teams advanced from round robin flight play to qualify for the semifinals or finals.

The 6.0 Senior Mixed champion Alachua County, playing out of the Jonesville Tennis Center, Gainesville, finished ahead of Marion County

The 7.0 Senior Mixed champion Indian River County, playing out of The Boulevard Tennis Club, Vero Beach, defeated Duval County in the final

The 8.0 Senior Mixed champion Hillsborough County, playing out of the Apollo Beach Racquet & Fitness Club, Apollo Beach, defeated Duval County in the final

The 9.0 Senior Mixed champion Hillsborough County, playing out of the Hillsborough Community College courts in Tampa, finished ahead of Collier County

Division winners qualify for the Senior Mixed Invitational, which will take place March 22-24, 2013, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Read the full story with full results and team rosters.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

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League Nationals Results 7 Florida Adult Teams Place Top 4 at USTA League Nationals

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lorida did not bring home any USTA League national championships during the 2012 season, but was well represented at USTA League Nationals play in Tucson, Ariz., and Indian Wells, Calif., in October and November. The top Florida finishers were the 5.0 men from Naples and the 3.0 men from Orlando, who both finished second at nationals. The 5.0 Naples men (Arthur Allen Tennis Center at Cambier Park) were runners-up at the USTA League 5.0 Nationals in Indian Wells. They ran all the way to the final before being edged 2-1 by the team representing the USTA Northern California Section. The 3.0 Orlando men (Fort Gatlin Recreation Center) finished second at nationals

The 3.5 Ocala senior men (Fort King Tennis Center) finished third at nationals NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

The 4.0 Gainesville women (D.B. Racquet Club) finished third at nationals visit us online at www.ustaflorida.com

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League Nationals Results

The 4.0 Tampa men (Hillsborough Community College Tennis Center) finished third at nationals

The 4.0 Melbourne senior men (Fee Ave. Courts) finished third at nationals

The 5.0 Naples men (Arthur Allen Tennis Center at Cambier Park) finished second at nationals

The 10.0 Bradenton mixed team (River Strand Golf & Country Club) finished third at nationals

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

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Tennis On Campus UF Club Tennis Wins 3rd Consecutive 2012 Title at West Coast Invite

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fter being upset at the Florida ‘Tennis on Campus’ year-end championships last season, the University of Florida club tennis team is taking no prisoners in 2012. UF has swept all three events thus far on the 201213 USTA Florida ‘Tennis on Campus’ Series, on Oct. 27, 2012, defeating the University of South Florida in the Gold Bracket final of the Florida West Coast Invite tournament in Tampa. To gain the final UF defeated Stetson in the semifinals 20-5, while USF defeated Florida Gulf Coast University 16-10. Florida State University captured the Silver Bracket title, in the final defeating the USF “B” team. Other colleges participating were the University of Central Florida and the University of Miami.

2012-2013 USTA Florida ‘Tennis on Campus’ Schedule and Results

USTA Florida ‘Tennis on Campus’ Year-end Championship Winners 2012 — University of Central Florida

Sept. 15 — UF Gatorbowl (Grand Slam), Gainesville (FINAL: UF d. UCF)

2011 — University of Florida

Oct. 6 — FSU Capital Challenge (Grand Slam), Tallahassee (FINAL: UF d. FGCU)

2009 — University of Florida

Oct. 27 — West Coast Invite (Masters), Tampa area TBA (FINAL: UF d. USF)

2007 — University of Central Florida

Nov. 17 — UCF Knitro Cup (Grand Slam), Orlando Jan. 12 — FGCU Open (Tour), Ft. Myers Jan. 26 — USF Bullrun (Grand Slam), Tampa Feb. 16-17 — Florida TOC Championships (Grand Slam), Orlando

2010 — University of Florida 2008 — University of Central Florida *Prior to 2007, all Florida teams advanced directly to nationals

For more information on the USTA Florida Tennis on Campus series contact Andy McFarland at mcfarland@florida.usta.com, or go to www.florida. usta.com/CommunityTennis/tennis_on_campus.

March 2 — East Coast Invite (Masters), Daytona Beach

The win follows titles for UF at the Gatorbowl (defeating UCF in the final) and the FSU Capital Challenge (defeating FGCU). The Tennis on Campus team format features men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles, with a minimum of two men and two women per team. The format uses World TeamTennis (WTT) scoring, where the first up to five games wins the match, with a 12-point super-tiebreak if the match is tied at four games all. Total cumulative games determine the overall winning team of each match. The WTT scoring format also features no-ad scoring, player substitutions, and player oncourt coaching is allowed. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

The FSU Silver Bracket winners at the West Coast Invite

The UF Gold Bracket winners at the West Coast Invite visit us online at www.ustaflorida.com

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Jr. Team Tennis Jacksonville, Miami Players Awarded at USTA Jr. Team Tennis Nationals

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team representing the USTA Florida Section finished third in the 18-and-under division, and Florida individuals and teams received additional awards during the 2012 USTA Jr. Team Tennis 18-and-under (held Oct. 25-28) and 14-and-under (Oct. 19-21) National Championships at the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center in Cayce, S.C. Jacksonville’s “904” squad finished third in the 18-and-under Advanced division, losing in the semifinals to the eventual champion from Austin (USTA Texas), then winning the 3rd/4th place playoff match against the USTA Northern Section team. The 904 play out of Mills Field in Jacksonville, and are captained by Cheryl Keller and co-captain Don McCauley. The 904 roster is comprised of Amanda Keller, Jaclyn Switkes, Ethan Wichtendahl, David Tossavainen, James Gray, Sarah Jones, Lara Dedic, Andrey Majkic, Mckenzie Barco, and Mitchell McCauley. Jacksonville’s Keller was also named the Girls’ Sportsmanship Award winner for the 18-andunder championships. The Jr. Team Tennis 18-and-under nationals brought together the top 32 teams (more than 250 players) at Intermediate and Advanced levels from various USTA Sections throughout the country.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

Jacksonville’s “904” USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis 18-and-under Advanced champions after winning the Florida Section title

At the 14-and-under event the Miami Contenders, representing USTA Florida, won the Banner Award for creating the most spirited team banner. The national championships serve as the crown jewel of USTA Jr. Team Tennis as the nation’s top teams compete for the title. Each year the USTA

crowns a national champion in two age divisions (14-and-under and 18-and-under) in both the Intermediate and Advanced play divisions. This year, there were 32 teams from across the United States who advanced to the national championships, totaling 249 participants.

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September Volunteer of the Month Miami 10-U, JTT Advocate Tollefsen Named Sept. Volunteer of the Month

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fter only one year as the volunteer USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis coordinator for the North Miami area, Donna Tollefsen is registering triple-digit kids for her area programs. Now she is filling what she saw as a hole in area junior tennis offerings — tennis as a team sport.

“I think the 10 and Under Tennis format is a great starting point for the kids,” she says. “The weight of the ball and the size of the courts, I feel, gives a kid more confidence in themselves. I see the big smiles on their faces. The 8-and-under kids are much easier because they are just thrilled to be there. I love Jr. Team Tennis. After competing in high school and college, I have always loved the team spirit you have with your team.”

“I felt the one thing we were missing in our tennis program was Jr. Team Tennis,” said Tollefsen, tennis director at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Miami. “I jumped on the idea. Cathy Nordlund [USTA Florida Miami tennis program coordinator] didn’t want a director or pro to organize it, but I persuaded her to let me try. I have a great staff who is very involved.” Tollefsen said she was in turn pushed by Nordlund, and USTA Florida Board of Directors member Nancy Horowitz, to “get moving” after the death of her husband. The area Tollefsen moved to was organizing the fast-growing 10 and Under Tennis market in North Miami-Dade. “We have the largest junior program in the area,” Tollefsen said. “I met Cathy and she saw the potential of growth for the junior tennis. She could not believe the amount of kids we had. I had been running a Jr. Grand Prix program for about 15 years, which was very successful. Cathy approached me with the 10 and Under Tennis format, and now I am looking forward to getting more clubs involved and more kids playing tennis.” Late last year the Michael-Ann Russell JCC, with NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

Donna Tollefsen

135 children registered in the 10 and Under Tennis program at that time, applied for and was granted a USTA Florida “Share the Love” award for $2,500 in 10 and Under Tennis equipment and scholarship money for students requiring financial assistance. Since then the program has continued to grow. Team tennis has long been a passion for Tollefsen, a 20-year veteran of the tennis industry, and she likes to see kids start out on teams for the camaraderie and fun.

In addition to leading the 10 and Under Tennis charge, Tollefsen’s credentials include the highest USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association) Level 1 certification, and she is a past USPTA Miami Professional of the Year who also coached at the college level, guiding the women’s program at Nova College. She is one of the organizers of her club’s annual Tennis Fest Pro-Am, which this year celebrated its 18th annual event, raising more than $45,000 to benefit underprivileged families and seniors who need scholarship assistance to participate in various programs at the Michael-Ann Russell JCC. “Tennis has been my life,” said the native of Miami Beach, whose sons also played college tennis. “We played tennis all year round. I have met many lifetime friends through the game and love of tennis. I would tell parents to encourage their children to play tennis and have fun. It is a lifetime sport.” To read the full story CLICK HERE. visit us online at www.ustaflorida.com

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October Volunteer of the Month Hillsborough’s Harrison Takes Leading Community Role

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ay Harrison of Land O’ Lakes, Fla., just north of Tampa, has spent a lifetime in tennis. From college player to teaching pro to community leader, the long-time Hillsborough County Tennis Association board member is now serving his first year as president of the organization. As a result the organization is looking to expand its footprint in Hillsborough County, offering an even greater menu of tennis opportunities.

“10 and Under Tennis makes so much sense in many ways, and every other sport in the world reduces the field or court size,” he said of the format which features smaller racquets, court sizes and lower-bouncing balls. “For the HCTA, it helps us to bring tennis to youth in most any setting. They have more success quickly and a lot of fun doing it. That means they are more likely to want to continue playing more tennis.”

“The HCTA has just recently partnered with the Hillsborough County Parks to begin 10 and Under Tennis programming this fall,” Harrison said. “We will start with two county park locations with over 100 potential players, and then expand to more locations once these programs are running at a high level. The HCTA also helped with leadership and volunteers in the Spring Jr. Team Tennis program, where 8-and-under and 10-and-under team competition saw a total of 18 teams and more than 75 players.”

Carla Williams works with Harrison as the USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator for the Tampa area.

The regional sales manager for GAMMA Sports, Harrison saw an opportunity to further the sport in his own backyard while serving his faith. “I originally got involved with the HCTA because I serve God and others through my passion for tennis, and I wanted to give back to the game,” he said. “Plus as a sales rep. for a major tennis brand, I could help this young CTA (Community Tennis Association) strengthen their relationship with local pros and pro shops. We want to come NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

“Ray is a fantastic supporter of youth tennis and a true asset to the Tampa Bay tennis community,” Williams said. “I am very appreciative of all that he does for USTA Florida, especially with a focus on expanding the game in to new areas. I want to encourage folks who see him around the courts to join me in saying ‘Thanks!’” Ray Harrison

alongside local pros and facilities to help them grow their programming. Our mission is to promote tennis for all abilities and backgrounds, and we want to grow the game and make it more accessible to disadvantaged youth and the community as a whole.” 10 and Under Tennis has become a passion for Harrison, a way to easily bring young players to the game with an easy-to-learn and fun format.

Harrison’s goal is to continue giving back to the game that has given him so much over the years. “I have been blessed financially with a college scholarship, a job as a teaching professional out of college, and for the last seven years as a sales rep. in Florida,” he said. “The sport has given me a fun, athletic outlet with some of my greatest friends coming through tennis. Tennis is very challenging both mentally and physically which has helped me in all facets of my life.” READ MORE visit us online at www.ustaflorida.com

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November Volunteer of the Month Fort Myers’ D’Amico Gives Back to Community

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his year the Landings Yacht, Golf & Tennis Club in Fort Myers hosted the first Pink & Blue Mixed Doubles Classic, what will be an annual tournament that raises money for cancer survivors. The event joined Madisen’s Match, which the Landings took over, featuring exhibitions from tour players, clinics and more to benefit the Lee Memorial Health System’s Regional Cancer Center, and Barbara’s Friends — The Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund. The organizer behind all the fundraising is Landings Tennis Director Paul D’Amico, who in 2012 has put resources and much of his own time into giving back to the Ft. Myers community through tennis. “I donated tennis balls, nets and windscreens to the Lee County Community Tennis Association,” D’Amico said. “I have always associated myself with a local community wherever I have taught tennis. Lee County has a broad reach, so they were the most logical. The equipment would be used appropriately for parks and rec. programs as well as assisting the local schools.” The idea for the Pink & Blue Mixed Doubles Classic came in collaboration with one of the members at his club. “When I realized I could do an event, I called Lee Memorial Hospital and then set it up from

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there,” D’Amico said. “As for Madisen’s Match, it was the second year that the Landings has hosted the event. It was ironic that the executive director was one of my former pros from Maryland, where I gave him his first job as a teaching pro, so it was an easy addition to continue and expand the event.” Like many who have spent a lifetime involved in tennis, D’Amico enjoys giving back to the game that has given him to much. “Tennis has done so much for me,” he said. “I started playing tennis when I was 4-5 years old. I played all through juniors, and tennis allowed me to meet many influential people. It provided the funding for me to go to college as well as law school. It has created the contacts for jobs at times. Because of tennis, I was able to travel to many places around the world. I want others, kids, to have those same opportunities that I have had.” In the course of his travels and current position he has used his connections to also assist schools and the Big Brothers program. USTA Florida congratulates Paul D’Amico as the November 2012 Volunteer of the Month for his contributions to local grassroots tennis and fundraising for those less fortunate.

Paul D’Amico

READ THE FULL STORY

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December Volunteer of the Month Gainesville’s Baines Keeps Jonesville Tennis Moving ABOUT KEVIN Birthplace: Gainesville, Fla. Family Members: Mother and father who both play league tennis Favorite Movie: Anchorman Favorite Food: Pizza Favorite Travel: New York City Favorite Shot: Backhand return

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ainesville’s Kevin Banes shows the same enthusiasm today for assisting youngsters with 10 and Under Tennis as he did three years ago as the then-18-year-old pro shop assistant at the Jonesville Tennis Center. “Bobbie Mehan [Jonesville’s 10 and Under Tennis organizer] introduced match play in Gainesville, and she needed help getting the program up and running, and I happened to be free that afternoon,” Banes said. “Now we have over 40 kids showing up each Sunday at various clubs around Gainesville. We have really grown the program, hosting Play Days and league play.” Banes has been part of the exceptional growth of the Jonesville Tennis Center since its construction in 2009, and its contribution to the booming number of 10-and-under and Jr. Team Tennis players in the area. Since the advent of the Jonesville Tennis Center, Gainesville youth have been annual state title winners in 10 and Under Tennis and Jr. Team Tennis competition, also advancing to the national Jr. Team Tennis competitions. Banes’ hand in supporting 10 and Under Tennis at the center also resulted in the JTC last year receiving the national 2011 USTA Outstanding Facility Award, and the 2011 Featured Facility Award, presented to the one facility (among those chosen to receive the USTA Outstanding Facility Award) that recognizes the facility as an early adopter of the 10 and Under Tennis format.

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“I have also helped with Jr. Team Tennis leagues and end-of-season parties,” Banes said. His contributions to program success has not been limited to juniors, as he has also assisted at the JTC with USTA Florida’s “2.5 F.L. (Fun League) Tennis Blast” initiative to bring former players back to the game, and assisting with the club hosting its first USTA Pro Circuit event in 2012. “Because of the size of the facility, Jonesville has the ability to bring some very cool events to town that we wouldn’t normally be so lucky to have,” he said. “Hosting the women’s pro tournament in the fall was really cool and fun to see some great tennis.” Jonesville Tennis Director Dave Porter says he has watched Banes grow into his current role. “I started teaching Kevin when he started tennis and I taught his parents well before that,” Porter says. “He’s matured into a very caring young adult. Gainesville tennis is lucky to have Kevin, who has been an instrumental part of Jonesville’s success and growing tennis in Gainesville. He’s always available to help, the list is endless. I’m very proud of him and his accomplishments.” As a former USTA Jr. Team Tennis player and now an adult leagues player, Banes wants to share the same pathway he found to enjoying the “sport of a lifetime.” “I started playing tennis at age 15, and started to work at a local club when I was in high school,” he said. “Ever since then, I’ve never put my racket down. I am happy I can play the same sport for the rest of my life!” visit us online at www.ustaflorida.com

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Region 1 East

by Kelly Tucker

Physical Limitations Can’t Stop Allen Vinson

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llen Vinson is no stranger to facing tough challenges both on and off the tennis court. On the court, Allen is a fierce competitor who takes his tennis quite seriously. He has been competing since he was only 7 years old and achieved his highest state ranking of No. 21 while playing in the 12s. Allen is currently a top-ranked player in Tallahassee who plays at the No. 1 position for Chiles High School and was selected First Team All Big Bend for boy’s high school tennis in 2011 — an honor bestowed to only seven players county-wide. Allen’s successes both on and off the court, however, have not come without hard work and tremendous courage on his part, as he has faced serious challenges both mentally and physically, having been born with a heart defect called aortic valvular stenosis — a condition that causes the aortic valve to produce abnormal blood flow. Most would see this as a reason for not participating in sports, but Allen’s condition hasn’t slowed him down in the slightest. In fact, if anything, it has inspired him to work even harder, practicing at least two hours after school in addition to his conditioning work. Allen’s first heart surgery came when he was

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only 3 months old, followed by his first open heart surgery at age 9 where doctors repaired his value. To the amazement of doctors he was playing tennis just two weeks after he was released from the hospital. In late September of this year, Allen confronted his toughest challenge, having mechanical valve replacement surgery at Shands Hospital. Although his longterm prognosis is excellent, according to Allen, the entire experience put everything into perspective for him. He said that typically he gets really nervous playing a tennis match but because he was able to overcome the fears he faced in his most recent surgery, he feels he can overcome any nerves he may feel on the court in the future. So where does Allen want to go from here? He looks forward to practicing soon with his high school team in preparation of the upcoming 2012-13 spring season, as well as again competing at the state level. Allen has defied the odds and managed to rise to top of his game despite his physical limitations, and should be an inspiration to all young people who think their physical limitations can prevent them from accomplishing their goals and dreams!

Allen Vinson

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Region 1 West

by Scott Harrison

Reynet Wins 3rd Annual Pensacola Pro Circuit Tournament

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o. 1 seed Florian Reynet of France defeated Bradenton’s unseeded Seku Bangoura 6-2, 7-5 to win the 3rd Annual Pensacola $10,000 Futures USTA Pro Circuit men’s tournament and the $1,300 first place prize money, along with 17 precious ATP ranking points at the Roger Scott Tennis Center in Pensacola at the end of October. Ohio native Chase Buchanan teamed with California native Daniel Nguyen to defeat Benjamin Balleret of Monaco and Peter Heller of Germany in a 6-7(2), 7-6(8), 10-8 war in the doubles final. This was the sixth overall Pensacola Futures Championship over the years. On Saturday, Nov. 3, USTA Florida hosted a Recreational Coaches Workshop (RCW) followed by a 10 and Under Tennis Play Day and exhibition. Trainer John MacDonald led some 15 Pensacola coaches, P.E. teachers and parents through the workshop. The RCW was hosted by George English, the USTA Florida tennis program coordinator for Region 1. Roger Scott Tennis Center Director of Junior Tennis Michael Edge organized the 10 and Under Play Day. Twenty kids participated in a compass draw in the 10-and-under and 8-and-under age groups. The top two in each group then played exhibition matches sandwiched between the Futures semifinal matches. Edge also trained young players to be ball persons for the singles semis and finals, and the doubles finals.

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8-and-under and 10-and-under age group exhibitions featuring the 10 and Under Tennis format were held during the USTA Pro Circuit event

Pensacola Sports Association (PSA) Executive Director Ray Palmer served as tournament director, allotting three local wildcards, and holding a local qualifying tournament that anyone could enter. Two of Pensacola’s junior players, Reece Acree and Chris Ephron, reached the semifinals of the tournament. The final wildcard was awarded to the winner of the local doubles tournament. Former University of Central Florida teammates Brock Sakey and Blaze Schwartz won that plum. Some of the biggest crowds of the two-week event were at the local

qualifying, and the main draw appearance of Sakey and Schwartz. Overall, the tournament’s director Palmer was pleased with the event. The weather was absolutely perfect for every single day of the tournament. The food served up by Nancy’s Haute Affairs was fabulous and reasonably priced, as were the soft drinks and beverages. The claycourt facility at Roger Scott was enhanced with easyto-read draw sheets, information cards about the players on each court, and posters and pictures concerning Pensacola area attractions. visit us online at www.ustaflorida.com

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Region 2 Region 2 League Sectional Winners; Davis Cup in Jax

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ime to recognize the league teams and players from Region 2 that won Florida Section titles in October during league sectionals at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach. The Jacksonville 6.0 adult mixed team out of Boone Park won at the Adult Mixed 6.0, 8.0 & 10.0 Championships held Oct. 12-14, edging Escambia County (Pensacola) in the final 2-1.

It was Jacksonville’s second consecutive 6.0 mixed title after winning at sectionals in 2011. The team’s roster was comprised of Jeff Dao (captain), Caroline Morris, Nhat Anh Hoang Vo, Michael McAvoy, Travis Lemley, Michael Baldueza, Shayla Ley, Paul Lui, Kathryn McAvoy, Alan Witte, Kristi Hinckley, Jean Levis, Casey Gibson, Elizabeth Donnelly, Lauri-Ellen Smith, Peter MacDonald, and Laura Drake. The Gainesville 6.0 senior mixed team out of the Jonesville Tennis Center won at the Senior Mixed League Sectional Championships, held Nov. 2-4, finishing ahead of Marion County (Ft. King Tennis Center, Ocala) 2-1 in round robin play.

The Gainesville 6.0 Florida Sectional champion senior mixed team out of the Jonesville Tennis Center

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by Rick Vach

The team’s roster was comprised of Diane Cutsforth (captain), Georgia Rolfe, Julio Delgado, Diana Leyva, Malcolm Maden, Muhammad Ali, Jennifer Jill Webb, Elizabeth Winnie, Oscar Leyva, Kathleen Menendez, Patrick Phelan, Jorg Bungert, Richard Menendez, Mark Patlovich, Anne Koterba, William Lee Wiltbank, Sheryl Lynn Curtis, and Marisela SocorroDeArraiz.

DID YOU KNOW? You’ve heard that Jacksonville will be the site for the first round of the 2013 Davis Cup when the U.S. plays host to Brazil, but did you know this is the first time the competition has been hosted in North Florida since it began in 1900?

The U.S. is 6-0 when playing in Florida, and the American squad likely comprised of some combination of John Isner, Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey and the Bryan brothers will be staunch favorites against the Brazilians. The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena has a capacity of approximately 13,000, so tickets will be a hot commodity. Fans will be flying in from all over the U.S. (and Brazil) for the tie, and the economic impact for Jacksonville is expected to be between $2-3 million, including visitors taking up 1,5002,000 hotel rooms for the three-day event. Tennis Channel will also be showing live daily coverage from Jacksonville. If the U.S. defeats Brazil, they will next likely host Serbia in April 2013 in the quarterfinal round.

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Region 3

by Nancy Morgan

At the Top of the Leagues List

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s far as bragging rights, Region 3 is among the top, if not the top, of regions collecting Florida team championships this year. Eleven Region 3 teams outplayed their competitors and claimed state championships. Nine have or will compete for the biggest prize in USTA League play — the national title — and two others will play in USTA League invitationals. Leading the list is the adult men’s 4.0 Hillsborough-based squad that finished third at nationals among 17 competitors! “There were no easy matches at nationals, and we knew that going in,’’ said team captain Rick Beardsley. “It was great experience, and except for three of us, it was a first trip to a league national. There was lots of tough competition among all the teams and a great memory for all of us.” A second adult team advancing to nationals was the Hillsborough-based women’s 4.5 squad. Both teams included players from both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, as was the case of the majority of the 11 national-bound teams.

Senior mixed 9.0 and 8.0 both advanced to the USTA Senior Mixed Invitational.

Two teams qualified for senior nationals — women’s and men’s 4.5 — and two more for adult mixed — 9.0 and 8.0.

Rounding out the Region 3 national-bound teams are three in Super Senior, including women’s 4.0 and 4.5, and men’s 4.5.

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The 2012 Super Senior 4.5 women state champions

“We were as excited as a teenager when we won,” said women’s 4.5 team captain Joanne Collier. “Age is just a number, but how sweet it is being a Super Senior player at nationals.” Well done, Region 3! visit us online at www.ustaflorida.com

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Region 4 Preparing for 2013

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013 will be a year of changes for the USTA local leagues as well as the USTA League Championship levels. In preparation, there have been a few questions about how the changes will affect how area teams will be formed. To view the changes go to http://www.usta.com/Play-Tennis/ USTA-League/Information/usta_league_offerings/. Starting next year the “Adult” category of leagues will be divided into four age categories. Adult 18 & Over, Adult 40 & Over, Adult 55 & Over and Adult 65 & Over. Players can play in a younger age category but not an older age level. Additionally, players can play in more than one level. Teams are looking at their current teams and deciding what category to compete in. In hopes of helping this transition, local ladies captains have

by Susie Rahimitibar

gathered to discuss the changes and to provide insight to key USTA personnel on how our area (Region 4) will best grow with the changes.

The following schedule was agreed on to help make planning for the Women’s, Mixed & Combo ladies seasons for the Greater Orlando (Orange/ Seminole Counties) area

Ladies 2013 Orange/Seminole USTA Local League Season DIVISION

END OF SEASON

START OF SEASON

DAY OF WEEK

CAPTAINS MEETING

18 & Over League 40 & Over League 55 & Over League 65 & Over League Mixed 18 & Over Mixed 40 & Over Mixed 55 & Over Combo 50 & Over Combo 18 & Over

6/9/2013 7/14/2013 4/15/2013 3/29/2013 8/17/2013 10/25/2013 4/5/2013 11/29/2013 12/14/2013

2/1/2013 2/22/2013 1/11/2013 1/11/2013 5/24/2013 6/14/2013 1/11/2013 8/23/2013 8/23/2013

Fri/AM & Tues/PM Fri/AM Saturdays Saturdays Fri/PM Sun/PM Saturdays Mondays 11am Fri/AM

1/26/2013 1/26/2013 12/15/2012 12/15/2012 5/4/2013 5/4/2013 12/15/2012 8/17/2013 8/17/2013

(note: men’s seasons will be different, please contact Ron Grocoff with questions rongwd@aol.com.) Left to right of the Region 4 Leagues Advisory Committee: Audrey White, Patty Blake, Jill Meunier, Tracy Morgan, Terre Wattman, Stephanie Ott-Schwartzberg and Susie Rahimitabar (USTA Local League Coordinator for Women, Mixed and Combo). Not pictured is USTA Tennis Program Coordinator Shelly Licorish.

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Region 5

by Lance Martin

Senior Combo Caps League Season

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he USTA League season is a long one. With so much tennis to play at virtually every level and format, it’s hard not finding a match. With all the adult, senior, super senior, super 70, mixed, senior mixed, combo leagues, and flex leagues now either done or nearing completion, Region 5 is at the end of its 2012 league calendar — with one to go. Senior combo, one of the shortest, if not the shortest league season of them all, is progressing, full steam ahead. With its first ever section championship played in Florida in 2007, senior combo is a league for players 50 and over and offers levels from 6.5 through 8.5 for men and women. League coordinator Ginger Ayers has the dubious task of promptly starting senior combo in early October and finishing before Thanksgiving so that the winners can attend the section championships, Dec. 14-16. At the captain’s meeting held in early September, Ayers advised all captains to keep on the schedule and to play any rained out matches as soon as possible. Should a match need to be rescheduled, captains were advised to contact her with the rescheduled match date as soon as both captains agreed to it. With 17 teams spread out over three divisions, there is a lot of tennis to play in a short period of time. Good luck to all teams!

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Congratulations to the 10.0 mixed doubles team from River Strand Golf and Country Club. The team, captained by Kristina Von Kessel, won the Florida Section title on Oct. 13, with a flight record of 3-1. Congratulations are also extended to Mary Wilson and her 8.0 mixed doubles team

from Longwood Run Athletic Club. Wilson’s team won its flight with a 2-1 record. They went on to defeat Miami-Dade in the semifinals before falling to eventual section champion, Hillsborough, in the final. Congratulations to both teams!

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Region 6

by Janet Sprague

West Palm Beach Hosts Latin Tennis Coaching Workshop

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STA’s national Diversity and Inclusion department presented a Latino Tennis Coaching Workshop titled “How Hispanic Coaches Can Impact Tennis Development in the U.S.” on Nov. 16, 2012, at Banyan Golf & Country Club in West Palm Beach. The Hispanic workshops, which originated in the USTA Florida Section, are now being piloted by USTA national. “Latino coaches can substantially impact tennis development and competition in the United States, providing more tools to attract, retain and develop more people playing tennis,” said USTA Florida Diversity Coordinator Shelly Licorish on the vision of the workshop. “Considering that there are more of 53 million Hispanic-speaking people in the U.S., this workshop can be also an excellent option for Hispanic and non-Spanish Speaking coaches to expand and improve their business.” The mission of the workshop was to share the most innovative information to help all coaches meet the challenges and gain success in the U.S. tennis industry. The event is in collaboration with USTA Florida. By the end of the workshop, coaches were able to produce tangible benefits in new areas of their job; discover their own level of competencies; engage with leaders in 10 and

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USTA Florida staff, volunteers, and workshop participants in West Palm Beach

Under Tennis, recreational development, high performance and the tennis industry; engage the potential market of 53 million Latinos; and embark on continued education and networking in their USTA Section and the rest of the U.S. The keynote speaker was Gustavo Granitto, an expert on Latino tennis and a past speaker of USTA, PTR and seminar coordinator at ITF national and international seminars in more than 51 countries since 1985. He has 35 years

of coaching experience with both junior and professional players, with a specialty in coaching education and junior development, primarily focused on the Long-Term Junior Development and Training Concept. He is founder of GTC Tennis Consultancy Inc., a multicultural service company focused on comprehensive tennis development in Florida. Additional prominent speakers from USTA, USPTA, PTR and Holistic Specialists Sports Nutrition, were part of the workshop. visit us online at www.ustaflorida.com

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Region 7 East Naples Teams Successful at League Championships

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hile there were no first place league finishers this year at USTA League Nationals, the USTA Florida Section brought home numerous Top 4 finishes, with Naples provided the toughest challenge from teams representing the Florida Section. At the 2012 USTA League 5.0 Nationals on Sept. 28-30 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif., the Naples 5.0 men’s team ran all the way to the final before being edged 2-1 by the USTA Northern California Section. In the tightly-contested final, Tye Myers and Jerome Moenter won for Florida at the No. 2 doubles position, but Northern California won both the No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles positions in third-set tiebreaks. At No. 1 singles, NorCal’s Kevin Vieira defeated Florida’s Franco Mata 3-6, 6-4, 1-0, and at No. 1 doubles the NorCal pair of Eric Roberson/Todd Stanley defeated Florida’s Jose Otavio Pastrello/Tyler Manring 7-6, 5-7, 1-0. Florida finished with a 3-1 record in round robin play to advance to the semifinals, where they swept the USTA Southern Section team 3-0 to gain the final.

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The USTA League 5.0 Nationals second-place men from Naples, left to right: James Harris (captain), Franco Mata, Jose Otavio Pastrello, Leland Kuk, Tyler Manring, Jerome Moenter, Tye Myers, Troy Rush.

The Naples squad making the trip to Indian Wells also included captain James Harris, Leland Kuk and Troy Rush. The Naples men play out of the Arthur Allen Tennis Center at Cambier Park. The top four teams in order of finish were Northern California, Florida, Southwest and Southern.

This year’s USTA League 5.0 Adult National Championship drew the top 27 teams, 15 men’s and 12 women’s, from throughout the nation. Congratulations also to Naple’s 9.0 Senior Mixed team out of Quail West Country Club, which finished second at Florida League Sectionals to 9.0 Senior Mixed champions Hillsborough County.

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Region 8 East

by Barbara Eisner Bayer

Kidside Benefit Saves Families

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ennis players are lucky. For a part of the day, they can forget their problems, and focus their energies on running around a lined court, trying to master hitting a little yellow ball. But not all people – especially children – are so fortunate, and tennis players are acutely aware of that fact. That’s why, on Oct. 13-14, 2012, Andrea Steinacker organized a charity event at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne for Kidside, Inc., which raises money for Family Court Services, an organization that helps children in high-conflict family situations. Family Court Services provides assistance to the children of Miami-Dade County who have suffered through the conflict of their parents’ divorce, or other litigation, in the Family and Domestic Violence Courts. According to Linda Fieldstone, Supervisor of Family Court Services, their mission is to “reduce the level of contention between parents, so that the children aren’t exposed to their conflicts.” They offer crisis assistance, reunification, co-parenting, marital reconciliation, supervised visitation, community referrals, and substance abuse testing, among other things. Judges were so appreciative of the group that, in 2007, there were more referrals than the small organization could handle. Now they have to limit their services to 10 cases per judge per month. But with 800-900 active referrals, the Family Court Services are overburdened. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

Andrea Steinacker

Kidside has made it possible for FCS to have an additional person for supervised visits on Saturdays, so that children don’t have to be taken from school, and parents don’t have to miss work. The Kidside funds have enabled them to keep going; without the money, a part of their entire program would be non-operational. More than 100 players of all levels gathered at Crandon Park for the charity tournament, a sevengame round robin, with full scoring.

According to Steinacker, “We couldn’t have done it without the help of Rick Pardon and his staff – they gave me 17 courts on a Saturday, and they prepared the courts in spite of the on and off rain.” The group raised $4,500 and, because there were three divisions, everyone had a chance to win and take home a trophy. This was clearly a case where the game that starts with love brought some love to troubled families.

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Photo Op

Alex Domijan A

lthough he was born in Gainesville and raised in Wesley Chapel, Alex Domijan has a special place in his heart for Tulsa, Okla. During his outstanding junior career, Domijan won the prestigious Pan American Closed ITF Grade B1 Championships in 2008 at the University of Tulsa’s Michael D. Case Tennis Center. He returned there two years later as a freshman at the University of Virginia, capturing the ITA All-American title, one of the three individual collegiate majors. Injured and unable to defend his All-American title in 2011, Domijan reclaimed it in October, defeating unseeded Peter Kobelt of Ohio State 7-5, 6-1 in the championship match. The No. 6 seed, Domijan was the only seed in the semifinals, but he had his hands full there, needing a third-set tiebreaker to prevail over Matija Pecotic of Princeton. In the final, the Cavalier junior used his experience to overcome Kobelt, who was playing in his first major final. “I think that helps,” Domijan said of his experience in major finals. “Before this, I’ve won

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two finals on this court, so I think that helped me. I don’t know if he was a little nervous in his first big final. I don’t know his past, but I would imagine so, so maybe that had something to do with it.”

by Colette Lewis

photo: zootennis.com

The 6-foot-7 inch right-hander also reached the semifinals in doubles at the All-American Championships, after he and freshman teammate Harrison Richmond earned their way into the 32-team field through the qualifying tournament. After a semifinal appearance in the fall season’s second individual collegiate major of the year, the USTA/ITA Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in New York, Domijan and his teammates are now preparing for the 2013 dual match season, which culminates in the NCAA

Championships in May at the University of Illinois. The Cavaliers have reached the NCAA team championship final in Domijan’s first two years on the team, falling to the University of Southern California both times.

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Quick Shots Port Orange’s Nancy Olson (seated) received Easter Seals’ highest honor, the Lily Award, for her work with the “Tennis Everyone!” program for children, introducing kids with physical disabilities to tennis and including them alongside their typically-developing peers in local USTA Jr. Team Tennis programs. Also pictured (left to right) are Jim Beckford, Kathy Gray, USTA Florida Executive Director Doug Booth, and Olson’s tennis prodigy Auburn Smith.

Ladies from the Gainesville team model their team outfits from the new USTA Florida Store NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

USTA Florida volunteers and staff were on hand to celebrate the 85th birthday of Florida tennis legend Bobby Curtis in South Florida

The USTA Florida Junior Competitive Council channeled their young-at-heart spirit during a meeting earlier this year visit us online at www.ustaflorida.com

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Play Tennis Florida -- Nov./Dec. 2012