2014/08/01

USTA to Create New Home for US Tennis at Lake Nona in Orlando Florida

From the United States Tennis Association:

Nona USTA

USTA TO CREATE THE NEW HOME FOR AMERICAN TENNIS

AT LAKE NONA IN ORLANDO, FLA.

State-of-the-Art Facility to House USTA Player Development and

USTA Community Tennis Divisions and Will Enhance the Sport at Every Level

University of Central Florida Tennis Program to Call New Facility Home

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., May 14, 2014 – The United States Tennis Association (USTA) today announced its plans to create the new home for American tennis, a state-of-the-art facility at Lake Nona area in Orlando, Fla., that will enhance the sport at every level.  The 100-plus court tennis center, which will house the USTA’s Community Tennis and Player Development divisions, will be divided into dedicated areas that will focus on the complete tennis pathway – from the youngest players, to recreational players, to collegians, to future professional players, and to professional tour level players.  The target completion date is the fourth quarter of 2016.

“This new home for American tennis will truly be a game-changer for our sport,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Dave Haggerty. “This world-class facility will be an inclusive gathering place for American tennis and will allow us to impact our sport at every level, from the grassroots to the professional ranks.”

“Today’s announcement is wonderful news for families in Orlando. USTA’s expansion and creation of 154 new jobs will make Florida one of the top states for tennis in the nation, and this state-of-the-art facility will be the USTA’s first year-round outdoor facility,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott. “This new division headquarters will allow Floridians of all ages and skill set the opportunity to try their hand at tennis.”

“More than a decade ago we undertook a strategic plan for the development of the southeast sector of our City,” said City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “The selection of Orlando for the United States Tennis Association’s new divisional headquarters further enhances this area and speaks to the value of our community’s assets – a talented labor force, business friendly environment and global access via a world-class airport.”

“Lake Nona is founded on the principles of innovative collaboration and inspiring human potential,” said Rasesh Thakkar, Senior Managing Director of Tavistock Group. “This campus at Lake Nona has all of the ingredients for the beginnings of a world-class sports and human performance cluster with the USTA setting the bar.”

The USTA is partnering with Lake Nona and Tavistock Group, along with a consortium of regional and state partners, to construct a facility in a hotbed for tennis and in the nation’s top destination city. The complex will be located on 63-acres of land and will include:

– Tournament and League Area – This area will include 24 clay courts and 16 hard courts. The space will include two player pavilions and a tournament administration office which will include trainer rooms, a stringer area, player lounge, public restrooms, and a check-in area. It will let the USTA deliver events like never before and will set a new functional standard for the sport.

— Collegiate Tennis Area – This area will feature 12 hard courts and one future tournament show court, and will serve as the home of the University of Central Florida’s Men’s and Women’s Varsity Tennis Program. The courts will be equipped with high mast lighting for televised events and have elevated seating for 1,200 people with room on the north and south end for additional seating. The area will allow two collegiate matches to be played simultaneously. Additionally, it will feature a two-story pavilion for concessions, public restrooms, team locker rooms, and areas for trainers and officials.

– Team USA Area  This area will include eight hard courts and eight clay courts. The courts will be utilized by the 17 USTA Sections, along with coaches and their players throughout the country to work collaboratively with USTA Player Development.

– High Performance and Player Development Area – This area will include eight hard courts, eight red clay courts, and six covered courts for the USTA Player Development division. The space includes dormitories that can house 32 boys and girls. The strength and conditioning area will include a sand and workout area. In addition, the area will be utilized for Team USA Events.

– 36/60’ Tennis – This area will include eight 36’ and eight 60’ courts enabling youth and adults to develop their games.

– USTA Office Building – The ground floor will include a tennis pro shop, fitness area, locker rooms, player lounge, and cafeteria with USTA offices occupying the second and third floors.

– Technology – The facility will be an epicenter for tennis innovation and education. It will incorporate the latest technology to provide an unparalleled playing, training and educational experience for players, coaches and spectators.

“UCF has embraced this project because it impacts academics, community partnerships, economic development and athletics,” said UCF President John C. Hitt. “Our students, our tennis players and our entire community will benefit from having the finest tennis facilities in the country at Lake Nona.”

“Our goal is simple, continue to raise the bar for our sport,” said Gordon Smith, USTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. “Our new facility in Orlando will help ensure we develop the next generation of players, coaches, tennis providers, officials and volunteers.”

The USTA Player Development division will move its national headquarters from Boca Raton, Fla. to Orlando, aiming to provide the best opportunities to succeed for the next generation of American tennis champions.

This new home for American tennis will host every type of tennis event from 10 and under team tennis events to national championships for those aged 90 and over.  It will also provide a new vision of opportunities allowing the USTA to host new events to provide an exceptional experience for its patrons and members throughout the country. Additionally, the facility is in close proximity to the Orlando International Airport for visiting tennis players. The details of facility programming are forthcoming.

Lake Nona is a thoughtfully planned, innovative community in southeast Orlando driving more than $7 billion in economic activity in Central Florida. Highlighted by a life sciences cluster known as Medical City, Lake Nona has become home to some of the nation’s top hospitals, universities, research institutions and health and life science companies. Tavistock Group, the international private investment organization behind the 7,000-acre master-planned development at Lake Nona and the 650-acre Lake Nona Medical City healthcare cluster, provided an innovative structure to acquire the land for the new state-of-the-art facility and will act as lead developer on the 270,000-square-foot complex and its more than one hundred tennis courts.

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Update: Four Found Dead in a Fire at a Home Owned by Former Tennis Pro James Blake

WTSP

Photo from WTSP.com

(May 7, 2014) A fire broke out in a home owned by James Blake, north of downtown Tampa, Florida. The fire was reported at 6 a.m. Firefighters found four bodies in the burning mansion owned by the former world No. 4 player. Blake does not live in the house as he rents it out.

 

WTSP Tampa, Florida reports:

Tampa, Florida — Four bodies have been found inside the large, million-dollar Tampa home that went up in flames Wednesday morning.

During a 5:30 p.m. press conference Wednesday, Col. Donna Lusczynski of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said it took firefighters several hours to extinguish the fire as hot spots continued to pop up and the blaze kept restarting. Investigators were able to finally gain access to the inside of the mansion around 3 p.m.

Once inside, authorities found the bodies of two adults and two teenage children in their respective bedrooms. While investigators confirmed the home was being rented out by the Campbell family, they say a positive identification of the bodies would not be available for several days. Lusczynski did say, however, that the family is unaccounted for at this time.

SEE ALSO: Neighbors say family died in Tampa house fire

It was also revealed at the press conference that two of the victims suffered upper body trauma, but the extent of those injuries and how they were caused is not yet known. No weapons were located as of now inside the home.

Lusczynski went on to say that the fire was started intentionally by an accelerant that has not been identified at this time. Also, various commercial fireworks were found inside which is what the loud explosions likely were that neighbors reported hearing during the blaze. She also said investigators are considering murder-suicide as a possibility as to what happened and that no one else in the community is believed to be in any danger.

Investigators are expected to be out at the scene for days trying to collect evidence.

10 News’ search of property records confirm former tennis player James Blake owns the 5,856 square-foot mansion at 16223 Sierra de Avila, inside the exclusive Avila Golf and Country Club.

We were able to reach a contact with the James Blake Foundation, who says Blake was not inside the house when the fire broke out. He had been renting the home to someone else.

Blake is a former professional tennis player, who at one point was the #1-ranked American in the world. Blake retired last year.

 

 

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Mandy Minella Wins Women’s Pro Classic

 

(November 10, 2013) CAPTIVA, FLORIDA In Sunday’s Singles Finals at the Women’s Pro Classic at South Seas Island Resort, No. 2 seed Mandy Minella of Luxembourg defeated Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 to capture the inaugural event of the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Women’s Event on Captiva.  With professional tennis making its debut on Captiva this week, it was the final opportunity for players to obtain WTA Tour points in the U.S. to qualify for the 2014 Australian Open and exactly what Minella accomplished this week.

 

”This tournament was really important for me to win because now I am going to get directly into the Singles Main Draw of the Australian Open in January,” said Mandy Minella.  “The Women’s Pro Classic at South Seas was a perfect place to play a Pro Circuit event with all of the amenities and activities, I felt like I was on holiday half of the time I was here.”

 

Sunday’s Singles Finalist Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada was also the Doubles Champion in Saturday’s Doubles Finals with partner Allie Will as the top seeds and beat American duo Julia Boserup and Alexandra Mueller 6-1, 6-2 to claim the title.

 

Also making a special appearance at the Women’s Pro Classic Singles Final on Sunday was US Open Tournament Director, Brian Earley, who joined Captiva’s Tournament Director, Nick Blackwood, in the awards presentation ceremony.

 

“I was very excited about how well the Women’s Pro Classic went for our first year and all of the community support and involvement we had, I am already looking forward to next year’s event,” said Tournament Director, Nick Blackwood.  “It was great to see so many of the top ranked WTA Tour players come to a first year event at South Seas Island Resort and also see that our event made a major impact on one of the players who will now get directly into the Australian Open Main Draw in January.”

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Gabriela Dabrowski and Mandy Minella to Meet in Women’s Pro Classic Final

Gabriela Dabrowski photo by Mauricio Paiz

Gabriela Dabrowski photo by Mauricio Paiz

(November 9, 2013) CAPTIVA, FLORIDA – Saturday’s Semifinal Showdown turned out to be a highly entertaining day of tennis at the Women’s Pro Classic on Captiva at the South Seas Island Resort with No. 6 seed American Julia Cohen and Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada getting things started in the morning.  After Cohen won the opening set 6-1, Dabrowski rallied and fought back to take the second set 7-6 (2) and win the final set 6-4 in their semifinal match that lasted over three-and-a-half hours to earn a spot in Sunday’s Singles Final.

 

Following the the second Singles Semifinal match, No. 2 seed Mandy Minella of Luxemburg ddemolished American Allie Kiick in straight sets 6-0, 6-0 in less than hour.

 

“I felt really good out there today and I am really happy that I won because it was an important match for me,” said No. 2 seed Mandy Minella.  “After today, I have now earned enough points to get directly into the Main Draw of the Australian Open, today was a big win.”

 

In the Doubles Finals action at the Women’s Pro Classic on Saturday, top seeds Allie Will and Gabriela Dabrowski topped American duo Julia Boserup and Alexandra Mueller 6-1, 6-2 to claim the first Doubles Title for the Women’s Pro Classic inaugural $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event on Captiva this year.

 

On Sunday, the Singles Final between Gabriela Dabrowski and Mandy Minella is set to get underway at 12:00 p.m. on Stadium Court with the awards presentation to follow immediately after.  Also on-site on Sunday for the Women’s Pro Classic Singles Final will be special guest and local NBC2 News Anchor Sara Miles who will do the player introductions and present the trophies in the awards ceremony.

The Women’s Pro Classic is a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Women’s Event and the final opportunity for players to obtain WTA Tour points in the U.S. to qualify for the 2014 Australian Open.

 

 

 

RESULTS:

Women’s Singles Semifinals:

Gabriela DABROWSKI (CAN) def Julia COHEN (USA) [6] 1-6 7-6(2) 6-4

Mandy MINELLA (LUX) [2] def Allie KIICK (USA) 6-0 6-0

 

Double Finals:

Gabriela DABROWSKI (CAN) / Allie WILL (USA) [1] def Julia BOSERUP (USA) / Alexandra MUELLER 6-2, 6-1

 

SCHEDULE:

Sunday, November 10th

Singles Finals: 12:00 p.m. Start Time

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Two Americans Win in the Quarterfinals at the Women’s Pro Classic

Photo by Mauricio Paiz

Photo by Mauricio Paiz

(November 8, 2013) Back in action on Friday in Captiva at the Women’s Pro Classic $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Event at South Seas Island Resort were six American players in the Singles Quarterfinals including Nicole Gibbs,  No.6 seed Julia Cohen , Jessica Pegula seeded No. 8, Allie Kiick and Julia Boserup. 

Getting underway first was Cohen who defeated fellow American Nicole Gibbs in the All-American Quarterfinals showdown with Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski topping American and #8 seed Jessica Pegula 6-3, 3-0 ret.

 

Following this, Americans Allie Kiick and Julia Boserup both won the first sets of their matches with up-and-coming player Allie Kiick of South Florida defeating Elitsa Kostova 7-5, 4-0 ret. and Julia Boserup eventually falling in a close three set match to #2 seed Mandy Minella 6-7 (1), 6-1, 6-2.

 

In the Doubles semifinals action on Friday, top seed Allie Will and Gabriela Dabrowski defeated Americans Maria Sanchez and Samantha Crawford 7-6 (3), 7-5 with American duo Julia Boserup and Alexandra Mueller beating Ulrikke Eikeri and Elitsa Kostova 7-6 (4), 6-1 in the other Semifinals for a spot in the Doubles Finals on Saturday.

 

For Saturday’s line-up of competitive matches, two Americans are set to play in the Singles Main Draw to start off an exciting weekend of tennis at the South Seas Island Resort. Up first on Stadium Court at 10:00 a.m. will be Cohen vs. Gabriela Dabrowski followed by Allie Kiick vs. No. 2 seed Mandy Minella.  The Doubles Finals will be played following the Singles Semifinals on Stadium Court.

“I am excited to play in the semis tomorrow and about the opportunity to get into my first singles final of the year at this great event on such a beautiful island like Captiva,” said Gabriela Dabrowski, a semifinalist in the Singles Draw.  “I have been doing real well in doubles all year but I am very happy to have had such a good week here at the Women’s Pro Classic since it is the last tournament of the year.”

 

The Women’s Pro Classic is a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Women’s Event and the final opportunity for players to obtain WTA Tour points in the U.S. to qualify for the 2014 Australian Open.

 

For more information on the South Seas Island Resort Women’s Pro Classic, visit http://ssirproclassic.com, on facebook at www.facebook.com/ssirproclassic or on twitter @ssir50k along. For more information on USTA Pro Circuits, visit www.usta.com or on twitter @USTAProCirctuit.

 

ALL RESULTS:

Women’s Singles Main Draw Quarterfinals:

Gabriela DABROWSKI (CAN) def. Jessica PEGULA (USA) [8] 6-3 3-0 Ret.

Julia COHEN (USA) [6] def. Nicole GIBBS (USA) 6-2 6-1

Mandy MINELLA (LUX) [2] def. Julia BOSERUP (USA) 6-7(1) 6-1 6-2

Allie KIICK (USA) def. Elitsa KOSTOVA (BUL) 7-5 4-0 Ret.

 

Double Main Draw Semifinals:

Gabriela DABROWSKI (CAN) / Allie WILL (USA) [1] def. Samantha CRAWFORD (USA) / Maria SANCH7E-6Z( (3U) S7A-)5

Julia BOSERUP (USA) / Alexandra MUELLER (USA) def. Ulrikke EIKERI (NOR) / Elitsa KOSTOVA (BU7L)-6(4) 6-1

SCHEDULE:

Saturday, November 9th

Singles Main Draw Semifinals: 10:00 a.m. Start Time

Doubles Main Draw Doubles Finals: 3rd on Stadium Court After 10:00 a.m. Start Time

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American Allie Kiick Stuns Mealnie Oudin at the Women’s Pro Classic

Photo by Mauricio Paiz

Photo by Mauricio Paiz

(November 6, 2013) CAPTIVA, FLORIDA – Wednesday’s matches and line-up of American tennis stars playing at the Women’s Pro Classic turned out to be an exciting day of tennis on Captiva at the South Seas Island Resort with local Lauren Embree, Melanie Oudin, Victoria Duval and Taylor Townsend all in action on Wednesday.

 

Getting things underway this morning was Lauren Embree of the Naples area who battled in a three set marathon match lasted four hours and 27 minutes before falling to qualifier Chiara Scholl 6-7, 6-3, 7-5 in the first round of the Singles Main Draw of the Women’s Pro Classic.

 

Also in action on Wednesday was top American Singles seed No. 3 seed Melanie Oudin against fellow American Allie Kiick of South Florida at high noon on Stadium Court.  After winning the first set, Oudin was defeated by Kiick who came back to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-0. Also defeated in the first round of the Singles Main Draw today was rising American player Taylor Townsend who lost to No. 8 seed Jessica Pegula 6-2, 6-2.

 

Prevailing in action on Wednesday at the Women’s Pro Classic was young American tennis star Victoria Duval who cruised past American opponent Jacqueline Cako 6-1, 3-1 ret. to advance to the Round of 16 in the Singles Draw.  Along with this, No. 4 seed Maria Sanchez and No. 6 seed Julia Cohen also won their matches to advance in the Women’s Pro Classic along with #2 seed Mandy Minella. Top seed Michelle Larcher de Brito was defeated by Sanaz Marand when their match resumed play from a rain delay on Tuesday.

 

“With the upset of Melanie Oudin today, it goes to show that the young American players advancing in the draw are part of the next generation of American players who are coming up strong,” said Tournament Director Nick Blackwell.

 

On Thursday, the Round of 16 (second round) Singles Main Draw will hit the courts again starting at 9:30 a.m. when Maria Sanchez, Julia Cohen and Allie Kiick are all back in action for their second round matches.  Other top seeded Americans Victoria Duval and Jessica Puegula will also be on-court at South Seas Island Resort for their Round of 16 matches  For Thursday’s schedule of matches, anyone who comes out to the Women’s Pro Classic wearing the South Seas Island Resort club logo will receive a drink ticket for a complimentary beverage of their choice on-site.

 

The Women’s Pro Classic is a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Women’s Event and the final opportunity for players to obtain WTA Tour points in the U.S. to qualify for the 2014 Australian Open.  Of those in the Singles Main Draw, Melanie Oudin, who has been ranked as high as #31 in the WTA Tour Singles Rankings, is known for her thrilling run at the 2009 US Open where she defeated Maria Sharapova to advance to the Quarterfinals. Just this summer, Victoria Duval captured the hearts of Americans at the 2013 US Open after defeating Grand Slam Singles Champion Sam Stosur in the first round. In addition to this, Taylor Townsend has had breakthrough junior accomplishments on her way to playing the USTA Pro Circuit events winning the Junior Australian Open Singles Championship in 2012 and finishing the year ranked number one in Girls Singles Junior ITF World rankings.

 

The South Seas Island Resort Women’s Pro Classic is being held at the award-winning South Seas Island Resort in beautiful Captiva, Florida from November 3rd-10th at the Pavel & Blackwood Tennis Academy.  The Main Draw Singles and Doubles play will begin on Tuesday, November 5th, with the Finals taking place on Sunday, November 10th.  Throughout the week, the Women’s Pro Classic will showcase world class tennis from bringing the game’s emerging and future tennis stars to the area while benefiting three local philanthropic causes – the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Madisen’s Match and Partners for Breast Cancer Care, Inc.

 

This year’s Title Sponsor for the Women’s Pro Classic is the South Seas Island Resort with Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille as the Presenting Sponsor. Additional sponsors include Sofibella, NU Men’s Formal Tennis, Pro Graphx and PSAV.

 

 

 

ALL RESULTS:

Women’s Singles Main Draw Round of 32

Mandy MINELLA (LUX) [2] def. Chieh-Yu HSU (USA) 6-4 6-1

Ulrikke EIKERI (NOR) def. Nikki KALLENBERG (USA) 6-0 6-1

Sanaz MARAND (USA) def. Michelle LARCHER DE BRITO (POR) [1] 6-4 4-6 6-4

Julia BOSERUP (USA) def. Anna TATISHVILI (GEO) [5] 7-6(5) 3-0 Ret.

Heidi EL TABAKH (CAN) def. Maria-Fernanda ALVES (BRA) 2-6 6-3 6-3

Chiara SCHOLL (USA) def. Lauren EMBREE (USA) 6-7(2) 6-3 7-5

Allie KIICK (USA) def. Melanie OUDIN (USA) [3] 3-6 6-3 6-0

Jessica PEGULA (USA) [8] def. Taylor TOWNSEND (USA) 6-2 6-2

Allie WILL (USA) def. Alexandra MUELLER (USA) 7-6(5) 6-3

Victoria DUVAL (USA) [7] def. Jacqueline CAKO (USA) 6-1 3-1 Ret.

Elitsa KOSTOVA (BUL) def. Marta DOMACHOWSKA (POL) 6-1 7-6(7)

 

Double Main Draw Round of 16:

Samantha CRAWFORD (USA) / Maria SANCHEZ (USA) def. Natalie PLUSKOTA (USA) / Caitlin WHORISK6E-Y3 (6U-S4A )

Heidi EL TABAKH (CAN) / Allie KIICK (USA) def. Maria-Fernanda ALVES (BRA) [2] / Catalina 7C-A6S(T5A) N3-O6 ([C1O0-L7)]

Emily J. HARMAN (USA) / Jessica PEGULA (USA) [4] def. Anne-Liz JEUKENG (USA) / Jessica LAWRENC7-E6 (U5)S A6-)2

Gabriela DABROWSKI (CAN) / Allie WILL (USA) [1] def. Lauren EMBREE (USA) / Nikki KALLENBERG 6(U-3S A6-)3

Michelle SAMMONS (RSA) / Chiara SCHOLL (USA) def. Nicole GIBBS (USA) / Chieh-Yu HSU (USA) 4-6 7-5 [10-7]

 

SCHEDULE:

Thursday, November 7th

Singles Main Draw Round of 16: 9:30 a.m. Start Time

Doubles Main Draw Round of 16 & Quarterfinals: Second on after 10:30 a.m. Start Time

 

For more information on the South Seas Island Resort Women’s Pro Classic, visit http://ssirproclassic.com, on facebook at www.facebook.com/ssirproclassic or on twitter @ssir50k along. For more information on USTA Pro Circuits, visit www.usta.com or on twitter @USTAProCirctuit.

 

 

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Women’s Pro Tennis Debuts in Captiva at the Women’s Pro Classic

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(November 3, 2013) CAPTIVA, FLORIDA Women’s professional tennis officially made its debut in Captiva, Florida, today when play got underway for the Singles Qualifying Draw of the Women’s Pro Classic at South Seas Island Resort. A $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Women’s Event, it is the last one on the USTA Women’s Pro Circuit Calendar for 2013 and the final opportunity for players to obtain WTA Tour points in the U.S. to qualify for the 2014 Australian Open.

 

Advancing through the first round of Singles Qualifying, various Americans won their matches including Jan Abaza (#2 Seed) who defeated Caitlin Woriskey 6-2, 6-1 along with Chalena Scholl (#5 Seed) who topped Emily Harman in three sets 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.  Other American players Chiara Scholl (#6 Seed) and Lauren Embree (#8 seed) also won their first round matches and will be back in action on Monday in the second round of Singles Qualifying play at the Women’s Pro Classic.

 

Getting underway on Tuesday, November 5th, will be the Singles Main Draw with top rising American tennis stars headlining the event including Melanie Oudin, Maria Sanchez, Julia Cohen, Victoria Duval, Jessica Pegula, Nicole Gibbs, Allie Kiick, Taylor Townsend and Chieh-Yu Hsu.

 

Main Draw Singles Wild Card recipients for the Women’s Pro Classic include Wild Card Tournament winner Nikki Kallenberg with the three wild cards awarded by the USTA to Julia Boserup, Ellie Halbauer and Alexandra Mueller.  Receiving the Doubles Main Draw Wild Card is local Southwest Florida residents and doubles duo Kerry Kendricks and Angie Guillette. Additional Singles Qualifying Draw Wild Cards were also awarded to six players.

 

Of those in the Main Draw, Melanie Oudin, who has been ranked as high as #31 in the WTA Tour Singles Rankings, is known for her thrilling run at the 2009 US Open where she defeated Maria Sharapova to advance to the Quarterfinals. Just this summer, Victoria Duval captured the hearts of Americans at the 2013 US Open after defeating Grand Slam Singles Champion Sam Stosur in the first round. In addition to this, Taylor Townsend has had breakthrough junior accomplishments on her way to playing the USTA Pro Circuit events winning the Junior Australian Open Singles Championship in 2012 and finishing the year ranked number one in Girls Singles Junior ITF World rankings.

 

The South Seas Island Resort Women’s Pro Classic is being held at the award-winning South Seas Island Resort in beautiful Captiva, Florida from November 3rd-10th at the Pavel & Blackwood Tennis Academy.  The Main Draw Singles and Doubles play will begin on Tuesday, November 5th, with the Finals taking place on Sunday, November 10th.  Throughout the week, the Women’s Pro Classic will showcase world class tennis from bringing the game’s emerging and future tennis stars to the area while benefiting three local philanthropic causes – the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Madisen’s Match and Partners for Breast Cancer Care, Inc.

 

This year’s Title Sponsor for the Women’s Pro Classic is the South Seas Island Resort with Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille as the Presenting Sponsor. Additional sponsors include Sofibella, NU Men’s Formal Tennis, Pro Graphx and PSAV.

 

For more information on the South Seas Island Resort Women’s Pro Classic, visit http://ssirproclassic.com, on facebook at www.facebook.com/ssirproclassic or on twitter @ssir50k along with the USTA Pro Circuit (@USTAProCirctuit).

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ALL RESULTS:

Women’s Singles Qualifying – Round One:

Anastasiya KOMARDINA (RUS) def. Lisanne VAN RIET (NED) [1] 6-3 6-3

Marie NORRIS (USA) def. Michaela GORDON (USA) 6-4 6-3

Jan ABAZA (USA) [2] def. Caitlin WHORISKEY (USA) 6-2 6-1

Tori KINARD (USA) def. Alaina EWING (USA) 6-0 6-0

Jacqueline CAKO (USA) def. Naomi OSAKA (JPN) [3] 6-4 3-6 7-5

Usue Maitane ARCONADA (USA) def. Alina KUZMENKOVA (RUS) 6-2 6-4

Denise MURESAN (USA) def. Johnnise RENAUD (USA) 7-5 6-2

Savannah EWING (USA) def. Nicole ROTTMANN (AUT) [4] 0-3 Ret.

Lauren EMBREE (USA) [8] def. Jessica LAWRENCE (USA) 6-2 6-3

Natalie PLUSKOTA (USA) def. Mercedes HAMMOND (USA) 6-3 7-5

Mari OSAKA (JPN) def. Lisa PONOMAR (GER) 7-6(4) 6-2

Chiara SCHOLL (USA) [6] def. Danielle MILLS (USA) 6-1 3-2 Ret.

Chalena SCHOLL (USA) [5] def. Emily J. HARMAN (USA) 6-1 3-6 6-1

Maria-Fernanda ALVES (BRA) def, [7] Michelle SAMMONS (RSA) 6-1 3-6 6-1

Anne-Liz JEUKENG (USA) def. Meghan LYALL (USA) 6-4 6-2

Brooke AUSTIN (USA) def. Jaqueline Adina CRISTIAN (ROU) 6-1 6-3

 

SCHEDULE:

Monday, November 4th

Singles Qualifying Round Two: 10:00 a.m. Start Time

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Serena and Venus Williams Win to Wrap Up Fed Cup World Group Spot for the U.S.

 

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

By Nathalie Narcisse

(April 21, 2013) DELRAY BEACH, Florida – On a day where tennis legend Chris Evert was lauded for Federation Cup accomplishments, it was fitting that dynamic duo, Serena and Venus Williams carried their matches to prevent the U.S. from slipping out of the world group.

In the first match at the Delray Beach Tennis Center, Serena crushed Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson 6-2, 6-1 while Venus hung tough against Johanna Larsson 6-3,7-5 to permit the Americans to compete for the Federation Cup title in 2014.

After Serena’s victory Saturday evening placed the U.S. on even terms with Sweden, captain Mary Joe Fernandez was hoping to maintain the momentum. The world number one did not disappoint.

In the early stages of the opening set, the sun seemed to be Serena’s biggest nemesis. She fought off three break points before finally putting a period on a long third game.

Subsequently, Serena manufactured triple break point and capitalized for 3-1. Then, with an ace, the world number one consolidated for 4-1. Serena went on to break Arvidsson a second time to bed the initial set.

Serena captured seven consecutive games before Arvidsson ultimately held in the sixth game of the second set to avoid posting a bagel. However, it was only a temporary reprieve. Soon, with her tenth ace, Serena arrived at triple match point. The world number one finished the proceedings with an unreturnable serve.

Overall a good performance by Serena considering the match lasted only 57 minutes, with 35 winners and 22 unforced errors. The third game in the first set was critical. Serena stated “if she had won that game, it would have been a tougher score or a different match. It was important for me to stay focused and fight for every point”.

While Serena does not use on court coaching with her WTA matches, she appreciates the support when it comes to team competition “it feels good, it’s different when you do call your coach on court. . .I take everything in, I just try to be like a sponge and listen”.

Since the sun was bothersome for both players, Arvidsson emphasized it was not a factor in her defeat “[Serena] was just too good. She showed why she’s number one”.

Serena was glad to see big sister in the position to seal the tie for the U.S. “Venus is a veteran and a great player. I hope she does really well”.

According to Fernandez, Venus was a “last minute decision . . after the warm-up today”, the gamble paid off.

Subsequent to a double fault to donate the opening game to Larsson, Venus regained her footing by promptly breaking herself. Later on, the American struck a forehand down the line winner up triple break point to capture he third successive game for 3-1. Despite being challenged, Venus consolidated for 4-1 and maintained the one break edge to finish off the first set.

Larsson warded off 0-40 to ultimately guard serve for 3-2 in the second set. Yet, with Larsson’s forehand pass landing long, Venus had her fifth break chance of the set. She converted when the Swede flubbed a backhand.

Soon with a hold at love, Venus raced to a 5-3 lead. However, with a love game of her own, the Swede forced Venus to serve out the match.

With a third double fault in the tenth game at 0-40, Venus opened the door for Larsson as the second set was now at 5 all.

Still, the American plugged away to regain the advantage. Serving for the tie the second time around, Venus went to nine deuces, had four double faults, salvaged three break points before striking gold on her eighth match point.

This was the maiden meeting between Venus and Larsson. The Swede was not surprised by the substitution “Sofia played a really good match yesterday. . .I was prepared mentally to play Venus. . .I was struggling the whole match to find a good rhythm. . I really tried to keep fighting”.

Despite the outcome, the Swedish coach felt “it’s the best experience you can ever have. [Johanna and Sofia] can keep [their] head up and be very proud. . .go back home with a lot of experience to use the rest of the year”.

After seeing a myriad of match points evaporate, Venus expressed “I was trying to stay focused. . .the game was very competitive, we were both going for the lines and missing them closely”.

Venus had not played Fed Cup singles since 2007. Ironically, the last time was also in South Florida. Moreover, Venus had never previously clinched the tie for her nation. The American cited “it’s a different kind of pressure being on a team, you just want to do more. I wanted to be out there”.

Venus felt a sense of relief wrapping thing up in straight sets “I needed it to be over in two. Mary Joe needed it to be over in two. She was having a heart attack on the sidelines”.

Now, the Americans will wait until next season to work together again in this format. Fernandez acknowledged “that’s the hardest thing about Fed Cup, the scheduling and how long it takes between the ties. You start building a chemistry with the team, a lot of bonding and you push each other. It’s fun. . .we’re still going to be watching each other, supporting each other. . .and we’ll regroup February of next year”.

With so many niggling physical issues, Fernandez withdrew her team from the doubles match. So, USA win over Sweden by a mark of 3-2.

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Serena Williams Squares World Group Play-Off Tie versus Sweden

SerenaWilliamsWilsonPhoto

By Nathalie Narcisse

 

(April 20, 2013) DELRAY BEACH. Florida – After a three-hour setback due to showers at the Delray Beach Tennis Center, Serena Williams sauntered on court to face Swede Johanna Larsson. The world No. 1 dusted off her opponent 6-2, 6-2 to knot the tie between the two nations.

This was the first meeting between these two players. With Sofia Arvidsson vanquishing Sloane Stephens in the opening rubber, it was Williams’ job to prevent the U.S. team from going into a 2-0 hole.

Although, this was Williams’ seventh tie compared to Larsson’s thirty third, the difference though was that Williams was undefeated in Fed Cup play 11-0 and not to mention double digit majors titles.

Subsequent to Larsson’s double fault, Williams had double break point. With a crosscourt backhand winner, the American converted and swiftly consolidated for 3-0.

Despite a grueling game, Larsson guarded serve to stay one break behind at 3-1. Quickly, Williams coasted on serve to arrive at 5-2.

By provoking miscues from Larsson, Williams had double set point. With a backhand down the line winner, Williams bedded the first set.

The second set was not a cakewalk for Williams. In the opening game, the American’s mistakes on serve found her staring at 15-40. As usual, Williams selected the right serves to bail herself out of trouble. Her second time serving, Williams fended off another break point to keep her nose in front, 2-1.

While Larsson competed better, the unforced errors by Williams also began to mount. But, in the fourth game, two double faults by the Swede helped Williams to eventually get to deuce. Soon, with a forehand winner, the American had break point and later Williams pocketed the game for 3-1.

After comfortably getting to 5-2, the American captured another break to close out the match.

Considering the firepower on the American side, Swedish captain Lars-Anders Wahlgren is ecstatic with the performance of his players so far “it’s a little bit of a surprise for the Swedish team, it’s 1-1. I always believe in my girls. I was hoping for even 2-0”.

Despite the outcome, Larsson felt it was a great experience to battle a player of Williams’ caliber “it’s definitely an experience for me today. I had a lot of fun. . .I had a few chances. . When you play those players who are extremely aggressive, you really need to take your chances. . .I did my best and I was fighting the whole match”.

While for other competitors being down 0-1 in team play may cause some angst, Williams stated “I don’t feel pressure. Not this time around. . .I feel even though we didn’t win our first match, we have a really good team”.

Williams agreed that the second set was much tougher “I think she played a lot better. I think I also made more errors. She’s a really good player. She’s a professional. You can’t get on this level without being solid”.

Certainly, a different atmosphere and sensation representing yourself versus one’s country. Williams commented “I just try to fight and do the best I can. I’m here for my team. I’m here to give 100 percent”.

With Williams’ win, captain Mary Joe Fernandez was finally able to breathe “it was big for Serena to get a quick start. I thought the first match could have gone either way. Sloane had opportunities and wasn’t able to capitalize. . .conditions were tough and the rain delay sort of slowed her down because she had the momentum”.

A lot on the line tomorrow. Does Fernandez believe that Stephens will require tactical, mental support or both? Fernandez replied “every time you step on the court it’s a chance to get better and improve. When you have a few ups and down, you have to mentally get a little bit stronger. It helps when you are tactically sound and clear on what you need to do. So, I try to support and give as clear advice as I can on what I see out there and hope that works”.

The first match on Sunday afternoon will feature Williams against Arvidsson, followed by Stephens versus Larsson and will culminate with doubles play. The U.S. pair of Venus Williams and Vavara Lepchenko will collide with Larsson and Arvidsson.

Nathalie Narcisse is in Delray Beach covering the Fed Cup tie for Tennis Panorama News as media. Follow her twitter updates on @TennisNewsTPN.

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Arvidsson Stops Stephens to Give Sweden 1-0 Lead in World Group Play-Offs

Sofia Arvidsson

Sofia Arvidsson

By Nathalie Narcisse

(April 20, 1013) DELRAY BEACH, Florida – The U.S. took on Sweden on hardcourt at the Delray Beach Tennis Center in the World Group Play-Offs.  In the initial match on Saturday, Swedish veteran Sofia Arvidsson, playing her 48th tie, recorded her 34th singles victory.  Arvidsson prevailed 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 over twenty-year-old Sloane Stephens who was contesting her maiden live rubber.

Florida has been the United States’ Federation Cup lucky charm.  In three prior visits to the Sunshine State, 1995 versus Austria, 2005 and 2007 against Belgium, the Americans never relinquished a match.  With Floridians, Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams on hand, the Stars and Stripes were viewed as runway favorites.

Stephens seemed overwhelmed from the get-go.  As a result of a slew of miscues, the American surrendered her serve in the opening game.  Arvidsson went on to consolidate for 2-0.

Later on, the Swede dropped serve at love to permit Stephens to knot the first set at 2.  Soon with a hold, Stephens had a 3-2 lead.

However, a consistent opponent and 21 unforced errors turned out to be Stephens’ undoing.  Arvidsson broke for the third time for 5-4, then went on to easily serve out the opening set.

Stephens managed to reverse the tide in the second set.  Despite permitting a 3-0 advantage to melt away, Stephens cleaned up the stats sheet with a positive ratio of winners to unforced errors.  The American broke her rival at 5-4 to push the match into a final set.

The hot and humid conditions permitted both players to invoke the heat rule.  During that respite, a light drizzle came down which further postponed the deciding set.

The interlude appeared to squash Stephens’ momentum.  By committing a double fault, the American gifted Arvidsson double break point to start the set.  With Stephens dumping a forehand into the net, Arvidsson captured the break.  The Swede secured the four consecutive games as Stephens littered the court with mistakes.

In the sixth game, as Stephens’ forehand volley landed on her side of the net,  Arvidsson sealed her third break of the set to convert on her fourth match point opportunity.

Head-to-head, Arvidsson and Stephens split their two previous matches.  Unlike Brisbane earlier this year where Stephens “was dictating the points”, Arvidsson stated. “I tried to be aggressive.  That’s when I won my points”.

The rain was welcomed by Arvidsson “first set was really hard, I was kind of tired in the second.  I think the break was good for me.  It was a little cooler when we came out”.

For Arvidsson the opening match was crucial “first match is always important.  You want to win and put a lot of pressure on the other team.  [Particularly] with Serena a very big favorite in the second match”.

Stephens was disappointed with the result “she played really good tennis.  It was definitely tough conditions.  I thought I played pretty well.  It’s unfortunate that I didn’t get my first Fed Cup live rubber win at this home tie”.

Stephens admitted the pressure was not being the “lead off match.  I think it was playing my first live rubber at home. . .this is the most pressure and anxiety I’ve had since Australia. . .I didn’t want to let my team down”.

Still Stephens is trying to be positive “I’m going to go out for my team, hope Serena wins her match and we can start up with a bang tomorrow again. . . A lot to learn. . .my next tie I’ll definitely know what to expect”.

This is the fifth showdown between these two countries, the U.S. lead Sweden 3-1.  The latter triumphed at their ultimate meeting in 1988.  Sweden is vying to regain world group status for the first time since 2003.

Nathalie Narcisse is in Delray Beach covering the Fed Cup tie for Tennis Panorama News as media. Follow her twitter updates on @TennisNewsTPN.

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