Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Around the Tennis Beat in Too Many Words!

Masters Pro League
Armor Persons, Director of Tennis at Breckenridge Tennis Center recently announced that the second edition of the Masters Pro League will begin this Friday, November 11, at 5pm at Breckenridge.  A complement to the Fort Myers Ritzman Tennis USPTA Pro League, the Masters Pro League features local players age 40 and above, who are skilled players, but not necessarily USPTA Professionals. According to Armor, “Last year all sites had great turnout of spectators.” Masters Pro League events will take place monthly, and all are welcome to participate. If interested in participating or finding out more about the event, email or call 230-691-6659.

Naples-Fort Myers Challenge
Jeff Timmer- Captain, Fort Myers Challenge Team
The Challenge is just about here! One of the longest running annual events in Southwest Florida (this is year 31) is happening this coming weekend (Saturday, November 12th) at Bonita Bay Club in Bonita Springs. Unlike previous years, the competition will be an adult affair entirely, with matches starting at 2:30pm and 4pm.
This will be my fifth time playing in the Challenge, and I had the honor of being on the team one of the two times (out of 30!) that Fort Myers has won the Challenge. I’m hoping for just one more crack at the legendary Larry Turville, who has left me with the “agony of defeat” the two times we have played. You know what they say: “Be careful what you ask for!” I’m 2-2 in the Challenge, and hoping to emerge from this year’s event with a winning record.
Click here for a peek at Robyn George’s piece on the Challenge, and check out the Lee County Community Tennis Association's (LCCTA) new affiliation.
USPTA Grand Prix Masters Performers
Fort Myers Pros at USPTA Grand Prix Masters
Local area pros did a nice job of representing the Southwest Florida tennis community at the USPTA Grand Prix Masters event, held at Williams Island Tennis Club in Aventura this past weekend. Terry See (Cypress Lake Country Club) claimed the Men’s 60 Singles and Doubles; Steve Shortridge (Colonial Country Club) was a finalist in the Men’s 55 Singles; and yours truly (Park Meadow Tennis Center) won the Men’s 50 Doubles teamed with former local pro, Frank Swope. Bob Green (Pelican Preserve) and Chris Fletcher (formerly of Legends) also participated in the event
USTA Intersectional Keith Donoff Challenge Cup
USTA Florida Donoff Cup Team
Armor Persons and Fred Drilling of Estero, and Larry Turville of Naples represented USTA Florida at the Keith Donoff Challenge Cup, held at the Western Tennis and Fitness Club in Cincinnati, Ohio this past weekend (Nov. 4 -6). USTA Florida competed against the Midwest, Southern and Texas USTA sections for Donoff Cup bragging rights.

The competition consists of a team round robin format with three singles and two doubles teams from each Section in the 55s, 60s and 65s age brackets. It was apparently a very close battle that went down to the final match which involved our own Armor Persons serving at match point in the third-set super-tiebreak. Click here for the exciting event details.

While we’re speaking of the ever-thinner Armor Persons, let it be noted that he is fully on the comeback trail. Armor will be heading to Boca Raton to play in the Men’s 55 Division at the USTA Florida State Closed event at Boca Pointe, November 15-19. Also participating in the State Closed is Bob Green who will play Men’s 60s. We wish them the best!

Fort Myers Ritzman Tennis USPTA Pro League 
Standing room only @ Gulf Harbour Pro League
Joel Hampton & T. A. Niles at Gulf Harbour Pro League
I would love to give you a full recap of last Friday's (November 4) Pro League matches at Gulf Harbour, but I really don’t know who did what in all the matches. I do know that Boston Retirement Advisors (BRA) held on to their early lead, and that our team, Harborside Dental, has dropped to third, five points behind the leaders. I’ll post a full recap and preview of next week’s Pro League at Pelican Landings when I get all the info from the team captains.

News to Me
Just in case someone is looking, thanks to a tip from Jon McVety, I now know that Fort Myers Racquet Club is in search of a manager. Contacting the City of Fort Myers would probably be the way to go if interested.
Oh, by the way, have you heard of BonEro? Well I hadn't until recently, and I imagine there are quite a few who haven't, sooooo...I'm going to check it out a bit more and get back to you, but for now, just know that it is a League for women over 50 that bills itself as, "a happy little league for women's doubles in Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida." Click the link above if you can't wait for me to check it out.
Postscript: Ya know, as I read this particular blog, I'm thinking I should have titled it "The Resurrection of Armor Persons" or something like that. Props to Armor and all he's been to this tennis community for so many years! Game, set, match...T. A.
Donoff Cup photo courtesy of USTA FL website
Pro League photos courtesy of Jim Rollero

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