Wednesday, November 30, 2011

USPTA Pro League & A Little More

The Fort Myers Ritzman Tennis USPTA Pro League goes to Fiddlesticks this coming Friday, Dec. 2, and the good news for me is that I get to play before it gets dark! I was thinking of getting a sub if I had to play under lights.

Matches will be staggered, with Mixed Doubles starting at 3pm, four other courts at 3:30pm, and the other final four at 5pm. The race is relatively close with Boston Retirement Advisors (BRA) leading the way with 21 points, Auto Drive (AD) in second with 17.5, Harborside Dental (HD) with 16, and Johnny Malloy’s (JM) bringing up the rear with 14.

Undefeated Records on the Line

BRA’s two undefeated teams (Manuel Encalada & Tyler Owens at No.1, and Luke Andreae & Frank Fourgeau at No.2) will put their unblemished records on the line against tough teams from AD, and HD will try to fend off JM’s attempt to rise from the cellar. Host Jeff Diggs & Patrick Kangwa will try to avenge one of their tough losses, playing against Joel Hampton and me at 3:30pm. As always, the action will be entertaining, and refreshments will be available for spectators.

Toys for TotsThis Friday’s event is the last opportunity for community members to contribute to the USPTA Pros’ Toys for Tots drive spearheaded by Shawn Hedrick. Fiddlesticks has always been very successful in collecting items for the drive and we hope this Friday will be no exception.

Nino at Eddie Herr

If you recall, in one of the blog posts last week I mentioned Philippe Nino, a 12-year-old from Naples who was competing this past weekend in the Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships in Bradenton. You may recall that Orlando Ferrer Chacin’s Land Sharks Tennis was sponsoring Philippe’s participation in the event.

Well, just getting into the main draw at the Eddie Herr is a big deal, even if it is in the Boys 12s, and winning a round suggests that there is considerable potential. That is what Philippe did: He won his first round against Blaise Bicknell of Jamaica, 6-4, 6-1, before losing 1-6, 1-6 to Juan Ortegui of Argentina, a very tough player who lost 5-7, 4-6 to the No.1 Seed. Would be nice to see this youngster get the support he needs to take full advantage of his talent.

Blythe Battles Thru Finals

There was some local competitive tennis for juniors as well over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and unseeded Zack Blythe of Cape Coral was a finalist in the Boys 16s Division of the Lehigh Acres Local Thanksgiving Classic held at Myra Kessler Tennis Center. Not only did Zach reach the final as an unseededplayer, he also played a tiebreak in each of his four matches. He won tiebreaks to close out his first two matches (the 1st against the No.4 Seed) , and outlasted No.1 Seed Brandon Wortkotter of Fort Myers in a 10-8 super-tiebreak to win his semifinal match.

Unfortunately, the final was the same day, and Zach couldn’t quite pull off yet another super-tiebreak against No.2 Seed Chase Burton of Naples, who had had a much easier time getting to the final. Zach didn’t go down easily though, taking Burton to 10-6 in the super tiebreak. So Zach, need some conditioning there bud? Just teasing big guy.

I’m the one in need of conditioning. Looking for some Thanksgiving tennis, I figured if all I could get was turkey around here (no offense to playing partners Oliver, Fernando, Dave & Parker), I may as well travel. Click here to view an account of my Turkey Bowl tennis escapades in Boca.

League Tennis

Other than the above, I have been checking out Land Sharks Tennis League's competitive results, and I’m beginning to get an understanding as to why Naples puts a spanking on Fort Myers almost every time we play the Challenge. Uh folks, the people in Naples/Collier County actually play competitive tennis a lot! There are far too many league results to report here, but if you are interested in checking out their singles, doubles, and/or mixed leagues, click here.
And finally, new USTA Winter Leagues are around the corner.  I received the following notice from Jon McVety:

The following Winter Leagues
are now forming in Lee and Charlotte counties…
Commitment Deadline:         Thursday December 22, 2011 for all leagues.
Captain’s meeting:                 Monday, January 2, 2011 for all leagues
League play begins:              Week of January 9th 2012 for all leagues

Send request to captain a  team to Kevin Gaines, League Coordinator at
  • Ages 18+ The  NTRP levels of play are 2.5,3.0,3.5,4.0,4.5
  • Eight players are a minimum for a team except 2.5
  • Play will be with 3 doubles positions and 2 singles. Starting times are no earlier than 6:30 PM.
Send request to captain a Mixed Senior team to Jon McVety, League Coordinator at 
           Ages 50+ The combined levels of play are 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, and 9.0
  • The NTRP rating difference between partners may not exceed 1.0
  • Six players (3 men and 3 women) minimum for a team
  • Play will be with 3 mixed doubles positions. Playing times are on Saturday mornings.
Send requests to captain a doubles team to Jon McVety League Coordinator at

          Ages 50+
  • Levels of play from 3.0 to 4.5
  • Six players minimum for a team.
  • Play will be 3 doubles positions.
Send requests to captain a Super Senior team to Donna McVety, League Coordinator at
  • Ages 60+
  • Levels of play from 3.0 to 4.5
  • Six players minimum for a team.
  • Play will be 3 doubles positions.
Note: Requirement age  of 18 years for adults, 50 years for seniors, and 60 years for super seniors, may be reached any time during the calendar year in which the first match begins.

I hope you get as much tennis in as possible this coming year. Can you believe it's almost 2012!  I'm looking forward to it. Have a good a holiday tennis season. Game, set, match...T A

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