Wednesday, February 22, 2012

On Tap This Weekend (2/25 - 2/27) in Tennis

USPTA Pro League
Spectators at Gulf Harbour Pro League
The Fort Myers, Ritzman Tennis USPTA Pro League is back at it this Friday at 4pm and 5:30pm at, the-very-easy-to-get-to, Lexington Country Club. With just one regular season match to go after this one to determine who plays for first-place prize money, the competition ought to be pretty intense from here on out.

Joel & T A in Pro League Action
Boston Retirement Advisors (BRA) has the top spot pretty much locked up, and the other three teams will be vying to see which will meet BRA in the Playoffs on March 30th at Legends.  This Friday, BRA plays Johnny Malloy’s (JM) at 4pm, and Harborside Dental (HD) faces AutoDrive (AD) at 5:30pm, with the exception of the mixed doubles match which will start at 4pm. Click here for a full recap of the most recent Pro League at Shadow Wood, along with standings and schedule.

While we’re on the topic of Pro League, if you follow the league, you know that I lost my partner (doubles and otherwise), Joel Hampton, a few weeks ago. Well, he is lost to many other would-be partners in a different way: Joel’s engaged! Can you believe that? Baby on the way, wedding on the way...sounds like settling down to me. Who’d a thunk it? Oh, by the way, the foot is on the mend.

Hank Jungle Memorial at Cypress Lake
If you haven’t already gotten involved, now is the time, because the Hank Jungle Memorial Benefit event is this weekend at Cypress Lake Country Club!  Starting Saturday and continuing through Sunday, you can participate in, or just come to support, the doubles tournament, the Pro-Am, the doubles exhibition, and, or the silent auction.

Terry See in Action
Terry See, director of tennis at Cypress Lake, tells me that he could use a few more mixed doubles teams for the Doubles Tournament on Saturday, and has room for four more amateur players for the Pro-Am on Sunday morning. Playing with the pros or watching the exhibitions ought to be fun experience, so get in the game! He’s closing entries tomorrow (Thur.) so give Terry a call ASAP if interested.

The unveiling of the Hank Jungle Memorial Tennis Court will take place at 9am Saturday morning. Again, if you would like to participate in any of the events, support the cause, or need more information, please contact Terry at 239-851-6663 

Three Oaks Hosts National Speaker
David Benzel
David Benzel
 Don't forget that David Benzel, a nationally recognized speaker and family coach, will be at Three Oaks Tennis Center this Sunday, February 26 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Courtesy of Three Oaks and Douglas Milsap, DDS, Benzel will be speaking on “How to Create a Confident Athlete.”
Fred Hindle
 Tennis Director at Three Oaks, Fred Hindle, is inviting parents, grandparents, and anyone else with kids interested in athletics to come out. The complimentary event is open to the entire family, and youngsters from 4-17 who attend will have the opportunity to play carnival and tennis games with prizes and refreshments.

Benzel is a corporate leadership coach for companies like Nextel, Sprint, Allstate, Balfour Beatty, and The Villages; is an eight-time National Water Ski Champion;a former coach of the U.S. Water Ski Team; and recipient of the Award of Distinction from the Water Ski Hall of Fame. There's more, but you can read more about Benzel here. For more info or to participate, please call or email Fred Hindle at 239-898-7770, 239-596-2527, or

Super Seniors at it Again in Sarasota 
Larry Turville's Patented Slice Backhand
Larry Turville is the area’s lone representative in singles at the West Coast Super Senior Grand Prix at The Meadows Racquet Club. Larry is (surprise, surprise) the No.1 Seed in the Men’s 55s, and will begin his campaign against Dennis Diamond on Thursday morning at 11:30.  It’s a good bet that Larry will uphold his seed, given that he lost just one singles match all of last year (29-1) and has yet to lose one this year.

The only other area representative we have is Richard Tarantino of Naples, who is teamed with Arnold Vance of University Park in the 65 Doubles. Tarantino and Vance are also seeded No.1, and open their quest for the Championship today (Wed.) at 1pm. 

The Pros This Weekend: ATP & WTA Tours
Jo Willy Tsonga
Photo courtesy of
If you are really into tennis and like to watch the pros even when a Grand Slam isn't being played, there's some Pro Tennis action on Tennis Channel for you as well. The ATP Tour is in Memphis, Buenos Aires and Marseilles. The WTA Tour is in Memphis and Dubai.

Andy Roddick
Photo courtesy of
For men's action, I would personally tune in to Marseilles. With players like Tsonga, Fish, Del Potro, Tipsarevic, and Dolgopolov playing indoors on hard courts, there'll be plenty of firepower and shotmaking in France this weekend. If it's American men you want to see, then Andy Roddick and John Isner are both in Memphis on indoor hard courts, so that should be pretty nice as well. David Ferrer is the biggest name on the clay in Argentina. Click here for Tennis Channel's weekend line-up

Victoria Azarenka
Photo courtesy of
The top women, including Australian Open Champ, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki, and Sam Stosur are playing in Dubai, so that would be my pick to watch. None of the really heavy hitters are in Memphis, but with the depth in both women's and men's tennis these days, if you're a real tennis junkie, you might tune in to see some up and comers in Memphis.

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