Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lots Coming up in Fort Myers Tennis

USPTA Pro League at Colonial
Fort Myers Ritzman Tennis 
USPTA Pro League 
Colonial Country Club will host the final regular season match of the 2011 - 2012 Fort Myers Ritzman Tennis USPTA Pro League this Friday, March 9th at 4pm. Boston Retirement Advisors (BRA), led by League Commissioner Jim Katterfield, has first place all locked up, but the other three teams are battling to see who will face BRA in the Playoffs at Legends on Friday, March 30th.
Jim Katterfield & Fred Hindle of BRA
My team, Harborside Dental (HD), captained by Mike Curran, trails the pack for the first time this season, and will play BRA, while second-place AutoDrive (AD) will take on third-place Johnny Malloy's (JM). The point totals are really close among the three chasers, so this match is (do I dare say it?) HUGE Caroline! Check out the Lexington recap for points and other details.

Florida Gulf Coast Tennis
Spectators at FGCU's 1st Night Match
If you had a chance to check out my posts on FGCU Men’s Tennis, then you know that FGCU’s Men’s Tennis Team is mounting a major outreach to our tennis community, and that outreach has had a successful beginning. This past Thursday, the team had its largest crowd to date, as over 200 spectators cheered the team to victory over Kennesaw State (click here for recap).
Coach Weber spurs on troops
Coach C. J. Weber, recently hired away from University of Miami, is seeking to build on the recent success, and is inviting tennis players of levels to come out for their Inaugural "FGCU-nion- bringing people together." In efforts to introduce the local tennis community to the FGCU Men’s Team, and the recently upgraded tennis facility, and the campus in general, the team will host a Clinic, "Player-Am," and exhibition on their newly resurfaced courts Saturday, March 10th, from 9am – 12pm.
Community members who choose to get in the game will take part in a clinic taught by team members, play in a Player-Am (team with a player), and will be treated to a catered lunch and an exhibition by the players. The program is seeking a donation of $50 from participants and Coach Weber is requesting an RSVP by Wednesday, March 7th. He can be reached at 239-590-7009 or   Hope to see you out there!

Gulf Harbour Mixed Championships
Gulf Harbour’s climax to their Club Championship season will be happening this weekend, beginning Friday the 9th. The Mixed draw is usually the most populous of the Club Championships draws at Gulf Harbour and the action is usually pretty hotly contested. If you are near the courts this weekend you might want to drop by.

USTA Leagues Deadlines Approaching
If you’re interested in participating in USTA Spring Leagues, the time to register is NOW! Commitment Deadline is Sunday, March 11th, Captains’ Meeting is Monday March 19th, and play begins the week of March 24th.

Just for clarification purposes, there are Senior Leagues for those at or past the half-century mark, and Adult Leagues, for anyone old enough to drink legally (uh, that’s 18 and older if you just crawled out from under a rock…or a foreign country).

Jon McVety handles the Senior Leagues and can be reached at Kevin Gaines manages the Adult Leagues and can be reached at Both of these gentlemen have a wealth of information which they will gladly send you, and will guide you through the steps of starting or getting on a team. 

Park Meadow Tennis Hot in March!
Players at Kelly Greens Masters Pro League
The Masters Pro League, the league for players who are just about 40-ish and beyond, and who may or may not be involved in the Fort Myers Ritzman Tennis USPTA Pro League, is heading to Park Meadow Tennis Center on Friday, March 16th. This will be the final Masters event of the season, and it promises to be one of the best.

There’s a rumor that the very talented but seldom seen Steve Hedrick will be making an on-court appearance on the First Doubles court, but we’ll just have to see how true that rumor is. I’ll be sure to post the lineup a few days before the event.
Beth Shears & Regina Stenger share a 
moment at Park Meadow
Anna sets up Karaoke at Park Meadow
In addition to the Masters Pro League, Park Meadow will hold it's season ending celebration the same night, honoring and thanking the team captains for the hard work they do. With Dan Campbell on his "famous smoker,"  wine, beer, and the most down to earth fun you will ever have at a tennis gathering, how can you miss this! The festivities begin at 4pm

Park Meadow Club Championships
Chris & Elaine Capps at Park Meadow
Speaking of Park Meadow, if tennis is in your blood, you love to compete, and you play at Park Meadow, then you will be looking forward to the last two weekends in March. Park Meadow will be holding its Club Championships on the weekends of March 24th (Mixed Doubles) and March 31st (Men’s & Women’s Doubles).

Anna & Michelle play dubs
at Park Meadow
Unlike most clubs in the area, you don’t absolutely have to be a member of Park Meadow to play. As with all things Park Meadow, it’s up to Oliver to decide who can play. If you are “Park Meadow friendly,” I’ll bet you’d be welcome.

In any event, the competition will be round robin, 8-game- pro-set format, with divisions from 6.0 through 9.0 and higher. The entry fee is a modest $20 per player, per event and the fee includes breakfast and BBQ. I’m sure you know how much fun those BBQs at Park Meadow can be. For more info, call or text Oliver Stenger at 239-222-1164.

Fort Myers Racquet Club
Spectators at 2012 Edison Classic at  FMRC
Carly and friends at Fort Myers Racquet Club are inviting you to their St. Patrick’s Day Tennis Social on Saturday, March 17th. If you want to play a little fun tennis, eat a little, drink a little and just have a good time on St. Patty’s Day, the festivities will begin at 9:00 and go until 12:00 pm

Cost to participate is $5 per person, and Carly would be really happy if you sign up at the Racquet Club beforehand so she knows how many people to expect!  Oh, and you can go have fun eating and drinking even if you don’t feel like playing. 

Photo courtesy of Madisen's
Match Website
It is time again for Madisen’s Match, an event that is quickly growing into one of the premier tennis occasions of the year in the Fort Myers-Naples area. The Landings Yacht, Golf & Tennis Club will host the charity tennis event for the second consecutive year, on Saturday March 31st.

Uncle Duane & Madisen
Initiated by Duane Chaney in response to his niece Madisen Abramson’s brain tumor diagnosis, Madisen’s Match is Duane’s way of merging his love for tennis with his desire to help Madisen and others in similar circumstances. The event has raised upwards of $30k over the past three events, and according to Duane, “The goal going forward is for Madisen’s Match to raise to raise $75k for the “Madisen’s Match at the Landings” playroom at the new Lee Memorial Children’s Hospital at Health Park.

Madisen's Match long-term goal
Photo courtesy of Madisen's
Match Website
Funds raised at the 2012 edition of Madisen’s Match will go to some very worthy local pediatric and adult causes. The causes include the Lee Memorial Health System Regional Cancer Center (adult care), and Barbara’s Friends, The Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund of The Lee Memorial Health System Foundation.

This Year’s Event
Ryan Harrison at 2010 US Open
Photo by Ben Solomon 
for The New York Times
Ryan Sweeting
Photo courtesy of
Two of America’s rising stars in Ryan Harrison and Ryan Sweeting, both in the top 100 on the ATP Tour, are on tap for the exhibition, and will be on court for the clinics and Pro-Am. Former tennis greats Tom Gullikson, Murphy Jensen, Mikael Pernfors, and Don Johnson will also be on hand for the jam-packed day of tennis. In addition to the tennis, food and beverages provided by World of Beer and Tony Sacco’s Pizza will be included in the price of admission. 

Chad Oliver
In addition to the tennis activities, NBC-2’s Chad Oliver will serve as Master of Ceremonies and auctioneer for an evening Post Party and Auction of Travel Packages and Sports Memorabilia. If you’re interested in getting involved, do it quickly because seating is limited to about 350 spectators, and clinic and Pro-Am participation is limited to 50 participants. There is a wealth of information on the Madisen’s Match website, so click the link or call Robin Grande at 239-482-3211 for all the info. 

OK folks, I'm sure there's much more going on, but wanted to give you a heads up as soon as I could on some of the immediate and upcoming happenings. Stay posted. Game, set, match...T A

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