Monday, March 26, 2012

Recent Tennis Happenings

Note: Photo recovery process underway. Sorry for inconvenience! 
Fort Myers is Home to USPTA National Champ
The tennis gods had to be on my side this past weekend, because just about everything lined up just right for me to leave the USPTA National Clay Court Championships at BallenIsle Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens with both Singles and Doubles titles in the Men’s 50 Division.

I put three new things to the test this weekend, and I’m not sure how much each factored in my first national event title ever and my first tourney victory and a couple of years. But I have to assume that my new workout regimen with B Fit 4 Tennis with Lee Whigham in Naples, the new Kirschbaum PX string (the newest member of the Pro Line family) I have been testing, and the Oasis Electrolyte Energy Drink I used this weekend all contributed something to the victories.

I owe Orlando Ferrer-Chacin of Land Sharks Tennis a big thank you for introducing me to Lee Whigham of Be Fit 4 Tennis through his website, and muchas gracias to Eduardo Jimenez of Kirschbaum USA for always being extremely responsive to my requests to try new Kirschbaum strings.

I have a long way to go as far as my fitness goes (click here for workout sample), and I’ve only been playing with the new strings for a few weeks (review to come), but I’m looking forward to being competitive again. I plan to keep up the workouts, and to playing as many events as feasible. I just have to keep my fingers crossed that these nagging aches and pains don’t get any worse…and the tennis gods stay on my side.

Park Meadow Club Championships
Twenty-three mixed doubles teams in three divisions (7.0, 8.0, 9.0) participated this past Saturday in the first leg of Park Meadow’s Club Championships. According to Oliver Stenger, Owner, “We had some really good teams and some quality play. Everyone had a good time.”

The 7.0 Division fielded 11 teams, and Cindy Cheslosky and Mark Shears took home the Division Championship, despite finishing second in their flight. Cindy and Mark finished second to Anna and Jeff in Flight 2, but beat Flight 3 Winners, Laura and Tyler Delucca 8-6 in the semis.

Anna and Jeff Jordan also won 8-6 in the semis over Flight 1 Winners, Nicole LeFebvre and Michel Bergevin, and were probably feeling pretty confident going into the final, considering their 8-4 win over Cindy and Mark during flight play. However, with the title on the line, Cindy and Mark emerged with the 8-5 victory.

In the 8.0 Division, two flights of four teams vied for the honors. Michelle Rygiel and Charlie Bisbee took Flight 1, while Kaye and Dave Warner claimed Flight 2. When the two teams faced off in the Final, Kaye and Dave went down 2-5, but clawed back to win the Championship 8-6.

The 9.0 Division featured the cream of the Park Meadow crop, With Sandy Miller and Oliver meeting Edita and Steve Hedrick in the Final. Proving false the old adage that husband and wife shouldn’t play together, Edita and Steve took the title match 8-5.

FGCU Suffers Road Rash Last Week
It was a tough road trip for the Eagles this past week as they traveled to Spartanburg, South Carolina and Johnson City, Tennessee, and suffered Conference losses toUniversity of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) and East Tennessee StateUniversity (ETSU).  The Eagles were coming off a nice home stretch where they had posted a 5-1 record.

On Friday the 23rd, the boys in green and blue posted one point when they took two of three doubles matches. Jackson Moore and Tianyu Bao continued to struggle in the No.1 Doubles position falling 2-8, but the No.2 team of Matt Rock and Lance Lvovsky continued their string of victories, and Dean Tsamas and Mike Beiler gutted out a 9-7 win at No.3 dubs. The Eagles struggled mightily in singles, losing all six matches, with Lance being the only player to take a set from the Spartans.   

The Eagles’ struggles continued during Saturday’s match against ETSU, as Mother Nature wasn’t kind to them and forced them indoors due to inclement weather. The potent ETSU attack (they’re 4-0 in Conference play) and unfamiliar environment resulted in the first shutout loss of the season for the Eagles.

The boys in green and blue won’t have long to lick their wounds, as they face No.50-ranked North Florida at home this Thursday night, at 7pm. The Eagles will need as much support as the local tennis community can muster, as North Florida boasts the best overall record in the ASC, despite losing 3-4 to ETSU.

 Coach C. J. Weber is hoping that his boys will show some resilience now that they are back at home, and will bounce back from the tough road losses. I plan to be there Thursday night and I’m looking forward to seeing some of you tennis aficionados out there are well. If you can’t make it out to Thursday’s match, the Eagles take on Jacksonville at home on Saturday morning at 10:30.

USTA League Captains Win Trip to Sony Ericsson
Joy Dickie & Debbie Rathje
So it pays to attend a USTA League Team Captains’ Meeting…well at least it does for lucky raffle winners. The latest winners in the “Captains’ Meeting Sweepstakes” are Joy Dickey of Fort Myers Racquet Club and Debbie Rathje of Fiddlesticks Country Club. Each won a pair of day and evening tickets for this past Sunday’s matches at the Sony Ericsson in Miami.

According to Jon McVety, USTA Florida’s Local League Coordinator for or local 50+ Senior Doubles, Senior Combo & Senior Mixed Leagues, the giveaways happen at every Captains’ Meeting. I’m guessing the usual gifts aren’t as, shall we say, “rich” as Sony tickets? Congrats ladies. Hope you had a great time!

Park Meadow Tennis Shop Announces New Website
Seems like the Sony is the hottest thing going right now. Just in case you don’t already know, Park Meadow Tennis Shop has announced its new website and it just so happens that Elaine (the Owner) is offering TWO box seats for the Sony Women's Singles Finals and the Men's Doubles Finals on Saturday, March 31, AND a VIP parking pass. That’s BOX SEATS, AND VIP PARKING? Sweet!

How can you be in the running for such a terrific prize? I could tell you, but that would defeat the purpose. The whole thing about the prize is to get you to go check out the new website. So if you would like to be in those box seats after taking advantage of your VIP parking, I suggest you click this link or the one above.

LCCTA Awarded $100k
Speaking of things people are getting and may get, the Lee CountyCommunity Tennis Association (LCCTA) was awarded $100, 000 ($50k from USTA FL & $50k from USTA Nat’l). According to the USTA’s press release, “The amount will be distributed over a three-year period to build new and adapt current tennis courts to accommodate 10 and Under Tennis, as well as support new programs.”

If you haven’t heard about the USTA’s relatively new 10 and under initiative, you probably haven’t been paying much attention. I can’t remember any initiative being more publicized. If you would like to know more about the 10 and Under push, click here to visit the USTA’s page on the topic, or here for the LCCTA’s website.

I'm looking forward to this coming weekend as there is plenty more on tap for tennis lovers. Stay tuned. Game, set, match...T A

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