Friday, September 6, 2013


Team Tennis for Juniors
Something new is coming to town from USTA Florida and it sure sounds like a good time for junior players. It’s called the Southwest Florida Regional Team Tennis Challenge, and it will be held Saturday, September 28 and Sunday September 29 at the Barbara Manzo Tennis Center at Three Oaks Park and Florida Gulf Coast University. 

The Team Tennis Challenge is a team competition with at least two girls and two boys (maximum of six players) on the team, with each team match consisting of one girls’ singles, one boys’ singles, and one mixed doubles match.  

Age divisions run from 10 and under through 18 and under, and skill levels include beginner, intermediate and advanced. Players do not need to be USTA members.

The registration deadline is Friday, September 13, and teams can register online. Find out all about the event by clicking here, or copying and pasting the following address in your web browser:

USTA League Opportunities
USTA fall league play is revving up, and if you don’t already have enough tennis lined up, here are a few for you to consider…well I guess this is more than a few:

6.0 MD (Saturday); 3.5 55+ Women (afternoon); 4.0 - 55+Men; 3.0 18+ men (night); 6.5 Men’s Combo (night); 6.5 Women’s Combo (night); 3.5 55+ Men (day time); 3.5 18 + Men (night); 7.5 Men’s Combo (day); 3.5 Women 18+ (night); 4.0 55+ Women (day); 4.0 18 + Men (night); 7.5 Women’s Combo (night).

If any of these divisions work for you but you aren’t sure how to get on a team, please contact Local League Coordinator Susie Bessire at or 941-629-0209.

USTA League Playoff at The Hideaway
Speaking of USTA league play, The Hideaway will host a Men’s 7.5 50 & Over Combo playoff between Fort Myers Racquet Club (FMRC) and Park Meadow (PM) this coming Friday the 13th at 11am. The teams will vie for the privilege of representing our area in Daytona. The Fort Myers team is captained by Mike Stern, the local tennis iron man, known for his 7-hour-6-venue tennis days and nights, and Jim Marks captains the Park Meadow team. According to Stern, they chose The Hideaway as the neutral site since Switzerland was unavailable as a result of the mourning of Roger Federer. 

The FMRC team won the summer season with an 8-1 record, edging second-place PM, which went 6-3. The only loss for FMRC was a 1-2 loss to PM on PM’s home turf. PM won the spring season, posting a 7-1 record, which was two wins and losses better than, you guessed it, FMRC…although that one loss was to Ed Marcelo’s FMRC team. Not Stern’s.

Given that there is almost always at least one deciding set tiebreak when these two teams meet, it should be an exciting playoff at The Hideaway on Friday the 13th. Someone will have good luck, and I think I’ll be there to find out who. 

USTA Mother-Son National at Dunes

We don’t have many national level events in the area, but there is one on the horizon at Dunes Golf and Tennis Club on Sanibel. The USTA National Mother-Son Clay Court Championships will be held there September 27 – 29. Thus far there are only two teams entered in the event: one from Arizona, the other from Texas. John Ramsey, Kelly Greens’ Director of Tennis, is the tournament director and you can contact John at 239-229-7556 or for more info. The entry deadline is Friday September 20.

Tennis Pros Looking for Work
We have at least a couple of new tennis professionals in town looking for a club to call home. Greg Hiers is the Tennis Director at the St. Paul Tennis Club in St. Paul, Minnesota and will continue in that role during the summer, but has moved his family to the area and wants to join the local tennis professional community. 

Jonathan Andrews is a young USPTA certified professional who taught locally from 2003 through 2008 before spending five years in the army. He returned to the area this year and resumed teaching at Cape Coral Racquet Club. Jonathan is currently enrolled at Florida Gulf Coast University and is looking to continue teaching locally.

Southwest Florida Ritzman Tennis Pro League
Your local pros are beginning to get geared up for the 2013-14 Pro League. Team captains will meet on Friday September 20th to conduct the draft for the upcoming season. Opening Day of the season will be October 18th and Kenny Gibson and Palmira Golf and Country Club will be the host. 

Early scouting suggests that there will be some new faces on court, Pat Glaunert and Angie Guillette of Three Oaks Tennis Center are projected to be among the newcomers. Stay tuned for more details after the 20th. 

Here’s a heads up for those who have been kind enough to take the time to follow the blog over the past couple of seasons, and intend to do so again this season. The blog will be moving from to a new location and I’m pretty excited about the move. Details will be coming as soon as the new site is ready to go live. 
Now that my big golf event is over (click here if interested in how that went), and season is on the horizon, I’ll be back to blogging on a more regular basis. As always, if you have info to share, send it over and I’ll do what I can to share it. Until next, game, set, match…T. A.

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