December 13th, 2018

6 Florida Winners in Tennis Industry Magazine’s 2018 Champions of Tennis Awards

General News

Lisa Pugliese of Love Serving Autism

Six Florida-based organizations or individuals were honored on Thursday when Tennis Industry magazine released its 18th annual “Champions of Tennis Awards,” honoring people, businesses and organizations dedicated to improving the sport and business of tennis.

Florida-based honorees were:

* Private/Commercial Facility of the Year: The Club at Ibis, West Palm Beach, Fla.
* Pro/Specialty Retailer of the Year: Tennis Plaza, Miami, Fla.
* High School Coach of the Year: Todd Rubinstein, Miami, Fla.
* Innovative Tennis Event of the Year: USPTA Leadership Academy, Orlando, Fla.
* Youth Tennis Provider of the Year: Craig Morris, Orlando, Fla.
* Adaptive Tennis Champion of the Year: Lisa Pugliese, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Larry Ellison, the co-founder, executive chairman and chief technology officer of software giant Oracle, was named “Person of the Year.” An avid tennis fan and recreational tennis player, Ellison has set his sights on improving tennis in the U.S. He broke into the tennis world in 2009, spending $100 million to buy the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California, home to the BNP Paribas Open men’s and women’s professional tournament.

Since then, he’s spent at least that much more in upgrading and improving the facility and event, which is why it’s perennially one of the favorite stops on the pro tours — not just for players, but also for fans. The other 50 weeks of the year, recreational players reap the benefit of Ellison’s investment in the 122-acre Indian Wells property.

“Larry Ellison is on a mission,” says Peter Francesconi, the editor of Tennis Industry, the world’s largest tennis trade magazine. “He’s set his sights on improving tennis in the U.S., and his interest, investment and unparalleled commitment to this industry is transformational for the sport.”

For more information and to see the full list of winners go to