November 28th, 2015
Panhandle Tennis Blog: October Busy for Area Events, USTA League Winners
The Best Month for Tennis in the Panhandle is October
With cooler temperatures and lower humidity, October has been the best month for a tennis event in the Panhandle. Fundraisers, mixers, sanctioned and unsanctioned tournaments fill each week of the month.
Andrea Jaeger at Shalimar Pointe Halloween Mixer
On Saturday, Oct. 31, 48 people played in a fun Halloween Mixer. Twenty-four players were on the court from 10am to 1pm and 24 more from 1-4pm. Players used the short set format and seek-your-own level, with winners moving up and losers moving down the ladder.
Highlighted player of the weekend was former #2 in the world Andrea Jaeger, who now lives in the Panhandle during some of the winter months. She graces many of our local events either as a player or just a friend of tennis.
Hidden Dunes Animal Halloween Fundraiser
Also on Oct. 31, Hidden Dunes Resort held their inaugural fundraiser for Racquets & Rescues.
Tennis Director Renee Broxson was thrilled to announce that the inaugural tennis tournament raised $3,089! Big THANK YOUs to Hidden Dunes Resort, Destin Hooters, Grayton Beer Company, all the tennis players and volunteers for making it a success!
Our wonderful committee member and Director of Tennis at Hidden Dunes, Renee Broxson and her dog Lulu proudly presented Dog-Harmony Director Nancy Brown with the gracious donation.
Club II 3.5 Women Team Played Very Well at Nationals
On Oct. 23-25 the 3.5 Women’s 40 and Over team from the Club II in Gulf Breeze, played the USTA League Nationals in Surprise, AZ. The ladies played four matches in their flight.
They defeated Intermountain and Northern 4-1, Missouri Valley 5-0 before facing a 3-0 Middle States for a trip to the semifinals.
The ladies lost that match 2-3 with two of the lost matches going to a third set tiebreaker. What a terrific effort by our ladies.
2014 Captains Appreciation Mixer in Pensacola
Thirty USTA team captains braved the weather and came out to the 2014 Captain Appreciation Mixer held at Roger Scott Tennis Center in Pensacola on Nov. 8. Thanks for all you do!
Junior Team Tennis Meeting in Pensacola
On Sunday, Nov. 8, nine Pensacola-area tennis leaders joined USTA Florida’s Andy McFarland and George English at the Montessori School to discuss the 10 and Under Target Market initiative and the start of a new Florida Junior Team Tennis push.
Since the 10 and Under Target Market program was ending and USTA Florida wanted to retain Pensacola’s Tara Dominguez in her many roles, Dominguez was named USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator for the Panhandle area, with George English’s territory of Tallahassee expanded to include Columbia, Alachua and Marion counties.
Participating in the discussions were Montessori School’s Tricia Kruse, teacher and program coordinator for the school; Elise Rheims and Jim Morgan, tennis instructors at Montessori; Roger Scott’s (RSTC) Director of Tennis Bruce Caton; RSTC pro Josh Koivu; Casandra Walker, Escambia County Recreation/Supervisor; and Rita Dotson, RSTC pro and founder of Tennis-4-Everyone after-school tennis and study program held at various area community centers and yours truly.
All were excited about the new direction of Junior Team Tennis and the possibilities in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.
Junior Team Tennis Finale
Pensacola Junior Team Tennis ended the season with a party and tennis. EDS Tennis finished strong at the season-ending event. Both the Under 14 and 12 Regular season divisions were won by the Creative Learning Academy teams. Junior Team Tennis will start again in the spring for all schools.
Gulf Breeze Club II 40s Mixed 8.0 Co-Champs at Nationals
The Gulf Breeze Club II 40 and Over Mixed 78.0 Team was named co-champions on Nov. 15 at Surprise, Ariz. In an unusual move, the USTA declared a co-champions after waiting all afternoon and part of the evening for a rare rain storm to stop long enough to play one third-set tiebreaker. It didn’t happen.
The Gulf Breeze team was tied with Southern California in the final match. Each team had one match win and in the deciding match, each team had won a set! The rain just wouldn’t let up long enough to play that last tiebreaker.
Gulf Breeze defeated Hawaii and Middle States 3-0 and New England 2-1 in the flight round robin. The locals then downed Texas 3-0 in the semifinals with all three matches going to third set tiebreakers, super job Club II!
Roger Scott 55s Mixed 8.0 Finalists at Sectionals
The Roger Scott 55 and Over Mixed 8.0 team made the finals at the USTA Florida League Sectionals with only seven players, but lost 2-1 to Pinellas/St Pete.
The Roger Scott team defeated Alachua, Lee/Charlotte, Sarasota/Manatee and Duval 2-1 in the flight round robin. It was a great job by Captain Shane Russell and his teammates.
Panama City’s Betty Wachob on the Women’s 65s Intersectionals Winning Team
It’s been a great year of tennis for Panama City’s Betty Wachob.
She was on the USA World 70’s team that finished fifth, she won the Golden Slam in Women’s 70 Singles, (that is USTA Gold Balls in the grass, clay, indoor and hard court championships) and at the 2015 USTA Women’s Intersectionals Championships she was a member of the winning 65s team.
Proud of our Florida team for winning the national women’s intersectional team event in Boca Raton on Nov. 9-15.
They beat Southern California in the finals to take the gold.
Spencer Wins Doubles in Birmingham; Ephron and Savi Doubles Finalists in Pensacola
Area tennis players and fans have had access to professional tennis for the last three weeks and will have more in a week in Tallahassee.
USTA $10,000 Men’s Futures Championships have been held in Birmingham (Nov. 2-8), Niceville (Nov. 9-15) and Pensacola (Nov. 16-22). A $15,000 tournament will be held in Tallahassee on Nov. 30 thru Dec. 6.
Three area players had success in these tournaments. Wil Spencer, Santa Rosa Beach, who has been grinding hard on the circuit for the last 13 months, won the doubles in Birmingham with Cameron Silver. They downed Jared Hiltzik (USA) and Piotr Lomacki (POL) 6-3, 3-6, 10-3. Spencer was seeded in the Birmingham, Niceville and Pensacola tourneys but did not make a final.
In Pensacola, a local qualifying in the doubles gave Pensacola junior Chris Ephron and former University of West Florida (UWF) star Bruno Savi entry to the main draw of the doubles. The new team made the most of their opportunity, winning three main draw matches to make the final. The dream ended in the final with a 6-3,6-2 loss to Peter Nagy (HUN) and Denis Shapovalov (CAN). It was the first time a local player had ever won a match in the Pensacola Futures tournament.
The Pensacola and Niceville tournaments provided other area players and opportunity to try the waters against the pros in the local and regular qualifying.
UWF players Sebastion Sanchez (who won a local qualifying spot into the main draw in Pensacola), Pablo Tellez, Douglas Bo and Pedro Dumont, Mary Esther junior Frank Muldowney, Ft. Walton Beach junior Jefferson Hobbs, Ft. Walton Beach’s Ben White, Pensacola Beach’s Mike Pitou, as well as Pensacola’s Chris Ephron all tried the qualifying.
Ephron won multiple rounds of qualifying at Birmingham, Niceville and Pensacola.