August 7th, 2014

Tampa Tennis Blog: Best of the Bay Doubles; Burdell Joins Clearwater


Lori BurdellBurdell Joins Clearwater, McMullen Tennis Complex

When Pittsburgh native Lori Burdell drove down to Florida with her college doubles partner about 20 years ago, she had no plans to stay in Florida — she had never even been to the Sunshine State. It was her college friend who was planning on staying.

However, the friend headed back North and Burdell stayed.

Last month, Burdell began her recreation programmer position with the City of Clearwater at the McMullen Tennis Complex. Among her goals are reviving the wheelchair tennis program, growing ROGY, promoting Cardio Tennis and emphasizing the development of lower-level players.

“I believe this a great opportunity to be able to implement all that I’ve learned from other experiences as a player and coach,” said Burdell. “Hopefully, I can reach out and grow our programs.”

Burdell’s background includes competing for West Virginia University in the 1980s (and being its first female to receive a full tennis scholarship), traveling the satellite tournament schedule after college, teaching eight years at Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Racquet Club, coaching the University of Central Florida’s men’s and women’s teams and teaching at clubs in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

Later this month, Burdell hosts her first McMullen Doubles Scramble at the Clearwater center in partnership with the Friends of McMullen, a volunteer-based advisory committee. Call (727) 669-1919 to be among the first 32 players to participate in an evening of tennis competition, fun and a light meal.

Registration Open for Best of the Bay Doubles Tournament

The 7th Annual Best of the Bay Doubles Tennis Tournament is not until October, but, based on the previous six contests, spots will fill quickly.

Now considered among the best tournament fundraisers in the Tampa Bay area, the Hillsborough Community Tennis Association has added men’s and mixed doubles to the established women’s doubles division. Competition is Oct. 17 to 19 at Tampa Tennis at Hillsborough Community College.

For each of the last six years, HCTA’s fundraising contest has been sold out and about $50,000 has been raised overall. This year, plans are to assist Tampa’s inner-city programs, add to the Junior Scholarship program, provide support for the 10-and-under Junior Team Tennis League and purchase equipment for county programs.

“In the last four years, with the help from area clubs over 750 women tennis players and our many sponsors, the event raised more than $50,000 to various women’s charities,” said Tournament Director Marisol Casablanca. “Every year we aim to do even better, so this year we added men’s and mixed doubles.”

Visit to get more details, register and review the weekend’s planned activities.