April 16th, 2015

Tennis Briefs: Neff Jr. Profile; Tampa Charity Tourney

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Florida Jr. Profile: Bradenton Comeback King Adam Neff

NeffUSTAFlorida-webBy Colette Lewis, junior tennis contributor, www.zootennis.com

After an injury kept the 13-year-old from Bradenton out for nearly four months, Adam Neff’s return to competition has been impressive, culminating in the boys 14s title at the Asics Easter Bowl in Indian Wells, Calif., last week.

The third-seeded Neff, who was unable to play the Eddie Herr or Junior Orange Bowl tournaments last year and could not travel to Europe for the Nike International Teen Tennis tournament or Les Petits As in January, staged an impressive comeback in the Easter Bowl final, rallying from a 6-1, 4-1 deficit against No. 10 seed Jaycer Calleros to post a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

“Changing the game plan was really the turning point in that match,” said Neff, who trains at Luciani Tennis Player Development in Bradenton. “I said, just change your game plan, just try and grind, not try to outhit him. And that ended up working, and I found my rhythm more.”

In the midst of his comeback, Neff suffered one broken string after another, but he never let that misfortune derail him.

“I had popped five strings in the match, and I ended up having to use some person in the crowd’s racquet,” Neff said. “I ended up being up 2-1 in the third with that racquet, and then I got (his racquet, restrung) and lost two straight games. I couldn’t find the rhythm with my normal racquet.

“I was using a Blade, but I don’t know what strings were in it,” said Neff, whose racquet of choice is a Wilson Pro Staff 95.

Neff, who is involved in Go 4 the Goal, a charity dedicated to helping those with pediatric cancer, was also named the boys winner of the Easter Bowl’s Tory Fretz/Jackie Cooper Sportsmanship award.

Tampa St. Jude Children’s Charity Tennis Tournament in May

st judeThe St. Jude Benefit Tennis Classic will be held on May 2-3, 2015, at the Tampa Palms Country Club in Tampa, Fla.

All funds raised will go directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where families never receive a bill for travel, treatment, housing or food — “because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.”

Guests will enjoy friendly tennis competition, auction items, food and cocktails for $40 for individuals and $80 for doubles teams.

Register early as space is limited.

For more info or to register on the web go to stjude.org/tampatennisbenefit.