May 5th, 2015

Tennis Briefs: USTA French Wild Card Race; Florida Cup Results

General News Adult Tennis News USTA Pro Circuit

USTA French Wild Card Race Heats Up After All-Florida Women’s Final; Tiafoe Wins Men’s

Featured_har tru wild card challenge logoPlantation’s Allie Kiick defeated Miami’s Katerina Stewart 7-5, 6-7(3), 7-5 in the all-Florida final at the $50,000 Boyd Tinsley Clay Court Classic USTA Pro Circuit event in Charlottesville, Va., while American Frances Tiafoe secured the USTA-designated men’s wild card for the 2015 French Open in a showing of U.S. teen tennis success over the weekend.

The 19-year-old Kiick could not close the match out serving at 7-5, 5-3 against Stewart, nor could she convert a match point with Stewart serving at 4-5 in the next game. Kiick was again broken serving for the contest at 5-4 in the third, but broke in the next game and eventually served it out, converting on her fourth overall match point.

“I’ve never won the $50,000 before so I really, really wanted to win one,” Kiick, the 2013 tournament runner-up who has been out with injury of late, told the media afterwards. “I’m so glad to get over this little hump that I had. Getting to the finals wasn’t in my head too much. It was the fact that I’ve been out for so long and all I wanted to do was have a few good wins and a title. I never expected this.”

The women’s USTA Har-Tru Wild Card Challenge, which awards an American woman a wild card into the French Open main draw, concludes this week with the $50,000 event in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla. Frontrunners going into the final event for the wild card are Stewart, Louisa Chirico and Kiick.

Check out the latest standings at

Chirico is competing in the qualifying as a late entry in an attempt to claim the wild card. Also in the event are American former world No. 1 junior Taylor Townsend, Florida’s Sofia Kenin (qualifying), Sachia Vickery, Tornado Alicia Black and Samantha Crawford, and former Wimbledon semifinalist Alexandra Stevenson (qualifying).

The 17-year-old Tiafoe of College Park, Md., will make his Grand Slam main draw debut later this month after reaching the final at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Tallahassee, Fla., to win the men’s 2015 Har-Tru USTA Pro Circuit Wild Card Challenge. Tiafoe, who turned pro in April, lost in the Tallahassee final to Facundo Arguello, but with his semifinal win clinched the wild card.

“I am excited to play in my first career main draw Grand Slam,” Tiafoe said. “This is a big opportunity for me, as it’s a stepping stone for my career.”

Tiafoe won his first USTA Pro Circuit singles title earlier this year at the $15,000 Futures in Bakersfield, Calif. He also reached two additional USTA Pro Circuit singles finals earlier in the year and served as a practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team against Great Britain in Scotland in March. Last year Tiafoe competed in US Open qualifying, but has never competed at any other Grand Slam event.

The USTA awards one men’s and women’s singles wild card into the French Open to an American whose ranking is not otherwise high enough to enter the main draw at Roland Garros, based on results on the USTA Pro Circuit. For more info go to

East Beats West for 2015 Florida Cup Team Title

Florida Cup logo genericLeveling the annual men’s team tournament that has over the year been dominated by the West team, the East beat the West 35-15 for the 2015 Florida Cup title. The 12th annual contest was held on May 2-3 at the Mirasol Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

The event features East vs. West team play in men’s 35-80 age divisions. The West holds a 9-3 advantage in the history of the event.

“The East won eight out of 10 age divisions with the only West divisional wins in the 55’s and 60’s,” said Florida Cup Commissioner Mark Taylor. “The 2016 Cup matches are scheduled for University Park Country Club in Sarasota on April 9-10, 2016.”

The East team was led by Ricardo Mena (40’s), Decio Raven (50’s), Geoff Moore (65’s) and Rudy Hernando (75’s) as all went 3-0 on the weekend. The East swept the 50’s and 65’s and won five other divisions 4-1. The West team won the 55’s (3-2) and the 60’s (4-1) led by Larry Gagnon, as he was the only West player to finish the competition with an unblemished record.

Division results:

35’s (East won 4-1)
Michael Halperin (E) def. Andrew Laflin (W) 3-6, 6-4, 3-1 ret.
Jamie Feagan (W) def. Kevin Chow (E) 7-5, 6-0
Justin Touchstone/Clayton Almeida (E) def. Laflin/Feagan 6-3, 1-1 ret.
Clayton Almeida (E) def. Jamie Feagan (W) 6-1, 6-2
East wins 1 singles match via default

From left: Florida Cup Commissioner Mark Taylor, East 40s captain Chris Pressley, and Mirasol Country Club General Manager Jeremy Barker

From left: Florida Cup Commissioner Mark Taylor, East 40s captain Chris Pressley, and Mirasol Country Club General Manager Jeremy Barker

40’s (East won 4-1)
Chris Pressley (E) def. Mark Palus (W) 6-0, 6-4
Ricardo Mena (E) def. Rhett Rollyson (W) 6-2, 6-1
Pressley/Mena (E) def. Palus/Rollyson (W) 6-2, 7-6 (2)
Ricardo Mena (E) def. Mark Palus (W) 6-1, 6-1
Rhett Rollyson (W) def. Marcos Lopez (E) 6-1, 3-6, 6-0

45’s (East won 3-2)
Todd Rubinstein (E) def. Mark Avedikian (W) 6-4, 6-2
Andy Lake (E) def. Chris Maier (W) 6-2, 6-2
Avedikian/Patrick Emmet (W) def. Rubinstein/Mark Harrison (E) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Todd Rubinstein (E) def. Chris Maier (W) 7-5, 6-3
West wins 1 singles match via default

50’s (East won 5-0)
Horacio Rearte (E) def. Craig Cannon (W) 6-3, 6-3
Decio Raven (E) def. Cliff Coleman (W) 6-2, 7-6 (4)
Rearte/Raven (E) def. Cannon/Coleman (W) 6-3, 0-6, 6-0
Decio Raven (E) def. Craig Cannon (W) 6-2, 6-2
Jeff Burnett (E) def. Cliff Coleman (W) 6-4, 6-3

55’s (West won 3-2)
Steve Brady (W) def. Mirek Wiezbicki (E) 6-2, 6-1
Selim Benbadis (W) def. Steve Winsor (E) 6-3, 6-2
Winsor/Michael Gfesser (E) def. Brady/Benbadis (W) 1-6, 6-2, 6-3
Selim Benbadis (W) def. John Walter (E) 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-4
Steve Winsor (W) def. Steve Brady (W) 3-6, 3-1 ret.

60’s (West won 4-1)
William McGehee (W) def. Gerry Berkheimer (E) 6-2, 6-4
Larry Gagnon (W) def. William Forray (E) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
McGehee/Gagnon (W) def. Ted MacBeth/Bob Traylor (E) 6-4, 6-1
William Forray (E) def. William McGehee (W) 6-2, 6-1
Larry Gagnon (W) def. Gerry Berkheimer (E) 6-3, 6-1

65’s (East won 5-0)
Geoff Moore (E) def. Larry Albritton (W) 6-0, 6-0
Jamie Pressly (E) def. Robert Green (W) 6-0, 6-1
Moore/Ted Sawyer (E) def. Albritton/Spike Gonzales (W) 6-0, 6-1
Jamie Pressly (E) def. Larry Albritton (W) 6-2, 6-1
Geoff Moore (E) def. Robert Green (W) 6-3, 6-1

70’s (East won 4-1)
Barry Shollenberger (W) def. Al Brown (E) 6-3, 7-5
Alan Spurling (E) def. Doug McCrea (W) 6-4, 2-6, 2-1 ret.
Brown/Spurling (E) def. Shollenberger/McCrea (W) 6-2, 6-2
Alan Spurling (E) def. Barry Shollenberger (W) 6-2, 6-3
East wins 1 singles match via default

75’s (East won 4-1)
Robert Levine (E) def. Ray Bellamy (W) 6-2, 6-0
Rudy Hernando (W) def. Paul Caldwell (W) 6-0, 6-0
Hernando/Don Biedinger (E) def. Matt Davie/Bob Dilworth (W) 6-3, 7-5
Rudy Hernando (E) def. Ray Bellamy (W) 6-0, 6-3
West wins 1 singles match via default

80’s (East wins 3-2)
Gordon Hammes (W) def. Bob Thompson (E) 6-4, 6-4
Marvin Lazarowitz (E) def. Alan Messer (W) 7-6 (0), 6-0
Thompson/Mario Dominguez (E) def. Hammes/Messer (W) 6-1, 7-5
Bob Thompson (E) def. Alan Messer (W) 6-2, ret.
Gordon Hammes (W) def. Marvin Lazarowitz (E) 6-2, 6-4

For additional tournament info go to