March 30th, 2015

Tennis Briefs(2): Ft. Myers Men Win 65 Over USTA Nationals; More

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Ft. Myers Men Win 65 & Over USTA League National Championship

ft myers teamThe USTA Florida Adult 65 & Over men’s team out of the Park Meadow Tennis Center in Ft. Myers, Fla., captured the national championship in March at the USTA Adult 65 & Over 7.0 National Championships in Surprise, Ariz.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” captain Edmund Marcelo told the Ft. Myers News-Press. “At nationals, you don’t know what to expect. To get here, you have to be good.”

Marcelo added the desert temperatures did not bother his heat-trained team.

“It was in the 90s, close to 100 on the court but the air is thin,” Marcelo said. “Coming from Florida, I didn’t feel the heat so much. It was more like air conditioning to me.”

Marcelo’s NTRP 3.5-level teammates in Arizona were Steve Romaine, Richard Fell, Masahiro Kumamoto, Nile Evans, Robert Bachula, Timothy McClary and John Blohm. Unable to make the trip was Thomas Martin.

Despite making the transition from their home claycourts to hardcourts, the team went 4-0 in round robin play. In the final elimination rounds they were equally impressive, defeating USTA Southern (Marietta, Ga.) 3-0 in the semifinals, and USTA Southwest (Sun Lakes, Ariz.) 3-0 in the championship match.

Championship Match Results:

No. 1 Doubles: Richard Fell/Timothy McClary (Fla.) d. Kenneth Stanley/Philip Messer 5-7, 1-2, Ret.
No. 2 Doubles: Nile Evans/John Blohm (Fla.) d. Zev Yardeni/Gary Porter 6-3, 6-1
No. 3 Doubles: Stephen Romaine/Masahiro Kumamoto (Fla.) d. Harold Davis/Jerry Rex 6-3, 6-2

Stewart Qualifies Then Wins Title at Palm Harbor USTA Pro Circuit

stewart-palm harbor-big

Katerina Stewart (right)

Miami 17-year-old Katerina Stewart won her biggest USTA Pro Circuit title to date over the weekend, qualifying to the main draw and in the final defeating top-seeded Maryna Zanevska of Ukraine, ranked No. 136 on the WTA Rankings, 1-6, 6-3, 2-0 ret. for the $25,000 Jose Cuervo Women’s Tennis Open at Innisbrook Resort title in Palm Harbor, Fla.

Both players put on their hard hats to reach the final. Stewart in the qualifying and main draw won eight matches in eight days, while the top-seeded Zanevska played three-setters in four of her five main draw matches.

The 21-year-old Ukranian won the first set handily, but a shoulder injury steadily hampered her play until she retired in the third set after conferring with a trainer.

It was the second straight match Stewart won by retirement after American opponent and fellow Floridian Allie Kiick retired in the semifinals.

It was the second straight USTA Pro Circuit title for Stewart after Gainesville and her fifth career, all on clay. She sits at a career-high No. 338 on the WTA Rankings.

Since 1979, 17 USTA Pro Circuit alums (including five Americans) have achieved No.1 world singles rankings. Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Lindsay Davenport, Pete Sampras, Justine Henin, Jim Courier and Andre Agassi are among the game’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.

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