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Tennis Briefs(3): New Grant, USTA Pro Circuit Results, More

New USTA Grant Available for Growing, Establishing Young Adult Programs

A new grant for 2017 has been released by the USTA national body for attracting young adults to tennis programs including social leagues, young-adult leagues, 1/2-day to single-day tournaments, drop-in play programs and more.

The USTA Young Adult Program Grant offers funding for local providers who want to apply programming outside of conventional USTA League play to get young adults age 18-29 on the court.

According to the Tennis Participation Study, 18-29 year olds are the largest group of adults playing tennis, and more than half of young adults say they exercise regularly and are looking for fun exercise outlets.

“Get these players playing with you to grow your business and invest in your future,” says Stacey Percival, USTA Adult Tennis. “Increase your revenue and keep players coming back with a variety of introductory, fun or competitive opportunities.”

Check out the simple grant application form at http://goo.gl/BvAvce.

 

Koepfer Edges American Paul in USTA Pro Circuit Orlando Final at USTA National Campus

Koepfer last year at Tulane

Unseeded German Dominik Koepfer defeated No. 3-seeded American Tommy Paul 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 for the Orlando Professional Tennis Series $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit title on Sunday on the clay courts of the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

The 22-year-old Koepfer improved to 1-1 in USTA Pro Circuit finals this year after finishing runner-up to Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien in January at Weston, Fla. It is the first full year on tour for the former Tulane player, who entered the event at No. 449 on the ATP World Tour Rankings.

The final was the third three-setter of the week for Koepfer, who did not face a seeded player prior to the final.

The 19-year-old Paul won the Palm Coast, Fla., USTA Pro Circuit event last month, and fell to 1-1 in finals this year and 5-2 over his career. The 2015 French Open boys’ champ and 2015 US Open boy’s runner-up, all five of Paul’s USTA Pro Circuit titles have come on clay.

No. 4-seeded Americans Connor Smith and Rhyne Williams won the doubles title, in the final upsetting No. 2 seeds Jaume Pla Malfeito of Spain and Ramkumar Ramanathan of India 6-4, 6-4.

 

Bradenton’s 16-year-old Yatsuk Wins USTA Mardy Fish USTA Tournament Wild Card

Yatsuk (right) and tournament organizer Randy Walker

Ivan Yatsuk, a 16-year-old Belarussian-born American from Bradenton, Fla., defeated Germany’s Joel Link 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in three hours and 14 minutes last Thursday at The Boulevard in the final of the Vero Beach wild card tournament for the 2017 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, a USTA Pro Circuit event.

By winning the final, the 6-foot-3 Yatsuk will be awarded a wild card into the 32-player singles field at the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, the $15,000 event that will be held April 21-30, 2017 at Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club. Yatsuk will be seeking his first ATP ranking points when he competes again in Vero Beach in April.

“I’ve never been happier,” said Yatsuk after the tournament win.

Yatsuk was born in Belarus, but moved with his family to the United States when he was three.

“His parents do not play tennis at all and he randomly picked the sport when he saw a tennis racquet as a young child,” said the tournament’s Randy Walker. “Armed with a huge first serve and strong groundstrokes, Yatsuk has pro aspirations and has played mostly in qualifying events on the USTA Pro Circuit as well as wild card tournaments, and not playing in junior tournaments.”

Yatsuk was 0-4 against the 19-year-old Link prior to the final, including a past 12-and-under tournament loss.

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships is the USTA’s $15,000 Futures-level tournament played in Vero Beach since 1995 and regarded as one of the best entry-level professional tennis tournaments in the world. Proceeds from the event benefit the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com), the non-profit tennis foundation benefiting children, named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, the former top 10 tennis star and a U.S. Davis Cup standout.

For more info or tickets go to www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com.

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