U.S. Fed Cup Draws Australia, Winner to 2017 World Group
Australia, led by former US Open winner Sam Stosur, will stand in the way of the United States reaching the elite World Group in 2017 when the U.S. Fed Cup teams travels “Down Under” for the 2016 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Playoffs on April 16-17, 2016.
The draw for the 2016 Fed Cup World Group Playoffs was announced earlier this week, with Australia drawing the home assignment at a site and on a surface to be determined.
The U.S. advanced to the playoffs round after winning its World Group II first round tie this past weekend, defeating Poland 4-0 at the Holua Tennis Center in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
The winner of the playoffs tie advances to the World Group in 2017, while the losing nation will compete in World Group II next year.
The two countries last met in 1985, in a World Group semifinal played in Nagoya, Japan, where the U.S. won 2-1. The two nations competed in the inaugural Fed Cup event in 1963, with the U.S. winning its first of 17 Fed Cup titles. The United States leads all nations, tallying 17 Fed Cup titles, the last coming in 2000.
Australia is fronted by the No. 27-ranked Stosur, followed in singles by No. 33 Daria Gavrilova and No. 128 Casey Dellacqua. Dellacqua is ranked No. 3 in doubles, and could be paired with Ashleigh Barty, as the two reached three Grand Slam finals together in 2013. The U.S. can call on world No. 1 Serena Williams, No. 12 Venus Williams, No. 24 Madison Keys and No. 25 Sloane Stephens.
West Palm Beach’s Almeida Named PTR Male Player of the Year
Clayton Almeida of West Palm Beach, Fla., has been named Professional Tennis Registry Male Player of the Year. A PTR Master of Tennis-Performance, he is also a certified professional in Adult Development.
The Brazilian-born Almeida serves as head pro at Mayacoo Lakes Country Club, and summers in Southampton, New York, where he is head pro and director of the Junior and Adult Tennis Program at Meadow Club.
PTR will present its annual awards next week during the 2016 PTR International Tennis Symposium. The event, which includes more than 40 educational presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, will be held Feb. 17-20 on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Currently ranked No. 1 in the USTA 30s singles, Almeida is the USTA National 30s singles champion for all surfaces, and is ranked No. 5 in doubles. In 2014-15 he won the PTR Championships Open Division in both singles and doubles.
Almeida in 2012 was inducted to the Winthrop University Hall of Fame. As a freshman playing No. 1, he was the first Winthrop tennis player ever to have a perfect season (23-0), and ended his college career with an overall record of 115-27 at the Division I university.
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Blind Tennis, Adaptive Clinics Offered in Florida’s West Charlotte County
Rotonda West at the Rotonda Community Public Park in West Charlotte County, Fla., is registering participants for their Blind Tennis classes. The next class is coming up on Feb. 27, 2016 from 10-11 a.m.
Registration for the classes are requested in advance, but the class requires no fee. Racquets and balls, including special sound-emitting balls for sight impaired, are provided.
“Blind Tennis and our Rally for the Family programs are in their fourth sessions,” says organizer and instructor Art Richards. “We also have 10 and Under Tennis, various forms of Adaptive Tennis for the deaf, sight-impaired and wheelchair players, and Masters Tennis for adults, all which have one common denominator — the 60-foot short court.”
The clinics are sponsored by the Cultural Guild of the Greater Cape Haze and USTA Florida, in cooperation with West Charlotte County and vision consultant Wendy Wendel, O.D.
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