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Tommy Haas Enjoys “One Of The Most Special Days Of My Life” In Win Over John McEnroe In Hawaii Invesco Series QQQ Final

KOHALA COAST, HI — Tommy Haas beat John McEnroe 7-5 Sunday in the one-set final of the Hawaii Champions Cup Presented by Hawaii Tourism Authority at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows on the Kohala Coast. The win marked the second title for Haas in his second appearance on the Invesco Series QQQ, the North American tennis circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30, and also was the anticipated first-ever competitive match between the 59-year-old veteran McEnroe and the 40-year-old Series rookie.

“It was one of the most special days of my life to be honest, to play this icon, this tennis legend,” said Haas after his win over McEnroe, the four-time U.S. Open and three-time Wimbledon champion. “I would have loved to have played him on tour, but he retired a little bit too early. It was a real pleasure. I love watching him and hearing him speak about tennis. Everything about him, I truly love. He gave his best. What he does at 59 is incredible.”

Haas won his debut event on the Invesco Series QQQ last month in Charleston, S.C., defeating Andy Roddick 6-1 in the final. With his tournament win in Hawaii, Haas collects another 400 Invesco Series QQQ ranking points to create an early commanding Series points ranking lead.

Haas, who turned 40 on April 3, ended his career on the ATP World Tour last year. The former world No. 2 and silver medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games won his last career ATP match in Stuttgart, Germany last June on grass when he upset Roger Federer in the second round.

McEnroe, playing in his 25th year of “champions” tennis, returned to Mauna Lani Bay, the site of the 1992 USA vs. Argentina Davis Cup first round where he represented Team USA alongside Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Rick Leach.

“I’ve always had a soft spot for Hawaii,” said McEnroe. “I don’t get here as much I would like to so it was awesome to get to play this event.”

In the earlier semifinals, Haas defeated Mardy Fish 6-3, while McEnroe defeated Jim Courier also by a 6-3 scoreline.

The Invesco Series QQQ continues on May 17in Toronto at the RPIA Championship at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre. The remaining schedule, with player fields, is as follows

2018 Invesco Series QQQ Schedule:
• May 17: Toronto, ON (Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre) – John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Tommy Haas and James Blake
• July 22: Newport, R.I. (International Tennis Hall of Fame) – Lleyton Hewitt, Jim Courier, Tommy Haas and James Blake
• August 19: Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest University) – Players TBA
• August 23, 24: New Haven, CT (Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale) – John McEnroe, Tommy Haas, James Blake and Todd Martin
• October 4: St. Louis, MO (Chaifetz Arena) – Players TBA
• October 6: Houston, TX (Tudor Fieldhouse) – Players TBA
• October 19: Denver, CO (1stBank Center) – Players TBA
• October 21: Los Angeles, CA (Sherwood Country Club) – Players TBA

2018 Invesco Series QQQ Results
• April 7: Charleston, SC (Family Circle Tennis Center) F: Tommy Haas def. Andy Roddick 6-1; SF: Tommy Haas def. Michael Chang 6-2; Andy Roddick def. Mark Philippoussis 6-3
• May 6: Kohala Coast, HI (Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows) F: Tommy Haas def. John McEnroe 7-5 SF: Tommy Haas def. Mardy Fish 6-3, John McEnroe def.Jim Courier 6-3

Each Invesco Series QQQ event features special VIP experiences, including hit-with-the-pros opportunities and special back-stage access. All ticket, experience and event information can be found at www.InvescoSeries.com

In 2017, the year-long points championship was decided in the final match of the season when Andy Roddick defeated James Blake in the Los Angeles final at the Sherwood Country Club. Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion and world No. 1, won four Invesco Series QQQ titles in all in 2017, winning in Birmingham, Ala., Chicago, Lincoln, Neb., and Los Angeles. Blake, the former world No. 4 and former U.S. Davis Cup star, won series titles in Charleston, S.C., Winston-Salem, N.C. and in Lynchburg, Va.

In 2016, Mark Philippoussis won the Series points title with 1600 points and tournament titles in Memphis, Tulsa, Newport, Winston-Salem and New Haven. Roddick finished in second place, also earning 1600 points but losing the head-to-head tiebreaker with Philippoussis 5-2, while winning titles in Charleston, St. Louis, Los Angeles and Orlando. Blake finished in third place with 1100 points and tournament titles in Chicago, Portland and Brooklyn.

In 2015, Roddick won the Series points title in his second year of competing on the series with 1,600 points. Roddick won a record eight events Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. Blake finished second in the points rankings with 1,200 points, winning events in Boston and Cincinnati. Philippoussis finished in third with 1,100 points, winning titles in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Invesco Series QQQ tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.

ABOUT INSIDEOUT SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT
InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a Los Angeles based producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Champions Series, a collection of tournaments featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, The World Series of Beach Volleyball and numerous corporate outings. Since inception, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment has raised over $4 million for charity. In 2014, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment merged with Horizon Media, the largest privately held media services agency in the world. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or InvescoSeries.comor follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

ABOUT HORIZON MEDIA
Horizon Media, Inc. is the largest and fastest growing privately held media services agency in the world. The company was founded in 1989, is headquartered in New York and has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago. Horizon Media was chosen as 2011 Independent Media Agency of the Year by Mediapost, 2010 U.S. Media Agency of the Year by Adweek, Brandweek, and Mediaweek as well as by Ad Age and as one of the world’s ten most innovative marketing and advertising companies by Fast Company in 2011. In 2012, Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder, was honored by Advertising Age as Industry Executive of the Year. Most recently, in 2014, Bill Koenigsberg was named 4As Chair of the Board and is the first person from a media agency to hold this prestigious position in the 100 year history of the 4As, the marketing industry’s leading trade association. The company’s mission is “To create the most meaningful brand connections within the lives of people everywhere.” By delivering on this mission through a holistic approach to brand marketing, Horizon Media has become one of the largest and fastest-growing media agencies in the industry, with estimated billings of over $5.3 billion and over 1,200 employees. The company is also a founding member of Columbus Media International, a multi-national partnership of independent media agencies. For more information, please visithorizonmedia.com.

ABOUT INVESCO
Invesco Ltd. is an independent investment management firm dedicated to delivering an investment experience that helps people get more out of life. NYSE: IVZ; invesco.com. Invesco Distributors, Inc. is the US distributor for Invesco Ltd. and is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Invesco Ltd.

John Isner, Stevie Johnson To Play Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open

Current world No. 9 and No. 1 American John Isner has committed to return to the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open as defending champion at this summer’s event. Isner is a 3-time champion in Newport, having won titles in 2011, 2012, and 2017. Fellow American Steve Johnson will also return to Newport, and a wild card has been awarded to Thanasi Kokkinakis- a rising star from Australia. All three players have had some huge wins this season, with Isner winning the biggest title of his career at the Miami Open, Johnson repeating as champion in Houston, and Kokkinakis (then world No. 175) knocking out world No. 1 Roger Federer in Miami.

“I always enjoy being in Newport in July,” said Isner. “The Hall of Fame is a really special place to compete and the fans are always terrific. This has been an exciting season for me and I look forward to having Newport be part of it.”

Earlier this season, Isner won his first ever ATP Masters 1000 singles title at the Miami Open. Isner entered the tournament ranked world No. 17 and defeated three top-10 players en route to the trophy- Marin Cilic, Juan Martin del Potro, and Alexander Zverev. The victory propelled Isner back into the world top-10 for the first time since May 2014. His win in Miami was preceded by another huge hard court victory when he won the doubles title at Indian Wells, partnered with fellow American Jack Sock.

Topping off hist recent victories, Isner hit a major career milestone in April in Houston when he served his 10,000th career ace. The record puts him in the company of just three others who have ever done so- Ivo Karlovic, Roger Federer, and Goran Ivanisevic. The ball that Isner served his 10,000th ace with was carefully set aside by the staff at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston and then sent to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, where it is now displayed as a part of tennis history.

“We’re looking forward to a great week of tennis in Newport, and John Isner, Steve Johnson, and Thanasi Kokkinakis will each bring a lot of energy and action to the competition. They have all seen some huge successes this year, and we’re thrilled to have them add Newport to their calendars,” stated International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin.

Houston Champ Steve Johnson Making a Return to Newport

Johnson returns to Newport for his fifth appearance, having twice been a quarterfinalist at the grass court event. Johnson is currently ranked world No. 55. Last month in Houston, Johnson won his third career title and second in Houston at the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship. Both Johnson and Isner have also been part of this season’s successful US Davis Cup team, which is now heading to the Davis Cup semifinals in September.

A Wild Card for Kokkinakis

Kokkinakis will be making his first appearance in Newport, having been granted a wild card into the event. The 22-year-old from Australia is currently ranked world No. 152 and he has notched some big wins early in his career. In Miami in March, Kokkinakis came through qualifying, won his first round and then faced Roger Federer in the second round. He dropped the first set and then came back to take out the world No. 1 in three sets. Last season, Kokkinakis had a win over then world No. 6 Milos Raonic on the grass courts at Queen’s Club. In Los Cabos, he took out world No. 14 Tomas Berdych en route to his first final, where he fell to Sam Querrey.

Tickets On Sale Now

Tickets for the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open are on sale now on www.HallofFameOpen.com. In addition to seven days of exciting pro tennis, the tournament features kids tennis clinics, a fashion show, and other great special events. Highlights for this summer include an exhibition match featuring reigning US Open Champion & Finalist Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys on Friday, July 20; the International Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for Michael Stich and Helena Sukova on Saturday, July 21; and Invesco Legends Newport featuring Jim Courier, Tommy Haas, Lleyton Hewitt, and James Blake on Sunday, July 22. Tickets for all special events include access to that day’s tournament matches.

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About the International Tennis Hall of Fame

The International Tennis Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that preserves and promotes the history of tennis and celebrates its champions, thereby serving as a vital partner in the growth of tennis globally. The Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island in the United States, but Hall of Famers hail from 23 nations around the world. The Hall of Fame honors these legends and chronicles the sport’s history in a comprehensive interactive museum in Newport and programming to celebrate the sport around the world. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame and its programs, visit www.tennisfame.com.

About the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open

Hosted on the historic grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open is the only ATP World Tour event played in the Northeast and the only pro tournament played on grass courts in North and South America. The 2018 tournament will be held July 15 – 22, 2018. In addition to exciting pro tennis, a highlight of the week will be the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2018 Enshrinement Ceremony on July 21. For additional information, visit www.halloffameopen.com.

“Trojan Tennis” Book On USC Men’s Tennis Team’s History Now For Sale

“Trojan Tennis: A History of the Storied Men’s Tennis Program at the University of Southern California” by USC men’s tennis historian and Marshall School of Business professor S. Mark Young, the first-ever book about a college tennis program, is now available for sale and download in advance of the 2018 NCAA Tennis Championships.

Published by New Chapter Press, “Trojan Tennis” documents the most successful college tennis program, dating from 1899 through the end of the 2016-17 season. USC tennis legends Stan Smith and Stevie Johnson both contributed forewords to the hardcover book that features interviews with many of the program’s greatest players also including Alex Olmedo, Dennis Ralston, Bob Lutz, Rick Leach, Luke Jensen as well as legendary coaches George Toley, Dick Leach and Peter Smith. While the progress of the team is central, readers will be fascinated by the biographical details of the key figures in each time period, which are enhanced by extensive footnotes drawing from archival materials, including personal letters, scrapbooks, published news stories, and original interviews.
The book is available where books are sold for $27.95, including here on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1937559823/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_Uwj6AbAFSMSJN

“We are so lucky Dr. Mark Young found us,” said Peter Smith, the USC men’s tennis coach. “He had a dream to write the story of the USC men’s tennis team. Little did any of us know what a the grand that lay ahead of him. Mark looked into every detail and every character – the story is a great read. He is the perfect person to tell our story and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

Said former USC coach Dick Leach, “This book on the history of USC tennis is a very heavily researched endeavor by Professor Mark Young who poured through many archives and interviewed scores of Trojans. The result is a truly comprehensive volume about the legacy of USC tennis. Mark has played competitive tennis all of his life and knows the game. I am very glad that he has written this great book so that all of these memories can be forever preserved.”

Said International Tennis Hall of Famer and former Trojan Dennis Ralston, “Even though it has been many years, I still follow SC tennis. Every time the Trojans play the Bruins, I am transported back to the days of our great rivalry. Mark Young’s book brings back so many wonderful memories and I will always treasure my time as a Trojan at USC.”

Said Bob Lutz, former NCAA singles and doubles champion for USC, “Many of my best tennis memories occurred while I was playing for USC under Coach George Toley. I was very proud to be on teams that would be the first to win four consecutive NCAA Team Championships. My contribution to the history of USC tennis, though, is just part of a much larger story and thanks to Mark Young’s Trojan Tennis, the entire history has now been captured I highly recommend this book.”

Said two-time U.S. Open champion Tracy Austin, whose son Brandon plays for USC, “Trojan Tennis is the only comprehensive book about college tennis. As someone who has been a life-long devotee to tennis, I was only aware of parts of SC tennis history. I am so glad that Mark Young has been able to capture recollections of so many luminaries of the sport. The book is a fun read with amazing photos and I know tennis and sports fans everywhere will thoroughly enjoy it.”

S. Mark Young, Ph.D. holds the George Bozanic and Holman G. Hurt Chair in Sports and Entertainment Business at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California. He is the official historian of the USC Men’s Tennis Team, and chairs the university’s Oversight Committee on Athletic Academic Affairs, an organization that reviews and suggests policies and procedures to facilitate the academic progress of all student athletes at USC. A former Division III collegiate player, Young captained the tennis team at Oberlin College in Ohio in the mid-1970s.

Founded in 1987, New Chapter Press (www.NewChapterMedia.com) is also the publisher of “The Secrets of Spanish Tennis” by Chris Lewit, “The Greatest Tennis Matches of All-Time” by Steve Flink, “The Education of a Tennis Player” by Rod Laver with Bud Collins, “Andy Murray, Wimbledon Champion: The Full Extraordinary Story” by Mark Hodgkinson, “The Bud Collins History of Tennis” by Bud Collins, “The Wimbledon Final That Never Was” by Sidney Wood, “Titanic: The Tennis Story” by Lindsay Gibbs, “Sport of a Lifetime” by Judy Aydelott, “Macci Magic: Extracting Greatness From Yourself And Others” by Rick Macci with Jim Martz, “Absolute Tennis: The Best And Next Way To Play The Game” by Marty Smith, “Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection” by Rene Stauffer, “The Days of Roger Federer” by Randy Walker, “Jan Kodes: A Journey To Glory From Behind The Iron Curtain” by Jan Kodes with Peter Kolar, “Acing Depression: A Tennis Champion’s Toughest Match” by Cliff Richey and Hilaire Richey Kallendorf, “Tennis Made Easy” by Kelly Gunterman, “On This Day In Tennis History” by Randy Walker (www.TennisHistoryApp.com), “A Player’s Guide To USTA League Tennis” by Tony Serksnis, “Court Confidential: Inside The World Of Tennis” by Neil Harman, “A Backhanded Gift” by Marshall Jon Fisher, “Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games” by Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli (www.Boycott1980.com), “How To Permanently Erase Negative Self Talk So You Can Be Extraordinary” by Emily Filloramo, “Internet Dating 101: It’s Complicated, But It Doesn’t Have To Be” by Laura Schreffler, “How To Sell Your Screenplay” by Carl Sautter, “Bone Appetit: Gourmet Cooking For Your Dog” by Suzan Anson, “The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle” by Stewart Wolpin among others.

Colombia’s Juan Benitez Wins USTA Mardy Fish Vero Beach Futures In Florida

Juan Benitez of Colombia won the singles title at the $15,000 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships U.S. Tennis Association Pro Circuit event Sunday defeating Ricardo Rodriguez of Venezuela in a gripping 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 final at Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club.

The win for Benitez was the second on the “Futures” level of professional tennis, which is the equivalent of minor league baseball in tennis, after winning his first title in Morocco last year. He earned 18 ATP World Tour ranking points with the victory that will improve his current world ranking of No. 667.

“Amazing. Just every title, every week that you go undefeated is just amazing,” said Benitez. “I will always remember this week and this trophy. It’s been an unbelievable week for me here in Vero.”

The two hour and 28-minute battle between Benitez and Rodriguez saw 12 breaks throughout the match. Both players struggled to get a foothold early on in the match, as four of the 12 breaks in the match came in the first five games.

After the players settled in, break points came at a premium in the latter stages of the first set. Rodriguez had a look at one at with Benitez serving at 3-3, but the No. 5 seed held strong and won three points in a row to get the hold.

With Rodriguez serving at 5-6, he saved a break point at 30-40 to get the game to deuce, but Benitez fought hard to win the next two points to win the game and the set.

“Just one point at a time. He wasn’t giving many free points,” Benitez said of his strategy in the first set. “I had to work the point out, move him around, wait for him to miss pretty much.”

The second set was all Rodriguez as Benitez began to deal with soreness in his back. He was visited by the USTA trainer twice, and Rodriguez took advantage of the opportunity. He raced out to a 5-0 lead before Benitez showed signs of life to take two games late in the set. Rodriguez kept his nerve though and closed out the set 6-2.

“I had some physical issues that didn’t help me to move like I usually do,” said Benitez. “Sometimes I was being too passive and he was taking control of the point. I was either missing first, or he was making the winners.”
Benitez turned it back on in the third set though, jumping out to a 2-0 lead. Serving at 2-0 however, Rodriguez battled hard and capitalized on the second break point he saw in the game to get back on serve.

At 3-all, Benitez had a look at two break points to retake a lead, but Rodriguez continued to battle and won four points in a row to keep the match on serve. He turned the momentum from that game into two break points in the next game on Benitez’s serve, but the Colombian stayed resilient and eventually got the hold after a 10-point battle.
After a hold at love to go up 5-4, Benitez applied the pressure on Rodriguez’s serve and took advantage of the first and only match point he saw, forcing an error off the racquet of Rodriguez to claim the title.

“He’s been playing at a very high level throughout the week and I congratulate him,” Benitez said of Rodriguez. “It was a good battle.”

Benitez was especially proud of how he was able to fight through his struggles with injury throughout the match.
“You still gotta go out there and do everything in your power to win,” Benitez said. “I think I overcame those physical issues I had during the match and I’m very happy to get the win”

While Rodriguez didn’t get the win, he views his run in Vero Beach this week as a major positive for his career.
“I think it’s really good to be in a final again. It has been a little bit more than two years,” said Rodriguez, the all-time leading singles player on Venezuela’s Davis Cup team. “Finally I see a little bit of a light at the end of the tunnel. That gives me courage, that gives me strength, and even though I didn’t win today, I’ll try to build on it.”

Rodriguez, who is ranked No. 825 in the world, was once ranked as high as No. 282, but had to miss a significant amount of time from the tour with an ankle injury he suffered while playing paddle tennis in Spain.
His journey back to the highest levels of the tour has been a tough one, so tough that he almost gave up on trying to make a comeback.

“All my family, my team, my girlfriend, all the people who have been beside me in these dark times, whenever I step on court I just want them to feel proud of me. That’s my only objective,” Rodriguez said. “Without them, I would’ve quit a year and a half ago. They encourage me every day, they give me strength whenever I’m down.”

Rodriguez was not only complimentary of his team and family, but also of USTA Supervisor David Littlefield, tournament directors Randy Walker and Tom Fish, and the entire community of Grand Harbor.

“It makes one week for us easier than the rest,” Rodriguez said. “For us, the players, it’s great to feel appreciated and to feel welcomed, I think I’m talking on behalf of all the players.”

The doubles final was won by Junior Alexander Ore and Miles Seemann as they pulled off an impressive comeback from 6-4, 5-2 down to defeat Harrison Adams and Nick Chappell 4-6, 7-6(8), 10-6, saving three match points along the way.

The title for Ore and Seemann is their first in just their second tournament together. The pairing lost in the quarterfinals last week in Orange Park, and used that early exit to prepare for this event.

“After we lost early last week we just spent a lot of time learning each other’s games,” Ore said. “We worked on our chemistry, I think that was pretty big. I think that really helped out during this week.”

After coming out of the gates hot and holding a 3-0 double break lead, Ore and Seemann began to hit a rough patch as Adams and Chappell won 11 of the next 14 games.

“We knew it was just one break,” Seemann said of the 5-2 deficit in the second set. “We just kept fighting and we knew that if we keep fighting there might be a chance that we can comeback.”

After a comfortable hold to get it to 5-3, Ore and Seemann broke to get back on serve, but then had to fight off two match points while serving at 4-5 to get it back even. After leveling the set back up, the pairing’s confidence skyrocketed.
“Once we were at 5-all I knew we were going to win,” Ore said. “I just had a gut feeling.”

The duo got the second set to a tiebreak where they saved another match point en route to winning it 10-8.
In the match tiebreak, the Ore and Seemann raced out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back, eventually claiming the title with a decisive 10-6 scoreline.

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, 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.

Some of the past competitors at the USTA Vero Beach Futures have gone on to succeed at the highest levels of professional tennis, winning major singles and doubles titles, Olympic medals and Davis Cup championships and earning No. 1 world rankings. Andy Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion who attained the world No. 1 ranking and helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 2007, competed in Vero Beach in 1999. Thomas Johansson of Sweden, who reached the second round of the Vero Beach Futures in 1995, won the Australian Open seven years later in 2002. Nicolas Massu, the 1998 singles runner-up in Vero Beach, won the singles and doubles gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, beating Fish in the gold medal singles match. Kyle Edmund, the 2013 champion in Vero Beach, helped Great Britain to the Davis Cup title in 2015. Other notable former competitors in Vero Beach include former world No. 2 Magnus Norman, former world No. 4 Tim Henman, 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic and most recently world No. 50 player and teen sensation Denis Shapovalov, who played in Vero Beach in 2016. Former Vero Beach competitors have combined to win 19 titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at Grand Slam tournaments. Six former Vero Beach players have gone on to play Davis Cup for the United States – Roddick, Fish, Taylor Dent, Jared Palmer, Donald Young and Ryan Harrison.

Sponsors for the 2018 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships are led by Presenting Sponsor PNC Bank and Grand Slam Sponsors Boston Barricade, George E. Warren Corporation, Jake Owen Foundation, Syde Hurdus Foundation / Fit For Life and Land Rover / Jaguar Treasure Coast, Backhand Sponsors Publix, Rossway Swan, Coastal Van Lines, White Orchid Spa, Foglia Contracting, Forehand Sponsors Steve and Karen Rubin, Willem and Marion de Vogel, Cravings, M&M Group – Keller / Williams Realty Vero Beach, Rosato Plastic Surgery, Riverside Café, Ocean Drive Elite Physiques, 14 Bones Barbeque, Gordon Food Service, Peter Bernholz, Swarovski, Soul Music, Minuteman Press and Elite Airways, Kit Fields Realtor / CharlotteTerry.com, Cabana Sponsors John’s Island, Gene Simonsen, Michael & Kathleen Pierce, William Barhorst CPA, Dan Holman, John Klein, Hadleigh Investments, TeamChristopher.com, Tom Collins, The Pitcher Family, Pene Chambers Group, Waldo and Candy Johnston, The Pappalardo Family, Mickey and Rob Stein, Lace and Bob Milligan and Drop Shot Sponsors Fresh Market, Brooklyn Bagel, Hutchinson’s Florist, Seaside Grill, A Pampered Life-Disney Spa, Avanzare, New Chapter Media, Smith & Company Landscaping, Center For Advanced Eye Care, Cast Electric, Citron of Vero Beach, Amerigas, Central Window of Vero Beach, Bill’s Audio and Video Innovations, ML Engineering, Capt. Bob’s Airboat Adventure, Busy Bee Lawn & Garden Center, Complete Restaurant Equipment, Wilco Construction, Nozzle Nolen, Southern Plumbing, Treasure Coast Sotheby’s, Jack’s Complete Tree Service, Complete Electric, Statewide Condominium Insurance, Abco Garage Door, O’Hair, Quinn, Casalino, Chartered, Rick’s Custom Care, Rich-Look Lawn Care, White Glove Moving & Storage, Coastal Comforts @ The Village Shops, Jimmy’s Tree Service, Thompsons Remodeling & Home Repairs, Summit Construction, Colton Williams & Reamy, Sunshine Furniture, Malesardi, Quackenbush, Swift, Aluma Tower Company, Alex MacWilliam, Inc., Charlotte Terry Real Estate, Ken’s Pool & Spa Repair, Vero Beach Orthopedics, Barker Air Conditioning & Heating, Treasure Coast Financial Planning, Engineered Services, Peter Bernholz, Deborah Benjamin, John & Faith Parker, Duke & Betty Foster, Paul & Linda Delaney, Timmy Wood Gary and Beth Williams, Don Moyle, Chuck Pollard, Stewart Dunn, Leslie London – LL Vinyl Designs, Dara, Hunter and Thom Morgan

Unusual “Wild Card” Final For USTA Mardy Fish Futures Event Won By Army Men’s Tennis Coach’s Son

Karl Poling of West Point, N.Y., the 18-year-old son of U.S. Military Academy men’s tennis coach Jim Poling, earned a main draw wild card entry into the 2018 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships by winning an unusual final of the wild card tournament held at the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona, Florida.

His final-round match against fellow 18-year-old Trent Bryde of Atlanta, Ga., was, however, not played at Lake Nona, but in Orange Park, Florida, just outside of Jacksonville.

Due to rain that washed out an entire day of play in the 40-player wild card event, Poling and Bryde had to play their semifinal and final-round matches on Thursday, April 12, jeopardizing their opportunity to play in the qualifying tournament at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Orange Park – 150 miles away – for which they had to personally register for on-site at the tournament desk by 6 pm that day. Tournament officials decided, in the best interest of the players and their competitive playing opportunities, to have them play the final later that night in Orange Park after signing in to play in the Orange Park qualifying event. Poling and Bryde then battled for nearly three hours before Poling emerged victorious 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Poling joins 17-year-old Matthew Segura of Apopka, Fla., the great nephew of International Tennis Hall of Famer Pancho Segura, as the winners of the two wild card tournaments for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships. Segura won an 18-player wild card tournament at the Sea Oaks Tennis & Beach Club in Vero Beach last month, highlighted by appreciative daily crowds of approximately 500 fans. Both teenagers will be competing in the main draw of this $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit event at Grand Harbor that starts Tuesday, April 24. The 128-player qualifying event in Vero Beach start Friday, April 20 at 8 am..

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships has been played in Vero Beach since 1995 and is 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, 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.

Advance tickets for the April 20-29 event are available at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Approximately 3,000 fans annually attend the event, which is seen as one of the best-attended events in the world on the Futures level of professional tennis tournaments.

Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera, a member of the Davis Cup team from Chile, is the top entry into this year’s event A 20-year-old from Santiago, Chile, Barrios Vera has been a member of the Chile’s Davis Cup team since 2017 and is currently ranked No. 414 in the ATP World Tour rankings. Other leading entries include Samuel Bensoussan of France, ranked No. 417 in the ATP World Tour rankings, Ricardo Rodriguez, the all-time leading Davis Cup singles player from Venezuela, former Northwestern University standout Strong Kirchheimer, Colombia’s Juan Benitez, who reached the quarterfinals in Vero Beach in 2016, losing an thrilling three-set match to Canadian sensation Denis Shapovalov, and Collins Johns of Maryland, whose ambidextrous groundstrokes fascinated fans in Vero Beach last year during his run to the round of 16 as a lucky-loser entrant.

Play at the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships begins at Grand Harbor on Friday, April 20 at 8 am for the opening round of the 128-player qualifying tournament, which in 1998 featured future U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick playing his first ever professional matches. The qualifying rounds will continue Saturday, April 21, Sunday, April 22 and Monday, April 23. Eight players will advance from the qualifying rounds into the main draw. The 32-player singles and 16-team doubles main draw tournament will start on Tuesday, April 24. Special 7 pm night matches will be played Tuesday, April 24 through Friday, April 27, with special $10 night tickets being sold starting at 5 pm.

The featured night match on Tuesday, April 24 while feature Vero Beach native Robert Kowalczyk and “King of the Hill” tournament champion Michael Alford, a teaching pro at the Quail Valley Club, playing their first round doubles match at 7 pm as wild card entrants into the field.

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships has been played in Vero Beach since 1995 and is 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.

Season tickets for all 10 days of the competition are available for $100. Daily buy-one-get-one free tickets for the qualifying rounds April 20-23 are for sale for $10, with daily tickets for the main draw sessions April 24-29 for sale for $20. A special night ticket is available for $10 after 5 pm for night sessions on Tuesday, April 24 – Friday, April 27 that includes a featured 7 pm night match. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Tickets are also sold at the front gate. Approximately 3,000 fans annually attend the event, which is seen as one of the best-attended events in the world on the “Futures” level of professional tennis tournaments.

Some of the past competitors at the USTA Vero Beach Futures have gone on to succeed at the highest levels of professional tennis, winning major singles and doubles titles, Olympic medals and Davis Cup championships and earning No. 1 world rankings. Andy Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion who attained the world No. 1 ranking and helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 2007, competed in Vero Beach in 1999. Thomas Johansson of Sweden, who reached the second round of the Vero Beach Futures in 1995, won the Australian Open seven years later in 2002. Nicolas Massu, the 1998 singles runner-up in Vero Beach, won the singles and doubles gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, beating Fish in the gold medal singles match. Kyle Edmund, the 2013 champion in Vero Beach, helped Great Britain to the Davis Cup title in 2015. Other notable former competitors in Vero Beach include former world No. 2 Magnus Norman, former world No. 4 Tim Henman, 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic among others. Former Vero Beach competitors have combined to win 19 titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at Grand Slam tournaments. Six former Vero Beach players have gone on to play Davis Cup for the United States – Roddick, Fish, Taylor Dent, Jared Palmer, Donald Young and Ryan Harrison.

Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports over 2,100 children in 15 elementary schools and six middle schools in Indian River County, Florida by providing after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 which are Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends

Take A Chance To Get Into A Pro Tournament In Doubles In Vero Beach, Florida

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation announced that for a second straight year it will be hosting a doubles wild card tournament at The Boulevard Club, an ad-hoc doubles “qualifying” tournament, for its $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit event, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships in Vero Beach, Fla.

The doubles tournament will start Saturday, April 21, the day after the first round of play in the event’s singles qualifying tournament, and will feature the “FAST4” scoring system, best two-out-of-three-set matches, first to four games, no-ad scoring, tie-breaker at 3-3 and a 10-point tie-breaker in lieu of a third set. The winner of the tournament will be awarded a main draw doubles wild card entry into the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships that starts Tuesday, April 25.

The tournament is open to any and all competitors, but players who win the tournament must have an ITF IPIN number to participate in the main draw of the tournament.

Matches will be played at The Boulevard Tennis Club, located across the street from Grand Harbor, the host venue for the 2018 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships. The entry fee is $60 per team. Players can sign up at www.TennisObservers.com or sign up with cash at the player sign-for the singles qualifying tournament on Thursday, April 19 from 4 pm to 6 pm at the tennis facility at the Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club.

All entry fees for the event benefit the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com)

For more information, contact Randy Walker at 917 770 0843 or [email protected]

Play at the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships begins at Grand Harbor on Friday, April 20 at 8 am for the opening round of the 128-player qualifying tournament, which in 1998 featured future U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick playing his first ever professional matches. The qualifying rounds will continue Saturday, April 21, Sunday, April 22 and Monday, April 23. The 32-player singles and 16-team doubles main draw tournament will start on Tuesday, April 24. Special 7 pm night matches will be played Tuesday, April 24 through Friday, April 27, with special $10 night tickets being sold starting at 5 pm.

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships has been played in Vero Beach since 1995 and is 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.

Advance tickets – and sponsorships – for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships are available at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com. Season tickets for all 10 days of the competition are available for $100. Daily buy-one-get-one free tickets for the qualifying rounds April 20-23 are for sale for $10, with daily tickets for the main draw sessions April 24-29 for sale for $20. A special night ticket is available for $10 after 5 pm for night sessions on Tuesday, April 24 – Friday, April 27 that includes a featured 7 pm night match. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Tickets are also sold at the front gate. Approximately 3,000 fans annually attend the event, which is seen as one of the best-attended events in the world on the “Futures” level of professional tennis tournaments.

Some of the past competitors at the USTA Vero Beach Futures have gone on to succeed at the highest levels of professional tennis, winning major singles and doubles titles, Olympic medals and Davis Cup championships and earning No. 1 world rankings. Andy Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion who attained the world No. 1 ranking and helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 2007, competed in Vero Beach in 1999. Thomas Johansson of Sweden, who reached the second round of the Vero Beach Futures in 1995, won the Australian Open seven years later in 2002. Nicolas Massu, the 1998 singles runner-up in Vero Beach, won the singles and doubles gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, beating Fish in the gold medal singles match. Kyle Edmund, the 2013 champion in Vero Beach, helped Great Britain to the Davis Cup title in 2015. Other notable former competitors in Vero Beach include former world No. 2 Magnus Norman, former world No. 4 Tim Henman, 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic among others. Former Vero Beach competitors have combined to win 19 titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at Grand Slam tournaments. Six former Vero Beach players have gone on to play Davis Cup for the United States – Roddick, Fish, Taylor Dent, Jared Palmer, Donald Young and Ryan Harrison.

Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports over 2,100 children in 15 elementary schools and six middle schools in Indian River County, Florida by providing after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 which are Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends

Tommy Haas Dominates In Invesco Series Debut In Charleston, S.C.

Tommy Haas began his career on the Invesco Series circuit in rousing fashion Sunday morning, winning the QQQ Legends Charleston title defeating Andy Roddick 6-1 in the championship match at the Volvo Car Stadium,

The event was delayed until Sunday morning due to rain Saturday in Charleston and was played in cold and windy conditions with tournament play starting at 8 am with temperatures in the 40s.

“I grew up in Hamburg, Germany. These were like regular conditions for us to play outside on clay, cold and windy,” said Haas. “But it’s never that easy.”

Haas, who turned 40 on April 3, ended his career on the ATP World Tour last year. The former world No. 2 and silver medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games won his last career ATP match in Stuttgart, Germany last June on grass when he upset Roger Federer in the second round. Roddick, the winner of the year-long Invesco Series points title in 2015 and 2017, joked his displeasure of Haas joining the North American circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30 by saying there should be a rule that players should not be eligible to play on the series if they had beaten Federer within the last year.

Haas advanced into the final by beating Michael Chang 6-2 in the opening 8 am semifinal Sunday, winning the first five games of his Invesco Series career. Roddick defeated last year’s Charleston runner-up Mark Philippoussis 6-3 in the other semifinal, avenging his loss to the Australian the previous year on the same court in the semifinals.

The Invesco Series continues next month at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows at Kohala Coast, Hawaii for the first-ever Invesco Series event in Hawaii.

Each QQQ Champions Series by Invesco event features special VIP experiences, including hit-with-the-pros opportunities and special back-stage access. All ticket, experience and event information can be found at www.PowerSharesSeries.com.

In 2017, the year-long points championship was decided in the final match of the season when Andy Roddick defeated James Blake in the Los Angeles final at the Sherwood Country Club. Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion and world No. 1, won four PowerShares Series titles in all in 2017, winning in Birmingham, Ala., Chicago, Lincoln, Neb., and Los Angeles. Blake, the former world No. 4 and former U.S. Davis Cup star, won series titles in Charleston, S.C., Winston-Salem, N.C. and in Lynchburg, Va.

In 2016, Mark Philippoussis won the Series points title with 1600 points and tournament titles in Memphis, Tulsa, Newport, Winston-Salem and New Haven. Roddick finished in second place, also earning 1600 points but losing the head-to-head tiebreaker with Philippoussis 5-2, while winning titles in Charleston, St. Louis, Los Angeles and Orlando. Blake finished in third place with 1100 points and tournament titles in Chicago, Portland and Brooklyn.

In 2015, Roddick won the Series points title in his second year of competing on the series with 1,600 points. Roddick won a record eight events Los Angeles, Lincoln, Chicago, Austin, Little Rock, Dallas, Richmond and Minneapolis. Blake finished second in the points rankings with 1,200 points, winning events in Boston and Cincinnati. Philippoussis finished in third with 1,100 points, winning titles in Salt Lake City and Vancouver. The year before in 2014, McEnroe won the points title for the first time in the nine-year history of Champions Series tennis by winning events in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville and Charlotte.

ABOUT INSIDEOUT SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT
InsideOut Sports + Entertainment is a Los Angeles based producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2005, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Champions Series, a collection of tournaments featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In addition, InsideOut produces many other successful events including “Legendary Night” exhibitions, The World Series of Beach Volleyball and numerous corporate outings. Since inception, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment has raised over $4 million for charity. In 2014, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment merged with Horizon Media, the largest privately held media services agency in the world. For more information, please log on to www.InsideOutSE.com or PowerSharesSeries.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

ABOUT HORIZON MEDIA
Horizon Media, Inc. is the largest and fastest growing privately held media services agency in the world. The company was founded in 1989, is headquartered in New York and has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago. Horizon Media was chosen as 2011 Independent Media Agency of the Year by Mediapost, 2010 U.S. Media Agency of the Year by Adweek, Brandweek, and Mediaweek as well as by Ad Age and as one of the world’s ten most innovative marketing and advertising companies by Fast Company in 2011. In 2012, Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder, was honored by Advertising Age as Industry Executive of the Year. Most recently, in 2014, Bill Koenigsberg was named 4As Chair of the Board and is the first person from a media agency to hold this prestigious position in the 100 year history of the 4As, the marketing industry’s leading trade association. The company’s mission is “To create the most meaningful brand connections within the lives of people everywhere.” By delivering on this mission through a holistic approach to brand marketing, Horizon Media has become one of the largest and fastest-growing media agencies in the industry, with estimated billings of over $5.3 billion and over 1,200 employees. The company is also a founding member of Columbus Media International, a multi-national partnership of independent media agencies. For more information, please visit horizonmedia.com.

ABOUT INVESCO
Invesco Ltd. is an independent investment management firm dedicated to delivering an investment experience that helps people get more out of life. NYSE: IVZ; invesco.com. Invesco Distributors, Inc. is the US distributor for Invesco Ltd. and is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Invesco Ltd.

“Being Serena” Documentary To Debut May 2

HBO Sports, acclaimed for its innovative programming, is teaming up again with IMG’s Original Content group for a five-part documentary series chronicling tennis icon Serena Williams at a pivotal moment in her personal and professional life. BEING SERENA debuts WEDNESDAY, MAY 2 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO, followed by other new episodes subsequent Wednesdays at the same time.

The series will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO®, HBO On Demand® and partners’ streaming services.

BEING SERENA will provide viewers unprecedented access to Williams during her pregnancy, new motherhood and marriage, while documenting her journey back to supremacy on the court. Viewers will experience her life from every angle as the intimate first-person show delves into her landmark career, family life and expanding role as a businesswoman and investor in the worlds of tech, fashion, fitness and philanthropy.

“HBO is honored to work with Serena Williams on such a personal project,” says Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. “Even though she has been in the spotlight since her teenage years, Serena continues to capture the imagination. With our partners at IMG, we look forward to giving viewers a revealing, behind-the-scenes portrait of her life on and off the court.”

“Serena Williams is a force unlike any other,” said Mark Shapiro, Co-President of WME and IMG. “Her entire life is one of the hero’s journey, and it has been a privilege to work with her as she enters this next phase. HBO was an incredible partner in developing a unique look into Serena’s world, and we look forward to sharing this all-access story with the world in May.”

Serena Williams, 36, is one of the most dominant forces tennis has ever seen, with 39 Grand Slam titles, four Olympic Gold Medals and the most women’s singles match victories in Grand Slam history. Her supremacy on the court earned her Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year honors in 2015 and made her a four-time winner of the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, first in 2002 and most recently in 2015.

In Jan. 2017, Williams bested her sister Venus in the final match of the Australian Open, marking her seventh time winning that singles event. Four months after her historic victory, Williams revealed that she and her fiancé, Alexis Ohanian, were expecting their first child, confirming she was eight weeks pregnant when she won her 23rd Grand Slam singles title. On Sept. 1, Williams gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. Williams and Ohanian wed soon after in a stunning ceremony before family and friends in New Orleans on Nov. 16.
Williams will return to the tennis circuit this spring to compete in her first Grand Slam event of the year at the French Open in late May.

For more than a decade, HBO Sports has been responsible for some of the most compelling unscripted sports programming, with a stylish and contemporary approach marked by unrestricted access. “Hard Knocks,” launched in 2001 in partnership with NFL Films, has won 15 Sports Emmy® Awards, and the groundbreaking all-access reality franchise “24/7” has earned 18 Sports Emmy® Awards.

BEING SERENA marks the third collaborative docu-series for HBO Sports and IMG. The first was 2016’s “Gonzaga: The March to Madness,” chronicling the Gonzaga men’s basketball team’s march to its 18th consecutive NCAA men’s basketball tournament berth, followed by 2017’s Primetime Emmy® nominee “UConn: The March to Madness,” spotlighting the powerhouse University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team as it sought a fifth consecutive national championship.

BEING SERENA is executive produced by Mark Shapiro, Will Staeger and Michael Antinoro. For HBO: executive producers Peter Nelson and Rick Bernstein; supervising producer, Bentley Weiner.

ABOUT IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network.

USTA National Campus In Orlando To Host Wild Card Event For Mardy Fish USTA Pro Circuit Futures Event

The USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Florida, just outside of Orlando, will host the second of two wild card singles events for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit event, Monday, April 9 through Wednesday, April 11.

The winner of the event will be awarded a main draw singles wild card, or direct entry, into the 2018 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships USTA Pro Circuit “Futures” tournament to be played April 24-29 at Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club in Vero Beach.

Entry fees, that benefit the non-profit Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, are $65 for the wild card event and are open to all competitive players. More information can be found on TennisLink here: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=220023#&&s=1 The entry deadline is Wednesday, April 4.

Matches, played on clay courts, will be best-two-out-of-three sets and will be played in the late afternoon and early evening. Earlier this month, 17-year-old Matthew Segura of Apopka, Fla., won the first wild card singles tournament for the Mardy Fish Futures, defeating Jack Vance of Las Vegas, Nevada. In the final played at the Sea Oaks Tennis & Beach Club in Vero Beach.

A special doubles wild card tournament will also be held April 21-23 in Vero Beach at the same time as the singles qualifying tournament that starts April 20. The event is open to all players and entries for $60 per team and are being accepted now by emailing Randy Walker at [email protected]

Some of the past competitors at the USTA Vero Beach Futures have gone on to succeed at the highest levels of professional tennis, winning major singles and doubles titles, Olympic medals and Davis Cup championships and earning No. 1 world rankings. Andy Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion who attained the world No. 1 ranking and helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 2007, competed in Vero Beach in 1999. Thomas Johansson of Sweden, who reached the second round of the Vero Beach Futures in 1995, won the Australian Open seven years later in 2002. Nicolas Massu, the 1998 singles runner-up in Vero Beach, won the singles and doubles gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, beating Fish in the gold medal singles match. Kyle Edmund, the 2013 champion in Vero Beach, helped Great Britain to the Davis Cup title in 2015. Other notable former competitors in Vero Beach include former world No. 2 Magnus Norman, former world No. 4 Tim Henman, 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic, 2017 Australian Open star Tennys Sandgren and up-and-coming ATP star Denis Shapovalov among others. Former Vero Beach competitors have combined to win 19 titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at Grand Slam tournaments. Six former Vero Beach players have gone on to play Davis Cup for the United States – Roddick, Fish, Taylor Dent, Jared Palmer, Donald Young and Ryan Harrison.

Tournament tickets and sponsorships are now on sale and can be purchased at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com Tickets for the qualifying rounds from April 20 – April 23 cost $10, while tickets for the main draw of singles and doubles from April 24 – 29 are $20, with “night session” tickets starting at 5 pm from April 24-27 costing $10. Season tickets that include both the qualifying and main draw events cost $100. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Fans can follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures. Detailed sponsorship information can be obtained by emailing Tom Fish at [email protected] or Randy Walker at [email protected]

Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports over 1700 children grades KDG-8th in Indian River County, Florida by funding after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, collaborates with various community organizations, including Boys and Girls Club of Indian River County, Dasie Hope Bridgewater Center and LOTA Sports. Kids on Courts After School Tennis program is facilitated by LOTA Sports offering progressive tennis instruction from world class professionals. The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends. Fish achieved a career-high ranking of No. 7 in 2011 and won 14 career ATP singles and doubles titles in his career. After retiring from the ATP World Tour in 2015, Fish now competes on the celebrity pro golf tour and the PowerShares Series legends tennis tour while serving as a coach for the USTA Player Development Program and a TV commentator for ESPN.

With Roger Federer Out Of The Miami Open, Who Is The Favorite?

After world No. 1 Roger Federer’ stunning opening round loss by the hands of No. 175-ranked Thanasi Kokkinakis Australia, the men’s draw at the Miami Open is a virtual toss-up.

With Federer’s loss, it will mark the first time since 2010 and only the second time in 15 years that no member of the “Big 4” in tennis (Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray) will win Indian Wells or Miami. With all the usual stars on the sidelines after losses (Federer, Djokovic) and injuries (Nadal, Murray and Stan Wawrinka), many new contenders will now look at the draw and feel more confident that they can snag one of the biggest titles in the tennis circuit.

Juan Martin del Potro is seen as the favorite now to win the title, despite being the No. 5 seed and with two players seeded higher than him still in the draw – No. 2 seed Marin Cilic and No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev. Del Potro and Cilic are the only two players in the field left who have won major titles, del Potro beating Federer in the final of the 2009 U.S. Open and Cilic also winning in New York in 2014. The Argentine always plays his most inspired tennis when in the presence of his vocal and enthusiastic Argentine fan base and there is not a lack of them in Miami. He will feel as though he is playing for his country in these friendly environs and it will help lift his game, just as it did for him at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, where he had an incredible run to the final and in winning the Davis Cup for Argentina later that year. To boot, del Potro is on a high after winning two big titles in the last few weeks, the 500-level ATP event in Acapulco, Mexico and his first Masters Series title in Indian Wells, California, where he defeated Federer in a thrilling final.

The only thing that could trip up del Potro would be mental or physical fatigue from playing so many matches in such a short period of time.

Cilic is in del Potro’s half and will also challenge for the title. Cilic still has a hot hand from reaching two of the last three major finals at Wimbledon and the Australian Open. Grigor Dimitrov, the No. 3 seed, was also in this half of the draw but lost to Jeremy Chardy of France. Dimitrov won his first Masters Series event in Cincinnati also on hard courts last August. He also won the year-end ATP World Tour Finals last November for the biggest win of his career, but has struggled since then.

In Federer’s vacated top half of the draw, the favorite to go through is probably Alexander Zverev, the No. 4 seed, who has already won two titles on the “Masters Series” level on the ATP Tour (just below the Grand Slams) last year in Rome (defeating Novak Djokovic in the final) and in Montreal (defeating Roger Federer in the final.

However, any number of contenders could also break through. Kevin Anderson, the No. 6 seed, is full of confidence after his run to the US Open final last September and could once again rise to seek more glory.

Tennis observers should keep a close eye on Denis Shapovalov and his Miami Open betting odds. The 18-year-old Canadian left-hander has jumped into the top 50 in the ATP rankings with his explosive game. If he is able to put together all of his amazing shot-making during a stretch of matches, he can beat anybody in the world and grab a title at any level.