Edward Kelly

Tarango Wins USTA Futures In Wisconsin

ELM GROVE, Wisconsin, August 10, 2008 – Unseeded Daniel Yoo of Korea won the singles title at the Time Warner Cable “Road Runner Pro Tennis Classic,” dominating No. 6 seed Ryan Young, of the United States, 6-2, 6-1. Both the singles and doubles final were completed during Sunday’s play.

Yoo won 10 of the last 11 games in the match as he used his retrieving style of play to wear Young down throughout the match. This is the first pro singles title of Yoo’s career.

In the doubles final, former U.S. Olympian Jeff Tarango combined with Edward Kelly, of the United States, to take the title over No. 3 seeds Raven Klaasen, of South Africa, and Ryan Young, of the United States, 6-3, 3-6, 11-9. Tarango and Kelly trailed 3-0 in the super tiebreak  before storming back to win the match. This is the first professional title for Kelly and Tarango’s first title since winning the ATP Tour doubles event in Gstaad back in 2000.

The Time Warner Cable “Road Runner Pro Tennis Classic,” now in its second consecutive year, is part of the summer hard court swing on the USTA Pro Circuit that leads to the US Open. The tournament will feature 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams.   Players ranked as high as No. 200 in the world typically compete in futures-level events.

Futures level tournaments feature prize money ranging from $10,000 to $15,000, and are a stepping stone for future champions to move on to the ATP Tour. Participants from last year’s event including Carsten Ball and Michael Yani have since progressed on to ATP Tour and Challenger level tournaments. The USTA Futures of Milwaukee has featured numerous players who are top-ranked players in their country, as well as top-ranked NCAA and international junior players. For more information, please visit the official tournament website, www.skpromotions.com

With 96 tournaments throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $75,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals.  More than 1,100 men and women from 79 countries competed on the USTA Pro Circuit in 2007 for nearly $3 million in prize money and valuable ATP and WTA Tour ranking points.  Andre Agassi, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport, Mardy Fish, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova are among today’s top stars that began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.  For more information, please visit procircuit.usta.com

Tarango Advances To Futures Doubles Final In Milwaukee

Jeff Tarango continued his winning ways during his “comeback” tournament at the Time Warner Cable “Road Runner Pro Tennis Classic”,  a $10,000 futures event in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, by advancing to the finals of the doubles event. Tarango and partner Edward Kelly defeated the top-seeded team of Dane Fernandez and Adam Thompson, 6-2, 7-6 (2).

In a match that featured several verbal exchanges between Tarango and Thompson, the American pair jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and broke Fernandez’s set to clinch the opening set. Both team traded service holds all the way through the second set before Tarango and Kelly took the match by dominating the second set tiebreak. They will pay the No. 3 seeds, Raven Klaasen and Ryan Young, in Sunday’s championship match.

Kelly will be looking for his first ever professional title, while Tarango will be looking for his first doubles title in eight years, and his first ever USTA Pro Circuit doubles title. Tarango’s last tournament win came at Gstaad back in 2000. Tarango’s only USTA Pro Circuit title to date came when he won the challenger event in Winnetka, Illinois, back in 1988.

Tarango Comes Back For The Sake Of Coaching

For most players, Futures tournaments are a stepping stone to get their feet wet on the pro circuit as they begin their careers and start to establish themselves as pro tennis players.

Leave it to a 39-year-old to rewrite the rule book on that.

Five years after ending a pro career that lasted for fifteen 15 years, former American star Jeff Tarango is back competing this week at the Time Warner Cable “Road Runner Pro Tennis Classic,” a $10,000 futures tournament in Elm Grove, Wisconsin. Paired with Edward Kelly, a player on the Stanford University tennis team, Tarango won his first round doubles match with a routine 6-1, 6-4 win over William Boe-Wiegaard and Patrick Frandij.

Despite naturally losing a step, Tarango’s textbook volleys and old-school groundstokes remained the same as he helped led his team into the quarterfinals.

“I still feel that I can compete at this level,” Tarango said. “I won most of my matches during my career off the mental side of the game. That’s something which has never gone away.”

During his career, Tarango won two singles and 14 doubles titles on the ATP Tour. He reached a career high ranking of No. 42 in singles and No. 10 in doubles. He reached the men’s doubles finals at the French Open in 1999, and reached the third round of every Grand Slam at least once in singles and doubles. Tarango also represented the United States at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Most recently, Tarango also competed in doubles this year at the $50,000 challenger in Carson, California, reaching the quarterfinals. However, Tarango said that he doesn’t view this as a comeback, and instead views his match play as a way to strengthen his abilities as a tennis coach.

“This is sort of a guinea pig experiment with the USTA,” Tarango said. “I wanted to come out and see how the young guys here are hitting the ball, and really get a sense of what we’re working with.”

Tarango, who currently serves on the USTA’s Davis Cup and Olympic committees, said he believes that a different approach needs to be taken with American tennis.

“We don’t have the numbers that Spain has or Russia has in terms of producing top players, so we need to look at what can be done to change that in the future,” Tarango said.

Tarango, who is currently coaching two players who are competing in the tournament this week, said he believes that players need to realize there is more to being a pro tennis player than hitting balls.

“I think that I can be a good influence on these players,” Tarango said. “It’s all about how you prepare for a tournament the week before, the night before, and the hour before. You have to pay attention to every detail if you want to be successful.”