USTA

Jim Courier Resigns As U.S. Davis Cup Captain

The USTA today announced that Jim Courier is stepping down as Captain of the U.S. Davis Cup Team after eight years in the position. Courier informed the USTA of his decision following the U.S. vs. Croatia Davis Cup Semifinal that took place in Croatia.

“We thank Jim for his commitment to excellence and to the Davis Cup team,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams. “I have been proud to travel the world with Jim and watch first hand as he delivered the highest level of integrity and devotion to success.”

Courier was appointed in October 2010 as the 40th captain in Team USA’s storied history, and he concludes a successful eight-year run with a 10-8 record in World Group play, including four shutout victories. The former world No. 1 singles player led the team to two World Group Semifinal appearances, in 2012 and 2018, and reached the World Group Quarterfinals six times, maintaining the team’s position in the World Group throughout his reign.

“Following the matches with Croatia, I let the players and staff know this was my final year as captain of the U.S. Davis Cup Team,” said Courier. “It’s been my honor and privilege to represent the USTA and USA as a player and captain. I look forward to cheering the team on as they pursue the cup in its new format next year and beyond.”

Making his debut in March 2011 in Chile, Courier selected Andy Roddick, John Isner, and Bob and Mike Bryan to compete in his first tie as captain, a 4-1 World Group First Round victory. A total of 11 Americans played for the four-time Grand Slam champion, a list that also includes Mardy Fish, Ryan Harrison, Sam Querrey, Donald Young, Steve Johnson, Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe. Four of those men were handed their Davis Cup debuts by Courier –Young (2014), Sock (2015), Johnson (2015) and Tiafoe (2018). Isner proved to be Courier’s most reliable charge, compiling a 14-7 record under his leadership, including 10 wins in live rubbers. All eight of the men who played in more than three matches under Courier produced winning records.

As a player, Courier lifted the Davis Cup trophy twice, in 1992 and 1995, and held a 17-10 overall record. The U.S. team was 13-1 in ties in which Courier played, and he clinched victory by winning a decisive fifth rubber on three occasions.

Captain Courier leaves Team USA in good stead, having earned automatic qualification into the new-format 2019 Davis Cup championship rounds by virtue of this year’s World Group Semifinal appearance. The 2019 Davis Cup will take place next November.

“I’ve known Jim for almost forty years, enjoying his friendship, and admiring the steel will and unrelenting work ethic that made him a great champion and a great leader as Davis Captain,” said USTA Player Development General Manager Martin Blackman. “The role of Davis Cup Captain requires an individual that embodies the character qualities of a Team USA Champion and one who is willing to put the work in, to get the job done. Captain Courier fulfilled both roles and American tennis is all the better for it.”

Founded in 1900, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis and is the largest annual international team competition in sport, with approximately 135 nations competing each year. The U.S. leads all nations with 32 Davis Cup titles. The U.S. holds a 219-72 all-time Davis Cup record, and owns the longest uninterrupted run in the World Group, dating back to 1989. For more information, including access to player and historical Davis Cup records, please go to www.usta.com/daviscup or www.daviscup.com.

USTA, USTA Sections and USTA Foundation Pledge To Help Tennis Facilities, Programs In Puerto Rico

The USTA, the 17 USTA Sections and the USTA Foundation announced that they have pledged to donate $350,000 to restore tennis facilities and restart tennis programming throughout Puerto Rico. It has been one year since the devastation across the island, and the goal of this effort would be to give the children and families in Puerto Rico the opportunity to enjoy all of the benefits that the game of tennis can provide.

The USTA will utilize the US Open as a platform to raise awareness of this charitable effort, with promotion on site, as well as across US Open and USTA social channels. Individuals can join the effort by making a donation through the USTA Foundation via ustafoundation.com/SupportPR. The funds raised in this initiative will go directly towards efforts in Puerto Rico.

“There is much to be done beyond the tennis court as Puerto Rico rebuilds, but this is where the USTA can utilize their expertise, and make an impact,” said Katrina Adams, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. “The goal of this project is to breathe new life into these facilities and programs, and give the people the chance to step onto the court and for that brief period of time, use the sport of tennis to return to normalcy.”

All contributions to this initiative are tax deductible. The USTA Foundation is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt, not-for-profit, charitable and educational organization. IRS ID #13-3782331. A copy of the USTA Foundation’s most recent annual report is available by contacting USTA Foundation at 70 West Red Oak Lane, White Plains, NY 10604 or the New York State Attorney General Charities Bureau at 120 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10271

New Louis Armstrong Stadium – With A Roof – Dedicated

In terms of grand openings, this one was fit for kings — or more appropriately, Queens — that surely left a number of legends of tennis and music and thousands of fans of both wondering just what the late Louis Armstrong would have thought to himself.

The shimmering new Louis Armstrong Stadium was officially dedicated at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Wednesday with a bold, brassy commemoration befitting both the US Open and the legendary Satchmo.

With the brand new, 14,069-seat stadium serving as both the theater and the main attraction on US Open’s Queens Day, Queens’ own John McEnroe waxed poetic on his four US Open championships. Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis led an eight-piece marching band in a musical performance straight from Bourbon Street. James Blake and Michael Chang then triumphed over John and his brother Patrick in a Legends doubles match that served as a fitting encore.

Nearly 1,800 fans were on-hand to witness it all.

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

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.

USTA Plans Celebrations For 50th Anniversary of U.S. Open

The USTA announced a slate of special events and activities it has planned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the US Open. The U.S. National Championships became the US Open in 1968, as the event opened its doors to professional players for the first time. The USTA will activate programming across all its channels including publishing, retail, events, and digital programming to create broad-based offerings designed to celebrate the past and look to the future of America’s Grand Slam.

“This is a true milestone year for the USTA and the US Open,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “With the completion of our five-year transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, we are now positioned to celebrate our tremendous history, while being poised for future growth.”

One of the most visible initiatives is the introduction of a bold new logo for the event. The logo, created by renowned graphic design firm Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, is a streamlined and modernized version of the tournament’s iconic flaming ball logo, which was first introduced in 1997. This new logo was designed to create a visual identity for the tournament that will last far into the future.

The new logo will feature prominently in the US Open’s 2018 advertising campaign, “Built for Glory.” The new campaign, created by long-time US Open agency partner McGarryBowen, leverages the new visual identity along with creative elements inspired by the transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open since 1978. The campaign will begin to roll out on US Open digital and social channels and broadcast platforms, with an expanded multi-platform media plan set for the summer.

“The new logo is bold and energetic, and better captures and expresses the dynamism of the US Open,” said USTA Chief Marketing Officer Amy Choyne. “We have enjoyed 50 years of greatness and our new visual identity will better carry us forward for the next 50 years.”

50th Anniversary celebratory events will be integrated into all US Open activities in 2018. The second year of “The US Open Experience” will feature appearances by former champions and other special guests at a location to be determined in New York City on Thursday, August 23 and Friday, August 24. The USTA also plans to hold 50th Anniversary events, including special appearances, autograph sessions, and photo opportunities during “Fan Week” from August 21, through August 26.

A full line of products featuring the new logo will be available this spring and summer, and the USTA is also working with its licensees to create specific 50th Anniversary merchandise and products.

In addition, the USTA is working with the noted publisher of art and graphic books, Abrams Publishing, to create a 50th Anniversary book that captures the comprehensive history of the tournament and its champions.

Digitally, the USTA is producing a host of 50th Anniversary programming for its broadcast partners, websites and social channels. In conjunction with the introduction of the new logo, the USTA and long-time technology partner IBM will fully redesign USOpen.org to echo the innovative style of the new mark. Additionally, the USTA will create a 50th Anniversary docu-series featuring a number of 15-minute thematic episodes. Each episode will be themed to major accomplishments and innovations over the 50-year span of the tournament, including equal prize money for women and men, the introduction of technological innovations to the game, the elevation of the on-site fan experience, and other topics. A second series of vignettes, tied to the Built for Glory campaign, also will be produced and offered to US Open domestic and international broadcast partners. The fast-paced pieces will capture the entire US Open experience, from the top players, to celebrity chefs to great historic moments.

This year also marks the conclusion of the five-year strategic transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The new Louis Armstrong Stadium, a state-of-the-art, 14,000 seat stadium with a retractable roof will debut at the 2018 US Open. In addition to the new Louis Armstrong, the $600M transformation includes two new stadiums, a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, and completely redesigned grounds that have improved the US Open experience for players and fans alike.

The 2018 US Open begins on Monday, August 27 and runs through Monday, September 9. A full schedule of US Open 50th Anniversary events will be released this summer

USTA To Commission Althea Gibson Tennis Statue For US Open Grounds

The United States Tennis Association announced that the association will commission a statue to commemorate tennis legend and American pioneer Althea Gibson with a statue on the grounds of the US Open. The USTA will begin an RFP process to identify a sculptor for this historic opportunity.

Gibson, an inductee into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971, became the first African-American to win the US Nationals, the pre-cursor to the US Open, when she won the women’s singles championship in 1957. She repeated the feat in 1958. Overall, she won a combined eleven Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles play during her illustrious career.

“It’s simple. She’s the Jackie Robinson of tennis; she deserves it,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams. “By breaking the color barrier, she made it possible for every person of color after her to have a chance to achieve their goals in the sport.”

The USTA is in the process of crafting a request for proposal to identify and select the artist/sculptor to create this lasting monument to an American icon. The USTA unveiled a statue of Arthur Ashe in August 2000, which serves as an anchor to the South Plaza on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open. The Gibson statue will be the second statue to commemorate a groundbreaking tennis icon and will be the third American tennis legend honored at the site, joining Ashe and Billie Jean King, for whom the tennis center was rededicated on August 28, 2006.

“Althea Gibson is an American treasure and one of my most important heroes, and I am thrilled she will finally be honored at the National Tennis Center,” said Billie Jean King. “Through tennis she opened the doors for future generations – men and women of all backgrounds – to have a chance to compete and make a living playing professional tennis. Our sport owes a great deal to Althea and it is my hope that the children of today and tomorrow will learn more about her and be inspired by her.”

The USTA does not have a strict timetable for the completion of this project. The first immediate step will be to author and issue the RFP. Then a select committee comprised of tennis notables will review the offerings before a decision is made.

USTA Celebrates One-Year Anniversary Of USTA National Campus In Orlando

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) today commemorated the one-year anniversary of the USTA National Campus, which officially opened on January 2, 2017, in Lake Nona in Orlando, Fla., as the new “Home of American Tennis.”  In its inaugural year, nearly 200,000 players visited the groundbreaking facility, with more than 100 international, national and local tournaments held throughout the year. The USTA National Campus, featuring 100 courts over 64 acres, is open to the public and serves the entire spectrum of the tennis community, including youth players, recreational players, collegiate athletes and future and current professional tour level players.

“The USTA National Campus has truly exceeded our expectations and delivered on our vision,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “The facility was built to elevate industry standards and expand opportunities. We are excited to see how it will continually thrive and support the next generation of players and providers.”

Today’s one-year celebration included tennis icons Jim Courier and Gigi Fernandez, joined by the City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams, USTA Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Gordon Smith, state and regional partners, as well as ESPN’s Chris McKendry, serving as emcee.

In addition to serving as a premier destination for tennis players and fans from throughout the country and the across the globe, the USTA National Campus has become a cornerstone of activity for residents in Central Florida through local programs, lessons and camps.

“Not only has USTA’s National Campus, state-of-the-art facility become the anchor of Lake Nona’s emerging ‘Sports and Performance District’ but it has bolstered Orlando’s position as a global magnet for sports, health and wellness innovation,” said Mayor Buddy Dyer. “I am proud to say that in one year, this campus has set the national standard for player development and community tennis.”

In its first year, the facility has provided and hosted a broad range of events, tournaments, training and programs to create memorable experiences for players of all ages and abilities. Highlights include:

  • Nearly 200,000 players and visitors
  • More than 100 international, national, regional and local events
  • More than 600 current and aspiring American professional tennis players have trained at the USTA National Campus
  • Participants from more than 50 countries
  • More than 500 children participate each week in tennis programming
  • Nearly 150,000 court hours were reserved
  • More than 17,000 tournament participants
  • 540 Pro Circuit matches held
  • Selected as the host site of the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships in 2019 and 2021, as well as the NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships in 2022
  • Hosted more than 300 universities and colleges
  • Nearly 6,000 fans attended the six College MatchDay events
  • Home of the University of Central Florida’s Men’s and Women’s Varsity Tennis Program

The USTA National Campus focuses on the complete player pathway – housing the USTA’s Player Development, Pro Circuit, Team Events, Collegiate Tennis, USTA-U and Community Tennis divisions. The facility has enabled the USTA to host a wide variety of events, including national junior championships, adult league championships, buddy-up programs, veterans programs, wheelchair events, professional tournaments, collegiate conference championships, the ITF Super Seniors world championship, junior and adult sectional championships, Junior Team Tennis championships and many others.

The state-of-the-art adidas Performance Center has made it possible to fully implement USTA Player Development’s “Team USA” philosophy of collaboration, inclusion and support of aspiring American players and their coaches. Throughout the year, current and former legendary pros that have trained, coached, visited and played at the facility include Madison Keys, CiCi Bellis, Frances Tiafoe, Jack Sock, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Jennifer Brady, Chris Evert, Jim Courier, James Blake, the Bryan Brothers, Ivan Lendl and many others.

Additionally, the facility has become an epicenter of innovation allowing opportunities for the testing of new and emerging technologies. By incorporating the latest technologies and equipment to assist with coaching education, advanced training techniques and improved athletic performance, the USTA National Campus has become a testing ground for new technologies to improve play and the player experience.

The USTA National Campus has redefined how the USTA delivers on its mission and provides a new vision for the future of tennis in the U.S. For more information, please visit ustanationalcampus.com.