Vero Beach

Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Futures Event In Vero Beach Moves To Boulevard Tennis Club

The Boulevard Tennis Club, the fastest-growing tennis club in Vero Beach, will host the 2019 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, Vero Beach’s long-running U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) Pro Circuit professional tennis tournament April 29 – May 5, 2019.

An official contract was signed last week between representatives of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation and The Boulevard Tennis Club to host the popular tournament featuring up-and-coming world-ranked touring tennis professionals from around the world. The Boulevard Tennis Club previously hosted the event for seven years from 2010 to 2016. The tournament benefits the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit foundation benefiting children named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, a former top 10 tennis star, U.S. Davis Cup hero and silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games.

“The Boulevard Tennis Club has turned into the epicenter of tennis in Vero Beach over the last few years and we are excited to once again stage our event there next spring,” said Tom Fish, President of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation. “Our event is our top fundraising mechanism for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation and our goal is to raise as much money as possible to benefit youth in Indian River County while continuing to run a first-class event and further promote tennis in our Treasure Coast community.”

“We are so happy to once again host the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships,” said Christophe Delavaut, the Tennis Director and co-owner of The Boulevard Tennis Club. “Under our club’s new ownership group, we are thrilled to open up our doors to the community for the most prestigious and longest-running professional sports event in Vero Beach.”

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation will be elevated to a $25,000 tournament in 2019, up from a $15,000 event in 2018, ensuring higher-quality ranked players competing in the event than in years past. A 24-player qualifying tournament will start Monday, April 29 with main-draw play starting Tuesday, April 30 concluding with the singles final on Sunday, May 5. A special pre-qualifying tournament open to all entrants will be played at The Boulevard starting Wednesday, April 24 with the winner earning a place in the 24-player qualifying tournament. The 2019 tournament is part of the newly restructured and rebranded ITF World Tennis Tour.

Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports over 2,200 children in 15 elementary schools, six middle schools and two after school centers 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. The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 which are Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends.

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships has been played in Vero Beach since 1995 and regarded as one of the best entry-level professional tennis tournaments in the world. Some of the past competitors 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. Seven former Vero Beach players have gone on to play Davis Cup for the United States – Roddick, Fish, Taylor Dent, Jared Palmer, Donald Young, Ryan Harrison and Frances Tiafoe.

Tickets for the event are available now at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Sponsorships are available by contacting co-tournament directors Tom Fish ([email protected]) and Randy Walker at ([email protected]). Fans can follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures.

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships have an annual economic impact of approximately $500,000 per year on the Vero Beach local economy. Approximately 3,000 fans annually attend the event, which is seen as one of the best-attended events entry-level events in the world.

Juan Benitez of Colombia won the 2018 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships beating Venezuelan Davis Cup team member Ricardo Rodriguez in the final.

The Boulevard Tennis Club, located in Central Vero Beach on Indian River Boulevard, is the fastest-growing tennis club in Vero Beach, featuring 13 clay tennis courts and world-class tennis instruction and programming for all levels of players. For more information, go to www.BlvdTennisClub.com

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

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.

Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships In Vero Beach Set Again For April

The 2018 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, Vero Beach’s $15,000 “Futures” professional tennis tournament – one of the longest-running and best attended events on the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) Pro Circuit – will be played April 20-29 at the Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club.

It will mark the 17th time that Grand Harbor has hosted the event, returning as the site last year after a hiatus of seven years. The event benefits the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit foundation benefiting children, named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, a former top 10 tennis star, U.S. Davis Cup hero and silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games.

“We are excited to once again host at Grand Harbor in Vero Beach some of the world’s most talented young tennis players as they attempt to earn ATP ranking points and make their way up in the world of pro tennis,” said Tom Fish, Chairman of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation. “We are very grateful for all of the support from the Vero Beach community to help raise money for our foundation that benefits children in Indian River County and beyond.”

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.

Tournament tickets and sponsorships are now on sale and can be purchased at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com Until Christmas, tickets are 10 percent off using the code HOLIDAY17. 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]

The annual USTA Vero Beach Futures has an economic impact of approximately $500,000 per year on the Vero Beach local economy. 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 in Vero Beach 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.

Last year, Calvin Hemery of France won the singles title defeating top American teenager Sam Riffice in the final. Recent notable tournament entries include 2016 Wimbledon sensation Marcus Willis of Great Britain, who reached the singles and doubles quarterfinals last year, and Denis Shapovalov of Canada, the ATP World Tour’s Most Improved Player in 2017, who reached the semifinals in Vero Beach in 2016.

Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club is majestically set upon the Indian River in Vero Beach, and overlooks a mile of scenic Intracoastal Waterway. Grand Harbor presents exceptional value with two nationally acclaimed golf courses, an oceanfront beach club, a richly appointed Mediterranean-style clubhouse, 10 Har-Tru court tennis complex and fully equipped fitness center. A diverse enclave of home designs captures the essence of a romantic Mediterranean Village. A 144-slip, deep water protected, Marina is also located in the Grand Harbor Community for boating enthusiasts. Exciting new construction began in 2016 with plans for more than 200 new residences including condominiums, courtyard homes, estate homes and direct riverfront homes with prices from the mid 400′s to over two million. For more information please visit www.GrandHarbor.com or www.grandharborverobeach.com.

Mardy Fish Celebrity Golf Tournament Could Be Coming To Vero Beach, Florida

While former top 10 star Mardy Fish fell short in his effort to become only the third man to play in both the golf and tennis US Open when he finished six shots out of advancing out of local US Open qualifying on May 10, golf still remains one of his major pursuits in his post-ATP World Tour career.

And now, he may have a hometown celebrity golf tournament to play in.

The Vero Beach, Florida newspaper “32963” reports that the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the charitable non-profit of Fish and his family, is exploring the possibility of expanding its annual neighborhood golf fundraiser into a one-day celebrity golf tournament.

“It’s very early in the process and we’re still trying to put the pieces together but we’re looking to do this sooner rather than later,” Foundation consultant Randy Walker said to “32963” reporter Ray McNulty. “We’re always seeking ways to promote the Foundation. With Mardy playing a lot of the celebrity golf event – he won the Diamond Resorts Invitational in Orlando last year – we thought it would be great if we could do something in that realm on a smaller scale of course.”

Walker told McNulty that he had been in conversations with Maria Meadors of former boxer Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini’s Foundation which has sponsored a successful celebrity golf event in Youngstown, Ohio, as well as former top 10 tennis star Cliff Richey, who has held another celebrity golf event in San Angelo, Texas.

“To be honest I really didn’t give it much of a chance but Maria was very knowledgeable and very impressive,” Tom Fish said to McNulty of holding a celebrity golf event in Vero Beach. “She explained how they got started and what they did. The more we talked about it, the more it seemed possible to make such an event a reality.”

The Foundation expanded its celebrity offerings for its golf fundraising this past February with former Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Rick Rhoden and tennis star and 1986 French Open runner-up Mikael Pernfors joining Fish at his social scramble outing held at Vero’s prestigious Windsor club.

For 2018, the Foundation will look to possibly add as many as 18 celebrity pros to participate in a pro-am and stroke-play event that would include parties with the celebrities and participants as well as fan admission to watch the golf on the course.  The host club must agree to allow paying spectators and a more convenient date.

“If you do it if you do it this time of year in Florida guys will show up,” Rhoden said to “32963” of a potential Vero Beach celebrity event. “There are a lot of us who like to play golf and there aren’t enough of those events.”

Meadors has told Walker and Fish that players that could be involved in a celebrity event include former Super Bowl champions Jim McMahon and Mark Rypien, former World Series champion Bret Saberhagen and former NBA All-Star Larry Johnson.

“I think it would be awesome if we could make it happen,” said Mardy Fish to McNulty.

Vero Beach “King of the Hill” Event Winner, Runner-Up To Earn Mardy Fish USTA Futures Doubles Wild Card

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships announced today that the winner and runner-up of the 22nd annual “King of the Hill” tennis tournament that starts Tuesday, January 17 at The Moorings Club in Vero Beach, Fla., will receive a main draw doubles wild card into its annual U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) Pro Circuit “Futures” event to be held April 21-30 at Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club.

“The King of Hill” (KOTH) is the annual doubles competition featuring tennis professionals from the Vero Beach area who compete in round-robin competitions on Tuesday nights to the determine the “king” of the local tennis professional. Proceeds from “King of the Hill” benefit the Youth Guidance Mentoring & Activities Program.

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.

“We are happy to award a main draw doubles wild card to the winner and runner-up of the annual ‘King of the Hill’ competition that showcases the top tennis talent in the Vero Beach area,” said Tom Fish, Chairman of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation. “We are happy to work and partner with King of the Hill founder and organizer Gigi Casapu to work together to promote our respective events that are contested and promoted to raise funds to help the youth of our area.”

Many former KOTH champions and competitors have played in the Vero Beach USTA Futures, including four-time champion Robert Kowalczyk, the former USTA National Boy’s 18 Hard Court Champion, four-time champion Aldo Burga, now of The Legacy club, two-time champion Kriegler Brink, a singles semifinalist at the Vero Beach Futures in 2011, and defending KOTH champion Mike Alford, a former standout at the University of Florida, among others.

KOTH matches run every Tuesday starting at 6 pm from January 17 through February 21 at The Moorings club. Admission is $8.

Advance tickets for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships 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. The 2016 event featured 13 players who played Davis Cup for their country and was won by Jonas Luetjen of Germany, who defeated Latvian Davis Cupper Martins Podzus in the final.

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.

Arraya Tennis In Key Biscayne To Host Wild Card Event For Mardy Fish Vero Beach USTA Futures

The Arraya Tennis Academy in Key Biscayne, Fla., will be the host of the first of two wild card singles events for the 2017 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, a $15,000 men’s USTA Futures event played in Vero Beach, Florida.

Arraya Tennis will host the event – The Arraya Tennis / Hightof Open Wild Card Tennis Championship – Tuesday, Jan. 17 through Thursday, Jan. 19 at The Links at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne, located adjacent to the site of the annual Miami Open. The winner of the event will be awarded a main draw singles wild card into the 2017 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships to be played April 25-30 at Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club in Vero Beach.

Entry fees, that benefit the non-profit Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, are $70. Credit card entries are now being accepted at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com and cash/check entries can be facilitated by emailing [email protected] Matches, played on clay courts, will be best-of-two sets with a 10-point super tiebreaker played in lieu of a third set. Arthur Surreaux will serve as the event’s tournament director and can be reached at 305-775-8020.

The Arraya Tennis Academy is run by former standout ATP professional Pablo Arraya, the former world No. 29-ranked player who represented his native Peru in Davis Cup, the Olympic Games and at all four Grand Slam tournaments. The Arraya Tennis Academy has helped over 100 players earn college tennis scholarships and has worked with several professional players, including Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli and U.S. Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig.

The Hightof Maat, the co-sponsor of the event, is a revolutionary ball machine, benefiting from a cutting-edge technology that enables it to realistically simulate a game of tennis. Players can program their training session either on their website or directly using the extremely user-friendly built-in touch pad.

Surreaux is a former standout player from New Mexico State and a former top 500-ranked ATP professional. He is now a tennis coach and administrator.

The second singles wild card event for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships will be announced at a later date.

Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) is a non-profit tennis foundation benefiting children, named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, a former top 10 tennis star, U.S. Davis Cup hero and silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games. The foundation 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.

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.

Tickets for fans for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships are available for advanced sale at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Fans can follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures. 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. The 2016 event featured 13 players who played Davis Cup for their country and was won by Jonas Luetjen of Germany, who defeated Latvian Davis Cupper Martins Podzus in the final.

Mardy Fish Vero Beach, Florida USTA Futures Event Moves To Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club

The Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club in Vero Beach, Florida will return as the host venue for the 2017 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, the $15,000 “Futures” tennis tournament – one of the longest-running and best attended events on the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) Pro Circuit.

Grand Harbor previously hosted the event from 1995 to 2009 before being played the last seven years at The Boulevard tennis club. The 2017 tournament will be held Friday April 21 to Sunday April 30. The event benefits the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit tennis foundation benefiting children, named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, a former top 10 tennis star, U.S. Davis Cup hero and silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games.

“We are excited to bring the tournament back to its original home at Grand Harbor, where we will look to continue to improve the event and expand the experience for our fans and players,” said Tom Fish, Chairman of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation. “The expanded space and resources at Grand Harbor are a better fit for our long-term vision for the event and will help us in our goal to raise more money for our foundation while also leveraging the tournament to promote tennis to all demographics of our Treasure Coast community. We are very thankful to The Boulevard for being a terrific site for this community event for the last seven years and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with other Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation activities.”

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.

Tickets for the qualifying rounds of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships from April 21 – April 24 will cost $10, while tickets for the main draw of singles and doubles from April 25 – 30 will be $20. Season tickets that include both the qualifying and main draw events cost $100. Advance tickets can be purchased at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Fans can follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures.

The annual USTA Vero Beach Futures has an economic impact of approximately $500,000 per year on the Vero Beach local economy. 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 in Vero Beach 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.

The 2016 event featured 13 players who played Davis Cup for their country and was won by Jonas Luetjen of Germany, who defeated Latvian Davis Cupper Martins Podzus in the final.

Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club is majestically set upon the Indian River in Vero Beach, and overlooks a mile of scenic Intracoastal Waterway. Grand Harbor presents exceptional value with two nationally acclaimed golf courses, an oceanfront beach club, a richly appointed Mediterranean-style clubhouse, 10 Har-Tru court tennis complex and fully equipped fitness center. A diverse enclave of home designs captures the essence of a romantic Mediterranean Village. A 144-slip, deep water protected, Marina is also located in the Grand Harbor Community for boating enthusiasts. Exciting new construction began in 2016 with plans for more than 200 new residences including condominiums, courtyard homes, estate homes and direct riverfront homes with prices from the mid 400’s to over two million. Dale Sorensen Real Estate is the exclusive broker onsite for new construction sales as well as resales in the community. For more information please visit www.GrandHarbor.com, www.grandharborverobeach.com, www.grandharborsalescenter.com, www.sorensenrealestate.com

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Young American Vasil Kirkov Falls In U.S. Open Qualifying

By Randy Walker

@TennisPublisher

 

Vasil Kirkov, the 17-year-old who reached the semifinals as a lucky loser in the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships USTA Futures event earlier this year in Vero Beach, Florida, competed in the qualifying rounds of the 2016 U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center.

Kirkov, however, suffered an early exit, falling 6-2, 7-5 in the first scheduled match of the competition to No. 242-ranked Yannik Reuter of Belgium.

Kirkov, ranked No. 1146, played the match on Court No. 5 – the shadow of the new Arthur Ashe Stadium retractable roof – in front of an audience of about 200 people that included U.S. Olympic men’s tennis coach Jay Berger, former US Davis Cup Captain Tom Gullikson and Hallof Famer – and Vero Beach resident – Ivan Lendl, who works with Kirkov as part of his advisory role with the USTA Player Development program.

Kirkov was awarded a wild card entry into the U.S. Open qualifying tournament by the U.S. Tennis Association after, not only his strong result in Vero Beach, that saw his ATP ranking rise almost 1000 spots, but by reaching the final of the USTA National Boy’s 18 Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., where he lost to another Vero Beach Futures alumnus Michael Mmoh.

Kirkov is expected to compete in the U.S. Open junior championships in two weeks.