No limit on fun or freebies at this party

Published May 10, 2007

In recognition of USTA's designation of May as National Tennis Month, a free Tennis Block Party is planned Saturday at the McMullen Tennis Complex in Clearwater.

The Suncoast Tennis Foundation has partnered with the City of Clearwater, local USPTA tennis teaching professionals and Advantage Yours Tennis to provide the Pinellas community a day of activities.

From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., free games and activities are planned for all ages, including Rapid Rally competition and a tennis carnival for youths. Adults can participate in cardio tennis, an informal round robin and receive an NTRP assessment. All participants will receive prizes.

A highlight is vendor courts with representatives from Wilson, Volkl, Yonex, Fischer, Dunlop, Babolat and Prince providing demo racquets for trial use. Information will be available on local programs and leagues for youths and adults.

"Since the Suncoast Tennis Foundation is a community tennis association under the USTA, we want to support however we can to promote tennis, " said Irene Tharin, STF president. "We're trying to partner with other organizations throughout the tennis industry hoping to pull together into one effort for developing tennis."

After last year's event, which included more than 200 participants, the USTA recognized the efforts and awarded a grant this year to help support Saturday's event. Additionally, the USTA selected the Clearwater-based block party among a few nationwide to receive TV coverage. On Wednesday morning, Channel 13's Good Day aired live interviews with several area volunteers.

"Saturday will be lots of fun and a perfect opportunity to get an introduction to tennis in a fun, carnival-like atmosphere, " said Judy Foster, STF executive director. "Tennis is the only major traditional sport that has shown growth in the 2000-05 period. It's a sport for a lifetime and you just shouldn't miss this opportunity."

For more information, go to www.ourtennis.net or e-mail judybfoster@mindspring.com.

LEAGUE NEWS: The senior women's 4.5 team at St. Petersburg Tennis Center qualified for the USTA National Senior Doubles League Championships with its state title last weekend. SPTC defeated Naples and Daytona Beach with 3-0 scores, and Tallahassee and Jacksonville 2-1.

In other senior sectional competition, the Vinoy's 3.5 women's squad was 0-3 with Tallahassee collecting the state title. Royal Racquet Club's 4.5 men's team was 1-4 with its single win against Gainesville. Sarasota was the state champion.

Ron Massey and Rich Bruer played on the section's second-place 4.5 team based at Harbour Island in Tampa. Feather Sound Country Club was 3-1 in its 3.5 men's division. With 2-1 wins from Tampa and Broward and a 3-0 win over Treasure Coast, Feather Sound's only loss came from Altamonte Springs.

- Feather Sound Country Club's 6.0 men's team reached the top four in the nation in last weekend's USTA Super Senior National Championships at Daytona Beach.

NET SHOTS: Dunedin collected 290 points to win Racqueteers, followed by Kourt Kats and Countryside. Playing for Dunedin were Tammy Conrad and Debbie Zillig in No. 1, Bev Fisher and Jodie Cannon No. 2, Dot Thomas and Esther Klein No. 3, Sherry Couch and Bertha Parvin No. 4, Margaret Chize and Jeni Roberts No. 5 and Claudia Travis and Barb Sommer No. 6.

- According to Kathleen Fitzgerald, coordinator for Pinellas County Good Life Games, eight singles players, two mixed doubles teams and three men's teams qualified for the 16th annual State Senior Games Championships in Cape Coral in December.

Among the singles players are Jeanette Harold 65-69, Jay Bortner (60-64), Jim Schroeder (65-69), Ed Klein (70-74), Jack Mayo (70-75), Jack Turk (70-76), Ed Heisler (85-89) and Roger Gentilhomme (95-99).

Qualifiers in mixed doubles were Dolores Hayman and Ed Klein in 65-69 and Marilyn Spicer and James Lucas in 70-74. In men's doubles were Peter Vandor and Klein in 70-74, Lucas and Louis Pacioni 75-79 and Harry Church and Heisler 85-89.

- Jeff Chambers won two singles titles in last month's Clearwater Spring Break Classic. Second-seeded Chambers won the 40-and-over and 30 divisions. Also collecting singles trophies were Franz Henikl (50), Reinaldo Valor (60), Adrian Pagani (open) and Debbie Hobbs (women's 50).

- Mason Beiler (boys 10-and-under), Dan Stefan (12) and Garrett Betsarakis (16) claimed singles titles in last month's Countryside Spring Junior Super Series. Kimberly Herrock teamed with Alexandria Kitchen to win the girls 14 doubles.

- Evie Sobvzak won the girls 10, Megan Lauser the 12 and Dylan Sieszynski the boys 12 in last weekend's Treasure Island Rookie Tournament.

- Sisters Yasmin and Alexis Franco upset top seeds to claim the girls 14 and 12 singles titles, respectively, in the Largo May Day Rookie Tournament.

SAVE THE DATE: The 17th annual Memorial Day Charity Tournament is May 25-28 at East Lake Woodlands. Register by May 23 for the men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles contest that benefits the Arthritis Foundation. Call 785-2212 or e-mail TennisCharity@aol.com.

News for this column may be faxed to Nancy Morgan, 445-4119; e-mailed to namorgan@tampabay.rr.com or sent to 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Please include phone number.