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Awards & Achievements, February 2013

January 22, 2013 09:33 AM
Jaime Kaplan
Becker O'Shaughnessey
Southern players and organizations are constantly making their mark in the world of tennis. Here's a list of recent awards, achievements and news in February 2013.
 
Crawford wins doubles championship
Atlanta native Samantha Crawford won the doubles championship at the 2013 Surprise Tennis Classic. The Surprise Tennis Classic is held in Surprise, Ariz. and is a $25,000 ITF Women's Circuit event. Crawford is also the 2013 US Open Girls' Champion.
 
Williams out duels Ginepri to win the Challenger of Dallas
Knoxville, Tenn. native Rhyne Williams defeated Robby Ginepri, of Marietta, Ga., 7-5,6-3, in the Challenger of Dallas finals. The Challenger of Dallas is a $100,000 USTA Pro Circuit Event that is a part of the ATP Challenger Tour. The tournament is held indoors at the T Bar M racquet club in Dallas, Texas.
 
Williams and his former University of Tennessee teammate, Tennys Sandgren, also made the doubles finals. They were defeated by Mischa Zverev and Alex Kuznetsov in a highly competitive match that ended 4-6, 7-6(4), 5-10.
 
Kaplan awarded USTA Southern Starfish Award
Jaime Kaplan. of Stratford Academy in Macon, Ga., has been awarded the 2012 USTA Southern Starfish Award.
 
Kaplan played professional tennis in the late 1980s, winning in numerous events and played in Grand Slam tournaments. She rose to No. 91 in the world in doubles in 1987.
 
Kaplan has three titles at Stratford: director of alumni affairs, head tennis coach and major gifts coordinator. The academy's facility was constructed in 2010 and is named the Jaime Kaplan Tennis Center. 
 
The Starfish award recognizes exceptional high school coaches who implement a "no-cut" policy, welcoming all interested students to be part of the school tennis team. This award is in its eighth year of existence and has honored 14 recipients since 2005. The recipient of the 2012 USTA Starfish National Award will be announced in early October.
 
There are more than 3,625 coaches nationwide implementing this initiative, and some programs have more than 100 official high school tennis team members. The coaches of these teams serve as positive role models and make a difference by spending the extra time and effort to ensure that young players experience the fun and fulfillment of representing their high school tennis team.
 
To qualify for the USTA Starfish Award, coaches must be: currently implementing a no-cut policy on their tennis teams, currently registered with the USTA as a "no-cut coach," and be coaching tennis for a minimum of five years. Final winners are determined by a select panel of USTA committee members, staff, volunteers and career no-cut coaches.
 
O'Shaughnessey named SEC Men'ts Tennis Freshman of the Week
Becker O’Shaughnessey has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week for men’s tennis, which was announced by the league on Wednesday. The Macon, Ga., native was vital in the Crimson Tide’s success last weekend as it posted wins over Cornell and Harvard in New York.
 
Playing at the No. 1 singles position, O’Shaughnessey earned a 6-4, 6-4, victory against Cornell junior Venkat Iyer, and backed that up later in the day with a come-from-behind win against Harvard sophomore Denis Nguyen, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(2), to clinch the team victory over the higher-ranked Crimson. O’Shaughnessey also teamed up with senior Jarryd Botha to make up Alabama’s No. 1 doubles team, collecting an 8-5 win versus Harvard to help the Tide claim the doubles point.
 
Oudin named to join Hampton on Fed Cup team
The USTA and U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez announced Melanie Oudin will replace Sloane Stephens on the United States Fed Cup team for the 2013 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group First Round in Rimini, Italy, February 9-10. Oudin joins Fed Cup rookies Varvara Lepchenko and Jamie Hampton as well as doubles stalwart Liezel Huber.
 
"Melanie is such a team player to answer the call at the 11th hour. She has played some of her best tennis in Fed Cup," said Fernandez, who is in her fifth year as U.S. Fed Cup Captain. "We were excited for Sloane to make her Fed Cup singles debut, but that will have to wait for another day."
 
Oudin, of Marietta, Ga., 21, was scheduled to play in the $100,000 Dow Corning Classic, a USTA Pro Circuit event in Midland, Michigan this week. She led the United States to the Fed Cup Final in 2009 and 2010 (both runner-up finishes to Italy). Overall, Oudin has played in seven Fed Cup ties and has a 5-8 singles record in the competition. The Marietta, Ga., native is currently No. 85 in the world and won her first career WTA Tour singles title last year in Birmingham, Great Britain, defeating former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic in the final.
 
Stephens suffered an abdominal strain during her run to the Australian Open semifinals last month.
 
Hampton, 23, of Atlanta, is also making her Fed Cup debut and is ranked a career-high No. 62 in the world after reaching the third round of the 2013 Australian Open—her best Grand Slam result—before losing to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka in three sets. Hampton reached the semifinals of the 2013 Australian Open tune-up event in Auckland, New Zealand, upsetting No. 4 seed Zheng Jie in the first round. Hampton, a native of Auburn, Ala., won her first-ever Grand Slam main draw match after qualifying for the 2012 Australian Open, and later that year she upset No. 27 seed Daniela Hantuchova in the first round of Wimbledon. Following the 2012 US Open, Hampton qualified for back-to-back WTA events in Korea and Japan, and ended the year by reaching the quarterfinals of the WTA event in Osaka, Japan. Hampton climbed more than 550 spots in the WTA rankings in 2010 by reaching the final at eight USTA Pro Circuit events, with four tournament titles.
 
The best-of-five match series begins on Saturday, February 9, with two singles matches and is followed by two reverse singles matches and the doubles match on Sunday, February 10. Tennis Channel will present daily coverage beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET on Saturday and 7:30 a.m. ET on Sunday.
 

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