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Awards & Achievements, September 2012

August 13, 2012 09:33 AM
Chelsey Gullickson won the USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger.
Samantha Hirschberg and mother, Marcy, won a national title.
Donald Carnrike won the PTR Wheelchair Championships B doubles.
Shelby Rogers
Team USA at 2012 Jr. Fed Cup. From left, Gabrielle Andrews, Taylor Townsend, Louisa Chirico and Coach Kathy Rinaldi
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 September 2012.
USTA Southern Members Win Big at the PTR Wheelchair Championships
USTA Southern tennis players dominated the $15,000 PTR Wheelchair Championships in Hilton Head Island, S. C. last weekend, taking eight titles and finishing with ten finalists at the event, which is an ITF Series II, USTA Fall Southern Championship and NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour event.
Featuring particularly well was the state of Georgia, claiming champions in seven of the eight total titles won by USTA Southern, including: David Williams of Sugar Hill, Ga., who won the Men’s A Singles title and partnered with Harlon Matthews of Locust Grove, Ga. to win the Men’s A Doubles title. In Men’s B Doubles, it was Don Carnrike (McDonough, Ga.) and Skip Chapman (Locust Grove, Ga.). In Men’s C Singles, Robert Popelka (Atlanta, Ga.) took the crown, while in C Doubles, James Dominick (Lawrenceville, Ga.) & Meghan McCabe (Roswell, Ga.) claimed victory. McCabe also claimed victory in the Women’s A Doubles, partnering with Donna Chapman (Locust Grove, Ga.). Finally, Cole Wooten of Augusta, Ga. shared victory with Chris Herman of Gulfport, Fla. in the Junior Open/A Doubles. The eighth title was claimed by local favorite Barry Bryant of Hilton Head, who won the B/C Run/Roll division with partner Kenny Hernandez (Haileah, Fla.). For more information on scores and results, visit the PTR Wheelchair Championships website.
Townsend Perfect, Pushes Team USA to a Second Junior Fed Cup Title
Stockbridge, Ga. native Taylor Townsend, 16, swept aside the competition last weekend at the Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Finals in Barcelona, Spain, going a perfect 9-0 in match play to help Team USA capture their second title at the 16-and-under competition in the past five years. Townsend, who is ranked No. 1 in the ITF Junior World rankings, carried Team USA at the No. 1 singles spot by winning all five of her matches. She even pulled double duty, partnering with teammate Gabrielle Andrews (Pomona, Calif.) to go 4-0 in doubles play. Louisa Chirico (Harrison, N.Y.) rounded out Team USA at the No. 2 singles spot, also going 5-0 in her matches.
The top-seeded U.S. Junior Fed Cup Team, captained by former standout player and USTA National Coach Kathy Rinaldi, went 14-0 in singles and doubles matches throughout the final, which featured 16 nations from across the globe. Team USA’s path included nations Spain, Korea, and Egypt in group play, Brazil in the semifinals, and finally Russia in the final. The 14-0 match record replicates the perfect record posted by the 2008 team, which included current professional tour standouts Christina McHale and Sloane Stephens. Other past competitors for Team USA in Junior Fed Cup, who went on to great success on the pro tour, include Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport, and Lisa Raymond.
South Carolina’s Shelby Rogers Finds Rhythm, Makes Las Vegas Final
Shelby Rogers, 19, powered her way to the singles final of the Party Rock Open, a USTA Pro Circuit event in Las Vegas, Nev. before falling to No. 2 seeded American Lauren Davis in a tough three-setter. Rogers, who is a native of Charleston suburb Daniel Island, S.C came into the tournament unseeded at No. 243 in the world, but proceeded to beat three higher ranked players in straight sets, including former Top 15 player Elena Bovina in the quarterfinals on her way to reaching her second USTA Pro Circuit singles final of the year, after winning the $50,000 Yakima, Wash. Tournament in July.
Her summer success showed, as she hung tough to take the first set from new Top 100 player Davis in a tiebreak 7-6(5). Davis’s hot streak, which has included reaching the quarters of the WTA event in Quebec City and the final of the USTA Circuit in Albuquerque in the past few weeks, was too much for Rogers in the end, however, as Rogers dropped the final two sets 6-2, 6-2. Although falling short in the final, Rogers has had an excellent year that has seen her push her ranking up to a career high No. 208, over 200 spots from the start of the year.
Former Ga. Tech Standout Falconi Makes the Doubles Final in Albuquerque
Atlanta resident and former Ga. Tech player Irina Falconi, 22, paired with former USC player Maria Sanchez of Modesto, Cal. to make the doubles final of the ColemanVision Tennis Championships in Albuquerque, N. Mex. As the top seeds at the $75,000 USTA Pro Circuit event, Falconi and Sanchez had to fight hard to make the final, overcoming the Croatian/Swiss duo of Maria Abramovic and Amra Sadikovic in three sets in the quarterfinals before making the final. They held two match points at 9-7 in the third set tiebreak before succumbing to defending doubles champion Asia Muhammed and her partner Yasmin Schnack in a seesaw battle 2-6. 6-1, (10-12).
Although the Albuquerque title slipped away, she has enjoyed recent success on the pro tour in doubles, making the final here and winning a round with Sanchez a few weeks ago at the U.S. Open, and making the finals of WTA events in Washington (w/Scheepers) and Dallas (w/Dekmeijere) to reach her career high doubles ranking of 86 on the professional tour. 
USPTA honors two Georgians
The United States Professional Tennis Association honored those who stand out and go above and beyond in all aspects of the tennis industry, from tennis coaches to players to volunteers during its annual national awards breakfast at the USPTA World Conference on Tennis. USPTA, the world's oldest and largest association of tennis-teaching professionals, is hosting its annual World Conference Sept. 16-21 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa in Monterey, Calif.
Dave Neuhart, Madison, Ga. - Lessons for Life Individual Award
Dave Neuhart is the director of tennis at Reynolds Plantation/PBI, and one of the biggest events he hosts is the Columbus Celebrity Classic in Columbus, Ga. He has been involved with this event and organizing the tennis pros for the past 13 years. The two-day event includes a celebrity headliner (this year it was Todd Martin). The event which caters to adults and kids includes intensive clinics in the morning, catered lunch with special speakers, and prizes. This is followed up with round robins, doubles drill sessions, a pro exhibition, and trip and award giveaways. This all benefits the John B. Amos Cancer Center in Columbus. Over the years this event has helped to pay off the Ronald McDonald House and help start/support a new wing at the Children's Oncology Unit at Columbus Regional Medical Center, in addition to being a major sponsor for the John B. Amos Cancer Center. This year another record total of $271,000 was raised to support the cancer center.
Agata Cioroch, Atlanta, Ga. - Women's Open Player of the Year
Agata Cioroch was the winner of women's open singles at the 2011 USPTA International Championships. She was the USPTA's No. 1-ranked player in women's open singles and co-No. 1-ranked player in mixed open doubles in 2011. Cioroch is a tennis teaching professional at Cherokee Town & Country Club in Atlanta, Ga.
Gullickson goes from qualifying to raising champion's trophy
Chelsey Gullickson moved through the qualifying rounds and then through the main draw to win the USTA Oak River Rehab Challenger in Redding, Calif. Sept 16.
Gullickson is a former Brentwood, Tenn. standout who won the 2010 NCAA Division I singles crown with the Univesity of Georgia.
Gullickson defeated seventh-seed Nicola Geuer in the quarterfinals. Although she offered up a bage and lost the first set at love, Gullickson knocked off Kristie Ahn 0-6, 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinal. In the final, she ousted American Allie Will 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
Hirschbergs win National Family Tennis Championships
Marcy & Samantha Hirschberg (age 14) of Alpharetta, Ga, were crowned champions of the Mother/Daughter National Family Tennis Championships in Naples, Fla. earlier this month. The Hirschbergs defeated Karen & Lauren Simeone, of Collegeville, Pa., 4-6, 7-6, 7-5. Marcy is the chair of the USTA Southern Marketing Committee.



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