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Awards & Achievements, February 2011

February 7, 2011 09:41 AM
Julie Ditty smashes a forehand in Auburn, Ala.
From left, front row: ITF Board and USTA Past President, Lucy Garvin, and Clinician of the Year Harlon Matthews. Back row: PTR Chairman of the Board, Jean Mills, and PTR CEO Dan Santorum.
Harlon Matthews runs a wheelchair clinic
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 Feburary 2011.
 
Matthews Named PTR Clinician of the Year
Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) presented its annual awards this week during the 2011 PTR International Tennis Symposium. The event, which includes 50-plus on court and classroom presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, a tennis trade show and tournament is being held February 18-24, 2011 at PTR Headquarters on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
 
Harlon Matthews, of Locust Grove, Georgia, has been named PTR Clinician of the Year. A PTR member since 2004, Matthews was introduced to PTR while competing in the PTR?Wheelchair Tennis Championships. After earning his PTR certification, Matthews had an internship at Van der Meer Academy, and was then hired as the Therapeutic Recreation Specialist/Wheelchair Sports Coordinator and Tennis Coach for Henry Country Parks &?Recreation in his native Georgia.
 
Matthews is the Director of the Geranium Festival Wheelchair Tournament that was named 2010 USTA Southern Tournament of the Year. Matthews was named Racquet Sports Industry Magazine Wheelchair Tennis Champion of the Year. As a PTR Clinician, Matthews has helped many coaches learn the nuances of wheelchair tennis mobility and strategy. He also assisted in the revision of the workshop curriculum.
 
"The most exciting moments during the workshops are when I see coaches go from hesitant and nervous to relaxed and having fun. It happens when they realize instructing wheelchair tennis is instructing tennis with some modifications," Matthews explained. "I enjoy seeing their faces when they ‘get it’. The real highlight is when coaches contact me after the workshop with questions and updates on their wheelchair tennis programs. It reinforces why PTR offers these workshops and encourages clinicians to schedule more of them."
 
Matthews led a Wheelchair Tennis Course for tennis professionals at the PTR International Tennis Symposium on Hilton Head Island, S.C. USTA South Carolina provided two "loaner" wheelchairs for the able-bodied instructors to get the real feel of playing from a seated position. Nine pros from around the country participated and will now be able to instruct wheelchair players in their communities.
 
Hampton takes doubles in Michigan, Falconi reaches final
Jamie Hampton, of Auburn, Ala., and Anna Tatishvili of the Republic of Georgia won the final of the 2011 Dow Corning Tennis Classic in Midland, Mich.
 
Hampton and Tatishvili won in a walkover when former Georgia Tech star Irini Falconi and American Alison Riske were withdrew. Riske succumbed to a fever following Saturday’s semifinals and was unable to play. 
 
In singles, Falconi powered her way to the final but lost to Czech Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-4.
 
"All she needed was one break in each set," said Falconi. "When she got that, it was really hard to break… I know I’ll see her again, and hopefully I’m not playing on lightning-fast courts and I’ll have a little bit more time."
 
Baton Rouge Captain Earns National Honor
After recovering from a battle with breast cancer in 2005, Wanda Guadamud picked up a racquet for the first time and has been hooked on the sport ever since. She is the captain of a 3.5 women's team and co-captain of a 7.0 mixed team and a combo team with her husband Mario in Baton Rouge, La., Guadamud, 47, is also a mother to two sons, Jeremy and Joshua, has a part-time job and co-founded a business called Frockz, which creates lamp shade slipcovers.
 
She was nicknamed "the net monster" by her teammates for her love of playing at net, has been named February's USTA League Captain of the Month.
 
Isner named to U.S. Davis Cup team
The USTA and U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier announced today that world No. 8 Andy Roddick, No. 18 Sam Querrey, No. 24 John Isner, of Greensboro, N.C., and the world’s top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan will travel to Chile to represent the United States in the 2011 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas first round match against Chile, March 4-6, on an outdoor clay court at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile. An initial four-man roster will be submitted to the International Tennis Federation next week, but Courier can change as many as two players when the official lineup is submitted one hour before the draw ceremony on Thursday, March 3. Roddick, who is second all-time in U.S. Davis Cup history with 31 career singles wins, returns to the U.S. Davis Cup Team for the first time since the 2009 first round.
 
Tennis Channel will provide live daily coverage of the event.
 
Isner, 25, made his Davis Cup debut last year in the World Group First Round in Serbia where he became the first U.S. player to compete in three live rubbers in the same tie since James Blake in the 2003 first round. He also played in the World Group Playoff in Bogota. At 6-foot-9, Isner is the tallest player in U.S. Davis Cup history. He captured his first career ATP World Tour title in Auckland, New Zealand, in January 2010. He also competed in the longest tennis match in history at Wimbledon, defeating Nicolas Mahut, 70-68, in the fifth set of a first round match that lasted more than eleven hours. Isner turned professional after an outstanding four-year career at the University of Georgia, leading the Bulldogs to the 2007 NCAA team title as a senior.
 
Two Georgia players given SEC honors
 
Player of the Week
Courtney McLane • Alabama
Junior • Lawrenceville, Ga.
• McLane went 4-0 during the weekend against Texas Tech and Tulane on the road.
• Pair of doubles wins with Alexa Guarachi moves the team to 4-0 in dual matches and 17-3 on the season.
• With Guarachi, provided the clinching win at No. 1 doubles (teams played singles first because of weather).
• Helped Alabama hand Texas Tech its first loss of the season.
• Also defeated Tulane’s Elizabeth Hamlin 6-4, 6-3 in singles and the team of Kurdadze/Levy 8-3 in doubles.
 
Freshman of the Week
Alexandra Anghlescu • Georgia
Johns Creek, Ga.
• Doubles Point against arch-rival #13 Ga. Tech came down to their match at No. 3 doubles and was 7-all at that point.
• The Bulldog duo prevailed in a tiebreaker winning 7-3 to give Georgia a 1-0 lead in the match that attracted 443 fans.
• It was the sixth straight win for the team of Anghelescu/Ellis as they improved to 9-2 this year including 3-1 versus ranked duos.
• First to finish her singles match, beating her opponent in straight sets to give Bulldogs a 2-0 lead en route to the victory.
• She is 12-5 overall in singles including 3-1 in dual matches.
 
Ditty Takes Another Doubles Title
Julie Ditty continues to make her mark on the USTA Pro Circuit tour.
 
Ditty, of Ashland, Ky., won the Del Mar Financial Partners Inc. Open teaming up with Mervana Jugic-Salkic, of Bosnia. The top seeds won easily 6-0, 6-2 over third-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Remi Tezuka of Japan. The $25,000 tournament was played in Ranco Santa Fe, Calif and finished on Feb. 6.
 
The Atlanta native has won more USTA Pro Circuit and ITF Circuit tournaments than any other player. She is 9-4 in singles finals and 28-21 in doubles final, giving her 37 titles.
 
 

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