Local tennis column: One week from FineMark Tour Players Classic

— Just one week away — and counting.

Be sure to mark March 2-3 on your tennis calendar, because 18 of the world’s top former touring tennis professionals will gather at Bonita Bay Club for a weekend of tennis matches, mini-clinics, a pro-am competition and a dinner-dance gala.

The FineMark Tour Players Tennis Classic will benefit Barbara’s Friends. This marks the fifth year for the annual event, which has raised $384,000 for The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. The ultimate goal is to raise $1 million for a pediatric pharmacy at the new hospital facility, scheduled to begin construction in 2013.

Participating tennis pros include titleholders from Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, French Open and the Olympics. The event will bring in players such as Fred Stolle, who was No. 1 in the world in the 1960s.

Naples’ JoAnne Russell will be one of the familiar faces as well. She won the 1977 Wimbledon Women’s Doubles Championship with Helen Gourlay Cawley. Russell played her junior tennis on the Cambier Park courts and her high school tennis for Naples High, later starring at Trinity University in Texas.

For details, reservations and more information, call 239-343-6950, or visit tourplayerstennisclassic.com.

Exhibition at Olde Cypress: The Barron Collier High School defending state champion boys tennis team is partnering with The Club at Olde Cypress for a fundraiser this Sunday from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

The event will feature four singles matches with BC’s top eight players. Senior and two-time state champion Austin Robles will play Jorge Vargas. Sophomore Paul Johnson will play senior Alex Sweet. Freshmen Nick Springer and Alan Sweet will battle one another. Sophomores Mike Raymond and Doug Small Jr. round out the competition.

Bill Beverly, Olde Cypress’ new director of tennis, says the public can attend. Money raised will help support the Cougars’ trip to the nationals in Louisville later this spring.

Sneaky Pete’s event to conclude: The 13th annual Sneaky Pete’s Tennis Championships wrap up Saturday after a weeklong run at The Club at Sterling Oaks north of Naples.

The championship match in the NTRP men’s 4.0 singles division will pit Rick McGrath against either Mark Templeton or Uli Simmersbach at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. To get into the finals, McGrath upset top-seeded Ron Vererka 7-5, 3-6, 11-9.

The men’s 3.5 singles final will match top-seeded Charles Nagy against unseeded Brian Williams at 4 p.m. Friday. Wolfgang Weiher and Robert Eiceman will square off for the men’s 3.0 singles crown at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Seven doubles titles also are up for grabs.

Waldorf courts busy: The Waldorf Astoria Naples tennis facility is offering a new round-robin from 10 a.m. to noon for men and women 3.5-plus players. The cost is $15 per person for non-members. Also, clinics are offered each day of the week at 9 a.m. for all levels. Call 594-6033.

Kensington gears for benefit: The fifth annual Kensington Fore Hospice tournament to benefit Avow Hospice will be Sunday, March 4 at Kensington Golf & Country Club.

Tennis registration begins at 2 p.m., followed by a 3 p.m. round-robin mixer. Cost is $70, with a limit of 28 players. Tournament participation includes a cookout, awards ceremony and a raffle. Guests may attend the cookout for $30 per person.

For more information, go to avowhospice.org/upcoming-events or contact Bonnie Dinger at 649-3686 or bdinger@avowhospice.org.

Leagues spring ahead: The 2012 USTA Spring League mandatory captains meeting will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Hodges University, Room 210/211.

League play begins the week of March 26. Contact the league coordinator to obtain pre-team registration information: Adult league contact: Linda Kleitch 348-9827 racquets99@aol.com; Adult Mixed, Adult Combo & Senior Combo league contact: Donna Koenig 250-3270 donna@naples.net.

A team captain or captain’s representative must be present to collect their team packet and hear accurate information regarding the 2013 USTA league age restructuring coming to the area beginning in October.

The 2012 USTA Collier County Singles Flex League is now open for registration. Adult and Senior divisions of all levels are offered for men and women. Flight play begins the week of March 19 and will run eight to 10 weeks. For more information and to register, go to www.ustaflex.com.

The Flex League contact is Bob Baker at 450-0825 or bobbakerpersonal@comcast.net.

Event nears at Hideaway Beach: Hideaway Beach on Marco Island is holding a 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 men’s and women’s tennis tournament March 2-4. Entries close on Feb. 26 Contact Doug Browne at Dbrowne912@aol.com or 642-2845.

Junior program special: The PBI Junior Development program at the Waldorf Astoria Naples is offering a 20 percent discount for all new students who sign up by Feb. 24. Session 2 of the junior program begins Monday, Feb. 24.

“Stroke” of the Week” popular: The “Stroke of the Week” sessions headed up by Curly Davis are at the Naples Bath & Tennis Club. Sessions are Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1 to 2 p.m. Each week features instruction in a different stroke. The price is $8 per person (per clinic) and advance sign-up is not required, but recommended. Call 321-292-8759.

■ ■ ■

Other activities: A rundown of other activities and events follows:

■ Saturday round-robins – at Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club; Begin Saturday from 4 to 5:30 p.m.; Reservations required; Call 435-4351.

■ Junior Development Tennis: Sessions held at Arthur Allen

Tennis Center in downtown Naples at Cambier Park. Classes run Monday through Thursday. Pee-Wees 3:15-4 p.m. for ages 4-6; Futures 4-5 p.m. for ages 6-8; Tournament 4-5:30 p.m. for ages 7-16; Contact the Arthur Allen Tennis Center at 213-3060.

■ Hammock Bay Tennis Programs - Offering private lessons and clinics, Live Ball Drill Session on Tuesdays, Morning Tennis Drill and Round Robin on Wednesdays and "Just for Starters" Clinics on Thursdays. Contact Head Tennis Professional Karolee Towe at 465-2922.

■ Junior/high school lessons – given by Ron St. John, USPTA 1 Pro; all levels but also those interested in improving to play at the high school level; Call 289-1963.

■ Daily tennis clinics/lessons — at Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort; all levels; call 877-8889.

■ Junior instruction at World Tennis Club — Instruction by former pro Pavel Slozil (former coach of Steffi Graf); call 263-7411.

■ Tom Avery's Tennis Outlet — Private and group lessons, cardio tennis for teams, earlybirds and all levels. For schedule, fees and more information call Tom Avery at 592-5920.

■ Quail Creek Country Club round-robins — 3.5 and 3.0 women every Thursday 9 to 11 a.m.; 3.5 and 3.0 men every Wednesday and Friday 9 to 11 a.m.; Cost: $3; Call 597-9725.

■ 3.0 and 3.5 women’s round-robins — at Quail Creek Country Club; Every Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m.; Cost: $3 per player; Sign up in advance by calling 597-9725.

■ The Plantation Club at The Dunes — Preeg-Doherty Junior Tennis Academy : Monday through Friday, 4 to 6 p.m.; Ladies Day: Tuesdays, 9 to 11 a.m.; Men’s Day: Thursdays, 9 to 11 a.m.; Ladies 3.0 Clinic: Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m.; Ladies 3.5 Clinic: Fridays, 9 a.m.; Call 593-9680.

■ Pelican Bay Community Park events - Most levels of round-robins for men and women available each week; Adult and junior clinics held daily; For specific days-times, call 598-3025.

■ Quail Creek Junior Tennis — Tuesdays and Thursdays: Tiny Tots from 3:30-4 at $6; Beginners from 4 to 4:45 at $9; Intermediate and Advanced from 4:30 to 5:30 at $12; Clinic and Ralleyball to be included; All directed by Doug Welsh; Call 597-9725.

■ Quail West Tennis programs — Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; Events include 3.0-3.5 ladies round-robin from 9 to 11 and 3.5-4.0 men’s round-robin from 9 to 11; 3.5-4.0 ladies doubles clinics on Wednesdays from 9 to 11; Also: Wednesday clinics for men and women from 9 to 10:30 a.m.; Also: "3 students and the Pro" on Mondays; Call 592-1139.

■ Weekly mixed doubles round-robin — Fridays at Pelican Bay Community Park ; Call 598-3025.

■ Men’s, women’s and mixed round-robins — Each day of the week at Pelican Bay Community Park ; Call 598-3025.

■ Adult clinics — for all levels at Pelican Bay Community Park ; Call 598-3025.

■ Marco Island Racquet Center — Round-robins, league play, USTA competitive teams, Stroke of the Week clinics, beginners lessons, junior programs and racquetball challenges; For the complete schedule, call 394-5454.

■ Ladies Day Round Robin, Men’s Day Round Robin, Saturday Mixed Round Robin — at Cambier Park, call 213-3060; Tuesdays at 11 a.m. women of all levels welcome to participate; Thursdays at 11 a.m. men of all levels welcome to participate; Saturday mornings are "Mixed Troubles" round-robin at 9:30.

■ Bridgewater Bay Tennis Club — Weekly activities include: Tuesdays beginner/intermediate clinic 5 p.m., Thursday mixed round robin 6 p.m.; Saturdays intermediate clinic 9:30 a.m.; Call 450-1000.

■ Saturday Mixed Doubles Round Robin — at Cambier Park Tennis Center at 10:45 a.m.; Call 213-3060.

■ Tony Kamen Youth Tennis Clinics — For beginners/intermediate/high school players; Mondays and Wednesdays 4-5:30 p.m. at Naples High School courts. $15 per session or $96 per month; Phone 272-9223; Also, Beginner to players ages 6-12 on Tuesdays 3:30-5 p.m. at Naples High courts; contact Fleischmann Park at 213-3013.

■ Pelican Bay Community Park tennis facility — 764 Vanderbilt Beach Road; 8 lighted Har-Tru courts; for information on tennis programs or any information about the park, call 598-3025.

For a list of ongoing local tennis events, clinics and instructional programs, check the Web at www.naplesnews.com . Those wishing to have events or activities included in the weekly Friday local tennis roundup should email the information to Tom Rife at heart22@comcast.net by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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