Curtis Retiring from USTA Florida; Finals Set at Illinois ITF; Four with Momentum; Kearney Sentenced
There was a surprise in the email box this morning, when USTA Florida announced that Bobby Curtis, longtime junior tennis coordinator in the state, is retiring. Although a specific date isn't given, it sounds as if the section's annual meeting in early December will serve as the retirement party.
Bobby has been a friend of mine for quite a few years, and I've written about him several times, including a Tennis Recruiting Network article when he was honored by the Greater Miami Tennis Foundation at the Sony Ericsson Championships in 2007. It's difficult to imagine Florida junior tennis without him, and his successor is going to face a daunting task, similar to that faced by the UCLA basketball coach who followed legend John Wooden. It's great to hear that Curtis will still be consulting and volunteering, and I look forward to congratulating him on a inspiring career during our annual Florida swing in December.
The ITF Grade 4 in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. is wrapping up on Saturday. The boys final will feature top seed Dane Webb against No. 4 seed Dan McCall, and deciding the girls singles championship will be No. 9 seed Caitlyn Williams and No. 8 seed Blair Shankle. McCall and his partner Eric Johnson, the No. 3 seeds, won the boys doubles title, defeating Webb and Mitchell Krueger, the top seeds, 6-1, 6-4. Williams is also still alive in doubles; she and partner Julia Elbaba, whom Williams defeated 7-5 in the third in the singles semifinal today, play Alexus Coats of the U.S. and Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand in the girls doubles final. Both teams are unseeded. For complete draws, see the TennisLink site.
Bonnie Ford of espn.com has a great followup on four of the big U.S. stories at the U.S. Open; this piece looks at the next few months of competition for Melanie Oudin, John Isner, Taylor Dent and Jesse Witten.
Former University of North Carolina tennis player Chris Kearney was sentenced to 10 to 12 months in prison after pleading guilty to driving while impaired and numerous other charges related to the automobile accident that injured two female students in August 2008. The Durham Herald-Sun filed this story on the sentencing.