Two American teenagers, Adam Ambrozy of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Pietro Rimondini of Boca Raton, Fla., were awarded main draw wild card entries into the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Vero Beach, Fla., April 22-May 1, by virtue of winning wild card tournaments last weekend in Orlando and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., respectively. Both players will seek their first ATP World Tour ranking points later this month at The Boulevard Tennis Club.
Ambrozy, 18, defeated former 13-time member of the Venezuelan Davis Cup team Jonathan Medina in an incredible 3 hour, 28-minute final 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-2 Monday in the final of the wild card tournament at the Tennis Resort at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney in Orlando. Ambrozy served for a straight-set victory at 6-5 in the second set, but faltered when trying to close out the title. He quickly lost the second-set tie-breaker 7-3 and was immediately broken in the opening game of the final set. After fighting off break points to go down a double-break in the final set, Ambrozy held serve en route to streaking to win the final six games of the match to close out the incredible victory. See the last two points of the match here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP8741iARbo&feature=em-upload_owner Ambrozy, who will attend Columbia University in New York City in the Fall, will be playing in only his second “Futures” level professional tournament.
Rimondini, 17, defeated fellow American Christian Langmo 7-6 (7), 2-0, retire (rib injury) Sunday in the final of the wild card tournament at BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Rimondini, who has committed to play college tennis at Cornell starting next season, will be playing in his third career Futures event in Vero Beach.
In the doubles wild card tournament in Orlando, Igor Schattan and Antonio Balau, both 17 from the Montverde Academy in Monteverde, Fla., won a six-team competition that was reduced to one-set matches due to rain, beating Americans Jack Najjar and Joseph Sopko 6-4 in the Sunday final. The Brazilian team won the last four games of the match, winning a sudden-death. three-all game point to end the match.
Ticket and sponsorship opportunities – all that benefit the non-profit Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation – are available for the event. For sponsorship opportunities, contact co-tournament director Tom Fish at TFish10s@aol.com. Tickets are available for pre-sale at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com
Starting in 2016, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation is the new operator of the $10,000 “Futures” tennis tournament in Vero Beach, one of the longest-running and best attended events on the U.S. Tennis Association Pro Circuit. The tournament, now called The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, benefits the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit tennis foundation benefiting children, named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, a former top 10 tennis star, U.S. Davis Cup hero and silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games. The event was managed for 20 years by Vero Beach tennis teaching professional Mike Rahaley, who made the annual Vero Beach stop one of the crown jewels on the USTA Pro Circuit. The 2016 tournament will be held April 22 through May 1 at The Boulevard Tennis Club.
Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports over 2,100 children in 15 elementary schools and six middle schools in Indian River County, Florida by providing after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 which are Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends.” Mardy Fish recently completed his ATP professional tennis career at the 2015 U.S. Open, highlighted by a career-high ranking of No. 7, six ATP singles titles, eight ATP doubles titles and an Olympic silver medal in singles at the 2004 Olympics. He reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and was a mainstay on the U.S. Davis Cup team from 2002 to 2012.
Some of the past competitors in Vero Beach have gone on to succeed at the highest levels of professional tennis, winning major singles and doubles titles, Olympic medals and Davis Cup championships and earning No. 1 world rankings. Andy Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion who attained the world No. 1 ranking and helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 2007 competed in Vero Beach in 1999. Thomas Johansson of Sweden, who reached the second round of the Vero Beach Futures in 1995, won the Australian Open seven years later in 2002. Nicolas Massu, the 1998 singles runner-up in Vero Beach, won the singles and doubles gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, beating Fish in the gold medal singles match. Kyle Edmund, the 2013 champion in Vero Beach, helped Great Britain to the Davis Cup title in 2015. Other notable former competitors in Vero Beach include former world No. 2 Magnus Norman, former world No. 4 Tim Henman, 2016 Australian Open semifinalist Milos Raonic among others. Former Vero Beach competitors have combined to win 19 titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at Grand Slam tournaments. Six former Vero Beach players have gone on to play Davis Cup for the United States – Roddick, Fish, Taylor Dent, Jared Palmer, Donald Young and Ryan Harrison.
Tickets for the qualifying rounds of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships from April 22 – April 25 will cost $10, while tickets for the main draw of singles and doubles from April 26 – May 1 will be $20. Season tickets that include both the qualifying and main draw events cost $100. Advance tickets can be purchased at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Fans can follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures and at www.TennisVeroBeach.com