The Arraya Tennis Academy in Key Biscayne, Fla., will be the host of the first of two wild card singles events for the 2017 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, a $15,000 men’s USTA Futures event played in Vero Beach, Florida.
Arraya Tennis will host the event – The Arraya Tennis / Hightof Open Wild Card Tennis Championship – Tuesday, Jan. 17 through Thursday, Jan. 19 at The Links at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne, located adjacent to the site of the annual Miami Open. The winner of the event will be awarded a main draw singles wild card into the 2017 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships to be played April 25-30 at Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club in Vero Beach.
Entry fees, that benefit the non-profit Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, are $70. Credit card entries are now being accepted at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com and cash/check entries can be facilitated by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Matches, played on clay courts, will be best-of-two sets with a 10-point super tiebreaker played in lieu of a third set. Arthur Surreaux will serve as the event’s tournament director and can be reached at 305-775-8020.
The Arraya Tennis Academy is run by former standout ATP professional Pablo Arraya, the former world No. 29-ranked player who represented his native Peru in Davis Cup, the Olympic Games and at all four Grand Slam tournaments. The Arraya Tennis Academy has helped over 100 players earn college tennis scholarships and has worked with several professional players, including Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli and U.S. Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig.
The Hightof Maat, the co-sponsor of the event, is a revolutionary ball machine, benefiting from a cutting-edge technology that enables it to realistically simulate a game of tennis. Players can program their training session either on their website or directly using the extremely user-friendly built-in touch pad.
Surreaux is a former standout player from New Mexico State and a former top 500-ranked ATP professional. He is now a tennis coach and administrator.
The second singles wild card event for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships will be announced at a later date.
Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) is a 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 foundation 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.
Some of the past competitors at the USTA Vero Beach Futures 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 Wimbledon finalist 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 fans for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships are available for advanced sale 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. Approximately 3,000 fans annually attend the event, which is seen as one of the best-attended events in the world on the “Futures” level of professional tennis tournaments. The 2016 event featured 13 players who played Davis Cup for their country and was won by Jonas Luetjen of Germany, who defeated Latvian Davis Cupper Martins Podzus in the final.