The Boulevard Tennis Club, the fastest-growing tennis club in Vero Beach, will host the 2019 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, Vero Beach’s long-running U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) Pro Circuit professional tennis tournament April 29 – May 5, 2019.
An official contract was signed last week between representatives of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation and The Boulevard Tennis Club to host the popular tournament featuring up-and-coming world-ranked touring tennis professionals from around the world. The Boulevard Tennis Club previously hosted the event for seven years from 2010 to 2016. The tournament benefits the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit 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 Boulevard Tennis Club has turned into the epicenter of tennis in Vero Beach over the last few years and we are excited to once again stage our event there next spring,” said Tom Fish, President of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation. “Our event is our top fundraising mechanism for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation and our goal is to raise as much money as possible to benefit youth in Indian River County while continuing to run a first-class event and further promote tennis in our Treasure Coast community.”
“We are so happy to once again host the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships,” said Christophe Delavaut, the Tennis Director and co-owner of The Boulevard Tennis Club. “Under our club’s new ownership group, we are thrilled to open up our doors to the community for the most prestigious and longest-running professional sports event in Vero Beach.”
The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation will be elevated to a $25,000 tournament in 2019, up from a $15,000 event in 2018, ensuring higher-quality ranked players competing in the event than in years past. A 24-player qualifying tournament will start Monday, April 29 with main-draw play starting Tuesday, April 30 concluding with the singles final on Sunday, May 5. A special pre-qualifying tournament open to all entrants will be played at The Boulevard starting Wednesday, April 24 with the winner earning a place in the 24-player qualifying tournament. The 2019 tournament is part of the newly restructured and rebranded ITF World Tennis Tour.
Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports over 2,200 children in 15 elementary schools, six middle schools and two after school centers in Indian River County, Florida by funding 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.
The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships has been played in Vero Beach since 1995 and regarded as one of the best entry-level professional tennis tournaments in the world. Some of the past competitors 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 and most recently world No. 50 player and teen sensation Denis Shapovalov, who played in Vero Beach in 2016. Former Vero Beach competitors have combined to win 19 titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at Grand Slam tournaments. Seven former Vero Beach players have gone on to play Davis Cup for the United States – Roddick, Fish, Taylor Dent, Jared Palmer, Donald Young, Ryan Harrison and Frances Tiafoe.
Tickets for the event are available now at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Sponsorships are available by contacting co-tournament directors Tom Fish (Tfish@aol.com) and Randy Walker at (Rwalker@NewChapterMedia.com). Fans can follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures.
The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships have an annual economic impact of approximately $500,000 per year on the Vero Beach local economy. Approximately 3,000 fans annually attend the event, which is seen as one of the best-attended events entry-level events in the world.
Juan Benitez of Colombia won the 2018 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships beating Venezuelan Davis Cup team member Ricardo Rodriguez in the final.
The Boulevard Tennis Club, located in Central Vero Beach on Indian River Boulevard, is the fastest-growing tennis club in Vero Beach, featuring 13 clay tennis courts and world-class tennis instruction and programming for all levels of players. For more information, go to www.BlvdTennisClub.com