Courts where longtime professional tennis player, Mardy Fish, grew up and learned the sport were dedicated to his name on Sunday, January 14 at Riverside Racquet Complex, a USTA Florida managed facility. The Vero Beach, Florida public park hosted over 150 guests to celebrate the court naming and Fish’s induction into the USTA Florida Hall of Fame. This event kicked off the USTA Florida 75th Anniversary celebration and marked the launch of the Historic Florida Tennis Trail.
“USTA Florida is honored to kick off its 75th year anniversary and first in-person Tennis Trail event honoring Mardy Fish with a court dedication at Riverside Park in his hometown of Vero Beach,” said Dana Andrews, USTA Florida Past President. “Mardy has provided several thousands of underserved children in Vero fitness and nutritional programs to help them live healthy and productive lives. In addition, his documentary, Break Point, helped remove the stigma of mental health struggles to not only his local community but the world. As an organization we are humbled to have an opportunity to honor Mardy Fish and his family in this way,” Andrews added.
Mardy Fish, former Top 10 men’s professional player, Olympic Silver Medalist, and former United States Davis Cup Captain, has had an incredible impact on the Vero community. In 2007, he launched the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation to provide underserved children with the opportunity to participate in safe fitness, nutritional, and enrichment programs to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives.
“He just wanted to give back to the kids in his regular little town and let them know that if you have these little opportunities and somebody cares and somebody cultivates, you can be anything you want to be,” said Lynn Southerly, Executive Director of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation.
To honor his achievements both on and off the court, Courts 4 and 5at Riverside Racquet Complex are now dedicated in his name. When speaking to the courts being named in his honor, Mardy Fish said, “I grew up across the street and went to Beachland Elementary School, Gifford Middle School and Vero Beach High School. This is where I have all of my memories of playing junior tennis.”
The Mayor of Vero Beach, John E. Cotugno, was among those in attendance. “What makes Vero Beach an incredibly unique community is people like the Fish family who don’t forget where they came from. What Mardy has given back to this community through his Foundation is irreplaceable.” said Cotugno.
One of the organizations impacted by Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation is Miss B’s Learning Bees. “I would like to say to you from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I really believe that you are a special individual because you are proving so many children the resources and the opportunities, they need to change their future outcomes,” said LaToya Bullard, the CEO of Miss B’s Learning Bees. “We are grateful for all that you have done.”
USTA Florida welcomes Mardy Fish as the first Hall of Fame inductee of 2024, a true model of what Florida tennis is all about.
Watch Mardy’s Hall of Fame tribute video on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs60QDAttLo
In June 2023, Mardy and his father, Tom Fish, joined the USTA Florida Here to Serve podcast for their hallmark 100th episode. Listen to that episode where they speak of their tennis journey, available on all podcast platforms and on the USTA Florida YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQSYm_4b3p8 For more information on USTA Florida’s 75th Anniversary and events surrounding the past, present, and future of the sport in the state, visit ustaflorida.com/75th-anniversary/. To stay updated on news related to the 75th Anniversary, subscribe to the exclusive newsletter