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Mata-Vernon win City mixed doubles title

By Tom Rife, Daily News Correspondent

When they play “The Clay in May,” the mixed doubles teams always put on an entertaining show. The 47th annual edition of the City of Naples Tennis Championships was no exception at Cambier Park’s Arthur L. Allen Tennis Center in downtown Naples.

The finals were played Wednesday evening when the top-seeded team of Franco Mata-Courtney Vernon faced the unseeded duo of Seth Fogelman and Viva Laas. The top seeds upheld their position with a 6-1, 6-4 victory.

To get to the championship match, the Fogelman-Laas team had upended the second-seeded twosome of Oliver Landert and Alexandria Landert.

The men’s open doubles championship was to be played Thursday night as part of the annual Players Party. That match was to pit the top-seeded team of Lucas Regas-Melero and Andoni Vivanco against the second-seeded Franco Mata-Jichim Zaatini duo.

The monthlong tournament is now at the stage where soon, more finalists will be emerging.

The 2016 event is being sponsored by Arthur Allen of ALA Services. To check the draw-by-draw progress in the various divisions, go to the tournament website at The tournament ID number is 150031016.

CCWTA champs emerge: The Collier County Women’s Tennis Association held its Spring 2016 tournament at Heritage Bay in Naples this past weekend.

In the 2.5 final, Karen Macallister and Sharon Wilson (Village Walk of Bonita) topped Anita Bava and Alma Rainey (Heritage Bay). The 3.0 honors went to Karin Evans and Lori Caple (Heritage Bay) over Susie Beaudet and Rachel Plisko (The Strand). In the 3.5 final, Aimee Hummel and Diana Davis (Riverstone) won over Linda Mazzarella and Jeannie McGearty (Cambier). The 4.0 kudos went to Carla Klumpp and Kristine Laterra (Quail Creek) over Carole Flegel and Pam Clark (Saturnia).

40-and-over teams qualify: Local teams have qualified to play in the USTA Florida Mixed 40 & Over 7.0/9.0 League Sectionals this weekend in Daytona Beach.

This year’s event has drawn the top teams from throughout Florida, representing various clubs, parks, recreational departments and organizations that finished at the top of their local leagues.

The winning Mixed 40 & Over 7.0 and 9.0 division teams this weekend will advance to represent the USTA Florida Section at the USTA League Mixed 40 & Over 7.0 & 9.0 National Championships on Nov. 11-13 in Surprise, Ariz.

Area teams competing this weekend are: Mixed 40 & Over 7.0 Division — Flight 3: Collier County (Marco Island YMCA; captain: Andrea Washak); Mixed 40 & Over 7.0 Division — Flight 4: Lee/Charlotte counties (Park Meadow Tennis Club, Fort Myers; captain: Wayne Jackiew); Mixed 40 & Over 9.0 Division — Flight 1: Lee/Charlotte counties (Park Meadow Tennis Club, Fort Myers; captain: Oliver Stenger).

Dowling wraps up college career: Lake Forest College seniors and co-captains, Grace Dowling of Naples and partner Christi Valicenti — two players with the most career victories in program history in singles, doubles, and overall victories — were honored along with their parents before their final career home match. The college is in Illinois, near Chicago.

They are the only two women’s tennis players in school history with at least 100 career wins and combine to own or share nine other team records. They also led the Forresters to the conference title this year.

Dowling captained the 2012 Barron Collier girls team to the Florida Class 3A state title her senior year.

Vanderbilt adds summer events: In summer tennis play at the Vanderbilt Country Club courts, men’s round-robins are set for every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday’s 8:30. The cost is $3.

Ladies’ flighted round-robins will be Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:30 and the cost is $3 as well. VCC’s Ronnie Hilburn says a ladies Tuesday Night League is now forming for players in the 3.5 and 3.0 categories.

To find out more about all of these activities, call 348-1725 or email

Summer programs at Vanderbilt: The Vanderbilt Country Club tennis complex has some new summer activities: Weekly Drill and Play for Ladies 3.0 Tuesdays at 9 a.m.; “Strokes and Strategies” (one hour of Drill and one hour of supervised play); Thursdays 3.5 Ladies Strokes and Strategies at 9 a.m. Drill and play; Open Ladies Round Robins Wednesdays and Fridays; Men’s Doubles Drills every Wednesday and Friday’s at 9 a.m.; Open play Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8:30; New class “Tennisersise” — This is a tennis fitness and footwork class to improve playing condition; Two sessions per week, Wednesday at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Contact Ronnie Hilburn at 348-1725 or email

Quail Creek summer round robins: 3.5 Women Mondays and Thursdays at 9 a.m.; 4.0 Women Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:30 a.m.; 3.0 Women — Mondays and Fridays at 9:30; Men (all levels) — Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 9 a.m.; Mixed (all levels) — Saturdays at 9:30 a.m.; Call 239-597-9725 or email

Summer events planned for juniors: The Estero Country Club at The Vines has its junior summer program all set up. The camp for ages 6-16 is for all skill levels and will run June 13 through Aug. 4.

For the daily schedule and costs, call 239-267-7001.

Seacrest Summer Tennis Camp: Sessions for those entering grades 4-7 and grades 7-12; three sessions scheduled; Call Coach Tyler Daugherty at 714-812-0071.

Summer memberships offered again: The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club’s Mary C. Watkins Tennis Center is gearing up for summer. Special summer tennis memberships run now through Sept. 30. The cost is $250.

The summer membership includes unlimited play, as well discounts on such things as lessons, round-robins and pro shop merchandise.

Also, weekly mixed doubles round-robins begin Friday and will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Levels are 3.0 and 3.5. For more, call 239-435-4351.

■ Other activities: A rundown of other activities and events follows:

■ Mixed dubs added: at the Vanderbilt Country Club; Wednesdays at 6 p.m. Divisions are 7.5 and 7.0 Call 348-1725 or email Ronnie Hilburn at The cost is $10 per team.

■ Cardio tennis offered: Cardio Tennis classes Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. at Cambier Park; $15 for members and $20 for non-members; Call 213-3060.

■ Round-robin Mixed doubles: Tuesdays 8 a.m. at Golden Gate Community Park on Santa Barbara Blvd.; Call 239-300-7718.

■ Kamen clinics: Naples High boys tennis coach Tony Kamen’s clinics from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays; geared toward middle school and high school students and include conditioning, drills, strategy, and match play. Call 272-9223.

■ Junior Development Tennis: Sessions held at Arthur Allen Tennis Center in downtown Naples at Cambier Park. Classes run Monday through Thursday. Pee-Wees 3:15-4 p.m. for ages 4-6; Futures 4-5 p.m. for ages 6-8; Tournament 4-5:30 p.m. for ages 7-16; Call 213-3060.

■ Hammock Bay Tennis Programs: Offering private lessons and clinics, Live Ball Drill Session on Tuesdays, Morning Tennis Drill and Round Robin on Wednesdays and “Just for Starters” Clinics on Thursdays. Call 465-2922.

■ Junior/high school lessons: Given by Ron St. John, USPTA 1 Pro; all levels but also those interested in improving to play at the high school level; Call 289-1963.

■ Junior instruction at World Tennis Club: Instruction by former pro Pavel Slozil (former coach of Steffi Graf); call 263-7411.

■ Consistent Tennis Wins Academy: Private and group lessons, cardio tennis, team practice, racquet stringing, tennis fitness and weight loss training and hitting sessions for all levels. Call Tom Avery at 273-9204..

■ Quail Creek Junior Tennis: Wednesdays: Tiny Tots from 4-4:30 at $7; Beginners from 4:30-5 at $7; Thursdays: Intermediate and Advanced from 4:30-5:30 at $15; Saturdays: Intermediate and Advanced from 10:30-11:30 at $15 ($30 if only one participant). Clinic, rallyball fitness, and match play to be included Call 597-9725.

■ Pelican Bay Community Park events: Most levels of round-robins for men and women available each week; Adult and junior clinics held daily; call 598-3025.

■ Quail West Tennis programs: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; Events include 3.0-3.5 ladies round-robin from 9 to 11 and 3.5-4.0 men’s round-robin from 9 to 11; 3.5-4.0 ladies doubles clinics on Wednesdays from 9 to 11; Also: Wednesday clinics for men and women from 9 to 10:30 a.m.; Also: “3 students and the Pro” on Mondays; Call 592-1139.

■ Weekly mixed doubles round-robin: Fridays at Pelican Bay Community Park; Call 598-3025.

■ Men’s, women’s and mixed round-robins: Each day of the week at Pelican Bay Community Park; Call 598-3025.

■ Adult clinics: For all levels at Pelican Bay Community Park; Call 598-3025.

■ Marco Island Racquet Center: Round-robins, league play, USTA competitive teams, Stroke of the Week clinics, beginners lessons, junior programs and racquetball challenges; Call 394-5454.

■ Ladies Day Round Robin, Men’s Day Round Robin, Saturday Mixed Round Robin: At Cambier Park, call 213-3060; Tuesdays at 11 a.m. women of all levels welcome to participate; Thursdays at 11 a.m. men of all levels welcome to participate; Saturday mornings are “Mixed Troubles” round-robin at 9:30.

■ Bridgewater Bay Tennis Club: Weekly activities include: Tuesdays beginner/intermediate clinic 5 p.m., Thursday mixed round robin 6 p.m.; Saturdays intermediate clinic 9:30 a.m.; Call 450-1000.

■ Saturday Mixed Doubles Round Robin: At Cambier Park Tennis Center at 10:45 a.m.; Call 213-3060.

■ Pelican Bay Community Park tennis facility: 764 Vanderbilt Beach Road; 8 lighted Har-Tru courts; Call 598-3025.

Those wishing to have events or activities included in the weekly Friday local tennis roundup should email the information to Tom Rife at by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Written By

Avi Adkins is a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. With years of experience in the field, Adkins has established himself as a respected figure in journalism.

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