Atlanta News – July 2009


Yellow Jackets Looking For Help at the Top

Georgia Tech is already working to bolster their men’s lineup for next year. Head coach Kenny Thorne announced Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year Dean O’Brien would join the team for the 2010 season. O’Brien, who played for Tennessee Tech, will have two years of eligibility with the Yellow Jackets. He posted a perfect 8-0 record in conference play in the No. 1 slot for the Golden Eagles with a 19-6 overall singles record.

“We are very excited about Dean joining our team next year,” Thorne said. “He will bring two years of college experience, and he is capable of playing toward the top of most lineups in the ACC.”

Gomez advanced to the Round of 32 at the NCAAs before falling to USC’s Steve Johnson.
Gomez advanced to the Round of 32 at the NCAAs before falling to USC’s Steve Johnson.

The native of Benmore, South Africa holds a 19-6 overall singles record and is 17-1 in dual match play with his only dual loss to Georgia Tech’s Guillermo Gomez. Gomez, a native of Alicante, Spain, was the only Yellow Jacket to make the ‘09 NCAA Championships. Ranked No. 11, the sophomore made it to the Round of 32 before he fell 6-3, 2-6, 3-6 to USC’s Steve Johnson. Gomez finished his season with a 29-10 record in singles play. With 56 career wins, he currently sits at eighth on the school’s all-time win percentage list. He’s also Georgia Tech’s first men’s singles All-American since Kenny Thorne and Bryan Shelton achieved the honor in ‘98.

Georgian Commits to Georgia Tech

Marietta, Ga., native Elizabeth Kilborn has signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Yellow Jackets in the fall.

“We are so excited for Elizabeth to join our team next season and expect great things from her in the classroom and on the tennis court,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “It is nice to not only draw the best talent from the Atlanta area but from the Southeast region to Georgia Tech.”

Kilborn, the nation’s 22nd ranked recruit is also rated the No. 2 recruit in Georgia and 7th in the Southeast. A standout player for her high school, Kilborn led her Walton H.S. to four consecutive Georgia High School State and Regional Championships. The incoming freshman will join a Yellow Jackets team looking to reclaim their success from the ‘07 season, when they won the NCAA Championship.

No. 11-ranked Falconi fell in the opening round of the NCAAs.
No. 11-ranked Falconi fell in the opening round of the NCAAs.

This year the team lost in the California in the Round of 16. Four players made it into the NCAA Singles Championships, including defending champion Amanda McDowell. Freshman Irina Falconi, ranked 11th in the nation, and sophomore Noelle Hickey both fell in the first round. McDowell, a sophomore, and senior Christy Striplin both fell in the Round of 32. Striplin finished her collegiate career with 117 singles wins, second highest on record for the Yellow Jackets women’s program.

‘Dogs Close Season at No. 6

The University of Georgia has a commitment from one of the nation’s top ranked junior players. James “Bo” Seal, of Chattanooga, Tenn., signed a National Letter of Intent to join the team in the fall. Seal, who climbed as high as No. 43 in the world in the ITF rankings, has an impressive junior resume including a ‘08 ITF doubles casino online title in Mexico. Seal spent the first two years of his prep career at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, where he was a two-time state singles champ.

“Bo is a great addition to our program and a very good singles and doubles player,” said Diaz. “Anytime we have a chance to get a talented online casino Southern prospect, we’re excited to have them become a Bulldog. He is going to make us a better team.”

The Bulldogs finished the season with a 25-4 record, advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight before losing to the University of Texas. UGA finished the season with a final national ranking of No. 6. All-American Nate Schnugg also made it into the NCAA Singles Championships. The junior, ranked No. 10 in the country, lost in the Round of 16. Schnugg finished the season with a 37-15 singles record including 24 wins over ranked opponents. Schnugg and doubles partner Jamie Hunt also made a run in the NCAA Doubles Championships before falling in the quarterfinals. The tandem was ranked No. 7 in the nation and ended the season with a 32-12 record.

Van Der Meer Tennis On Facebook

Van Der Meer Tennis and the Van Der Meer Tennis Academy are using the social networking site Facebook to share info about their various camps and events.

Dennis Van der Meer opened the doors to his academy 35 years ago. Since then numerous top-ranked juniors, collegiate and pros have trained at the academy, which is headquartered in Hilton Head, S.C. The academy offers a wide variety of junior and adult programs. Currently they’re offering a wide variety of three- to five-day adult programs that offer something for everyone from the beginner to advanced tournament player. Programs include instructional clinics that focus on swing mechanics to drill-and-play clinics where players run through numerous drills and match play to groove strokes and work on tennis strategy. All clinics are run by PTR certified pros.

For more info, visit to or join their network on

Georgia Chapters of CMAA, USPTA Hold Joint Meeting

The Georgia Chapter of the Club Managers Association of America invited the Georgia State Chapter of the USPTA Southern Division to a joint meeting on May 18 at the Dunwoody CC in Dunwoody, Ga. More than 50 teaching pros attended the meeting to network and learn more about CMAA.

Topics covered during general discussion included member retention at country clubs, specifically in regard to future, younger members, and the future of country clubs, especially as more public facilities are improving to meet country club standards. The meeting was organized by Dunwoody CC’s Jon Knobbe and Dave Dvorak.

“I think all attendees from both groups found the meeting beneficial,” said Dvorak. “We had a great turnout and are already working on getting a joint meeting on the calendar again next year.”

USTA Teachers Conference Returns Aug. 29

Registration is underway for the 39th Annual USTA Tennis Teachers Conference, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt in New York and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Aug. 29-Sept. 1.

The four-day event, which will feature presentations from Patrick McEnroe, Darren Cahill, Brad Gilbert, Larry Stefanki, Peter Burwash, Mary Joe Fernandez and Pat Etcheberry, and coincides with the U.S. Open, is the premier resource for teaching pros, tournament organizers and coaches.

Among the elective sessions are “Tennis and Recovery: A Comprehensive Approach” (led by Mark Kovacs), “What Is Play?” (led by Stuart Brown) and “TIA/USTA/ Active Network Technology Syatems: Are You In?”

For additional information on the conference, visit or call (914) 696-7004.

USTA Pro League Underway

The USTA Pro League has kicked off another summer season with a new sponsor. Cost Management Group is now backing the league with features more than 70 of metro Atlanta’s top tennis players.

Each team has eight players on its roster that are selected through a captain’s draft. During the matches teams face off with one singles and two doubles matches. Sites for the matches rotate each week.

Spectators are both welcomed and encouraged to come and check out all the action. For more info, visit

University of Georgia Women Finish Strong

After a tough battle in the NCAA Championships the University of Georgia women had to settle for a loss in the semis. The team, which finished the season ranked No. 3 in the nation, lost to Duke, which went on to win the title. It’s the 21st time in head coach Jeff Wallace’s 24 seasons at UGA that his women’s team has finished ranked in the top 10. The Bulldogs ended the season with a 27-3 overall record.

Georgia’s Chelsey Gullickson also made a run in the NCAA Singles Championships before losing in the semifinals. The freshman All-American finished the season with a 43-10 singles record, including 31 wins over ranked opponents. Gullickson finished the year ranked No. 6 and was also named the ‘09 ITA National Rookie of the Year. Gullickson and fellow freshman Nadja Gilchrist also made it to the NCAA Doubles Championships but lost in the first round and ended the season ranked No. 7 with a 13-5 record.

Is Georgia Home to Best Tennis Town in America?

A Georgia town could win $100,000 for their tennis community if they’re selected the Best Tennis Town in America.

The USTA launched a promotion to help find the winner. Every city, borough and town across the country is invited to compete. To take part participants must complete a submission form, put together a five-minute video highlighting their community’s passion for tennis and include letters of support from at least five local politicians. All entries must be submitted to by July 1. A panel will review all entries and narrow it down to 10 finalists. Then in mid-July the public will get to vote for who they think the Best Tennis Town in America is.

The top three finalists will attend the U.S. Open, where the winner will be announced. Top prize is $100,000, second place gets $50,000 and third place will receive $25,000. The remainder of the top 10 finalists will be awarded $2,000 each. For more info, go to