Atlanta News – August 2009


Historic Bitsy Grant Center to Host State Championships

The Bitsy Grant Tennis Center are gearing up for the Georgia State Adult/Senior Open, the first Georgia State Championship at the facility since ‘01. The venue was awarded the sanction for the ‘09 event that is sponsored by the Georgia Tennis Foundation.

Bitsy Grant is a city of Atlanta public tennis facility with a dynamic history. It was named after Bryan Morel “Bitsy” Grant, Jr. At just 5-foot-4 Grant was the smallest American man to win a championship on the international tennis circuit. The facility boasts 13 clay courts and 10 hard courts as well as a strong community support from the Friends of Bitsy Grant to make sure the facility is well taken care of.

The State Championships will return to Bitsy Grant for the first time since ‘01.
The State Championships will return to Bitsy Grant for the first time since ‘01.

The Friends of Bitsy Grant even helped get a well dug on the site to provide irrigation to the clay courts so that they wouldn’t have to rely on the city’s water supply in the event of drought situations.

The tournament features men and women’s Open events as well as the senior (30-85) events. Players from outside Georgia can compete in the Open events.

In addition, organizers will also host an extravagant Gala as well as a players’ party.

We hope to set the standard by which other State Championships will be judged,” stated Peter Howell, tournament director.

The event runs Aug. 15-20. Entry fees are $50 for singles and $50 per doubles team. All 35 and over events are scheduled to play on the clay courts. 25s and 30 events will be played on the hard courts. For info, visit

Roddick, EJ, BJK to Headline WTT Fundraiser

Longtime friends Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King are bringing their annual Advanta WTT Smash Hits charity night of tennis to Louisiana for the first time in the event’s 17-year history. Tennis champion Andy Roddick and other top players will compete on Dec. 8 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on the Louisiana State University campus in Baton Rouge.

WImbledon runner-up A-Rod will bring his on-court stylings to LSU.
WImbledon runner-up A-Rod will bring his on-court stylings to LSU.

Smash Hits has raised more than $9 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and various local AIDS charities since ‘93. This year’s event, presented by the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation and hosted by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, will benefit EJAF and other regional AIDS charities.

Captained by King and John, the players will form two teams and play five sets of World TeamTennis. Also, John will also participate in a celebrity doubles match to open the event. Special VIP ticket packages will also be available. For info, contact Paige Sharber at (225) 928-8346 or visit

Midtown AC Beefs Up Tennis Programs

Midtown Athletic Club at Windy Hill is working to continue growing their tennis programs.

Located at 135 Interstate Parkway SE in Atlanta, the facility has nine state of the art courts. Tennis director Alejandro Garcia can help people find an instructor or program that’s right for the beginner, advanced or any level player in between. Both member and non-members are invited to participate in the various tennis programs offered. In addition to adult league play teams Midtown offers a variety of drills, a ladies doubles ladder, social mixers as well as regular club and inter-club tournaments. Midtown Athletic Club also offers several children’s programs including QuickStart and a High Performance Junior Academy.

For more info, visit

Georgian Among Seven Southern Scholarship Recipients

Alpharetta, Ga., native Sarah Caudle was among seven Southern tennis players to receive USTA Serves Scholarships. Caudle was among four Southern recipients to be awarded a $6,000 College Education Scholarship. Each recipient had to demonstrate community service and excel academically.

Caudle was the only Georgian to be awarded a USTA Serves scholarship. Each year USTA Serves awards scholarships to deserving youth who have participated in USTA and other organized youth tennis programs, have demonstrated high academic achievement and have a financial need for college matriculation. This year scholarships totaling $379,000 were awarded to 71 USTA high school seniors.

Hannah Waddell of Raleigh, N.C., Victorea Austin of Prospect, Ky., Nolan Outlaw of Albertson, N.C., Joshua Small or Piggott, Ark., Dakota Southern of Mount Airy, N.C., and Cara Ciotfelter of Van Buren, Ark., were the other Southern players awarded scholarships ranging from $1,000-$7,500 each. A Rich Resource For Players

In just 18 months, has become one of the most popular flexible tennis leagues in the Southeastern U.S., with nearly 13,000 registrations in Atlanta, Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Austin and San Antonio, and expansion plans for 2010.

Its success is due largely to the dynamism of founder Tricia Reeks, a veteran Flex League casino pa natet player and tech consultant.

“I had a passion for the game and experience working with start up companies,” said Reeks, who an Atlanta resident. “It was a great opportunity to combine passions. And I knew we could improve on what was available, by combining singles, juniors and best photo recovery software transformation best photo recovery software transformation is the process of changing the format of data so that it can be used by different applications. doubles tennis in an affordable league with a user-friendly website.” provides its members an easy way to find compatible partners near home, online casino register for leagues, view schedules and standings and report scores. With year-round matches, its members play frequently and as a result, dramatically improve their games.

Aside from the league itself, is a rich resource for players offering everything from the latest pro tennis news and practical instructional videos to a tennis gear shop. And Reeks makes sure members are up-to-date on league news via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Consequently, she and her staff are highly responsive to member inquiries.

“Tricia is dedicated to the long haul,” said Bill Snoderly, whose team management site partners with “Her customer service, much like NetLineup, is about getting back to customers quickly and resolving issues.”

Taylor Alexander and her husband David Alexander have played with since its launch. She said typically her inquiries are answered within an hour by a LeagueTennis staffer, even after-hours and on weekends.

“They’re just more user-friendly to me,” said Alexander. “For us, the real benefit is playing in between the seasons and not having to search people out. It’s taken our play to a new level.” — Gina Piccalo

Oudin’s Fans Gather Early

Tennis fans gathered in the early morning hours to cheer on Marietta native Melanie Oudin during her run at Wimbledon.

Dozens of people joined Oudin’s younger sister and friends at Racquet Club of the South to watch the 17-year-old’s fourth round match against 11th seed Agnieszka Radwanska. There was even a breakfast for those turning out for the 7 a.m. EST start time. Oudin’s parents, noticeably absent, flew to London for the match.

Local media, including CBS Atlanta, came out to catch the crowd on hand to watch the rising American tennis star. Many were still talking about Oudin’s upset win in the third round over former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic when her fourth round match got underway. The crowd cheered Oudin’s successes but collectively sighed sharing the disappointment when Oudin lost match point falling to Radwanska 6-4, 7-5. The crowd agreed it was by far the most impressive Grand Slam appearance of Oudin’s young tennis career so far.

Oudin trains at Racquet Club of the South with her coach Brian deVilliers who also traveled with her to Europe. Earlier this year Oudin won events in Sarasota, Fla., and Raleigh, N.C., before heading to Paris in what turned out to be a very disappointing French Open. In London, the young American had to win three matches in the qualifying round before even getting into the main draw.

Registration Underway For Peach Tournament

The Atlanta Team Tennis Association (ATTA) is gearing up for its 21st annual Peach Tournament.

ATTA, the longtime Atlanta affiliate of the Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance (GLTA) became a Community Tennis Association of USTA Georgia in ‘05. Each year the Peach Tournament attracts players from across the U.S. and abroad.

The event is open to members and non-members alike and is a stop on the GLTA tour. There are Open, A, B, C and D (based on sufficient entries) men and women’s divisions. The Peach has men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles in divisions Open, A, B, C and D (divisions offered based on sufficient entries received). The Peach runs from Sept. 4-7 and includes a Draw party. Registration ends on Aug. 11.

ATTA strives to promote social, recreational and healthy competitive tennis through activities including open play, mixers, clinics, singles/doubles ladders, USTA and other league team play as well as tournaments.  For more information go to