Every year at the Semiannual Meeting , the USTA celebrates the successes and outstanding accomplishments of organizations, volunteers and players of all ages.
Meet the 2012 USTA Semiannual Meeting Award Honorees:
Junior Scholar-Athlete Award:
This award recognizes high school juniors or seniors, nationally ranked in the top 100 with an un-weighted GPA of 3.75 on a 4.0 scale, who demonstrate that tennis is the sport of opportunity for education, advancement and character development.
Jason Brown - Deerfield, Illinois
Hannah Camhi - Woodbury, New York
Mitchell Krueger - Aledo, Texas, Mitchell Krueger
Mihir Kumar - Carmel, Indiana
Nicholas Mahlangu - Henderson, Nevada
2011 National Gold Slam Champions:
Established in 2002, the Gold Slam Award recognizes adult and senior competitive players who have won all of the national championships played in the same division throughout the year.
Men’s 45 Singles: Mario Tabares of Miami, Florida is a native of Cuba where he played 16 Davis Cup ties. Now a U.S. citizen, he dominated the Men’s 45s last year winning five tournaments with an undefeated 26-0 record. He responded to the two times he lost sets by winning the final set 6-0. Mario captained the 2012 Dubler Cup team to a bronze medal finish in San Diego in February. He finished the year ranked #1 in the USA in singles and doubles.
Women’s 35 Doubles: Mary Dailey of Delray Beach, Florida won on clay in Houston with Michelle King… the grass in Philadelphia, just weeks after knee surgery, with Trish Riddell the indoors in Illinois with Erika Smith and clinched the Gold Slam in California at the hard courts, again with Smith. Her toughest win was in the semis at the first national of the year, where she and King rallied from a set and 1-4 down to win! A former tour player and coach, Dailey loves the game. The Women’s 35 doubles is her first Gold Slam.
Women’s 75 Doubles: Dorothy Matthieson of Pasadena, California won the 75 Women’s Doubles Slam for the second straight year, overcoming a back injury to win the hard courts with Dori Devries to clinch. She won the clay with Boots Van Nostrand; the indoors with Burnett Herrick; and the grass with Devries. She led the USA Queens cup team to a dominating win in Turkey. This is her fifth doubles Gold Slam and 10th overall. She has won more than 130 national championships.
Women’s 80 Singles: Doris Jane Lutz of Sarasota, Florida was a late bloomer, but has made up for it in a big way in the 80s. She took all four national singles titles plus the grass and clay doubles. She captained the inaugural Doris Hart Cup team for women 80 plus, who won a bronze medal in Turkey last fall. She championed hard for an international team event for the women’s 80s.
Women’s 90 Singles and Doubles: Mary Mentzer of Cincinnati, Ohio and North Fort Myers, Florida says, “It’s just wonderful to win. I always hate to beat my (doubles) partner. I’ve known Dodo for a long, long time (over 30 years). We’re great friends.” Mentzer plays tennis four times a week in Florida and says, "My running is the key. At this age, most people can’t run, but I do, so that is the key.” Mary ran past her singles and doubles opponents in 2011 winning the clay, hard and grass in singles and doubles.
Women’s 90 Doubles: Dodo Cheney of Escondido, California always gets the best partners, and always holds up her end. She won the 90 grass, hard and clay in 2011 (the indoors wasn’t held) to bring her national title total to an unbelievable 389. She recently won the 90 hard and clay with Betty Cookson…her current total is 391. Cheney is a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Husband-Wife Combined Age 140: Kathy Bennett and Richard Doss of Irvine, California have tested the bonds of holy matrimony and won. According to Richard, winning was their goal from the event’s inception. Kathy just had to celebrate enough birthdays in order to qualify! They dominated the division in 2011, never dropping more than 2 games a set in the clay, grass and hard titles. This is Kathy’s third gold slam and Richard’s second. They just completed a second gold slam in August.
Mother-Son: Diane Barker of Daniel Island, South Carolina and Matthew Hane of Charleston have dominated the Mother/Son division and have won eight national titles together. Diane, the current ITF world champion in the 55+ division commented, “Mother-Son is the most fun, but there is more pressure on me. Matthew is so laid back and he won’t pick on the mother. They pick on me all the time; he will not pick on the mom until they have killed me.” Picking on a five time singles world champion didn’t work out too well; Diane and Matthew only lost one set in winning the hard, clay and indoors in 2011.
Super Senior Father-Son: The Erikson’s - Carl of Asheville, North Carolina and John of Oberlin, Ohio - have won the Super Senior Father/Son Gold Slam for the second time. This super duo has now won nine straight titles in this division and 12 overall. Both are members of the Heisman Club Hall of Fame for Oberlin College.
Outstanding Facility Award – Featured Facility: The Courts at Gabe Nesbitt Community Park
The USTA is very proud to recognize facilities throughout the U.S. each year for their commitment to excellence in the areas of court construction, architecture and design, and programming. Categories include small, large, educational and private facilities.
The Courts at Gabe Nesbitt Community Park in McKinney, Texas is a $3.7 million facility that opened in late February with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The courts at Gabe Nesbitt Community Park include 11 lighted courts and a championship court that seats up to 500 spectators. The facility has developed a “hitting the books” program, where tennis and reading are combined for mostly lower-income students – an extraordinary opportunity for the kids in that area. The facility hosted a USTA 10 and Under Tennis training day in May, a local community college match and has held several adult and junior mixers. This is indeed the embodiment of the USTA’s Making Tennis Make a Difference campaign where “it’s making an empty tract of land into the center of a community.”
USTA Service Bowl Award: Barbara Lawrence
This award recognizes a female player who makes the most notable contributions to the sportsmanship, fellowship, and service of tennis. This year’s recipient is Barbara Lawrence of Toledo, Ohio.
Nominated and selected by past recipients, some as notable as Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, and Peachy Kelmeyer, this award symbolizes the uniquely sovereign ritual of peer recognition.