Mardy Fish takes reins
At Vero Beach Futures
Sally Milano | April 26, 2016
History is being made on the USTA Pro Circuit this week. For the first time in the Pro Circuit's 37-year history, a former pro player is sponsoring a USTA Pro Circuit tournament.
Mardy Fish, the former Top 10 player who retired at last year's US Open, is sponsoring this week's USTA Futures event in Vero Beach, Fla. – the $10,000 Mardy Fish Children's Foundation Tennis Championships. Fish is a one-time resident of Vero Beach.
The Vero Beach Futures, in its 22nd year, is one of the longest-running events on the USTA Pro Circuit men's calendar. The tournament, which was first held in Vero Beach in 1995, is the second of three consecutive clay-court $10,000 Futures events being held in Florida in April and May.
“We are so appreciative to the USTA and [former tournament director] Mike Rahaley (pictured above right with Fish) for allowing the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation to take over this tournament and keep it in Vero Beach,” Fish said. ADVERTISEMENT
“Vero Beach is one of the most enthusiastic and sophisticated tennis communities in the country, and we are looking forward to seeing this event continue to grow in the years to come. Most importantly, we are excited that the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation can use this event as a promotional and fundraising platform to benefit children in Vero Beach, Indian River County and beyond.”
Fish has long had ties to Vero Beach. He relocated there from Minnesota with his family in 1985 at the age of 4 and went on to attend Vero Beach High School for three years before transferring to Boca Prep in Boca Raton, Fla., for his senior year.
In 2007, Fish founded the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, which now supports more than 2,100 children in 15 elementary and six middle schools in Indian River County, Fla. The foundation provides after-school exercise and nutritional and enrichment programs to the kids in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives.
Fish turned pro in 2000 and enjoyed a successful 16-year career on the ATP World Tour, highlighted by a career-high ranking of No. 7, six ATP singles titles, eight ATP doubles titles and an Olympic silver medal in singles at the 2004 Olympics. He reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open and was a frequent contributor to the U.S. Davis Cup team from 2002 to 2012.
The 34-year-old, who currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Stacey and son Beckett, competed at the Vero Beach Futures early in his pro career. He first played the event in 2000, when he lost in the first round, and then rebounded the following year to reach the quarterfinals.
In addition to Fish, other big-name stars who competed in Vero Beach include Andy Roddick, Thomas Johansson, Nicolas Massu, Magnus Norman, Tim Henman and Milos Raonic.
Main-draw play at the Mardy Fish Children's Foundation Tennis Championships gets underway Tuesday at the Boulevard
Village & Tennis Club.