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Talking Tennis Southern Style podcast

Ron Cioffi | May 05, 2022

Melanie Oudin on Coaching Junior Girls; Two Doctors on Playing in the Southern Heat

One of the USTA Southern’s most renown players over the last 20 years, 2011 US Open Mixed Doubles champion and crowd favorite Melanie Oudin is now focusing on teaching tennis to girls. She is a partner in Tennis Girl Nation and talks about focusing on the mental side of tennis with advanced junior girls. She also discusses her passion for coaching for USTA Southern teams. Two doctors – Neeru Jayanthi of Emory Hospital in Atlanta and Eli Friedman of Miami - tell you how to adapt before and after playing in the Southern summer heat. Featured are: junior player Noah Johnston, of Anderson, S.C.; Gerrie Rothwell Award winner: the late Jim Warren, of Jackson, Miss. and Marilyn Sherman Spirit Award, Avery Caruso, Concord, N.C.


National Tennis Month with Cindy Farmer & John Isner; May 5, 2022

Cindy Farmer, of FOX 8 in Greensboro, N.C., is an Emmy award-winning TV with more than 30 years of experience. She is an avid tennis player and has been honored with the USTA Grady Elmore Award. Part of her mission is to help promote May as National Tennis Month. Also commenting on NTM and his love of playing at the Atlanta Open is a native of Greensboro, John Isner. A collegiate champion at the University of Georgia, he climbed to No. 8 in the world and has won the Atlanta tournament six times. Cooper Koch, of Abbeville, La., is highlighted along with USTA Southern award winners: Mai Nguyen, Atlanta, Ga.; Ozaki-Hastings Sportsmanship Award; and Meg Farrelly, Isle of Palms, S.C.; Mac MacDougal Official of the Year.


USTA League Tennis Pioneer; Georgia Gwinnett Juggernaut; April 21, 2022

Pat Devoto has been labeled the “mother of USTA League” as she was the key pioneer to form the largest team tennis program in the world. A well-known novelist writing under the name of Pat Cunningham Devoto, Pat has taught tennis and reading in an Alabama prison and volunteered for decades promoting USTA tennis. She has won all of the USTA Southern highest honors. Georgia Gwinnett tennis coach Chase Hodges is by far the most successful in the NAIA. His men’s and women’s teams have won 13 national titles, named NAIA National Coach of the Year 13 times. Currently the men’s team is riding a 163-match winning streak, recognized as the longest streak in college sports history. We highlight Oxford, Miss. Junior Gordon Whitwell along with USTA Southern award winners Tony Cherone, of Memphis, Tenn. and Dusty Braddock of Florence, S.C.


Billie Jean King Cup Coming to Asheville, Remembering John Callen; April 7, 2022

The Billie Jean King Cup – formerly the Fed Cup – returns to Asheville, N.C., for the third time in five years. With the U.S. women playing Ukraine, the USTA will donate 10% of the ticket revenue from the event to the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund by Global Giving. Volunteer coordinator and Asheville tennis icon Jeff Joyce takes us behind the scenes (and into the stadium basement) as he chats about the leading more than 100 local volunteers. With the passing of longtime USTA Southern Executive Director & COO John Callen this week, we revisit our episode from last December with a conversation between John and doubles partner/close friend Randy Stephens. We spotlight three stand-out juniors: Ellie Hammond, of Prospect, Ky., and award-winners Emma Charney, of Mt. Pleasant, S.C. and Nicholas Heng, of Madison, Ala.


Charleston WTA Tournament: Director and Volunteer; March, 24, 2022
Tournament Director Bob Moran has been an integral part of the Credit One Charleston Open (April 2-10) since 1999, leading the Hologic WTA 500 event. In 2007, Moran was appointed President and is responsible for the overall operations of Charleston Tennis LLC. A native of the Lowcountry, John Sigler has been a long-time volunteer with the WTA event.  In 2015, he was honored as the Tournament Volunteer of the Year. Sigler is the Chairman of the Board for WakeUp Carolina, a local nonprofit that works to help families struggling with substance misuse. In our spotlights shine on junior Madeleine Rexroat, of Milton, Ga., and the 2021 Southern award-winning South Atlanta (Ga.) CTA/NJTL and the Louisville (KY) 10U Area Tennis Association.


WHM: WTA Medical Experts; Southern Tennis Hall of Famer Susan Sloane: March 10, 2022

Need advice on playing tennis through a pregnancy? Hologic WTA Tour Primary Health Care Provider Lindsey Ayala and Coordinator, Performance Health Education & PHCP Anna Peavler give medical advice to women. From a historical perspective, Southern Tennis Hall of Fame inductee and Kentucky native Susan Sloane tells the story of rising from No. 1 in the Southern Girls’ 12 at the age of 9 to the No. 19 on the Hologic WTA Tour. Our spotlights shine on junior Thompson Maner, of Fayetteville, Ark., and two top adults and USTA Southern Slew Hester Award winners Cindy Babb, Mt. Pleasant, S.C., and Chris Bussert, of Big Canoe, Ga.


Tennis On Campus Comes to Georgia’s Rome: Feb. 24, 2022

Tennis on Campus is a national USTA program highlighting collegiate club teams, filled with students of varying tennis backgrounds and experiences. Many of the TOC participants could compete at the varsity level at many schools throughout the South. USTA Southern TOC Chair Brooke Turner, who works at the University of Alabama, talks about collegians playing in this team-centered program on a local, sectional and national level. Her work helps support a student like Mark Barrow, the Georgia Tech TOC President. His team recruited more than 250 players. After tryouts, GT found a winning set of players, whose predecessors won the 2017 crown. The 2021 Southern Championship is this weekend in Rome, GA. Highlighted are junior Brianna Baldi, of Greensboro, NC, and award winners: the OPRC Banana Open in Charlotte, NC, and the Georgia Junior Clay Court Open in Columbus, GA.


Rodney Harmon on Black History Month; Hall of Famer Andy Andrews: Feb. 10, 2022

Georgia Tech Women’s Tennis Head Coach Rodney Harmon has a impressive career that topped out at No. 56 in the world. Harmon grew up in Richmond, Va., where he was mentored by the great Arthur Ashe. He reflected on being a Black youngster driving down Monument Avenue where the Confederate leaders cast a negative shadow on his upbringing. Andy Andrews was inducted into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame based on an ATP career where he rose to No. 78. He also has a devotion to volunteered for the USTA and was elected USTA First Vice President and held numerous posts in USTA Southern. In our highlights this week are junior Hayden Mulberry, of Marietta, Ga., and 2021 USTA Southern award winners Florence (S.C.) Tennis Association and Shreveport (La.) Association of Ladies Tennis.


Heart Health & Black History Months: Jan. 27, 2021

Tennis provides the best health benefits in sport, giving you 9.7 more years of life over sedentary individuals and can cut cardiovascular disease by 56% by playing three hours a week! Two doctors – Neeru Jayanthi of Emory Healthcare in Atlanta and Eli Friedman of Miami - tell you have to enjoy playing while you improve your heart health. We celebrate Black History Month with Mike Harden of the award-winning MACH Academy, an NJTL in Augusta, Ga. In our spotlights are junior Reagan Mangan, of Goshen, Ky. and Coach Andy Mizell of Margaret Allen Middle School, in Nashville, Tenn.


Martin Blackman: Americans in the Australian Open, Christopher Eubanks; Jan. 13, 2021

Martin Blackman is back as our Grand Slam correspondent, talking about the American men and women and how they prepare for the Australian Open. He discusses everyone from Sebastian Korda to recently married Sloane Stephens. One of the United States’ standouts, Atlanta native and former Georgia Tech star Christopher Eubanks, talks about participating in the annual Martin Luther King Invitational, winning in Knoxville last year and going from Florida to the hotter environment of Melbourne. Our teacher/coach spotlight shines on Keheley Elementary School’s Stephanie Lawson, and our featured junior, Liam Beckler, of Bluffton, SC.


Talking Tennis Southern Style - 2021 podcasts

Click here for the second season (2021) of Talking Tennis Southern Style.

Talking Tennis Southern Style - 2020 podcasts

Click here for the first season (2020) of Talking Tennis Southern Style.


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