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Leong and Mireles win RBC Wealth Management HTA Houston Open men's and women's open singles events

Leong, Zhu, Cheryl Hultquist

Old age and treachery failed to beat youth and exuberance at the Easter weekend RBC Wealth Management HTA Houston Open Adult tournament.

The four finalists in the men’s and women’s open singles ranged from age 14 to 17. Along the way, they ousted many seasoned adults and former Houston Open champions.

Jaycer Leong, 16, of Houston won the men’s open singles title over 16-year-old Kevin Zhu of Pearland, and 14-year-old Jeannette Mireles of Houston won the women’s open singles over 17-year-old Maya Smith of Houston.

Top-seeded Leong downed second-seeded Zhu 6-4, 7-6 (1) in the finals, and Mireles outlasted Smith 7-6 (6), 1-6, 7-6 (6) in a three hour, 48 minute match. Both were seeded fifth.

No. 3 seeds Stuart Kenyon and Robert Voss, both of Houston, won the men’s open doubles over the No. 4 seeds Brett Bernstein and Hersh Pise, both of Richmond, 6-2, 7-5.

Women’s open doubles winners were Spring’s Micah Hermsdorf and Kaysie Hermsdorf, who defeated Lucia Garcia of Houston and Ashley Penshorn of Montgomery 6-1, 6-1.

Seeded third, Houston’s Megan Flores and Voss won the mixed open doubles over Ross Gelhausen of Cypress and Emma McDougall of Houston 4-6, 6-0, 6-2.

For a complete roster of draws visit TID #800034517 on TennisLink.

Lyeons and Janssen are named top seeds for the RBC Wealth Management Houston Open

Jaycer Lyeons of Houston and Rachel Janssen of Farmers Branch have been named the No. 1 seeds in the men’s and women’s open divisions of the 2017 RBC Wealth Management Houston Open, which begins Friday, April 14, at several sites around the city. Lee LeClear Tennis Center, 9506 S. Gessner, is headquarters.

Janssen won the event in 2014 and was a finalist the year before.

Seeded second in the men’s open is Kevin Zhu of Pearland. In the women’s open Carla Cooper of Arlington is No. 2.

Open men’s and women’s singles finals are on Sunday, April 16, with the women scheduled at 9:30 a.m. and the men at 12:45 p.m. A total of 575 players have entered the adult, senior and super senior divisions.

Max Motlagh of Richardson and Zhu are the top seeds in the men’s open doubles event, and Janssen and Meaghan Ocanas of Rowlett, 2016 finalists, are No. 1 in women’s open doubles. Sonya Bhakthavachalam and Gandhi Bhakthavachalam of Spring are the No. 1 seeds in the mixed open doubles.

Seeds in all divisions can be accessed at TennisLink (#800034517).

The tournament is presented by the Houston Tennis Association and the Houston Parks & Recreation Department. It is sanctioned by the United States Tennis Association and is a Texas major zone tournament for adults.

In addition to Lee LeClear, sites used for the tournament include Homer Ford and Memorial Park tennis centers, Lost Forest Tennis Club, Clements High School and the Houston Racquet Club.

Tournament viewing is free. For more information call the HTA at 281-580-8313.

One and Two-Day Challenger tournaments begin Saturday

Top seeds have been named for the Houston Tennis Association two-day Challenger Tournament, which will be held February 11-12 at six Houston tennis sites. Lee LeClear Tennis Center, 9506 S. Gessner, is headquarters.

Draws are limited to 32 players, resulting in multiple seeds in some age divisions. The youngsters earn points to qualify for championship status. Entrants total 355.

Top seeds in the boys age divisions are: 18s–Ryan Cao of Sugar Land; 16s—Wenjun Fan of Houston and Brandon Smith of Nacogdoches; 14s—Jason Madamba of Missouri City, Alex Navarro of Katy and William Fong of Houston; and 12s—Britton Buckingham of Houston and Luke Smith of The Woodlands

. Top seeds in the girls age divisions are: 18s–Jaden Hyde of Cypress; 16s—Savannah of Pearland and Chloe Redies of Sugar Land; 14s—Jenna Lapierre and Ariel Chang, both of Sugar Land; and 12s—Anshu Lakshman of Katy and SoRelle Brogan of Houston.

In a related tournament on Saturday, 120 10-and-under boys and girls will participate in a one-day Challenger event at Lee LeClear and Memorial Park tennis centers and Missouri City Recreation Center.

Katrina Adams to headline HTA NJTL gala February 17

Katrina Adams

HTA and Tennis Express will present the Game Set Match Gala and Tennis Fashion Show Friday, February 17, at the Royal Sonesta Hotel Galleria, 2222 W. Loop South.

The event raises funds to support the HTA National Junior Tennis & Learning youth development programs, which provide free tennis and educational classes and scholarship opportunities.

More than 6,000 students ages 4 to 18 are served each year at over 60 neighborhood parks and schools.

Katrina Adams, chairman of the board, CEO and president of the United States Tennis Association, is the featured speaker. The former touring pro is executive director of the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program, an organization similar to HTA NJTL. She has been a commentator with the Tennis Channel since 2003 and co-host of “We Need to Talk,” the CBS Sports Network all-female hosted show since 2015.

Kriste and John Sullivan are honorary chairs of this sixth annual event. Lara Lehmann is the gala chair. Rachel McNeill, KPRC Channel 2 News will emcee.

Tickets to the evening, which begins with a cocktail reception and silent auction at 6:30 p.m., followed by the dinner and tennis fashion show, begin at $150 for individuals. Sponsorship tables are available from $2,000 to $20,000.

Information is available at www.gamesetmatchgala.com and by calling Bev Taylor at 713-721-5515.

RBC Wealth Management HTA Houston Open names super championship 12-14 seeds

The RBC Wealth Management HTA Houston Open has named the seeds for the super championship junior 12-14 level 3 major zone tournament, which begins Saturday, January 14, at six sites. Headquarters is Lee LeClear Tennis Center, 9506 S. Gessner.

Top seed in the super championship boys 14 singles is Benjamin Zhou of Allen. The top seed in the girls 14s is Caroline Wernli of Austin.

Top seed in the super championship boys 12s is Marko Mesarovic of Austin, and Kinaa Graham of Austin is No. 1 in the girls 12s.

Tournament entrants total 327.

Finals of the divisions are scheduled for Monday, January 16, for the main draw and Tuesday, January 17, for the feed-in consolation. Viewing is free.

HTA elects new leaders for 2017

Ted Erck was elected president of the Houston Tennis Association at the annual meeting in December. Serving with him will be Mickey Sharma and Peter Farrell as vice presidents, Gary Lemp as treasurer and Claire Goosey as secretary.

Board members who will serve three-year terms are John Bramblett, Frank Del Nogal, Parker Dobson, Srimonto Ghosh, Bronwyn Greer, Zina Jackson and Preston Pinto.

Continuing to serve for either one or two-year terms are Steve Ash, Marianne Bianchi, Jeni Dao, Luis Lu, Hersh Pise, Charles Solomon, Jan Sweezey, Patricia Gardner Young, Victoria Jaeger, Raouf Hadad, Douglas Pritchett, Tu Tran, Andrea Villasana and Michael Wong. Mariaan de Swardt continues as the pro advisor. Cheryl Hultquist Horvath is the executive director.

Nolan Craven and Steven Herzog are new members of the advisory board.

Juniors play for championship status at HTA Challenger tournament

Top seeds have been named for HTA's two-day Challenger Tournament, which will be held December 3-4 at six Houston tennis sites. Lee LeClear Tennis Center, 9506 S. Gessner, is headquarters.

Draws are limited to 32 players, resulting in multiple seeds in some age divisions. The youngsters earn points to qualify for championship status. Entrants total 385.

Top seeds in the boys age divisions are: 18s–James Duke of New Caney; 16s—Brandon Smith of Nacogdoches and Wenjun Fan of Houston; 14s–Brice Farine of League City, William Fong of Houston and Drew Woolam of McKinney; and 12s–Brady Enstrom of Tomball, Nishil Gandhi of Sugar Land and Jack Campbell of The Woodlands.

Top seeds in the girls age divisions are: 18s–Madelyn Gholston of Conroe; 16s—Savannah Kuchar of Pearland and Mollie Macicek of Houston; 14s–Laurel Coleman of The Woodlands and Micaelli Magday of Arlington; and 12s—Jacey Copeland of Spring and Anshu Lakshman of Katy.

In a related tournament on Saturday, 144 10-and-under boys and girls will participate in a one-day Challenger event at Lee LeClear and Memorial Park tennis centers and Chancellors Family Center.

Juniors compete this weekend in Tennis Express HTA Fall Festival

The Tennis Express HTA Junior Fall Festival will be held October 22-23 at Lee LeClear Tennis Center.

Top seeds in the boys divisions are Lucas Tronchin of League City in the non-qualified 16s; Alexander Sanders of Sugar Land in the non-qualified 14s; Mario Angelo Dominguez of Missouri City in the 14C division; and Gabriel Shu of Sugar Land in the open 12s.

No. 1 seeds in the girls divisions are Isabella Venegas of Missouri City in the open 18s; Brissa Mendoza of League City in the qualified 14s; and Laurel Coleman of The Woodlands in the non-qualified 14s.

Ten-and-under boys and girls will also compete.

Tournament viewing is free.

Tennis Express HTA Fall Festival names adult, senior and super senior seeds

Jonathan Sessom of Missouri City has been named the top seed in the men’s open division of the Tennis Express HTA Fall Festival tennis tournament, which will be held at Lee LeClear Tennis Center September 30-October 3. Defending champion Neil Carpenter of Houston is the No. 2 seed.

The super senior major zone tournament begins Thursday, September 29, at Memorial Park Tennis Center. Keith Kandt of San Antonio is the No. 1 seed in the men’s 55 singles.

No. 1 seeds in the men’s adult and senior divisions are: 50s—Darren McGilbray of Houston; 4.5s—Igor Milisavljevic of Houston; 4.0s—Mark Howard of Houston; and 3.5s—Albin Guillot of Houston.

Kendra Dorty of Austin is the top seed in the women’s 3.5 division, and Jose Arriaga of Houston is the No. 1 seed in the wheelchair B singles.

Other top seeds in the super senior singles are: 60s—Harlan Hopchik of Dallas; 65s—Carl Morris of Austin; 70s—Royce Bobo of Missouri City; and 80s—Douglas Kerin of Austin.

Tournament viewing is free.

HTA improves public tennis courts with $141,000 donation

HTA President Ted Erck, Executive Director Cheryl Hultquist Horvath and Houston Council Member Mike Laster admire the resurfaced courts at Lee LeClear. "I am grateful to the Houston Tennis Association for donating this money to resurface the courts at the Lee LeClear Tennis Center. HTA's donation goes hand in hand with many exciting new improvements coming to the tennis center. I know that all those who frequent this public facility are greatly appreciative," Laster remarked.

The Houston Tennis Association has allocated $141,000 to resurface courts at Homer Ford and Lee LeClear tennis centers.,

Resurfacing on all 16 courts at Homer Ford has been completed, and work has begun on the 26 at Lee LeClear. The new surface is blue acrylic with blended lines. The expected completion date for the Lee LeClear project is by the end of September.

The project is being administered for the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD) by the Houston Parks Board. Houston Parks Board Project Manager Tom Gall reports that EMA Sport Solutions of Houston is the contractor.

“HTA is blessed to have the opportunity to give back to the community by updating two of our largest and most active tennis facilities,” Ted Erck, president of the Houston Tennis Association, said.

“These updates will benefit tournament, league and recreational players of all ages and abilities for many years,” he added.

HTA has been an active partner with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department since their early formation in the 1950s. The organization has been instrumental in supporting tennis centers and youth tennis in parks; this improvement is one of their largest signature gifts to Houston parks.

“We thank the Houston Tennis Association for the funds that made these improvements possible for the benefit of Houston’s tennis community,” said Joe Turner, Director Houston Parks and Recreation Department. “Perhaps the next Zina Garrison or Lori McNeil will find their start on these new courts.”

HTA hosts nine sanctioned USTA tournaments every year at park centers with players coming from local areas and across the state.

“We are so pleased to be able to play a supportive role in helping restore these tennis centers,” said Beth White, president and CEO of the Houston Parks Board. “We are grateful to the Houston Tennis Association for stepping up to help get these facilities tournament-ready.”

Roger White, echoed his enthusiasm for the resurfacing of the courts.

“It is such a wonderful thing HTA has done for the tennis center! On behalf of the patrons at the center I can't say thank you enough. With the replacement of the light bulbs and the resurfacing of the courts, HTA has given the center new life and energy…”

Labor Day weekend ZAT tournament benefits HTA NJTL

Top seeds have been named for the HTA NJTL Zone Advancement Tournament, which will be held September 3-4 at five Houston tennis sites.

Lee LeClear Tennis Center, 9506 S. Gessner, is headquarters. Other sites are Memorial and Homer Ford tennis centers, Lost Forest Racquet Club and Clements High School.

The tournament benefits the HTA NJTL free Houston youth tennis program.

Draws are limited to 32 players, resulting in multiple seeds in some age divisions. The 12-18 age division entrants total 341, and the 10s division totals 90.

Top seeds in the boys age divisions are: 18s—Jonathan Yap of Katy; 16s—Adric Christensen of Friendswood and Jett Wright of Austin; 14s—Derek Young of Montgomery and Joshua Rassin of Houston; and 12s—Brady Enstrom of Tomball, Kieran Coffey of Houston and Jack Campbell of The Woodlands.

Top seeds in the girls age divisions are: 18s–Cassidy Chen of Corpus Christi; 16s—Emma Bayless of Humble and Kaitlyn Gans of Beaumont; 14s—Alden Allen of Conroe and Jada Hill of Missouri City; and 12s—Anshu Laksman of Katy and Isa Barajas of Cedar Park.

The youngsters earn points to qualify for championship status.

The tournament identification number for the 12-18s is 809660316 on TennisLink, and 800039316 for the 10s.

HTA recognizes 15 outstanding students with $22,000 in scholarship funds

HTA has distributed college scholarships totaling $22,000 to 15 greater Houston area high school graduates.

The students received sums from $1,000 to $2,000. In addition to funds provided by HTA, donors included the National Senior Women’s Clay Court Championships Tennis Tournament. Four of the awards were given in memory of Steve Wolford and one of Michael Horvath, Jr.

Students who received the grants and their high schools and college destinations are Halle Brazda (Kinkaid, University of Texas at Austin); Angelica Calvillo (James Madison, University of Houston Main Campus); Jesus Gallardo (North Shore, UT Austin); Gregory Goetschius (Texas City, Texas A&M); Shelbi Hinson (Nederland, Lamar Institute of Technology); Nadia Kiani (Cypress Woods, UT Austin); Chris Kocurek (Angleton, Texas A&M); Albert Luu (J. Frank Dobie, UT Austin); Charles Maldonado (Pearland, Alvin Community College); Vanessa Phung, Stafford, University of St. Thomas); Shane Promsaka (Spring Woods, UH); Maria Sorto (Galena Park, UT San Antonio); Teresa Tong (Westfield, UH); Rebecca Williams (Jack Yates, UT Austin); and William Yung (Elsik, UT Austin).

All 15 students played either varsity tennis for their high school teams, participated in NJTL or in local USTA tournaments.

HTA has awarded more than $250,000 in scholarship funds to deserving high school seniors since 1992.