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Awards & Achievements, April 2017

April 30, 2017 11:52 AM

Southern players and organizations are constantly making their mark in the world of tennis. Here's a list of recent awards, achievements and news in April 2017.

Jorge Andrew honored with Tennis Educational Merit Award by the ITHF

Jorge Andrew, left, receives his award from ITHF CEO Todd Martin. Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA

NEWPORT, R.I. – Jorge Andrew has been a meaningful contributor in tennis in nearly every possible way – as a professional player, a coach, a teaching professional, a community leader, and a volunteer at local, state, sectional, and national levels. In recognition of his dedication to the sport of tennis, Andrew has been honored by the International Tennis Hall of Fame with the Tennis Educational Merit Award. The award is presented annually by the Hall of Fame to a man and a woman who have made notable contributions at the national level and have demonstrated leadership and creative skills in areas such as instruction, writing, organization, and promotion of the game of tennis.

Andrew received the award in a special ceremony in March at the USTA Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. He was honored alongside Delaine Mast of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who also received the honor. The Tennis Educational Merit award was presented by ITHF CEO and former ATP World Tour standout Todd Martin.

Of the honor Martin commented, “Coming off the ATP World Tour, Jorge Andrew turned his ‘retirement’ into a tremendous career in service to our sport. His commitment to teaching tennis and teaching teachers of tennis knows no limits. The International Tennis Hall of Fame is committed to celebrating all that is great about our sport. We celebrate its history, and we celebrate its people - from the inspiring champions who have won the sport’s biggest titles to the dedicated industry leaders like Jorge who are committed to growing the game every day. We are very pleased to be able to recognize Jorge’s commitment to our sport with the Tennis Educational Merit Award.”

Andrew, who is originally from Venezuela, competed on the ATP World Tour for more than 10 years, and he was a player and captain for the Venezuelan Davis Cup team. After retiring from his playing career, Andrew settled in Lexington, South Carolina where he has been an integral part in the tennis community. Today he is the Director of Tennis Operations for the Lexington County Recreation Commission with 51 courts in two large facilities. He has brought numerous notable tournaments to the area including junior, high school, and collegiate events.

Andrew is highly involved with efforts to grow the sport through his work with PTR, USPTA, and the USTA. He has served on USTA committees for more than 15 years, and is currently a member of the USTA Hispanic Task Force. He is a PTR International Master Professional, one of the original eight to be certified. He is the second person in the world to become a USPTA Master Professional, the organization’s highest teaching designation. He is also a USTA Master Trainer for 10 & Under tennis.

Andrew is the Immediate Past President of PTR, and remains highly engaged in the organization’s activities. He has taught well over 100 tennis teacher workshops in 25 states and 11 countries, in both English and Spanish. 

Carter, Harmon gain ACC honors


North Carolina’s Hayley Carter has been selected as the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Year and headlines the 2017 All-ACC Team announced on Thursday.

Tar Heel teammate, and Carter’s doubles partner, Sara Daavettila, was named the Freshman of the Year and Georgia Tech’s Rodney Harmon earned Coach of the Year honors.

The All-ACC team and individual season honors were selected by a vote of the league’s 15 head coaches.

The senior is the seventh player in ACC history to earn back-to-back Player of the Year recognition and eighth player overall to be named twice. A North Carolina student-athlete has won the awarded each of the last five years: Gina Suarez-Malaguti (2013), Jamie Loeb (2014, 15) and Carter (2016).  The South Carolina native was the 2016 ACC Tournament MVP and 2016 ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Carter etched herself in the ACC record books further this season when she became the all-time leader in career singles wins with 163—surpassing Duke’s Vanessa Webb’s (161) record which stood since 1999.

Harmon, who is in his fifth year at the helm of the Yellow Jacket program, has led Georgia Tech to a 23-3 record and 13-1 conference record—earning a share of the regular season title with Duke and North Carolina. His Yellow Jackets are currently ranked eighth in the polls. He is the first coach since 2011 to earn back-to-back Coach of the Year recognition. 

Baker wins second ATP doubles crown

Brian Baker celebrated his 32nd birthday as he teamed up with Nicola Mektic to take the Gazprom Hungarian Open in Budapest. The team also won in Memphis in March.

Baker/Mektic defeated Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 7-6(2), 6-4.

Baker, who was born and lives in Nashville, Tenn.,  said, "I couldn't have asked for a better birthday present... Turning 32 today, it's going to be my best year yet. This really validates our Memphis win. We haven't played that many tournaments and sometimes you can do well early [in a partnership], but winning again shows we're a really good team."

Sandgren reaches Sarasota final

World no. 136 Tennys Sandgren advanced to the Elizabeth Moore Sarasota Open singles final where he fell to Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-4.

Among the players Sandgren defeated were No. 164 Reilly Opelka and fourth-seeded Adam Pavlasek. The Gallatin, TN native and resident is at a career high in the Emirates ATP rankings.