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Awards & Achievements, August 2015

August 10, 2015 11:52 AM
Patrick Kypson celebrates his victory at "The Zoo."
Melanie Oudin achieved her greatest success at the US Open.
Alexandrea Torre received the Sportsmanship Award at the USTA National Doubles.

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 August 2015.

Southern Defends 2015 Donoff Cup Championship

Team Southern successfully defended its 2014 championship with an overwhelming performance in the 2015 Keith Donoff Challenge Cup. Southern was undefeated in singles play going 33-0. The key to the victory was Southern’s performance on Day 1 when it won 16 of 18 matches against powerful Texas.

Team Southern was a mix of veteran Donoff Cup players like Hugh Thomson and Tom Smith along with rookies like Maxime Buyckx and Al Cannon.

The 2015 Keith Donoff Men’s Challenge Cup was held in Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 28-30. The Donoff Cup brings together the top men's players in the 55s, 60s, 65s and 70s from the Southern, Texas, Midwest, and Middle States Sections in a team competition format. Southern will go for the three-peat when it hosts this event in 2016.

Top players from seven states of the Southern Section contributed to the victory.

55s: Maxime Buyckx (GA), Al Cannon (SC), Mark Thompson (MS), Scott Shepherd (AL), Drew Meyers (LA) (Captain)

60s: Tom Smith (GA), Jim Hinson (SC), Bill Ashley (NC), Horace Reid (GA), Marty Pearson (MS)

65s: Padg Bolton (LA), Les Buck (NC), Norm Chryst (SC), Roger Pearce (GA), Steve Duffel (AR) (Captain Emeritus)

70s: Hugh Thomson (GA)( Recruiting Coordinator), Emile Rasheed (SC), Dan Gruetter (GA)

Greenville's Kypson Captures Boys' National Crown

View video and interview with Kypson by a western Michigan TV station.

Patrick Kypson, of Greenville, North Carolina, won the USTA 16s Singles Championship with a 6-3, 6-3 win over the fourth-seeded Alexandre Rotsaert in the final. Kypson took out the top-seeded Jeffrey Wolf in the semifinal. 

Kypson and Trent Bryde, of Suwanee, Georgia, advanced to the quarterfinals in doubles.

Oudin Explains Heart Problems

In an extenisve interview, Marietta, Georgia's Melanie Oudin divulges her long battle with heart issues that has stalled her once-promising career.

In a long story written by David Cox for www.tennis.com, Oudin descibes how arrhythmia led her to doubt herself and her ability to play professional tennis. Additionally, she tells how three pros with Southern roots -- Grace Min, Alison Riske and Robby Ginepri -- helped her deal with the disease.

Read the entire story.

Four Southerners Earn Gold Balls

USTA Southern players had standout performances at the 2015 USTA National Doubles Championship with 16 players placing in the top four positions. Alexandrea Torre from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was the Sportsmanship Award winner. 

Matches were played at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Aug. 27-29.

Boys' 14s

  • Andrew Branicki/Scott Sculley, 1st place, Gold Ball
  • Jerry Wang/Andres Martin, 3rd place, Bronze Ball
  • Keshav Chopra/Josh Raab, 4th place  

Girls' 14s

  • Ava Hrastar/Cassie McLay, 1st place, Gold Ball
  • Kylie Collins/Sara McClure, 3rd place, Bronze Ball

Boys' 16s

  • Chambers Easterling/Joseph Gandolfo, 2nd place, Silver Ball
  • Zummy Bauer/Cotter Wilson, 4th place

Girls' 16s

  • Peyton Pesavento/Tatum Rice, 3rd place, Bronze Ball

Novak Selected for Blue-ribbon Panel

Mobile (Alabama) Area Tennis Association (MATA) President Lorraine Novak has been chosen by USTA Player Development Department to participate in a five-person blue ribbon panel to mentor tennis tournament directors. 

The panel will meet with United States Tennis Association (USTA) staff and tournament directors from all over the United States to share ideas and best practices on the demands of running tennis tournaments. The panel will convene in New York City on Sept. 3 during the US Open.

Novak is the tournament director for USTA sanctioned tournaments at the Copeland-Cox Mobile Tennis Center. She also works as a local youth coordinator which helps bring tennis to the elementary school systems in Mobile.

Tournaments in 2015 at the Mobile Tennis Center accounted for over $52 million in economic impact, according to MATA officials. Tournaments helped generate $2.8 million in Mobile city taxes, along with $606,000 in Mobile County taxes. Additionally, the tournaments, which included national, sectional, state and local junior, college and adult competitions, helped generate over 12,000 hotel room nights in the Mobile area during the 2015 fiscal year. The center, which is billed as the largest public tennis facility in the world, has hosted as many as 25 tournaments a year.