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Awards & Achievements, February 2017

February 16, 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 February 2017.


Baker, Harrison win Memphis Open titles

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Brian Baker and Nikola Mektic enjoy their Gibson guitars/Memphis Open trophies. Ron Angle/Memphis Open

The “long and winding road” of Brian Baker’s tennis career hit a high as he won his first ATP World Tour doubles title at the Memphis Open presented by ServiceMaster. He teamed up with Nikola Mektic to defeat Americans Ryan Harrison and Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-4. 

The career path of the Nashville, Tenn. native has had many more visits to operating rooms than trophy presentation stands. Baker turned pro in 2003 with the chance of a spectacular career before him. But the injuries and reinjuries, surgeries and rehabs piled up. His medical chart contained a long list of ailing body parts: knee, hip, elbow, back and hernia. 

By 2005 he was up to No. 173 in the world in singles. Two years later injuries caused him to fall below No. 1000. If that wasn’t bad enough, more injuries took him completed off tour from 2008 to 2011. Another comeback got him back in the hunt and he advanced to the 2012 Wimbledon quarterfinals. His high in 2012-13 period was No. 52. By 2014, another surgery caused him to pull away from competitng. 

The ATP website says Baker missed about nine years and three months because of injuries, including six complete seasons due to 11 surgeries, four of which were on his right knee. 
Now, the 31-year-old is making notable progress in doubles the last 12 months.

Last year, the former Belmont assistant coach and graduate, had an outstanding doubles record, winning five USTA Pro Circuit crowns in Savannah, Las Vegas, Charlottesville, Fairfield and Stockton. He teamed up with Harrison, Sam Groth, Mackensie McDonald and Matt Reid for those titles.

But, Baker is not the only native Southerner to see a rebirth. Harrison, who was born in Shreveport, La., rose to No. 43 in the world in February, matching his previous career high he hit in July 2012. The 24-year-old defeated Sam Querrey and Atlanta’s Donald Young on his way to the Memphis final, where he defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 6-4. Harrison, who now lives in Austin, Tex., didn’t drop a set in the tournament as he won his first ATP World Tour singles title.

Often considered one of the United States’ most promising players, Harrison saw his career stall after his 2012 success. He nearly fell out of the top 200 in late 2015 and was mired at No. 168 in 12 months ago. Since then, Harrison reached the round of 16 in Tornoto, Stockholm, Tokyo, Washington and Shenzhen, plus making it to the round of 32 at the US Open. 


Phil Chamberlin inducted in Memphis Open Hall of Fame

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Phil Chamberlain who came to Memphis in 1973 from Perth, Australia, and who built a life and career in this city was inducted into the Memphis Open Hall of Fame on Feb. 16.

Chamberlain graduated from the University of Memphis and has fulfilled roles as player, head tennis coach and tournament director of the Memphis Open. Phil and his wife, Ginger, have three children, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He was inducted into the Memphis State Hall of Fame in 1988 and he USTA Tennessee Hall of Fame in 2001. 

 


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Meg Farrelly accepts award as former USTA President Lucy Garvin looks on.

Farrelly awarded national volunteer award by PTR 

Meg Farrelly, of Isle of Palms, South Carolina, has been named PTR Volunteer of the Year for the State. 

Farrelly does nothing half way. Once she discovered tennis, she was all in.  When she discovered umpiring, she was all in.  Farrelly founded and/or sits on the board of several tennis organizations, including the Lowcountry Youth Tennis Association that provides programs for at-risk kids, and the South Carolina Junior Tennis Foundation that gives underprivileged kids with potential an opportunity to go to an academy for advanced player training with the ultimate goal of a future college scholarship.  She also serves on the Lowcountry Tennis Association Board.

Farrelly was on the team that won the $100,000 Best Tennis Town in America grant from the USTA for Charleston. The funds where used for youth programming. She also helped with the $150,000 grant from the USTA Foundation for the Schools program.

In addition, Farrelly is a USTA National Referee, ITF White Badge Referee, ITF White Badge Chief Umpire, ITA Chair Umpire and a proud 3.5 player!  Farrelly serves as Tournament Referee for the PTR Wheelchair Championships and donates her fees to PTR Foundation to support grassroots tennis.

She serves as a USTA South Carolina Awards Committee member and is a former member of the USTA Southern Officials Committee. 


PTR Honors State Members

The following Southerners were honored at the PTR international Tennis Symposium on Hilton Head Island, S.C. as State Members of the Year:

  • George Wilson; Birmingham, Ala.
  • Kelli Holmes; Maumelle, Ark.
  • Bruce Stone; Louisville, Ky.
  • Walker Sahag; Mandeville, La.
  • Geoff Norton; Jackson, Miss. (Norton is the USTA Mississippi Executive Director and former USTA Southern Tennis Service Representative for that state.)
  • Mike Pollard; Bluffton, S.C.

 

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