Orlando, Florida- Nearly 50 players participated in the Florida Tennis Tour's 3rd Annual African American Tennis Open this year. Players came from not only all over Florida, but also around the world representing Germany, Brazil, Aruba, Chile, Colombia, and the USA. The prize money event was open to anyone of any race, age, gender, or skill level. Most of the players did have a professional ranking. The event was sponsored by the City of Orlando and Commissioner Regina I. Hill, and held at the city's iconic Orlando Tennis Center.
There are so many worthy athletes deserving of the spotlight, and we hope this event will give them some much deserved attention", said Commissioner Regina Hill . The event also hosted a free tennis camp and competition for the inner city rec center kids. OrlandoTennisNews.com Man of the Year Tom Sweitzer ran the free camp and numerous prizes were donated to the kids including Wilson Tennis rackets, NewdashTennis.com rackets, Kurt Collis Tennis Academy Lessons, Wonder Works tickets, and a family dinner at Osprey Tavern.
In the men's open, Patrick Sydow of Aruba defeated fellow Aruba pro Kyle Frankel 6-2 before Frankel retired in the 2nd set from a back injury. Defending champion Stephen Watson Jr. of Pine Hills defeated Deland's Kurt Collis 6-0, 6-1 in his semi. Prophetess Gray defeated Special Olympics World Champion Brittany Tagliareni to get to her finals against Head.
The men's finals was thrilling with numerous lead changes as both players were evenly matched. Watson took the 1st set 7-5, Sydow took the 2nd set 7-6 (7-4 tie-break), which forced a super-tiebreak to decide the 3rd set. It was Sydow's day as he won 10-5 in the super tie-break. Sydow, who trains at the Jaime Oncins Academy in Montverde, won $500 for his efforts and will have his name forever engraved on the championship trophy which is held on display at the Orlando Tennis Center all year around. The ladies finals also saw the match goto the 3rd set super tie-break with 12 year old Nyzah Head defeating the 14 year old Gray to become the youngest woman to win the prestigious title. The Doubles finals was won by Jericho Grollman and Kaptan Kasper who narrowly defeated Stephen Watson and Tayjhon McGee 9-8 (11-9 tie break).
Prophetess Gray & Nyzah Head
Jericho Grollman & Kaptan Kasper
Dennis Turner, Tom Sweitzer, Stephen Watson, Patrick Sydow, Guilherme Jasmin, Charles Williams