Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Check this out...

Several of the world's finest women's tennis players will put their skills on display in Vermont when the United States and Russia compete in a Federation Cup semifinal at Topnotch Resort and Spa in Stowe on July 14-15.

The United States Tennis Association made the announcement Tuesday, marking the return of elite tennis to Stowe for the first time since the 1980s, when the Head Classic men's tournament brought such stars as Jimmy Connors, Ille Nastase and Ivan Lendl to the Green Mountains. The competition's rosters could include Venus and Serena Williams and reigning U.S. Open champion Maria Sharapova.

"I can't believe we got that," exclaimed Barry Stone of South Burlington, a tennis devotee who conducts the Jeff Stone Memorial Tournament each year. "That is so great," Stone said. "It's huge. The Federation Cup is the most important competition in women's tennis. You can get some of the best players, and what a boost for tennis, not only in Stowe, but throughout the state of Vermont. "I will be one of the first in line for tickets."

In a news release from the USTA, U.S. Fed Cup captain Zina Garrison said, "Stowe, Vermont, is such a beautiful region of our country and we look forward to returning tennis to an area that has a proven commitment to the game. Our goal is to win the Fed Cup and we look forward to facing a competitive Russian team."

The Fed Cup is the women's version of the Davis Cup, pitting national teams against each other in elimination matches that feature four singles and one doubles matches. The concept was first proposed in 1919 but was not adopted until 1963, when it was sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation. This year's field included teams from 82 nations. The rosters for the U.S. and Russian teams have not been announced, although both had some of their premier players competing in their quarterfinal series.

The Williams sisters were among those playing for the U.S. in the 5-0 win over Belgium, along with the doubles team of Vania King and Lisa Raymond. Svetlana Kuznetsova and Nadia Petrova led the Russians to a 5-0 quarterfinal win over Spain. Sharapova missed the event due to injury.

"I'm so excited. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time," said Andrew Chmura, the event's promoter and the president of Grand Slam Tennis Tours. "This was a process a long time coming with three major entities coming together to make this happen: the USTA, Topnotch and Grand Slam," said Chmura, who organizes trips to the world's major tennis events. "To be able to bring a world-wide event of this size to a town like Stowe is pretty phenomenal. We're talking about world-wide competition." Chmura said he received word of the decision Monday.

"It puts Topnotch in the ranks of the other resorts that have been in the same pool of hosting international events," Topnotch director of tennis Milan Kubala. "I'm sure, if they're healthy, the Williams sisters will play, and the Russians the last two or three years have been such a force with all their players, whether or not Sharapova is healthy," Kubala said. "I don't think it matters who plays; it will be the highest level of women's tennis."

According to Chmura, the USTA will build a 3,000- 5,000-seat facility on the site of the former Head Classic stadium. He said the specifications of the hard-court surface will be decided by the U.S. team, which, as host, has the right to have the surface built to its liking.

We've (the company I work for) been asked to sponsor this event and I want it to happen *so* badly! I just have to show how we're going to generate enough additional revenue to make it worthwhile... Wish me luck!

If it doesn't work out I'll just buy tickets, get myself a room at Topnotch, and celebrity-watch. ;)

Labels: ,


Blogger a. said...

Good luck!

7:50 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home