VERO BEACH, February 27, 2019 (Press Release)
Matthew Segura, the great nephew of Hall of Fame tennis legend Pancho Segura, J.J. Mercer, one of the top junior players in the nation and a top recruit to play for the No. 1 ranked Ohio State University, and Brian Battistone, the volleyball-style serving, double-grip-racquet wielding former top 100-ranked doubles player, highlight entries into the Mardy Fish USTA Futures “Wild Card” tournament held this Wednesday, Feb. 27 through Friday, March 1 at the Sea Oaks tennis club in Vero Beach, Florida.
Segura, Mercer and Battistone are among a group of 32 aspiring players from around the world in the singles field of this tournament that will award a main draw singles “wild card” (tournament entry) into the 2019 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, the $25,000 ITF World Tennis Tour event held April 29-May 5 at The Boulevard Tennis Club in Vero Beach.
Play will begin Wednesday with opening matches featuring world-ranked players starting at 11:45 am with a feature match at 4:30 pm. Quarterfinal matches are scheduled to be played on Thursday followed by the semifinals at 10 am on Friday and the final on Friday at 5 pm.
Matches will be best-of-three set matches with a 10-point Match Tiebreaker played in lieu of a third set. Admission is free.
Segura, 18, won this wild card event last year at Sea Oaks defeating Jack Vance of Henderson, Nevada in the final. A resident of Apopka, Fla., Segura earned a main draw entry into the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships with the tournament win where he lost in the first round to Nico Mejia of Colombia. One of the top junior players in the nation, Segura hits with a two-handed forehand and backhand just as his great uncle Pancho did during his Hall of Fame career.
Mercer, 18, is one of the top junior tennis players in the country and a recruit to play for the No. 1-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes men’s tennis team starting in 2020. A native of Huntington, West Virginia, Mercer comes from a family of standout tennis players as both his parents and older sister played Division I college tennis, while his younger brother is also a nationally ranked junior.
Battistone, 39, is best-known for having the most unique serve and most tennis racquet in tennis. The Las Vegas resident uses a volleyball-styled jump serve where he leaps into the court, switches his racket hand in mid-air and hits the ball before landing on court. He also uses a unique two-handled racquet, unlike anything seen anywhere else in the sport of tennis.
Other entrants include Vance, the singles finalist from last year from Henderson, Nevada, Vero Beach Tennis Club’s James and Joseph van Deinse, former Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation pupil Emilio Van Cotthem of Fort Pierce among others. International entries include Tommaso Carnevale Miino of Italy and Bernardo Costa of Brazil. Players from 11 states are also represented in the draw.
The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation will also host a qualifying wild card tournament – or a pre-qualifying event -and a main draw doubles wild card event at The Boulevard Tennis Club April 24-27. To enter and for more information, go here on the UTR website: https://www.myutr.com/events/3744
The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships is the USTA’s $25,000 ITF World Tennis Tour event that has been played in Vero Beach since 1995 and regarded as one of the best entry-level professional tennis tournaments in the world. Proceeds from the event benefit the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit tennis foundation benefiting children, named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, the former top 10 tennis star and the newly-named U.S. Davis Cup captain.
Tournament tickets and sponsorships for the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships are now on sale and can be purchased at www.MardyFishChildrensFoundation.org