The International Tennis Federation and the U.S. Tennis Association announced Wednesday that due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis around the world, all tennis events on the ITF World Tennis Tour would be postponed through June 7, which includes Vero Beach’s Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, which was set to be played April 26 – May 3 at The Boulevard tennis club.
In an email Wednesday to tournament directors affected by the postponement, U.S. Tennis Association Competitive Pathway Senior Director Megan Rose said, “We are unable to discuss rescheduling options due to the uncertainty of the overall timeline. However, we will do our best to look at the remainder of the 2020 calendar and see where we can try to make adjustments.”
The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation said it is committed to holding an event in 2020 but only after the environment is safe for fans, players, officials and volunteers. The organization will work with the U.S. Tennis Association on finding alternative dates later in the year, after the coronavirus crisis subsides.
The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships is the USTA’s $15,000 ITF World Tennis Tour tournament played in Vero Beach since 1995 and is regarded as one of the best entry-level professional tennis tournaments in the world. Fans can follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures. Approximately 3,000 fans annually attend the event, which is seen as one of the best-attended entry-level professional events in the world. Proceeds from the event benefit the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit tennis foundation benefiting at-risk children, named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, the former top 10 tennis star and the current U.S. Davis Cup captain.
Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishChildrensFoundation.com) currently supports over 2,400 children in conjunction with several other nonprofit organization as well as 15 elementary schools and six middle schools in Indian River County, Florida by funding after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 which are Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends. The Foundation’s story can also be seen in a video here: https://www.mardyfishchildrensfoundation.org/a-message-from-mardy/
Some of the past competitors at the USTA Vero Beach Futures have gone on to succeed at the highest levels of professional tennis, winning major singles and doubles titles, Olympic medals and Davis Cup championships and earning No. 1 world rankings. Andy Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion who attained the world No. 1 ranking and helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 2007, competed in Vero Beach in 1999. Thomas Johansson of Sweden, who reached the second round of the Vero Beach Futures in 1995, won the Australian Open seven years later in 2002. Nicolas Massu, the 1998 singles runner-up in Vero Beach, won the singles and doubles gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, beating Fish in the gold medal singles match. Kyle Edmund, the 2013 champion in Vero Beach, helped Great Britain to the Davis Cup title in 2015. Other notable former competitors in Vero Beach include former world No. 2 Magnus Norman, former world No. 4 Tim Henman, 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic and most recently world No. 50 player and teen sensation Denis Shapovalov, who played in Vero Beach in 2016. Former Vero Beach competitors have combined to win 19 titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at Grand Slam tournaments. Eight former Vero Beach players have gone on to play Davis Cup for the United States – Roddick, Fish, Taylor Dent, Jared Palmer, Donald Young, Ryan Harrison, Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul.
Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports over 2,200 children in 15 elementary schools, six middle schools and two after school centers in Indian River County, Florida by funding after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 which are Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends.