The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships announced that the winner and runner-up of the “Open Division” at the annual “King of the Hill” tennis tournament that starts Thursday, January 20 at The Boulevard tennis club in Vero Beach, Fla., will receive a main draw doubles wild card into its annual U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) Pro Circuit event to be held April 25-May 1 also at The Boulevard tennis club.
The King of Hill” (KOTH) is the annual doubles competition featuring tennis professionals from the Vero Beach area who compete in round-robin competitions to the determine the “king” of the local tennis professional. Proceeds from “King of the Hill” benefit the Youth Guidance Mentoring & Activities Program.
KOTH matches run every Thursday in 2022 starting at 6 pm from January 20 through March 3 at The Boulevard. The wild card winner and runner-up team from KOTH will also be the featured night match on Tuesday, April 26 at the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships. Competing players in the Open Division in 2022 are Robert Kowalczyk (The Boulevard), Joseph Van Deinse (Vero Beach Tennis Club), Tyler Marengo (Quail Valley), Sebastian Mendoza (Vero Beach), Chase Perez Blanco (Quail Valley), Yohann Prinsen (Twin Oaks), Eddie Majcher (Stuart), Pavel Zhdanov (John’s Island), Slim Hamza (The Moorings), James Van Deinse (Vero Beach Tennis Club), Billy Almeida (Aquarina Yacht Club), Ryan Lloyd (Palm City), Christian Docter (Sea Oaks), Chris Shakleton (The Moorings), Bernardo Feitosa (The Moorings) and Anton Lof (John’s Island).
The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships is the USTA’s $15,000 professional tournament, part of the International Tennis Federation World Tennis Tour, played in Vero Beach since 1995. It is 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 in Indian River County, named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, the former top 10 tennis star and the current U.S. Davis Cup captain.
Many former KOTH champions and competitors have played in the Vero Beach USTA Futures, including four-time champion Robert Kowalczyk, the former USTA National Boy’s 18 Clay Court Champion, two-time champion Kriegler Brink, a singles semifinalist at the Vero Beach Futures in 2011, and 2016 and 2018 KOTH champion Mike Alford, a former standout at the University of Florida who played in doubles against current ATP World Tour superstar Denis Shapovalov in the 2016 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships.
For more information on the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, go to www.MardyFishChildrensFoundation.org.
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 among others.