Ching Wang, the tennis teaching professional from Sea Oaks Beach & Tennis Club in Vero Beach, will play the featured evening match at the $15,000 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships Monday at the Vero Beach Tennis & Fitness Club after receiving a last-second wild card entry into the qualifying rounds of the event.
Wang will play Matthew Vos of Plano, Texas at 5:30 pm in the featured match on Stadium Court. Play begins at 11 am Monday and another Vero Beach local and last minute wild card entry, Sebastian Mendoza of the 2022 Vero Beach High School tennis team, will play the featured day match at Noon against Isaac Nortey, a Davis Cup player from Ghana.
Wang was a semifinalist and fourth-place finisher at the Mardy Fish “Wild Card” singles tournament at Sea Oaks in February and was granted the second alternate spot for a qualifying wild card and a third alternate for a main draw wild card. However, Matthew Segura, who won the Mardy Fish Sea Oaks tournament for a fourth time, was able to slide into the main draw field on his own Sunday night with his No. 1,234 ATP ranking after several players withdrew. With Segura no longer needing the wild card to enter the main draw, his main draw wild card was then given to event runner-up Ryan Haviland, who was to Segura in the Sea Oaks final 6-7(5), 7-5 (10-8). Haviland, as the runner-up, was guaranteed a qualifying round wild card, but since he graduated to a main draw wild card, his qualifying wild card was bounced down to the third place finisher at Sea Oaks, Asariah Rusher of New Hampshire. However, Rusher, was unable to play in Vero Beach due a family commitment and thus the next player in the “pecking order” was Wang, the fourth place finisher at the Sea Oaks event, losing by walkover due to injury to Rusher in the third-place match.
Wang will also compete in the main draw of doubles on Tuesday alongside 53-year-old James Bragg, with whom he won the Mardy Fish doubles wild card tournament.
Mendoza was fortunate to receive a wild card entry into the Mardy Fish qualifying as he was one of the highest American players not directly accepted into the event and was awarded a wild card by the USTA and the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation.
The full schedule for Monday can be found here: https://www.usta.com/content/dam/usta/2023-pro-circuit/20230424_verobeach_m15/OP.pdf
The qualifying round draw can be found here: https://www.usta.com/content/dam/usta/2023-pro-circuit/20230424_verobeach_m15/QS.pdf
Players must win two qualifying matches to earn a spot in the main draw of the competition.
The qualifying finals will take place starting at 11 am on Tuesday, followed by the start of the doubles competition. The main draw of singles will begin on Wednesday.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at www.VeroBeachTennisTickets.com On site offerings include the Tasteful Express Food Truck, American Icon Bar Service, Yami’s Ice Cream Shop, Fisher’s Island Spiked Lemonade as well as other local vendors and artists.
The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships has been held in Vero Beach since 1995 and, since 2016, has benefitted the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit foundation benefiting children named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, a former top 10 tennis star, U.S. Davis Cup hero and silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games.
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, 2021 Wimbledon semifinalist Denis Shapovalov, 2022 U.S. Open semifinalist France Tiafoe, 2023 Australian Open semifinalist Tommy Paul and new rising star and 2022 NCAA singles champion Ben Shelton. 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.
Affectionately known as “Timber Ridge” to locals, the Vero Beach Tennis & Fitness Club has been a staple in the community for over 30 years and has been owned and run since 2016 by James and Joseph van Deinse. The club boasts 14 Har-Tru tennis courts, a pickleball court, pool and clubhouse with fitness center and bar. The facility previously hosted a $25,000 women’s USTA Pro circuit event in 2014 that featured future major tournament champions Naomi Osaka and Sofia Kenin, future top 10 star Jennifer Brady and future major doubles champions Nicole Melichar, Laura Siegemund and Gaby Dabrowski. The club is also the original home of the “King of the Hill” tennis competition, hosting the first seven editions of Vero Beach’s popular doubles competition from 1996 to 2002. The Vero Beach Fitness & Tennis Club will be the third different venue to host the tournament after being held at Grand Harbor Club for 17 years from 1995 to 2009 and in 2017 and 2018 and at The Boulevard where it was held for 11 years from 2010 to 2016 and from 2019 to 2022.
Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishChildrensFoundation.org and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports over 2,400 children in 15 elementary schools, six middle schools, and several other community organizations 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.
Leading tournament sponsors for 2023 include Presenting Sponsor PNC Bank, Grand Slam Sponsor: John’s Island Real Estate, Scoreboard Sponsor Tara Layne Alex MacWilliam Real Estate, Hat Sponsor: The Roberts Family Foundation and additional event sponsors Cliff Norris Real Estate, Tom Collins Insurance Agency, Hazel House, Antle Foundation, Gene Simonsen, Kathie and Michael Pierce, Maureen and Peter Lee, Bob and Emilie Burr, Daniel Holman, Lynn Southerly, John and Sara Marshall, John and Marie McConnell, Peter and Ellen Kendall, Shirley Becker, Jaime Yordan, Steve and Karen Rubin, Katherine Cerullo, Pene Chambers, Willem and Marion de Vogel, M&M Realty, Foglia Contracting Corp, Hazelton Marketing Group, Block and Scarpa, Attorneys at Law, Center Court Tennis Outfitters, Publix, Kitchens By Design, Orchid Island Realty, Joe and Barbara Price, Charlie and Este Brashears, Rob and Mickey Stein, Evelyn’s Plant Care, Vero Marine Center, Boston Retail Solutions and Minuteman Press.