The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships will for a fourth year in a row award the winner and runner-up of the 25th annual “King of the Hill” open division tennis tournament a main draw doubles wild card into its annual U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) Pro Circuit event to be held April 26-May 3 at The Boulevard tennis club.
“The King of Hill” (KOTH) is the annual doubles competition featuring tennis professionals and elite players from the Vero Beach area who compete in round-robin competitions on Tuesday nights to the determine the “king” of the local tennis professional. The open division of the competition starts Tuesday, February 11 at The Moorings Club and concludes Tuesday, March 3. Proceeds from “King of the Hill” benefit the Youth Guidance Mentoring & Activities Program.
The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships is the USTA’s $15,000 professional tennis tournament 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 at-risk children in Indian River County named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, the former top 10 tennis star and 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. Last year, KOTH winner Chase Perez-Blanco of Quail Valley and partner Andrew Butz played one of the most exciting doubles matches in the history of the event, falling in a decisive match tiebreaker to ATP-ranked player Andrew Watson of Great Britain and Paul Oosterbaan of the United States 6-2, 4-6 (10-8) in front of a raucous crowd that drew similarities to a Davis Cup atmosphere.
The KOTH wild card winner and runner-up team will play, as tradition, the featured 6:45 pm night match on the Tuesday night session of the Mardy Fish event, this year being Tuesday, April 28..
For more information on the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, including ticket and sponsor information, go to www.MardyFishChildrensFoundation.org. Admission for children 18 and under is free. Sponsorships are available by contacting Executive Director Lynn Southerly at LSouth1072@gmail.com or co-tournament directors Tom Fish Tfish@aol.com and Randy Walker at Rwalker@NewChapterMedia.com. Fans can follow news and developments on the tournament on Facebook and on Twitter at @VeroFutures.
The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships have an annual economic impact of approximately $500,000 per year on the Vero Beach local economy. Approximately 3,000 fans annually attend the event, which is seen as one of the best-attended events entry-level events in the world.
Dmitry Popko of Kazakhstan and the Kazakhstan Davis Cup team won the 2019 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships at The Boulevard beating Sekou Bangoura of the United States in the final. Sixteen-year-old Zach Svajda of San Diego, who advanced into the main draw of the 2019 event at The Boulevard via the qualifying rounds, jump-started an incredible summer of tennis in Vero Beach in 2019, winning the USTA National Boy’s 18s Championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan and earned a main draw spot at the U.S. Open, becoming one of the youngest men ever to compete in the U.S. Championships. He lost in the first-round to Paolo Lorenzi of Italy in five sets after leading two sets to love.
Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishChildrensFoundation.org and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) 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 here in the following video: https://www.mardyfishchildrensfoundation.org/a-message-from-mardy/