The Vero Beach Fitness & Tennis Club at the Timber Ridge residential community will be the new home of the $15,000 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships USTA Pro Circuit ITF World Tennis Tour event for 2023.
Vero Beach’s storied professional sports event will be held April 24-30 and will once again feature up-and-coming future tennis stars vying for ATP ranking points in this entry-level pro tennis tournament. The event benefits 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.
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.
“We are excited for a new chapter of our Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships at Timber Ridge,” said Tom Fish, President Emeritus of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation. “James and Joseph Van Deinse have been leading tennis citizens in Vero Beach over the last seven years, teaching tennis to people of all ages, including many children who have been part of Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation funded programs. We are looking forward to this new partnership and new chapter for our tournament, which has been held in Vero Beach for nearly 30 years and has helped us raise so much money that benefits at-risk children in Indian River County.”
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.
“We are very excited to host so many great up-and-coming world class players to our club and be a part of the history of this great tournament, which has been an institution in Vero Beach for nearly 30 years,” said Joseph Van Deinse. Younger brother James Van Deinse added, “This will be a great opportunity to showcase our club and our offerings to the Vero Beach community and beyond.”
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.
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 new top 10 star 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.
Leading tournament sponsors for 2022 include Presenting Sponsor PNC Bank, Grand Slam Sponsors: George E. Warren Corporation, The Jake Owen Foundation, John’s Island Real Estate, Tom Collins Insurance Agency, Cabana/Box Seat Sponsors: Michael and Kathleen Pierce, Gene Simonsen, John and Charlotte Klein, Peter and Maureen Lee, Bob and Lace Milligan, Micky and Rob Stein, Bob and Emilie Burr, Lynn Southerly, John and Sara Marshall, John and Marie McConnell, Shirley Becker, Hadleigh Investments LLC, Peter and Ellen Kendall, Cliff Norris Real Estate LLC, Indian River Primary Care and Supporting Sponsors: Syde Hurdus Foundation, Mike and Meg Hickey/M&M Realty, Nalzarro Music, Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, Center Court Outfitters, Foglia Contracting, Offfutt, Barton, Schlitt, Inc, Orchid Island Real Estate, Joe and Gloria Papalardo, Linda Delaney, Dave and Nina Piacquad, Jaime Yordan, Katharine “Kissy” Russel, Wilmington Trust, Rebecca Emmons, Linda Johnson, Anne Faunce, Kaye Manly, Mark Thurn, Estee Brashears, Roby Pierce and Ron Hartwig, Matt Wynne, Willem and Marion DeVogel, Ron Chesley, Dorothy Sprague and Bill Benedict, Dr. Collin Kitchell, Tim Palmer of Treasure Coast Tennis Association, Minuteman Press and The Boulevard Tennis Club.