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Australian Open preview, a Mexican star on her French Open, women’s tour success

Talking Tennis Southern Style

Release Date: 01/11/2024

National Tennis Month: Kristie Flowers show art National Tennis Month: Kristie Flowers

Talking Tennis Southern Style

hosted a session during 2023 and plans more sessions next month during National Tennis Month (NTM). She gets people active at in Florence, S.C. Flowers has had as many 50 participants get their heart rates up. She cites USTA Southern Board Member Ernie James for promoting NTM events.  

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Tennessee tennis recruiter: Tyler Strong show art Tennessee tennis recruiter: Tyler Strong

Talking Tennis Southern Style

How do you expand tennis in your state? A strategic focus of USTA is increasing the number of providers like parks and recreation departments, coaches, teachers, tournament directors and grassroots tennis associations. is using his knowledge of Junior Team Tennis to make connections with coaches and facilities. A nearly 10-year veteran of , Strong also celebrates tennis parents who assist coaches

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Tennis Channel on-court host Andrew Krasny show art Tennis Channel on-court host Andrew Krasny

Talking Tennis Southern Style

is best known for his post-match interviews on court for . This week he is the host and emcee of , a tournament he considers among the best in the world for featuring the brightest women’s stars in the game. Over his storied career, Krasny has been one of the faces you've seen at , the and , connecting TV viewers with the world’s best tennis players.

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WHM: WTA player Arianne Hartono & Coach Jason Ontog show art WHM: WTA player Arianne Hartono & Coach Jason Ontog

Talking Tennis Southern Style

Arianne Hartono, a Dutch professional tennis player ranked No. 140 in WTA singles, made history at the University of Mississippi by winning the , the first Dutch player to do so. She also received the for top female collegiate tennis player. Hartono is engaged to her coach Jason Ontog, a former USTA Tennessee staff member and known for his tennis achievements. He was the 2000 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year and rose to a national ranking of No. 67 in 2003. Together, they offer insights into the travel demands and life on the WTA Tour.

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Teaching: true passion for former UT coach Elizabeth Henderson show art Teaching: true passion for former UT coach Elizabeth Henderson

Talking Tennis Southern Style

Elizabeth Henderson’s life in tennis started by being No. 1 in numerous junior age levels in USTA Southern before being recognized as an All-American at the . She started her collegiate coaching odyssey at the University of North Carolina, followed by her first head coaching job at . That led to a four-year stint as women’s head tennis coach at the . She was inducted into the in 2011. For more than 30 years she has focused on her true passion: teaching young players at the in Knoxville.

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No-Cut Coach Starfish Award winner John Cox show art No-Cut Coach Starfish Award winner John Cox

Talking Tennis Southern Style

We chatted with John Cox, whose volunteer work covers many areas of tennis, including numerous posts in . Still, he has a soft spot for the students of in Cleveland, Miss., where he began coaching the tennis team in 2017. His goal is to make tennis “cool” and get players on court and practicing. Winning two state titles and being awarded the and awards is just an extra bonus.

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WHM: Local League Coordinator honoree Anna Martin show art WHM: Local League Coordinator honoree Anna Martin

Talking Tennis Southern Style

We talk with the She is a veteran of more than 23 years of promoting and organizing USTA League, providing a rich history of tennis in Wilmington, N.C. She now supports nearly 200 adult recreational teams. Martin highlights the importance of playing against players with similar skill levels for the She also serves as a teacher and director at a local church school.

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The weekly: ‘Talking Tennis Southern Style’ goes to weekly podcast show art The weekly: ‘Talking Tennis Southern Style’ goes to weekly podcast

Talking Tennis Southern Style

Interviewed are two podcasters: Chris Godby & Chad Young of the awarding-winning “Game Set Match Kentucky!” After more than four years of uploading a two-interview podcast every other Thursday, the new “Talking Tennis Southern Style” plans on showcasing a single interview every Tuesday or Wednesday. Chris Godby & Chad Young produce “” Their podcast won the 2023 USTA Southern Marc Kaplan Media Excellence Award for their show which concentrates on tennis in . The duo talked about content and the technical aspects of hosting the podcast from a home studio.

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Adult and Junior winners: George “Ged” Schwing, Male Player & Ryan Cozad, Junior Sportsmanship show art Adult and Junior winners: George “Ged” Schwing, Male Player & Ryan Cozad, Junior Sportsmanship

Talking Tennis Southern Style

George “Ged” Schwing was honored with the Slew Hester Male Player of the Year for top adult player. Schwing has been a member of Team Louisiana for the Callen Cup and served as a captain the last few years, along with competing on the winning Southern team at the 2022 Keith Donoff Cup. Ozaki-Hastings Junior Sportsmanship Award winner Ryan Cozad was recognized at the USTA National Clay Courts Championships, as he received their Sportsmanship Award. He loves competing in team events, especially the Ozaki Cup for Team Georgia, and in the Battle of Sections for Team Southern.

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BHM: Calvin Kemp plus advocating for tennis courts show art BHM: Calvin Kemp plus advocating for tennis courts

Talking Tennis Southern Style

With the number of tennis players growing in the last five years, more tennis courts are needed. While some courts are being converted to pickleball courts, the USTA Southern Advocacy Task Force is enabling grassroots advocates to make the case for adding, and not reducing, the number of tennis courts. Former Board Member Paul Pittman chairs the task force and explains the advocacy tools provided by USTA Southern.  In our first episode of Black History Month, we interview Calvin Kemp of Lafayette, La. Kemp was honored with the 2023 Southern Tennis Professional of the Year and received...

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