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Men's Pro-Tennis is in full swing on Amelia Island this week

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Wheelchair Tennis Players from Jacksonville serve as role models for others with disabilities.

Exhibition during Men’s Pro-Circuit Tennis finals on Amelia Island shows that there are no limits.

Amelia Island, FL, a wheelchair tennis exhibition, featuring Jacksonville’s Rudy Chavarria and Dale Jackson, will be a special addition to the exciting lineup of the Ravenswood Winery Amelia Island Futures Men’s Tennis Championships, the USTA Pro-Circuit event at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation’s Racquet Park.

The wheelchair exhibition is scheduled in for Sunday, November 21, at 11:00 A.M. in Center Court, followed by the Men’s Pro-Circuit Futures Singles Final. The full schedule for the Main Draw of the Futures is: Tuesday, November 16 - Sunday, November 21.

Both Chavarria and Jackson had spinal chord injuries, which resulted in paraplegia. They play in the Brooks Wheelchair Tennis League and compete in tennis events throughout Florida, including the FCTF (First Coast Tennis Foundation) Adult City Championships, making it to the 2009 singles finals and semi-finals respectively. The Brooks Adaptive Sports and Recreation program has organized this exhibition featuring the wheelchair doubles team of Chavarria and Jackson against 2 able-bodied players.

Wheelchair tennis was originated in 1976 by American Brad Parks and evolved into a major competitive international sport. It is played on a standard tennis court and follows most standard rules. However, in wheelchair tennis, a player is allowed to let the ball bounce twice, not once. Also, the athlete’s wheelchair is considered to be a part of the body, so rules applying to the player’s body apply to the chair as well. Skilled wheelchair handling is most impressive to watch and critical to succeed in the game.

Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Communities in Schools locally, as well as Tennis Without Borders. Tickets are free from Tuesday, Nov 16 - Friday, Nov. 19. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children on Saturday, Nov. 20 and Sunday, Nov 21. VIP Tickets are $75 for Friday, Nov 20 - Sunday, Nov 21 with Preferred Center Court seating and unlimited access to the hospitality tent.

This year’s sponsors include: Ravenswood Winery, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Omni Amelia Island Plantation, Gunterman Tennis Schools, Brooks Rehabilitation, Frank B2B Marketing Communications, Enterprise rent-a-car, Amelia Ear, Nose & Throat, Elizabeth Trading Company, Prosperity Bank, Rose Health, Oceanside Cleaners, Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery, and Genesis Tennis.

For more information, call the Tennis Pro Shop at Omni Amelia Island Plantation, 904-277-5145, or email Kelly Gunterman, OAIP Director of Tennis at gunterman.kelly@aipfl.com.

For press information and player interviews, contact Amy Tompkins, (914) 260-8407; atompkins@anypumpkin.com.


About the Omni Amelia Island Plantation

The Omni Amelia Island Plantation is Florida's award-winning island destination recognized for offering a luxury resort experience in perfect harmony with nature. A certified Green Lodging Destination, the resort is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean, marshlands and the Intracoastal Waterway. Just north of Jacksonville, FL, the 1,350-acre resort features 3½ miles of wide, uncrowded beaches; 49,000 square feet of flexible meeting space; 54 holes of championship golf; 23 tennis courts; a large, two-tiered poolscape and beach club; a shopping village with restaurants, boutiques and gift shops as well as the nature-inspired signature spa; a state-of-the-art fitness center; nine culinary options ranging from casual to fine dining; kids camps; and numerous activities for adventurers including water sports, horseback riding, walking, hiking and Segway tours. The Omni Amelia Island Plantation features 249 oceanview guest rooms. The Villas of Amelia Island Plantation Resort offer one-, two- and three-bedroom villas featuring ocean, golf or resort views. For more information about the Omni Amelia Island Plantation please call 1-800-The-Omni or visit the website at OmniAmeliaIslandPlantation.com.

About Omni Hotels & Resorts

Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences that take guests on "A Total Departure" to 47 distinct luxury hotels and resorts in leading business gateways and leisure destinations across North America. From exceptional golf and spa retreats to dynamic business settings, each Omni showcases the local flavor of the destination while featuring four-diamond services, signature restaurants, Wi-Fi connectivity and unique wellness options. Known for its award-winning, personalized service, Omni leaves a lasting impression with every customer interaction, with a heightened level of recognition and rewards delivered through its Select Guest loyalty program and the company's "Power of One" associate empowerment program. The brand is frequently recognized by top consumer research organizations such as J.D. Power and Associates, which ranked Omni as "Highest in Guest Satisfaction Among Upscale Hotel Chains" in its 2010 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study(SM).

To get additional information or book accommodations, visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.


About the USTA Pro Circuit

The International Tennis Federation (ITF), the governing body for tennis on a worldwide basis, introduced an apprentice-level Circuit for men in 1976 and for women in 1984 in an ongoing effort to provide young players with an avenue to the international game. Today, there are more than 375 men's ITF Circuit events and 350 women's ITF Circuit events held annually in 80 different countries around the globe, including China, Iran, Kenya, Lebanon, Liechtenstein and Vietnam.

The USTA, the national governing body for tennis in the United States, is one of more than 200 national federations that are members of the ITF. Through the USTA Pro Circuit, which it owns and operates, the USTA stages the largest number of ITF Circuit events in the world. This year, players from more than 50 countries will be competing in 96 USTA Pro Circuit events for $3 million in prize money.

USTA Men’s Futures

Futures are professional tournaments offering $10,000 to $15,000 in prize money and are typically the proving ground for top-ranked juniors, college players and pros at the beginning of their careers. Players competing in Futures generally have an ATP Entry System ranking ranging from No. 150 to No. 900. The singles qualifying draw size is 64 or 128 players for the $10,000 events, and 64 players for the $15,000 events. Players must reach the round of 16 to earn a ranking point.

Frank Eaton is CEO of Frank B2B Communications, a business-to-business marketing and consulting company in Jacksonville, Fl. and a sponsor of this tournament. www.frankb2b.com

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