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Champions to compete in one event

This weekend is the third annual Tournament of Champions.

The event brings together the best doubles teams from the area's six major charity tournaments.

Winners, runnersup and consolation winners from the American Cancer Society, Morton Plant Mease Hospital, Humane Society of Pinellas, Good Samaritan Classic and Big Brothers Big Sisters tournaments as well as last year's Tournament of Champions finalists have been invited.

"You have an opportunity to see some good tennis," said Matt Kleber, a teaching pro for the Paul Kronk Tennis Center at Crescent Oaks Country Club. "I've played in it before and have played some great matches against opponents that are not only good players, but have a great attitude."

Men's, women's and mixed doubles in 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 and open levels begin Saturday at Royal Racquet Club in Clearwater. Last year, more than 80 players competed with more than $4,000 going to promote grassroots programs for juniors and adults in the Suncoast community.

Fans will have an opportunity to participate in games to win prizes. And there will be a silent auction open until 2 p.m. Sunday with jewelry, gift baskets and tennis items.

For details, call (727) 799-3200 or (727) 725-3681.

NET SHOTS: Stacia Fonseca of Lutz won her second U.S. Tennis Association national title in singles and doubles in New York last month. The No. 1 singles player won in straight sets in the indoor event final and teamed with Dartmouth's Megan Zebroski of New York.

In August, Lutz won the national grasscourt singles and doubles. Next week, Fonseca competes in the $10,000 Grand Slam, a USTA Pro Circuit Event at Hillsborough Community College.

Ria Graham of New Port Richey is among the competitors in the Les Grandes Dames Jan. 19-23 in Palm Beach Gardens. Graham will compete in the 65-and-older singles and doubles divisions.

WATCH THE PROS PLAY: The Grand Slam Futures of Tampa Bay will be held at Hillsborough Community College. Players from as far away as China and ranked as high as No. 280 in the world will compete.

A wild-card tournament is this week followed by a qualifying event Jan. 7-10. The main draw is Jan. 11-16. New Port Richey's Goran Dragicevic, ranked No. 728, is competing in the men's main draw.

Special events include Wheelchair Tennis Day on Wednesday, Senior Tennis Day on Jan. 13, Ladies Day on Jan. 14, USTA Member Day on Jan. 15 and USTA Families Day on Jan. 16. For information, call tournament director Gregg Gruhl at (813) 202-1950, Ext. 105.

LEAGUE NOTES: A USA Adult League Tennis captains meeting is at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Feather Sound Country Club. For details, call Carol Levin at (727) 797-8416, Ruth Ann Ott at (727) 526-7966 or Clark Higgs at (727) 724-0509.

The Super 70 Women's Doubles League begins this month followed by the Super Senior Doubles League. Matches will be Monday mornings.

The Men's Super Senior Doubles League, for those 60 and older, will play on Tuesday mornings. The Super 70 Doubles League will play on Thursday mornings. Players must be USTA members. For details, call David Wisotsky at (727) 938-7902.

Coordinators for the Senior Mixed Doubles League, for those 50 or older, are planning a January-March schedule. The Adult Mixed Doubles League will run April-June. For details, call Erika Boardman at (727) 399-2459, Liz Dunlop at (727) 391-0811 or Bob Hagerman at (727) 391-4380.

COMING UP: The Battle of the Suncoast Ladies Doubles Teams is Saturday at Cheval Golf and Country Club in Lutz. Eight teams in 4.0 and above and 4.0 and below will compete in a compass-draw format. For details, call (813) 948-2282. The USTA Junior Rookie Tournament is Jan. 15-16 at Countryside Country Club. For details, call (727) 796-1136.

News for this column may be faxed to Nancy Morgan, (727) 796-5559; e-mailed to namorgan46msn.com; or sent to 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Please include a phone number.

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