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Valencia Reserve prepares for first Century Doubles Tennis Championships

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
by Jan Engoren
from Sun-Sentinel.com

Tennis pro Keith Dunlop said he is excited about the upcoming tennis tournament in Valencia Reserve, a GL Homes community west of Boynton Beach.

A veteran pro, Dunlop and his partner Steve Sheer organized the Turkey Bowl tennis championships at the Boca Raton Swim & Racquet Center, an annual pro tournament that attracts many big name players, including Carling Bassett, Andy Roddick and Gael Monfils.

With more than 80 years of combined tennis experience, and more than 40 years of tournament directing experience, the two ran the Turkey Bowl for 10 years and Dunlop has been organizing tennis events at Valencia Reserve for the past two years.

"This event is designed to bring in some competitive tennis for residents and locals to watch as well as for people to play. I have many pros coming, such as Diego Brunicardi, the pro at the Four Seasons in Delray Beach, Carlos Triana, the pro at Williams Island in Aventura and Perry Sinnet from Coral Lakes tennis club in Boynton Beach," Dunlop said.

Known for their active adult communities, GL Homes has built eight Valencia communities in Florida and have plans to build more.

The upcoming tournament is designed for professionals as well as ordinary players and residents of the community. The only catch is, players combined ages must total 120 or 140 years, depending on category.

The Saturday and Sunday event will comprise six separate doubles divisions with the mens open 100 division offering prize money. The winning team will split $750 and the finalists will split $375.

"Once you have cash prizes, the tennis pros are interested," Dunlop said.

Dunlop, 52, will play in the tournament in the 100 combined age category with his partner Atif Raof, 48, of Parkland.

While not planning to win the top prize, residents Marilyn Friedman,75, and her neighbor, Bob Riesenberg, 65, have signed up to play in the 140 combined age category.

A tennis enthusiast who once won a silver medal in the 1993 Israeli Maccabi games, Friedman plays tennis almost every day.

When asked what she is doing to prepare for the tournament Friedman said, "I play tennis every day. If I'm not ready now, I'll never be ready."

Likewise, Riesenberg, a retired math teacher from Long Island, is an avid tennis player who is playing more doubles than singles these days after a hip surgery last September.

A two-year, part-time resident of Valencia, he said, "Valencia is a very nice community. It's like being in summer camp. I play golf, couples canasta, chess, go bike riding, socialize and, of course, play tennis."

"We will play our best and hopefully win," he laughs. "Keith is a great pro and knows how to keeps things moving. He's a tennis pro with a good personality and a sense of humor. If nothing else, we'll get some exercise and enjoy a beautiful day."

Valencia Reserve is at 9275 Lake Royal Road in Boynton Beach. The tennis tournament takes place Saturday and Sunday. Matches start at 8:30 a.m. Cost is $80 per team. Lunch and refreshments will be served courtesy of Sbarro. Deadline to register is Thursday. Call Keith Dunlop at 561-702-5763.