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OTA Directors/Coordinators

Beth Arms

Leigh Chak

Michele Duffy

Marianne Marcoux

Laura Roberson

George Ryals

Barbie Slatton

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The OTA Board meets the 2nd Monday of most months at 1:30 pm in the conference room at MidFlorida Community Credit Union located on Silver Springs Blvd.

All OTA members are welcome to attend.

The Ocala Tennis Association (OTA) is a non-profit association whose members are proponents of the sport of tennis and its growth in the Greater Ocala community.


As a service organization, OTA supports and promotes tennis among juniors and beginners,

as well as hosting events for its members.

Register now for this fun competitive tournament "The Ocala Tennis Slam" 6/7 to 6/9 at the Fort King Tennis Center. All proceeds to benefit the Foundation for Foster Children here in Central Florida. Playing tennis for a worthy cause is a win-win! For more information, contact roy.miller.tennis@gmail.com . To register click here.

Busy rewarding times!

Congrats to the Fort King Tennis Center and its managers Renee and Jason Weiss for being recognized as the USTA Organization of the Year! Accepting the reward on behalf of Jason Weiss were Leigh Chak, Ebony Evans-Molock, and Drae Centonze. The OTA holds many of its events at Fort King and we are grateful for that opportunity. Kudos as well to all of Fort King's teaching pros and tennis volunteers who contribute to the many wonderful and fun programs offered at Fort King as well as events held there that benefit junior players, adult beginners, and all its members!

Speaking of tennis pros, the OTA wishes to applaud Drae Centonze who recently won the Men's 18+ 4.5 Singles title. He is indeed a National Champion!




Cries of “USA! USA!” rebounded near Court 1 at the Fort King Tennis Center the other day where Gwenda Ward was hitting with teaching pro Jeff Williams. Gwenda is off to the ITF (International Tennis Federation) World Championships taking place this year in Capdepera on the island of Mallorca Spain for her age category. She will represent the USA in both the team and the individual competitions. This is the pinnacle of the ITF Masters Tour World Championships which provides competitive opportunities on the world stage for players from the 30+ to the 90+ age categories at both team and individual level.  At 74 years young, Gwenda figures she has the edge in her 75+ age category when she plays the number 2 singles position for team USA which is seeded second to France who won the team competition last year. There are 15 countries competing in Gwenda’s 75+ category. She is also eligible to play doubles for her team. The World Team Championships begins October 8 and runs through October 13, but Gwenda will head off on the 3rd of the month to acclimatize and practice on the red clay of Mallorca which is smooth and slow. This will be Gwenda’s first World Team Competition and she is excited!

She played in last year’s World Individual Competition since it took place in Boynton Beach Florida where she lost in the consolation final round. Not too shabby! The World Individual Masters Championship for her age group will follow the team competition and begins October 14 through to October 21 also in Mallorca. No rest for our all-star! This will be a regular draw of possibly 64 depending on the number of entries. Gwenda has a doubles partner for this event, Carolann Castell, but she will also play singles.

Gwenda ‘earned’ her way to being selected for this honor by playing in six National Tour Level 1 Tournaments, and winning two Level 2 Tournaments. She beat two contenders formerly on the USA Team and received encouragement to apply from her former partner and others. She credits her coach Jeff Williams for helping her return of serve and coming to the net.  Gwenda is also grateful for her son Clarke Tanner, a physical therapist, who keeps his Mom in shape! In the last three years, she has focused on her mental game as well as her physical game, keeping her focus and her emotions under control. Gwenda is grateful to the USTA for the traveling stipend she received. She finds joy in pushing herself to become not just the best player, but also the best person she can be. What’s next for Gwenda? She is thinking of finding a homebase in Europe so she can play multiple ITF tournaments, since she so enjoys meeting people, traveling, and making new friends and tennis contacts. The Ocala tennis community applauds Gwenda’s efforts and achievements and wishes her well in Mallorca. Go Team USA!

Update:  As the USA's #2 Singles player, Gwenda won against Argentina 6-1, 6-1; against Brazil 6-0, 6-0; against Austria 6-4, 6-0; Team win against Finland in semi-finals; Silver Medal in Finals against France! And, Gwenda took the Silver Medal in the World Individual as well!  What a power house!

On Saturday May 6, the Ocala Tennis Association (OTA) hosted their first community outreach tennis event at the Tuscawilla Park courts. It was an introduction to tennis for the whole family and twenty individuals joined us for two fun hours of play from 10:00 until noon. It did not matter if they arrived in flipflops since we had brand new socks (which they kept) and tennis shoes to loan them, as well as racquets. While Ocala Parks & Rec had generously offered us all six courts, we set up on three:  We placed two short nets (36’) and red balls on one court for the youngest players; green balls on another; and we put out cones and markers on the 3rd ‘Hit for Prizes’ court. Our thanks to the tennis pros who came out to teach with lots of enthusiasm and energy – in two languages when necessary - Austin Carolla of Golden Ocala Tennis, and Juan Munoz, Dave Chover, and Leigh Chak all from the Fort King Tennis Center.  Dave was so pleased to see some of his players, after just an hour of instruction, return to the courts from a quick shopping trip to purchase racquets and balls. Now, that’s how easily folks get hooked to the sport of tennis!  Also on hand was our USTA Coordinator Ty Wolter who set up a tent and table alongside our OTA table and banner with our volunteers ready to hand out prizes, giveaways, treats, and summer tennis flyers and other information. Our yard signs for our OTA Sponsors were proudly displayed. Of course, OTA Volunteers were on hand from setup to cleanup, providing lots of encouragement and mentoring players. Thanks to our tennis ambassadors Rebecca Long, Deb Schaffer, and OTA Board members Michele Duffy, Leigh Chak, Laura Roberson, George Ryals, Marianne Marcoux, and Beth Arms. Marianne recalls asking a young participant if he owned a racquet to which he replied regretfully he did not. She handed him a new junior racquet and said “Well, now you do!” His was not the only happy face that morning. OTA is already planning another community event at Tuscawilla. So, stay tuned for another round of FREE tennis fun for the whole family!

The Ocala Tennis Association proudly congratulates the Evans-Molock Family! Ebony, Dwayne, and Madison were nominated, won, and received the USTA Florida Outstanding Family Award at the recent USTA FL Annual Meeting and Tennis Celebration. They were recognized for all their contributions promoting tennis in Florida at all levels of participation. If you know this wonderful tennis enthusiastic family, you are not surprised they won these accolades! Ebony said she and her family thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the future of tennis and are grateful to their community that continues to support and share their love for tennis. And the Ocala/Marion County tennis community is thrilled for Ebony, Dwayne, and Madison and indebted to them! Much tennis love to you three!

Hey Juniors!

The High School Jamboree held on Saturday February 4 proved to be a lot of fun for everyone! Thanks to all our participants, our teaching pros, our DJ, and our dedicated Sponsor Joel Raney!

Check out the OTA $cholarship Program on the JUNIORS Page should you ever need a helping hand. We're here for you!

Stay tuned to hear about our next juniors event scheduled for early fall - a Dueling Doubles Tournament for all levels! This tournament is set for Saturday October 7. See you then! 

Hey Adult Beginners!

The graduates of the Love To Learn/Love to Play programs

enjoyed a fun green ball round robin on

Saturday January 14 at the Fort King Tennis Center.

Join the next session for the Love 2 Learn/Love 2 Play programs 

offered at the Fort King Tennis Center by emailing Leigh Chak at vacocala@gmail.com

or for programs at other clubs email Ty Wolter at ustaflorida.com

Tennis could become a lifetime pursuit!

 Hey Adult Members!

Thanks to all who joined us for some fun cardio tennis, a round robin, and a bit of champagne to toast the New Year!

Good fun at the recent "Mix It Up Valentine's Round Robin"!

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