The United States Tennis Association team out of Apollo Beach will represent the state of Florida at the National competition in San Antonio at the end of March.

For the second time in three years the 8.0 Senior Mixed Doubles Tennis Team from the Apollo Beach Racquet and Fitness facility will be representing United States Tennis Association (USTA) Florida at Nationals in San Antonio, TX.

The team earned their spot to play at Nationals after defeating the senior’s mixed doubles team of Pinellas County in November at Florida Sectionals in Daytona.  Pinellas had a great team and the matches started off a little rough, but ultimately the Apollo Beach team came out on top.

“The competition was very high at Sectionals and I think all of us were a little anxious because Pinellas has a lot of great players,” said Deb Whiteside, captain of the Apollo Beach team. “We all lost our first sets and then we all came back to win the second set and the tie breaker set to earn our place at Nationals.”

Since their win at sectionals in November of 2011, the team has spent the last few months preparing for Nationals, which will take place over a three day period at the end of March. “Normally we play on clay courts and we found out that Nationals will be on hard courts. We’ve gone to Mira Bay a couple of times to practice and get used to hard courts,” said Whiteside. The team members also stay on top of their tennis game by playing in other leagues as well. 

The mixed doubles team (with one male and one female player) is a very popular league in competitive tennis and the doubles partners make sure that they adjust to the pace of a mixed doubles game and take advantage of each other’s strengths on the tennis courts. Looking ahead to San Antonio, the team is excited to see what the competition from other states and, hopefully, come out with a win.

The USTA 8.0 senior mixed doubles team members include Henry Marshall, Jack Vandercook, Bradley Whiteside, Buck Basnight, Vicki Knauff, Deb Whiteside, Sue Kendall, Margaret MacDonald, Gay Gonzalez, Rhonda Smiechewicz and Kenneth Anderson.

Apollo Beach Racquet and Fitness Club is located at 6520 Richies Way in Apollo Beach. For more information on the club, visit or call 641-2685. For more information on the United States Tennis Association, visit

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