It began as a germ of an idea in Juan Mora’s mind.
“I asked myself: Why can’t Kendall become the home for a series of community tennis tournaments,” said the energetic 45-year-old real estate professional.
His love of the game led him to organize the first of a planned series of quarterly tennis tournaments in 2014, starting in April at The Courts of Kendall, six hard courts tucked among townhomes fronting SW 80th Street, east of 157th Avenue.
Initially approaching Miami-Dade Commissioner Juan C. Zapata with the idea, Mora was encouraged to plan an inaugural competition and was provided with a large banner posted on The Courts of Kendall community wall, helping attract more than 60 adults for the first “Kendall Tournament.”
Aided by tennis pro Miguel Angel Taco, who operates an after-school tennis school, Mora signed adults and a large children’s group, using standard United States Tennis Association ratings to seed both singles and doubles.
“Our sponsors were a large reason for our success,” Mora said, listing his 10 key supporters: Commissioner Zapata (banner); El Gusca Colombian Restaurant, breakfast and luncheon for competitors; prizes from Mora from Unlimited Real Estate; lunch and prizes from Mareco Pizza. Also providing prizes, balls or contributions: AJ Tours, Multi-Tire Merino, Mi Paisa Services; Taco Academy, and American Accounting Solutions.
Winners in the adult divisions who finished in the first four places received a trophy and gift cards from sponsors.
“It was the community backing that helped make this first competition a success. We want all of Kendall to involve itself and participate in these tournaments,” Mora said.
Open to all Kendall residents, the next tournament is scheduled the week of July 12-20 with fall and winter tourney dates, Oct. 18-26 and Dec. 6-14.
Juniors (age 6-18) and adults (18 and up) can sign up according to standard USTA skill ratings in men’s and women’s singles (four ratings, beginning at 3.0); doubles and mixed doubles, both 6.0 through 9 and up. Registration is $25 for each division entered; $35 for singles and doubles combination.
For details, contact Mora by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Pro Taco at The Courts of Kendall (telephone 786-326-0134) where group classes including “baby tennis” and private lessons also are available.