AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas women’s tennis program welcomes a pair of newcomers in time for the 2013 spring campaign. Lana Groenvynck (LAH-nah GROWN-veenk) of Schilde, Belgium has signed an athletic scholarship agreement (ASA) to join the Longhorns. Breaunna (bree-ON-nah) Addison of Lake Worth, Fla. joins the Longhorns this month after signing a National Letter of Intent during the 2011-12 season.
Groenvynck reached the semifinals at the 2011 Borreman Cup in Belgium. Addison is a former singles champion at the prestigious Dunlop Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships.
“Lana has a considerable amount of experience on the international level,” UT head coach Patty Fendick-McCain said. “Breaunna was in the USTA national training program for quite a while and is an extremely talented and gifted player. She’s just a great competitor. We’re thrilled to have Lana and Breaunna joining us.”
Indoor facility opening soon
Construction continues at the site of the Edgar O. and Melanie A. Weller Tennis Center on the grounds of The University of Texas Golf Club. The facility will feature six indoor courts and four outdoor courts. Barring any weather-related delays, the facility is set to open on Feb. 27.
“We’re so excited to have this indoor facility available for our use,” Fendick-McCain said. “It will be so helpful to be able to train indoors when necessary, particularly at this time of year. We’ve had to cancel a few matches due to rain in my time here, and it will be nice to know that when we schedule a match that we won’t be hampered by inclement weather.”
Penick-Allison Tennis Center will remain the Longhorns’ primary home for dual matches and outdoor practices.
Australian Open revives fond memories for Fendick-McCain
The turn of a new calendar year always means that the Australian Open – professional tennis’ first Grand Slam event of the season – is just around the corner. The annual two-week tournament is particularly special to Fendick-McCain, a former WTA Tour veteran who won an Australian Open women’s doubles title.
“This time of year, I always get a little jittery and I feel like I should be heading south,” Fendick-McCain laughed. “It becomes ingrained in you after going down there for so many years. It was one of my favorite places. I played well down there and made a lot of friends there over the years. I miss it because it became a second home.”
Fendick-McCain echoes the sentiment of many tennis professionals who have been regulars at Grand Slam events: the Australian Open is an inclusive event that swings its doors open to everyone. The tournament invites a sense of community more so than most tournaments.
“The Australian Open has a completely different feel than any other Grand Slam,” Fendick-McCain said. “There is so much more of a connection between the players and the fans.”
Fendick-McCain, who won the 1986 NCAA singles title for Stanford at UT’s Penick-Allison Tennis Center, finished as an Australian Open women’s doubles runner-up in 1989 and 1990 before breaking through to victory in 1991 with Mary Joe Fernandez.
“It seemed like Mary Joe and I were always a ‘pick-up’ team in Australia,” Fendick-McCain recalled. “My partner would get hurt, or her partner was hurt, and we’d wind up playing together. And, I think we really only played together in Australia. We always played well in Australia, and then we were able to win it in 1991. It was fun to be part of her special history, because she was such a great player.”
Tennis banquet set for Jan. 13
The Texas tennis teams will host their annual preseason banquet on Sunday, Jan. 13 at the Centennial Room located on the west side of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. The banquet is set for 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $25 and can be purchased by contacting Mary Juarez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Longhorns open 2013 slate next week
Texas resumed team workouts on Jan. 7 in preparation for the spring dual-match season. The Longhorns will compete in the Miami Invitational from Jan. 18-20 before hosting Wichita State on Jan. 26 in the first match of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend event. UT will take on either Utah or Stephen F. Austin on Jan. 27.
Wins in both of those matches would qualify Texas for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships that begin Feb. 8 in Charlottesville, Va.