CiCi Bellis, Other Tennis Pros May Move Near Lake Nona’s USTA National Campus

Not only is the new U.S.Tennis Association National Campus bringing in tournaments and visitors, but it’s also serving as a draw for tennis professionals who may end up calling Lake Nona home.

U.S. Tennis Association General Manager Tim Cass, during Orlando Business Journal’s Business of Sports Luncheon on Jan. 20 revealed that tennis pro Catherine Cartan “CiCi” Bellis may move to Lake Nona.

Cass, who was one of speakers at the event, also mentioned another tennis pro now residing in Lake Nona. “We are training our best pros. Two nights ago, on TV I was watching Alison Riske, who is a new resident of Lake Nona, in the Australian Open. Two weeks ago, Alison was practicing next to an amateur player out on our court. It’s really incredible,” Cass said.

It’s rumored by local Realtors that other tennis professionals are looking to move to Lake Nona, as well. The national campus, which officially opened Jan. 2, is sure to attract more potential players into the area. Several tennis pros have roots in Central Florida, such as Jim Courier, a Florida resident who was born and raised in the Sanford area.

He previously shared with OBJ what it was like growing up, playing tennis in Central Florida. “Central Florida has quite a robust tennis environment. There are plenty of public courts. I grew up playing tournaments in Red Bug Park in Orlando. But to have a facility of this magnitude and have the caliber of options that this facility has is new, it’s fresh. The Lake Nona area is growing rapidly. For the people who are moving here, living here to have this facility at their fingertips that’s public is pretty magical,” Courier said to OBJ at Lake Nona’s USTA National Campus opening.

“I’m very happy [the campus] is here in Florida with the great weather all-year around. Florida always has been the tennis center of the country, but with the resources this has, it’s going to be phenomenal for every type of player, young and old, professional and amateur, to take advantage of. Orlando is very lucky.”

The campus has 100 tennis courts, offering a wide range of playing on hard courts, clay courts — including European Terre Davis red clay courts — and indoor courts. It also incorporates smart technology, allowing the players to record and review their movements, mistakes and training.

The road to a deal between Tavistock Development Co. LLC and the U.S. Tennis Association started in 2012. Go here for a look at how how Lake Nona aced the $60 million deal to bring the national training complex to Southeast Orlando, and why simply answering the phone played a critical role.

Source: Orlando Sentinel