Tennis tournament attracts top talent


Jorge Ferrari of Reba Americas LLC takes a swing during one of six rotating partner doubles matches Sunday. Russ Berrie supported the tournament this year.

Seventeen attendees participated in the 2014 IAADFS tennis tournament, supported by Russ Berrie. For about three hours, the players participated in six rotating partner doubles matches Sunday on the Orlando World Center Marriott’s four tennis courts — and the competition proved to be strong.

“Tennis players tend to like to have the same level of play,” said Jerry Borysko, tournament director with Orlando Tennis Services. “This is a fun group.”

Russ Berrie founder and president Todd Tingley played in the tournament for the first time. He said his company wanted to support the tournament to reconnect to the event as it relaunches its brand. He also enjoys the sport on a personal level.

“I’ve been an avid tennis player my whole life,” he said. “This is a fun event. We’ve actually had some good games. Everything is pretty evenly matched, it seems.”

Tingley said the IAADFS Sports Day is the perfect way to kick off the IAADFS show.

“I think it’s great because it gets us out of the show environment and you become friends with people. Out of those friendships can come some good business,” he said. “And it’s healthy.”

Patrick Blanchet, owner of Haiti Duty Free, has played in the tournament for about nine years. He said Sunday’s tournament was more challenging than those of previous years.

“Actually, this year the level is really high,” he said. “We have some very good players — some ex-college players. The competition is rough this year.”

However, he still had fun playing others from around the world.

“I think it’s a lot of fun to see friends and meet people in a different environment,” Blanchet said. “Everyone has something in common with tennis, so it’s fun.”

With Russ Berrie’s support, this year featured prizes for the tournament, which included $50 American Express gift cards for the winner and the participant
with the lowest score of the tournament. Beauty2market also supported the event.

Prizes were awarded to Hermann Ten Haave, area manager for North America for Imperial Tobacco International, and Roberto Crom, CEO of B+D Buch+Deichmann.