BY JEN FIERS – The 2016 Pro Tennis Exhibition Series will be held next spring each Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the Boca Grande Club from February 3 to March 16. The series, with proceeds benefitting the Suncoast Humane Society, will include eight men and eight women competing for over $5,000 in prize money. There will be three men’s doubles matches and three women’s doubles matches with a mixed doubles match to round off the event. This is the second week of an eight-week article series profiling all sixteen players.
This week, the two players to be profiled are Tiffany Dabek Davis and Nate Griffin. Tiffany is an assistant pro at River Strand Golf and Country Club in Bradenton. She holds a B.A. in nutrition and is a new mom to her son, Grayson.
Tiffany was ranked #1 as a junior in Florida and turned pro shortly after to embark on a career that spanned almost a decade. She reached world rankings of #170 in singles and #200 in doubles, winning nine titles and qualifying for the 2005 US Open in the process.
Tiffany played in Boca Grande Club’s first women’s doubles exhibition in 2014 and is excited to participate in this season’s series.
Nate Griffin has been director of tennis at River Strand Golf and Country Club in Bradenton since the beginning of the Club’s tennis program in 2007. Nate, a father of three, is returning to Boca Grande Club for his 15th year of competing in the series.
He played number 1 singles and doubles for Concordia University in Nebraska and was the Nebraska-Iowa Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
After moving to Florida to teach at The Oaks in Osprey and, then, Laurel Oak Country Club in Sarasota he won the 2008 USPTA Men’s Open Doubles World Championships with colleague Ty Braswell, who has won the Pro Series at Boca Grande Club in past years.
Nate currently competes in USTA 10.0 Mixed Doubles and 5.0 Men’s Doubles Leagues and runs Griffin Tennis Prize Money League for players of all levels. Interested players can visit his website at griffintennis.com.
The 8th Annual Tennis Ball/Silent & Live auction to benefit the Suncoast Humane Society takes place at the Boca Grande Club on Wednesday, Jan. 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will include cocktails, dinner, and a live and silent auction. Kennedy Brothers Auction Services will be handling this year’s live auction, which will feature a three-night stay with four wine tastings at Grgich Hills Estate Winery’s VIP cottage in Rutherford, CA, in the center of Napa Valley, and a $1,000.00 travel voucher.
Tickets are $125 and can be purchased at the Suncoast Humane society (contact Jackie Elliott at 474-7884, ext. 422) or at the Boca Grande Club (contact Stephanie Benton at 964-2211).
*Correction to last week’s profile: Jen Fiers played at the University of Florida and the University of Virginia 20 years ago, not for 20 years as the article previously stated.