Tennis notebook: Heim to assist U.S. wheelchair team in Italy | Tennis

Spring can be extremely hectic for Woods Tennis Center executive director Kevin Heim. And with Woods’ new indoor structure just weeks away from completion and the Lincoln Parks and Recreation massive summer programs starting in a month, Heim finds his time being spread pretty thin these days.

There aren’t many things that would cause him to leave town now, but a chance to go Italy for 15 days would fall into that category.

Heim leaves Tuesday with the United States wheelchair tennis team for Italian island of Sardinia, where they will compete in the BNP Paribas World Team Cup from May 1-7.

Heim will be going as a personal care assistant for Nick Taylor of Wichita, Kansas, one of the top men’s quad players in the world. While Heim has helped coach wheelchair tennis at various national camps around the country and works with Lincoln’s Taylor Graham (ranked No. 6 nationally), he will not be one of the primary coaches in Italy.

“Usually Nick’s father travels with him, but he’s been dealing with some health problems and can’t make the trip,” Heim said. “I’m just happy to help out anyway I can, and obviously going to Italy for two weeks with the national team is a tremendous opportunity.”

The Lincoln wheelchair players will benefit greatly from the new Woods indoor facility because it will be completely ADA-compliant. The bubbles were not up to those standards and getting the wheelchairs onto the indoor courts was a major task.

“The doorways will be wide enough for sports chairs, which will be much better than it’s been in the past,” Heim said. “We’re also going to have a lift to get them to the upper viewing area, so they’ll have total access to the entire facility.”

Heim said the indoor structure should be ready for the grand opening ceremony scheduled for May 17, the day before the Class B girls state high school tournament starts at Woods.

“Everything inside is close to being done,” Heim said. “They should be ready to start surfacing the courts this coming week and enclosing the walkway from the clubhouse to the building.”

Big Ten brackets released

The Nebraska men’s tennis team is the No. 11 seed and will face host Purdue (the No. 6 seed) in the first round of the Big Ten tournament Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in West Lafayette, Indiana. Two days after posting their first Big Ten win of the season and snapping a nine-match losing streak in a 4-3 home win over Michigan State, the Huskers (5-17 overall, 1-10 in Big Ten) fell to No. 16 Michigan 7-0 outdoors Sunday at Dillon Tennis Center.

The Huskers almost pulled off wins at the top two singles spots as freshman Dylan Bednarczyk and sophomore Toby Boyer nearly upset their nationally ranked opponents. The Wolverines’ Alex Knight edged Bednarczyk 7-6 (2),…

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