Chase Perez Blanco crowned King of the Hill at 27th annual Youth Guidance tennis tournament

news release

After seven weeks of local tennis professionals competing to be named King of the Hill, Chase Perez Blanco won the 2022 King of the Hill tennis tournament. More than 500 spectators came to support their favorite player at The Boulevard Village and Tennis Club, where the tournament was held. 

The four finalists for the Open Division, Robert Kowalczyk (The Boulevard), Joseph Van Deinse (Vero Beach Tennis Club), Chase Perez Blanco (Quail Valley), and Slim Hamza (The Moorings) played highly competitive tennis, keeping the crowd excited and entertained the entire night. The first two rounds were very close, and the winner was decided in the third round. Chase made the necessary number of points to win the title by one point, followed by Slim, Robert, and Joseph.

Left to right: Phil Barnes, Youth Guidance Executive Director, Chase Perez Blanco, 2022 King of the Hill Open Division Winner, and Gigi Casapu, King of the Hill Tournament Founder, Organizer, and Director

“The players gave their all!” said Gigi Casapu, tournament founder and organizer, “Each round was very animated, and the spectators were applauding great moments of play and shot making.”

Gigi Casapu is the founder, organizer, and director of the annual King of the Hill tennis tournament. The tournament was established to honor Gigi’s brother, Jonny Casapu, who died twenty-seven years ago in a car accident. Jonny was a world-class tennis professional, a teaching pro in Hawaii and Palm Springs, and a good friend and teammate of the famed Ilie Nastase.  Gigi has been a great supporter of Youth Guidance and has put together the King of the Hill Fundraising tournament since 1996.

In its 27th year, King of the Hill has provided tennis fans with the opportunity to enjoy high level doubles competition, while providing local tennis professionals the opportunity to participate in the festivities and appreciate the spirit of competition. The tournament is formatted into three divisions: an Open Division, a 40’s Division and a 50’s Division.  The winner of the King of the Hill 50’s Division was Henner Lenhardt of Sea Oaks, making this his seventh King of the Hill title. Mikael Pernfors of The Boulevard won the 40’s Division for the second year in a row. Chase Perez Blanco won his third Open Division King of the Hill title!

“Each year, the King of The Hill Tennis Tournament raises funds for Youth Guidance mentoring programs and activities for families with limited resources in Indian River County,” said Executive Director, Phil Barnes. “We serve approximately 250 children, who without the support of this fundraiser would not have access to the free resources that our agency provides, including: mentoring programs, activities, academic support, summer camp and a nutritious meal.”

Tournament proceeds will support life skills and vocational training programs for local children and young adults such as cooking, sewing, money management, bicycle repair, boat mechanics, HVAC, plumbing, welding, carpentry, electric, and more.

In fulfilling its mission, Youth Guidance is dedicated to enriching the lives of Indian River County youth through mentoring relationships that inspire trust, self-esteem and positive futures. If you are interested in learning more about Youth Guidance, please call 772.492.3933, or visit our website at         

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