Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Armando Living the Dream as GM at El Conquistador

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Armando Living the Dream as GM at El Conquistador

Article excerpt

He usually arrives at work before the sun starts to show its face in the east, and he is often still there to see that same sun setting over the nearby gulf.

The days are long, the work is plenty, but Hugo Armando would not want it any other way.

"It's definitely busy. But it is all good," says Armando, the general manager and head teaching pro at the Racquet Club at El Conquistador in Bradenton.

In 10 days, Armando will celebrate his 35th birthday. Don't be surprised if he tells well-wishers that he is in the midst of the best year of his life. In November, Armando took over for retired Nick Kish as general manager of the 15-court facility located within a long lob of IMG Academy.

In January, Armando was married. And this past week the couple found out that the baby they are expecting in October will be a boy. Of course, the baby will be named Hugo. Just like his father. And his grandfather. And his great-grandfather.

"It's been a big year, it really has," Armando said.

Armando has had a long history with El Conquistador, so it was not surprising that he was a strong candidate when the G.M. job opened up.

He played events at the facility as a junior player. He would practice there sometimes during his dozen years on the professional tour, where he reached a career-high ranking of No. 100 in 2001.

And Armando, along with his father, Hugo Armando Sr., has run a junior tennis academy out of the club for nearly three years. His father also teaches at the club.

"It is awesome. I am very lucky," Armando says about working with his father. "My dad coached me when I was on the tour and we traveled all over the world. To be in tennis, involved in helping kids, trying to run a club ... and doing it all next to my father, it is amazing."

Tennis festival July 14

Armando is scheduled to take part in in the new Totally Tennis Festival, a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota to be held July 14 at the Payne Park Tennis Center. Expected to join Armando are local pros Tiffany Dabek Davis, Anastasia Nefedova, Nate Griffin, Jordan Cox and Ben Adrian. Legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri is scheduled to speak.

For more information, call Bob Luxembourg at (941) 371-0162. …

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