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Federer Signs Lifetime Deal With Wilson
Solidifying a relationship that began at age 10, Roger Federer has signed a lifetime agreement with Wilson for racquets, string, tennis balls, and tennis accessories. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Federer, the world’s No. 1-ranked player, has competed with Wilson racquets since day-one, signing his first professional agreement with the Chicago-based company in 1997. Federer has won seven major titles.
“I’ve literally grown up with a Wilson tennis racquet in my hand,” says Federer, whose mother gave him his first Wilson racquet at age 10. “Having come this far, I can’t imagine competing with anything else. Wilson and I share a commitment to advancing tennis and fostering athletics, and I’m very happy to extend our relationship.”
Federer debuted the first nCode frame at Wimbledon in 2004 and went on to win the Wimbledon title. Since then he has competed with a Wilson nSix-One Tour exclusively.
“Roger will continue pushing the limits on the court, and we’re thrilled he’ll be doing it with Wilson,” says Brian Dillman, general manager of Wilson Racquet Sports. “Wilson nCode technology has had a tremendous impact on Wilson players and their performance, and Roger is the ultimate example of this success.”
USTA Launches New ‘It’s Your Game’ Campaign
The USTA has launched a national advertising campaign aimed at bringing lapsed players back to the court and encouraging existing players to play more often. The campaign will drive consumers to the redesigned usta.com as the “one-stop shop for the game of tennis.”
The new campaign has a tagline of “Find a Court, Find a Partner, Find a Program, USTA.com … It’s Your Game.” Ads will feature five public tennis courts throughout the country with text focusing on recreational players’ emotional connection to the court and the game. Print ads will appear in national publications including Newsweek, Tennis, ESPN The Magazine, Runner’s World, and Ski Magazine, in addition to multi-cultural publications. TV ads will also run on CBS, ESPN2, USA Network, OLN, and The Tennis Channel.
The revamped USTA.com launched in April and now offers a range of new services and databases to help consumers find a local court, playing partner, or programs, including non-USTA programs. The new site is cleaner and easier to navigate than the old site.
“The new image campaign and redesign of USTA.com provide a great one-two punch to help grow the sport,” says Kurt Kamperman, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis.
Instant Replay Debuts in Pro Tennis
Pro tennis made the leap to instant replay in March at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Fla. The Hawk-Eye technology was used on stadium court for both men’s and women’s matches. Of the 161 challenged calls (84 by the men, 77 by the women), the players were successful 53 times.
The system that both the ATP and WTA tours agreed to allows players two challenges per set and a third challenge if the set goes into a tie-break. Line calls that are upheld on video review count against a player’s allotment, while successful challenges are unlimited.
Instant replay will be used during the US Open Series this summer. Its Grand Slam debut will be at the US Open in August, on both Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong courts.
New Gamma ProTour Ball Features ‘ThinTex’
Gamma Sports’ new ProTour Tournament Ball features ThinTex technology, which the company says combines an ultra-thin sculpted core wall and ultra-high pressure for superior playability. Gamma is also offering the ball with a money-back guarantee; if a consumer believes the ball is not the best-playing, says Gamma, it will refund the purchase price.
The ThinTex technology allows the walls of the ball to be ultra-thin, increasing playability, says Gamma. “As we move from a thick-walled pressureless practice ball to a thin-walled pressurized tournament ball, playability improves,” says Gamma founder Dr. Harry Ferrari. “Thus, going to an even thinner wall with higher pressure further improves playability.”
The ProTour has received approval from the USTA and the ITF. It also has been named the official ball of the PTR and is available with the PTR logo.
For more information, contact Gamma at 800-333-0337.
Dunlop, Tennis Life Mag Offer Trip to US Open
Dunlop Tennis and Tennis Life Magazine are offering to send two fans to the 2006 US Open finals through a sweepstakes at the magazine’s website.
The grand prize winner and a guest will fly to New York City, spend three nights at the Roger Smith Hotel in Manhattan, and attend both the men’s and women’s finals from Dunlop’s box in Arthur Ashe Stadium. The winner also will receive four Dunlop racquets, a complete line of Dunlop Sport luggage, two cases of Dunlop tennis balls and an autographed John McEnroe poster. Two consolation prizes include Dunlop equipment and luggage and signed merchandise by McEnroe.
The sweepstakes is being offered through tennislife.com and ends on July 15.
Wilson, ITF Expand Partnership
The International Tennis Federation and Wilson Sporting Goods have announced a new three-year deal that names Wilson the official ball of Fed Cup and extends Wilson’s existing Davis Cup partnership through 2008. The new agreement, which gives the company on-site exposure at every Fed Cup tie played throughout the year, went into effect with the 2006 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first-round ties and Zonal group events in mid-April.
“We are delighted that the ITF’s relationship with Wilson continues to grow,” says ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “The company has shown a great commitment to the ITF and its activities for several years, and to tennis in general.”
Wilson began its relationship with the ITF in 2002 when it became the official ball of Davis Cup. In addition, Wilson is also the exclusive supplier of tennis racquets, shoes, clothing, and accessories to the ITF Development Coaching Team.
USPTA Offers ‘Junior Circuit’ for Novice Players
The USPTA has created a USPTA Junior Circuit, to provide opportunities to introduce less experienced junior players to tournament competition. The Junior Circuit is run by individual USPTA pros in their local areas.
Typically, most local and regional tournaments are designed for players with competitive experience, and they draw the area’s top tennis athletes. To help novice juniors, ages 10 to 18, gain positive, competitive experience, the USPTA Junior Circuit will feature:
- Tournaments that target lower-level competition or recreational players, so that more juniors can compete with peers of similar abilities, helping them prepare for higher-level competition if they choose to advance.
- A tournament series, in a recognizable pattern, such as the first weekend of three consecutive months, or every Saturday in a particular month. The exact series will be determined at least in part by the pro in the local area.
- Local events in one city or a metro area, to help keep travel time and expenses low.
- Consistent format. The series will use one format, such as playing pro sets for one-day events or traditional scoring at three-day events.
- A point system, to reward all participants, even if they do not win a match, and lets them track their standings. Masters tournaments might be held for point leaders at the end of the circuit, and top players there might qualify for divisional playoffs.
Consumers looking to find a USPTA Junior Circuit in their area should contact their local USPTA-certified pro, or visit usptafindapro.com. More info is available at uspta.com.
RSI Columnist Wins U.S. Tennis Writers’ Association Honors
Writer Marcia Frost, the editor of CollegeAndJuniorTennis.com, was honored by the U.S. Tennis Writers’ Association for a “Your Serve” commentary she wrote for the August 2005 issue of RSI. Frost’s commentary pushed for the USTA to recognize and reward top college players with wild cards in the U.S. Open.
Nearly a dozen writers were honored during the NASDAQ-100 Open as winners in the 7th Annual U.S. Tennis Writers’ Association Writing Contest. Six of the 12 awards were claimed by writers from Tennis Week magazine. Other media outlets whose writers claimed prizes are the San Francisco Chronicle, Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2004, ESPN.com, and The Oakland Tribune.
“We had record-breaking participation in our 2005 Writing Contest, with 27 media outlets represented through 83 articles,” says Liza Horan, USTWA president and administrator of the contest, which was open to all tennis writers. Winning writers and their entries are as follows:
1st Place: “Who is the Greatest Tennis Player Ever,” by Paul Fein, Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2004
2nd Place: “Once Upon a Time, Before He was a Stadium,” by Joel Drucker, Tennis Week
3rd Place: “Life Could be a Dream,” by Mark Winters, Tennis Week
1st Place: Federer Leaves Mortals Behind,” by Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle
2nd Place: “Agassi Wins One for the Ages,” by Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle
3rd Place: “Roddick, U.S. Beat Old Foe—the Clay Court,” by Whit Sheppard, ESPN.com
1st Place: “Doubles, Doubles Toil and Trouble,” by Richard Vach, Tennis Week
2nd Place: “Now up for Bids,” by Richard Pagliaro, Tennis Week
3rd Place: “Tennis’s Best Serve,” by Richard Evans, Tennis Week
1st Place: “Not Carping, Caring,” by Michael Mewshaw, Tennis Week
2nd Place: “Open the Door to College Players,” by Marcia Frost, Racquet Sports Industry
3rd Place: “Tursunov’s Victory Rings from Russia to Roseville,” by Art Spander, The Oakland Tribune
‘No Compromise’ Babolat String Promotion
Through June 30, all tennis players who restring their frames with Babolat’s Custom + Hybrid string combination will receive a blue bracelet featuring the “No Compromise” slogan of the Andy Roddick Foundation.
Babolat is teaming with the foundation to support the “No Compromise” campaign. All proceeds from the bracelets benefit the foundation (arfoundation.org), which benefits at-risk children. For more information on the Custom + Hybrid combinations, visit babolat.com or call 877-316-9435.
TIA Deal Adds Media Services Benefit
Tennis Industry Association members now have a media service available that can help them maximize their advertising budgets. Through an exclusive deal with the TIA, Blue Plate Media Services, a full-service media planning and buying agency, will help members maximize their media spending through smarter planning, efficiency buying, and highly targeted opportunistic media, says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer.
“Not only does Blue Plate Media have an excellent track record for helping companies get the most from their advertising dollars, they also provide expert media advice and planning,” says de Boer. “They can help our members strengthen awareness levels and build their brands.”
The partnership will help TIA members, both large and small, by offering expert media advice, strategic media planning, and prime, discounted national and regional advertising at the best prices possible, she adds.
“Long-term plans, as well as short-term media opportunities, are available across the media landscape, including consumer magazines, newspapers, television, outdoor, in-theatre and online,” says de Boer.
In addition to more traditional, integrated media planning, TIA members are encouraged to complete a Media Buyer profile. Members are then notified via e-mail to prime, discounted advertising inventory in national and regional media, with savings of up to 80 percent. In addition, TIA members may take advantage of Blue Plate’s full-service creative. This combination of services make Blue Plate Media an extension to member marketing departments — creating, planning and buying advertising — at substantial savings.
For more information visit TennisIndustry.org and click on Blue Plate Media, or contact the TIA at 843-686-3036.
Schwartz, Santorum, Gengler Honored by Hall of Fame
USTA Immediate Past President Alan G. Schwartz of Chicago received the Samuel Hardy Award, presented by the International Tennis Hall of Fame, at the USTA’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., in March. The award is given annually to a USTA volunteer in recognition of long and outstanding service to the sport.
Also honored by the Hall of Fame with Educational Merit Awards were Dan Santorum of Hilton Head Island, S.C., the CEO of the PTR, and Louise Gengler of Princeton, N.J., the longtime women’s tennis coach at Princeton University and a leader in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Tennis Educational Merit Awards are presented annually to individuals who have made notable contributions in the tennis education field at the national level. Award winners have repeatedly demonstrated leadership and creative skills in tennis instruction, writing, organization, and promotion of the game of tennis.
Sampras Top Pick in World TeamTennis Draft
Pete Sampras was the top pick in the World TeamTennis draft held at the end of March. He will be playing for the Newport Beach Breakers during the WTT Pro League’s regular season July 6 to 26. Sampras’s first match will be on July 10.
This is the 31st season of play for the WTT Pro League, presented by Advanta, which has 12 teams in the U.S. that will play 84 matches during the regular season. The top two teams in both the Eastern and Western conferences will advance to the season-ending WTT Finals Weekend, set for July 28-30, at the Palisades Tennis Club in Newport Beach, Calif.
Sampras, whose WTT debut marks his return to pro tennis competition, is one of several well-known names set to play for the professional co-ed tennis league in 2006. Other marquee picks included Venus Williams (Philadelphia Freedoms), John McEnroe (New York Sportimes), Anna Kournikova (Sacramento Capitals), Martina Hingis (New York Sportimes), Martina Navratilova (Boston Lobsters), and the doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan (Kansas City Explorers).
Tennis Week Founder Gene Scott Dies
Former USTA board member Eugene L. Scott, 68, the founder and publisher of Tennis Week magazine and a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team from 1963 to 1965, died of heart disease March 20.
“A tennis icon, [Gene] touched the game in every possible way — as a player, as an advocate, and as the publisher and founder of Tennis Week,” said Franklin Johnson, USTA chairman of the board and president. “His passion and enthusiasm for the game were unparalleled, whether on or off the court.” (For more tributes, see “Your Serve.”)
Donations may be made to The Lucy Foundation, c/o Tennis Week, 15 Elm Place, Rye, N.Y. 10580, which is a family charity established to aid organizations and projects devoted to education and recreation, with a specific focus on tennis.
New ‘Fit to Play Tennis’ Book
Now available from Racquet Tech Publishing is Fit to Play Tennis: High Performance Training Tips, by Carl Petersen and Nina Nittinger. This physical and mental training manual arms athletes, coaches, and parents with a bullet-point guide to designing high-performance training programs. The book will guide you in learning how to enhance performance, limit injuries, and avoid overtraining and burnout by following practical tips and techniques. For more information, visit RacquetTECH.com on-line or call 760-536-1177.
TIA Earmarks $1.5 Million to Grow Game
The Tennis Industry Association reported income and expenses of $2,188,980 for 2005. More than $1.5 million, or about 70 percent, went to grassroots programming and efforts to increase tennis participation.
TIA membership for 2005 more than doubled, to 322 total members from 150 in 2004 (including individual, facility, retailer, and supporting members). Revenue from TIA dues were up 60 percent versus 2004, but short of budget due to slower than anticipated growth in the new member categories, says the TIA. The anticipated membership goal for 2005 was 573 members.
HEAD Penn and ATP Expand Partnership
The ATP and HEAD Penn have announced a new three-year agreement that makes Head the official ATP tennis racquet and racquet bag through 2008. The new deal is an expansion of the ATP’s 13-year partnership with Penn.
HEAD will be the exclusive licensee for the ATP and will introduce a co-branded line of bags that will be distributed globally. Further programs, including a co-branded racquet, will be jointly developed with a special focus on China, the site of the Tennis Masters Cup for the next three years.
The HEAD sponsorship joins Penn’s existing sponsorship as the official ball of the ATP and the Tennis Masters Cup. Penn additionally sponsors 14 tournaments worldwide, including the nine ATP Masters Series events.
Deco Installed at St. John’s University
DecoSystems, a division of California Products Corp., reported that their full cushioned tennis surface DecoTurf has been installed in the newly reconstructed tennis facility at St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y.
The three existing courts at the University’s Outdoor Tennis Facility were rebuilt and replaced with five fully cushioned DecoTurf courts by tennis court builder JM Tennis Inc. of Old Bethpage, N.Y.
DecoTurf was also recently selected for use at the University of Alabama, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Virginia. For more information, visit DecoTurf on-line or call 800-DECO 1ST.
LBH Names Evans Head of Sales
The LBH Group Ltd. has named industry veteran Bill Evans as the new vice president of sales. Evans will be responsible for managing the sales of all of the LBH brands for both golf and tennis, including Lily’s of Beverly Hills, LBH, Wimbledon, and Fancy Pants. He previously held the same position at Tail and is the former president of Sergio Tacchini in the U.S.
“Bill brings a wealth of industry experience to LBH that will enable us to continue our growth in both the golf and tennis markets,” says LBH President Judy Petraitis. “We are looking forward to his positive impact with our customers, sales reps, and internal personnel.”
The LBH Group, based in Torrance, Calif., has been manufacturing and distributing women’s golf and tennis apparel for 33 years. In 1997 it became the licensee for Wimbledon men’s and women’s apparel in the USA, Canada, and the Caribbean Islands.
Bryans Have Firm Grip On Pro Doubles Lead
The world No. 1 doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan won a crucial doubles match in the recent Davis Cup win over Chile in April, which followed up a Davis Cup win earlier in the year. The duo, which also claimed their 28th pro doubles title in February, are expected to be the mainstay of the Davis Cup team that will travel to Russia in September for the semifinal round.
“Over the last seven months, the Bryan brothers have won the U.S. Open, the Australian Open, two Davis Cup matches, and The Tennis Channel Open,” says Gene Niksich, president of Unique Sports Products. “Through all their wins, Unique Sports’ Tourna Grip has been there.” The brothers, who play with Wilson nCode racquets, are longtime users of Tourna Grip. For more information, contact Unique at 800-554-3707.
HEAD Penn Announces Partnership with Beach Tennis USA
HEAD Penn Racquet Sports is the official racquet and ball of Beach Tennis USA, which kicked off its 2006 National Tour in April with two weekend events in Southern California. The 11-city tour will culminate with the U.S. Beach Tennis Open Championship in Long Beach, N.Y., in August.
The relatively new sport of beach tennis is played on a regulation beach volleyball court. Using regulation tennis racquets, two players on each team try to hit a tennis ball back and forth, over the net, without letting it hit the sand. Only one hit per team is allowed on each volley. Scoring is the same as in tennis, with no-ad at deuce. If a player’s serve hits the net and goes over, it counts.
“We are very excited to be promoting beach tennis. This partnership with Beach Tennis USA is a great fit for us and we are excited to have established this new connection to the sport of tennis,” says Amy Wishingrad, national promotions manager for HEAD Penn.
USTA Sets Tennis Teachers Conference
Mark your calendars now for the 2006 USTA Tennis Teachers Conference, to be held Aug. 26 to 29 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. This year’s theme, “Setting the Stage for Success,” encourages coaches to establish a platform for players to develop and grow in both skill and experience.
The concept encompasses all levels of play and development. At each phase, teachers can set the stage for fun, growth, and ultimately, success. Registration starts May 1. Visit usta.com/ttc or call 914-696-7004.
PTR Awards State Members of the Year
The Professional Tennis Registry presented the State Member of the Year Awards to 27 of its members recently during an awards ceremony at the PTR Symposium on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
- Alabama: John Dotson & Scott Novak
- Arizona: Mike Lowdermilk
- Arkansas: Craig Ward
- California: Julien Heine
- Colorado: Phil Betancourt
- Connecticut: Sharon Weston
- Florida: Noel Cubela
- Georgia: George Hovsepian
- Kansas: Marc Blouin
- Louisiana: Jeff Smith
- Massachusetts: Jorge Magalhaes
- Minnesota: Roger Mitten
- Missouri: Greg Mahosky
- New Jersey: Joe Bautista
- New Mexico: Bev Bourguet
- New York: Bogdana Romanska
- North Carolina: Allen Michael
- Ohio: Ralph Dunbar
- Oregon: Pam Lamb
- Pennsylvania: Tina Tharp
- South Carolina: Sam Kiser
- South Dakota: Daryl Paluch
- Texas: Kerlin Butchee
- Virginia: Mary Conaway
- Vermont: Errol Nattrass
- Washington: Karen Green
National Public Parks Tourney Set for National Tennis Center
The 80th Annual National Public Parks Tennis Championships will be held June 19 to 25 on the blue courts at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., the home of the U.S. Open.
Entry deadline for all event — juniors, adults, and seniors in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles — is June 5 at 5 p.m. Eastern time. Online entry at usta.com/tennislink is preferred. Tournament I.D.’s are 100217106 for adults, and 100216906 for juniors.
For more information, go to the website or call 718-760-6200.
Sharapova Joins Initiative to Grow the Game
Maria Sharapova, the highest paid female athlete in the world who appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in February, is the latest superstar to promote the sport of tennis to attract new and former players as part of an industry-wide initiative for Tennis Welcome Centers.
“I’ve loved playing tennis since I was 4 years old, so it’s natural for me to participate in this campaign to encourage people to pick up a racquet and join in,” says 18-year-old Sharapova, who joins Jeff Gordon, Daisy Fuentes, Mike Wallace, Roy Jones, Jr., and fellow tennis pros Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and James Blake, in the campaign to get more people playing tennis.
The national program is an unprecedented combined effort by every part of the tennis industry, including tennis facilities, manufacturers, tournaments, teaching organizations, tennis associations, retailers, and media. The marketing campaign includes print advertisements, broadcast spots for both TV and radio, and promotion on the Internet. The consumer website is TennisWelcomeCenter.com. The program is available to any facility or school with a tennis court. Prospective facilities can find information on participation at Partners.TennisWelcomeCenter.com.
Federer, Clijsters, Other Top Pros Receive Honors
World No. 1 Roger Federer and US Open champ Kim Clijsters received top honors at the “Stars for Stars” Official Awards Party of Professional Tennis in March in Miami.
Federer was named 2005 Player of the Year and also won the Fan’s Favorite Award and the Stefan Edberg Sportsman of the Year. Clijsters was named WTA Tour Player of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year. She also received the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award for the fifth time and was selected as the Fans’ Favorite.
Other awards included: Bob and Mike Bryan as ATP Doubles Team of the Year and also Fan Favorites. Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur won WTA Doubles Team of the Year. James Blake was named ATP Comeback Player. Most Improved honors went to Rafael Nadal and Ana Ivanovic.
Newcomer of the Year Awards were presented to Gael Monfils and Sania Mirza, while Leizel Huber and Carlos Moya received Humanitarian awards for their responses to Hurricane Katrina and the South Asian tsunami, respectively.
- Prince has announced a reorganization designed to accelerate growth in the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions. Mike Ricketts, a part of the Prince management team for four years, is now the vice president and managing director of the Asia-Pacific region, and Jon Plimpton is the managing director of the Latin American region.
- More than 75,000 free racquets have been distributed to children by Advanta since the 2003 inception of Advanta’s “Ready, Set, Racquet!” program, designed to promote youth fitness and the lifelong sport of tennis.
- Wilson expanded its outreach to high school tennis as a sponsor of the 7th Annual All-American Invitational Boys’ Team High School Tournament in Newport Beach, Calif., in March. The company provided tennis balls for the tournament, which invites 16 teams from across the country to participate based on rankings and statistics. Wilson also offered coaching strategies, player tips, and equipment guidelines to coaches and players.
- The U.S. Davis Cup team beat Chile in April and now advances to the semifinals Sept. 23-24. The U.S. will face Russia at a site to be chosen by the Russian Tennis Federation.
- The U.S. defeated the Australian team 15-12 in the 20th Bonnebell Maureen Connolly Brinker Cup international girls’ team competition held in Australia in April. The competition is for girls 14 and under. The U.S. leads the series 17-3.
- Gamma Sports’ new ProTour Tournament Ball will be the official ball of the Peter C. Alderman Foundation (PCAF) Pro-Am Celebrity Tennis Classic on June 9 and 10 at the Saw Mill Club in Mount Kisco, NY. To inquire about becoming a Gamma dealer, contact 800-333-0337.
- The reality series “Wife Swap” is looking for a family that is passionate about playing tennis for an upcoming episode. Potential families must consist of at least two parents that have one child age 5 or older living at home. Families featured on the show receive a $20,000 honorarium, and if you recommend a family that appears, you’ll receive a $1,000 finder’s fee. To apply for the show, e-mail a family photo and description.
- Charlotte, N.C., will host “The Championships at the Palisades,” a new tennis tournament on the Outback Champions Series, to be played Sept. 20-24 at The Palisades Country Club. It’s the fifth tournament in the series, a collection of tennis events in the U.S. featuring tennis greats over the age of 30. John McEnroe and Jim Courier will highlight the eight-player field.
- Penn is the official ball of the Delray Beach ITC, Pacific Life Open, Nasdaq-100 Open, Bausch & Lomb, and Family Circle Cup.
- The ATP has announced a seven-year deal with Beijing Li-Ning Sports Goods Co., China’s largest sports clothing company. ATP-branded clothing from Li-Ning will be available in the company’s more than 3,000 stores in China starting in July.
- Harold Solomon, the director of tennis at the Harold Solomon International Tennis Academy, is using SlingHopper ball bags at his academy.
- The International Tennis Hall of Fame is calling for nominations for its induction Class of 2007. Printable nomination forms are available at tennisfame.com.
- Maria Sharapova has signed a multi-year deal with Land Rover that includes her use of Land Rover vehicles, and her participation in retail promotions and events. ESPN.com reports the deal is worth about $2 million a year.
- World No. 1 player Roger Federer was recently appointed as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. “It’s important to me to help the many children throughout the world who do not have the basic resources they need,” says Federer.
- Melanie McGeough is the new communications manager for Wilson Racquet Sports.
- The USOC Coaching Recognition Program has named Brian Barker of Monroe, Conn., as National Coach of the Year for his work with pro James Blake. Mark Bey of Skokie, Ill., the founder and director of CARE Academy, was named Developmental Coach of the Year, and Dr. Ann Lebedeff of Temecula, Calif., received the “Doc” Counsilman Science Award.
- Maria Sharapova won her 11th career tournament in March at the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, Calif., her first victory playing with Prince’s O3 White racquet.
- Svetlana Kuznetsova, playing with a Head Flexpoint Instinct frame, won the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami in April.
- Mary Jo Campbell is the new strength and conditioning specialist and athletic trainer for USTA Player Development. She will be based in Carson, Calif.
- Bernard Tomic, the 13-year-old Australian tennis sensation, has signed with sports management group IMG.
- Rebecca McPhee of Lexington, S.C., is the new events manager on the USTA Southern Section staff.
- Mark Vandewater has been named the Regional Sales Manager of the Year for Gamma Sports. Vandewater, who joined Gamma in 2004, services accounts in western Pennsyvlania, western New York, Ohio, and Kentucky.
- Todd Norton of Greenville, S.C., is the a new Tennis Service Representative in South Carolina.
Pacific Sport Resurfaces in U.S.
Pacific Sport, a German-based company whose Natural Gut strings have received the No. 1 rating by the USRSA four out of the past five years, has resurfaced in the U.S. Pacific Sport specializes in the manufacture of strings, grips, and accessories.
Distributed out of Santa Barbara, Calif., Pacific’s string line includes award-winning natural gut, high-quality German-manufactured polyester, and multifilament synthetics. The company was best known during the early 1980s when John McEnroe won three Wimbledon titles using Pacific’s Natural Gut. Pacific remains one of a handful of companies in the world that still produces its own natural gut.
Pacific players, which include competitive players in top NCAA programs, nationally ranked juniors, and current and up-and-coming pros, are recognized by the unique “X” logo stenciled on their strings.
For more information, visit teampacificusa.com, or call 800-892-5901.
College Tennis Guides Available for High School Juniors and Seniors
The “Monthly Guide to College Planning” workbook was introduced as a complement to the information available on CollegeTennisConnect.com, but the workbook proved so popular that it was broken into separate versions for high school seniors and juniors. The books take the student/junior player through the 24-month process of preparing to become a college player and include worksheets to check off their progress each month.
They are written by Marcia Frost, a college tennis advocate who travels to tournaments and writes about junior and college players, in addition to interviewing recruiting college coaches from all divisions. Frost is the editor of CollegeTennisConnect.com and runs CollegeAndJuniorTennis.com. She also is a member of the USTA Eastern College Tennis Committee.
CollegeTennisConnect.com combines the tennis knowledge of the Port Washington (N.Y.) Tennis Academy’s College And Junior Tennis and the directory experience of Richard Lipsey of College Sports Connect. It is the only online directory that lists every college in the U.S. and Canada with a tennis program and features numerous articles to help with college planning, all at a cost of $29 a year.
Coaches, teaching pros, and others in the industry can order the workbooks and College Tennis Connect subscriptions for their high school players. Volume discounts apply. For more information or to order, visit CollegeAndJuniorTennis.com/CTCForRSI.php, or call 609-896-1996.
BJK, Austin Family Honored at USTA Annual Meeting
Tennis legend Billie Jean King and the Austin family of Southern California were among those honored for their contributions to the game at the USTA Annual Meeting at the Disney Yacht & Beach Club in Orlando, Fla., in March.
In a special ceremony, King received the 2005 President’s Award for her extraordinary service to tennis. “To me, Billie Jean King is not only a great name in tennis, but a great name in all of sports,” said USTA President Franklin Johnson. “She has so many accomplishments, but she’s still giving to the game.”
“When I was 12, I just knew I wanted to change things,” said King, who was interviewed by close friend and TV commentator Mary Carillo on stage in front of a capacity crowd. Carillo asked King about her past, present, and future in the game as photos from her history in the sport were displayed, and King commented on the photos.
Tennis champion Tracy Austin, along with her parents, George and Jeanne, and four siblings, received the 2005 Ralph W. Westcott USTA Family of the Year award, an honor presented annually to a family who in recent years has done the most to promote amateur tennis, primarily on a volunteer basis. The Austins have been at the center of the Southern California tennis for nearly 50 years and have supported the USTA and numerous charitable initiatives.
Taught the game by their mother and father, all five Austin children — Tracy, John, Pam, Jeff and Doug — each have successful collegiate or professional tennis histories and have since made the sport their career. “The Austin family embodies everything the USTA and this award stand for,” said Johnson.
Other awards presented at the USTA Annual Meeting included:
- 2005 Barbara Williams Leadership Award — Margaret Newfield, Miami, Fla.
- 2005 USTA Organization of the Year — Pikes Peak Community Tennis Association, Pikes Peak, Colo.
- 2006 Brad Parks Award — Grand Rapids Wheel Chair Sports Association
Classic Turf System Installed on Bermuda Parking Garage Deck
Classic Turf Co. recently installed its patented cushioned court surface in Bermuda on top of a parking garage at the headquarters of Ace Insurance Co. Ace Insurance officials chose Classic Turf to replace previous surfaces that had failed on top of the concrete deck.
“Classic Turf’s breathable and waterproofing properties allow the Classic Turf System to be installed over the concrete subsurface permanently,” says Tumer Eren, the president of Classic Turf. “This permanent installation over the concrete doesn’t just give players a soft, comfortable surface with a consistent ball bounce and speed, but also, it protects the concrete slab from the elements, such as the salt air, UV rays, rain, and hurricane-force winds.”
Eren shipped the prefabricated Classic Turf rubber rolls, along with specialized installation tools, to the Hamilton, Bermuda, site from his factory and warehouse in Woodbury, Conn. After preparation of the concrete slab, the Classic Turf System was installed according to its specifications. The completed court also included the installation of two permanent basketball backboards and hoops.
For more on Classic Turf, visit classicturf.org, or call 800-246-7951.
Tail to Introduce Cardio Tennis Apparel Line
Tail says it will introduce a line of Cardio Tennis-specific apparel for November delivery. Tail President Andy Varat said the line should be ready for showing in July.
“It will be part of the Tail Tech line, which is the active part of our tennis collection,” says Varat. The Cardio Tennis line will include fitness tops, capris, jackets, and skirts “and will definitely have more of an active fitness look to it.” The line will also merchandise back to Tail’s regular tennis collection.
For more information on Tail apparel, visit Tail on-line or call 800-678-8245.