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Wilson Launches ‘[K]Factor’ Racquets in Vegas Gala

In what may well have been the largest global product launch ever in tennis, Wilson Racquet Sports brought nearly 600 people to Las Vegas at the end of February to formally debut ten new “[K]Factor” racquets. The gala event, which took place at Caesar’s Palace (with a playtest of the new frames at a local facility) from Feb. 27 to March 2, included key Wilson dealers from the U.S. and hundreds from about 50 other countries.

Roger Federer and the Wilson [K] Six.One Tour 90
Courtesy of Wilson Racquet Sports

Some of the new racquets have been out since January, timed to Wilson-endorsed pro Roger Federer’s play in the Australian Open. However, the technology behind the frames was not publicly released until the Vegas event.

“This week is about our customers and our people,” Wilson Racquet Sports General Manager Jon Muir told the crowd. “You’re really the ones who get it done for us; you ultimately drive our brand. We want you to feel the personal level of the brand.”

Wilson says [K]Factor is actually “four exclusive technology innovations” that work together as a “true technology system,” all designed to give every player — from beginners to world No. 1 Federer — more control, or as Wilson puts it, more “[K]ontrol.” (See page 8 for more details on [K]Factor and the new racquets.)

“[K]Factor itself is not one thing,” said Muir. “It’s multiple technologies that work together differently in each frame to maximize that frame.”

The four new technologies are not found in every [K]Factor frame. “We’ve narrowed it down to which ones apply the best to each player type,” says Muir. Ultimately, he says, [K]Factor racquets will add 64 percent more control to a player’s game.

One Wilson source said that for the Vegas event, the company brought in more than 7 tons of product and materials on 120 pallets. Wilson also created a “[K]oncept Lounge,” where they displayed much of their product line, but also had on display the actual Davis Cup trophy, along with seven autographed racquet bags used by Federer at the Australian Open, each of which had a different [K]Factor teaser message.

The Vegas event started with a short video showing the history of tennis and Wilson. The opening night also included a magician who did a show incorporating the new racquets and various Wilson personnel. On the second day, there were sessions on the new technologies, marketing, and accessories (there also are new strings and grips to go along with the new frames, and an extensive and innovative bag line).

Pro players Mardy Fish (No. 22) and Dmitry Tursunov (No. 21) also were on hand in Vegas. The racquet, says Fish, “has great control and great feel, and that’s a big part of my game.” In developing the [K]Factor line, Wilson used input from pro players, including Federer.

Wilson announced it will build an “innovation center” at its Chicago headquarters. “The lifeblood of this company is product,” said Wilson President Chris Considine. “We’ll give our research and development team a place to tinker.” He also invited dealers to visit their new headquarters any time.

Considine said Wilson did more than $500 million in racquet sports sales last year, and is positioned to reach $750 million. “We are hell-bent on growing our business at least 25 percent in the next few years,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re catering to all consumer types.”

Wilson Debuts Ten New [K]Factor Frames

Wilson says its new [K]Factor line of racquets uses four technologies to create three key benefits — increased feel, more strength and stability, and a bigger sweetspot — all adding up to 64 percent more control. The four technologies are:

Not all [K]Factor racquets have all four of the technologies, says Jon Muir, Wilson’s general manager. Suggested retail prices for the frames range from $190 to $350.

In addition to the [K]Factor frames, Wilson also introduced new bags, strings, and grips. The [K] Pro Tour bag collection is the same rugged pieces that the top pros, such as Federer and Justine Henin-Hardenne, use on the tour. At a slightly lower price is the [K] Tour line. Both lines have identical pieces and features.

New string for the [K]Factor racquets include [K]Gut and [K]Gut Pro. Also new to the line is [K]Grip. And there’s a 26-inch-long junior racquet, the Junior [K]Six.One 26, with a strung weight of 8.8 ounces and list price of $100.

Wilson K Gut Pro

For more information, visit wilson.com or call 800-WIN-6060.

[K]One

Technologies: [K]arophite Black, [K]onnector, [K]ompact Center, [K]ontour Yoke
Swing: Slow and compact
Power: High
Headsize: 122 sq. in.
Strung Weight: 9.4 oz.
Length: 27.5 in.
String Pattern: 16×19
Balance: 11 points head-heavy
Cross Section: 30 mm
List Price: $350

[K]Three

Technologies: [K]arophite Black, [K]ompact Center, [K]ontour Yoke, Triad Technology
Swing: Slow and compact
Power: High
Headsize: 115 sq. in.
Strung Weight: 9.5 oz.
Length: 27.5 in.
String Pattern: 16×19
Balance: 8 points head-heavy
Cross Section: 30 mm
List Price: $300

[K]Four 112

Technologies: [K]arophite Black, [K]onnector, [K]ompact Center, [K]ontour Yoke
Swing: Medium
Power: Medium
Headsize: 112 sq. in.
Strung Weight: 9.7 oz.
Length: 27.5 in.
String Pattern: 16×20
Balance: 6 points head-heavy
Cross Section: 29.5 mm
List Price: $260

[K]Four 105

Technologies: [K]arophite Black, [K]ompact Center, [K]ontour Yoke
Swing: Medium
Power: Medium
Headsize: 105 sq. in.
Strung Weight: 9.9 oz.
Length: 27.25 in.
String Pattern: 16×19
Balance: 1 point head-heavy
Cross Section: 28.7 mm
List Price: $230

[K]Six.One Tour

Technologies: [K]arophite Black, [K]ompact Center
Swing: Fast and long
Power: Low
Headsize: 90 sq. in.
Strung Weight: 12.5 oz.
Length: 27 in.
String Pattern: 16×19
Balance: 9 points head-light
Cross Section: 17 mm flat beam
List Price: $220

[K]Six.One

Technologies: [K]arophite Black
Swing: Fast and long
Power: Low
Headsize: 95 sq. in.
Strung Weight: 12.3 oz.
Length: 27 in./27 in./27.5 in.
String Pattern:16×18/18×20
Balance: 9 points head-light
Cross Section: 22 mm flat beam
List Price: $210

[K]Six.One Team

Technologies: [K]arophite Black
Swing: Fast and long
Power: Low
Headsize: 95 sq. in.
Strung Weight: 10.8 oz.
Length: 27 in.
String Pattern: 18×20
Balance: 1 point head-light
Cross Section: 21 mm
List Price: $210

[K]Surge

Technologies: [K]arophite Black
Swing: Medium
Power: Medium
Headsize: 100 sq. in.
Strung Weight: 10.5 oz.
Length: 27 in.
String Pattern: 16×19
Balance: 1 point head-light
Cross Section: 26 mm
List Price: $200

[K]Zen

Technologies: [K]arophite Black, [K]ompact Center, [K]ontour Yoke
Swing: Fast and long
Power: Low
Headsize: 103 sq. in.
Strung Weight: 11.1 oz.
Length: 27.25 in.
String Pattern: 16×19
Balance: 5 points head-light
Cross Section: 26 mm
List Price: $190

[K]Zen Team

Technologies: [K]arophite Black, [K]ompact Center, [K]ontour Yoke
Swing: Fast and long
Power: Low
Headsize: 103 sq. in.
Strung Weight: 10.1 oz.
Length: 27.25 in.
String Pattern: 16×19
Balance: Even
Cross Section: 26 mm
List Price: $190

PTR Presents Annual Awards at Symposium

The Professional Tennis Registry presented its annual awards during the 2007 PTR International Tennis Symposium.

The event, which included more than 50 seminars and presentations, a tennis trade show, and the $25,000 Championships, was held Feb. 17 to 24 at the Van der Meer Shipyard Racquet Club on Hilton Head Island, S.C. Former New

York City Mayor and PTR board member David Dinkins presented the PTR awards at the annual banquet.

In addition, the PTR recognized several State Members of the Year. They are: Jeff Gray, Alabama; Jake Shoemake, Arkansas; Steve Riggs, California; Frank Adams, Colorado; Raj Lama, Florida; Tony Niland, Georgia; Butch Staples, Illinois; Adam Jasick, Michigan; Patrick Tibbs, Mississippi; Mark Platt, Missouri; Bill Mountford, New York; Paul Tollefson, North Carolina; Lance Lee, Pennsylvania; Sam Kiser, South Carolina; Murtala Bala Habu, Tennessee; Jack Thompson, Virginia; Kermit Escame, Washington.

Lee Tennis Partners With Jose Higueras

Lee Tennis, the maker of Har-Tru, has formed an official year-long partnership with Jose Higueras, an international tennis icon and a veteran coach, to promote the benefits of playing tennis on clay courts. Through Lee Tennis’s seminars, conferences, advertising, and promotional materials, Higueras will reach out to tennis players and pros about the clay-court playing experience.

“We are thrilled about Higueras’s willingness to transfer his knowledge and passion about the health of the game to our players and pros alike,” says John Welborn, director of business development for Lee Tennis. “Jose shares our philosophy of playing the game on clay courts and he’s an advocate of clay tennis courts, as they are integral to the success of developing new players while retaining existing ones.”

“Being committed to advancing the clay-court experience among tennis players and pros is my top priority,” says Higueras, founder of Jose Higueras Tennis of Palm Springs, Calif. “Partnering with Lee Tennis was a natural choice as the company embodies the same beliefs about taking the game to the next level.

“Playing on clay courts affords my students slide comfort, minimizing the risk for injuries while maximizing health benefits,” he adds. Higueras won 15 pro tour tournament titles and ranked in the world Top 10.

Babolat Introduces ‘Aeropro Drive with Cortex’

Credit Babolat with helping to jump-start the trend of aerodynamic racquets when it got Rafael Nadal to hit the court with the Aeropro Drive. But what’s new for the company? It’s introducing an alternative model of Nadal’s AeroPro Drive, with the dampening technology Cortex at the top of the handle. It’s exactly what Babolat did with Andy Roddick’s racquet (see the Pure Drive with Cortex). The AeroPro Drive with Cortex, due out in May, will have a 100-square-inch head, weigh 11.1 ounces, and measure in at 27 inches. It’s designed for 4.5 NTRP and above players. Visit babolat.com or call 877-316-9435.

Wimbledon Levels Prize Money

Wimbledon has finally bowed to public pressure and agreed to pay women players as much as the men, it was announced in February. It is the first time the All England Club will offer equal pay through all rounds of the tournament. Last year, men’s champion Roger Federer received $1.170 million and women’s winner Amelie Mauresmo got $1.117 million.

3 Honored by USOC

Three members of the tennis community were honored recently with national awards as part of the USOC Coaching Recognition Program.

Andy Brandi of Boca Raton, Fla., was named National Coach of the Year and Nick Saviano of Davie, Fla., director of Saviano High Performance Tennis Academy at Sunrise Tennis Club Park, was named Developmental Coach of the Year.

In addition, the USOC honored Emilie Foster of Boerne, Texas, with the “Doc” Counsilman Science Award for her contributions in the areas of performance analysis and injury prevention.

USTA to Celebrate African-American Contributions

The USTA announced three major initiatives to celebrate the contributions of black and African-American players to the game of tennis.

In July, the American Tennis Association (ATA), the oldest African-American sports organization, will conduct its annual national championship in New York City and for the first time, plans to play final matches at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The ATA was founded in 1916 by a group of African-American leaders to promote the sport throughout a community that had been denied access to facilities and tournaments. A number of well-known black tennis stars were developed by ATA coaches, notably Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe as well as more contemporary players such as Zina Garrison, Katrina Adams, and MaliVai Washington.

The USTA and the International Tennis Hall of Fame will showcase a special exhibition at the US Open Gallery during the 2007 US Open. The exhibition will evolve from the year-long exhibit at the Hall of Fame Museum, “Breaking the Barriers,” into an expanded presentation yet to be named.

In addition to the exhibit at the US Open, the 50th anniversary of Gibson’s 1957 U.S. Nationals title will also be celebrated. Gibson was the first African-American woman to win a Grand Slam, 11 years before Arthur Ashe.

LSI Brings Out New Optical System

LSI Courtsider Sports Lighting has a new optical system — ART (Advanced Reflector Technology) — that utilizes a 1000-watt Metal Halide reduced envelope lamp. LSI says ART delivers more than 10 percent additional light to the court area, while reducing stray illumination. ART is now featured in all Courtsider XL fixtures. For more information, contact 513-793-3200.

Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January-December 2006

Best-Sellers

  1. Prince O3 White (MP) $187
  2. Babolat Pure Drive Team (MP) $161
  3. Wilson N Six-One (16x18) (MS) $161
  4. Prince O3 Blue (OS) $218
  5. Prince O3 Silver (OS) $235

‘Hot New Racquets’

(Introduced in the past 12 months)

  1. Prince O3 Hybrid Hornet (OS) $162
  2. Prince O3 Hybrid Hornet (MP) $161
  3. Wilson NPro Open (MP) $166
  4. Babolat Pure Drive Roddick (MP) $171
  5. Prince O3 Hybrid Shark (OS) $172

(Source: TIA/Sports Marketing Surveys)

Tennis Racquet Performance

Specialty Stores, Jan.-Dec. 2006 vs. 2005

Units 2006 793,836
  2005 724,616
  % Change vs. ‘05 10%
Dollars 2006 $105,225,000
  2005 $100,249,000
  % Change vs. ‘05 5%
Price 2006 $132.55
  2005 $138.35
  % Change vs. ‘05 -4%

(Source: TIA/Sports Marketing Surveys)

Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January-December 2006

  1. Adidas Barricade IV $101
  2. Nike Air Max Breathe 2 $94
  3. Adidas Barricade II $82
  4. Prince T10 $81
  5. Nike Air Max Breathe 3 $97

(Source: TIA/Sports Marketing Surveys)

Top-Selling Tennis Strings at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, Jan.-Dec. 2006

  1. Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex
  2. Wilson NXT
  3. Wilson Sensation
  4. Prince Lightning XX
  5. Luxilon Alu Power

(Source: TIA/Sports Marketing Surveys)

Barth, Rossi Named PTR Master Professionals

Roy Barth, director of tennis at Kiawah Island Resort in Kiawah, S.C., and Alex Rossi, director of tennis at Club Los Leones in Santiago, Chile, are the newest Master Pros for the Professional Tennis Registry. The two were honored at the PTR’s annual Awards Banquet on Feb. 19 during the 2007 PTR International Tennis Symposium on Hilton Head Island, S.C. Barth and Rossi join 25 others who have earned the PTR Master Pro designation. The PTR Master Pro level recognizes those who have made significant contributions to and broad involvement with tennis over many years.

Deco Named All-Weather Surface of PTR

The PTR has announced a five-year agreement that names DecoTurf as the official all-weather tennis surface of the PTR.

“PTR is thrilled to be associated with the court surface provider of the US Open and the Olympics,” says Dan Santorum, CEO of the PTR. “Our partnership will provide an excellent opportunity for both PTR and DecoTurf to cross promote businesses.”

“Partnering with PTR and its tennis teaching professionals is a tremendous opportunity to work closely together and coordinate our efforts to benefit tennis overall,” says John Graham, managing director of DecoTurf. “Over 40 percent of DecoTurf’s sales are international, and we look forward to teaming with PTR members in 126 countries.”

DecoTurf, headquartered in Andover, Mass., has authorized applicators around the world. Visit decoturf.com or call 800-332-6178 in the U.S, or 978-623-9980 internationally.

Short Sets

Peoplewatch

Duddy Is Newest USRSA Tester

Jim Duddy of the Overland Park (Kan.) Racquet Club is the newest USRSA certification tester. He’s been a USRSA Master Racquet Technician for more than 10 years and has strung for all types of players, from beginners to pro tour players. Duddy, a PTR-certified pro, also has taught tennis for more than 13 years, working with all levels of students, including tour players. A former women’s tennis coach at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., Duddy currently teaches tennis at the Overland Park Racquet Club, where he is on staff with both the Futures Program and the Mike Wolf Tennis Academy.

18 Courts in Conn. Receive Classic Turf Surface

Classic Turf Co. of Woodbury, Conn., recently started work resurfacing the 18 asphalt courts overseen by the Trumbull (Conn.) Park and Recreation. “All of the courts were cracked, and 12 were closed down completely because they were dangerous to players,” says Tumer Eren, president of Classic Turf, which manufactures and installs a cushioned sheet-goods surface system. “They kept repairing the same problems over and over, and decided to finally go with a soft, comfortable surface that won’t crack.” The project is expected to be completed in the summer. For more information, contact 800-246-7951 or visit Classicturf.org.

Classic Turf at Trumbull Park and Recreation

HEAD to Introduce Metallix Squash Frames

HEAD will introduce four racquets this summer as part of its Metallix series: The Metallix 160 (used by world No. 2 David Palmer), the Metallix 140 (used by sisters Natalie and Rachel Grinham), the Metallix 130, and the Metallix 150.

HEAD says its Metallix is one of the lightest and strongest new materials made today, giving players a lighter, stronger, and more powerful racquet. It consists of a specially-designed matrix of carbon fibers and a crystalline metal alloy that has a grain size 1,000 times smaller than that of a typical metal. The decreased grain size translates to an increase in strength, says the company. Visit head.com.

Babolat Introduces Propulse Shoe

Top American player Andy Roddick is playing with the new Babolat Propulse tennis shoe, which he started wearing at the 2007 Australian Open. The newest model in the Babolat footwear range, the Propulse has Roddick’s signature.

Babolat Propulse

“During a match, shoes are subjected to extreme conditions,” says Roddick. “I particularly appreciate the traction and quick acceleration I get with the Propulse.” Roddick has been playing with Babolat racquets and strings since 1999 and wearing Babolat shoes since August 2005.

Babolat says the shoe features three groundbreaking innovations:

For information, visit babolat.com.

Bälle de Mätch Adds Reps, Expands in Canada

Apparel maker Bälle de Mätch has added new sales reps in the U.S., and the company has become a partner with the Tennis Professionals Association (TPA), part of Tennis Canada, the governing body of tennis in Canada.

Kit Rohm and Vicky Franz, former sub reps for Ellesse and Lotto in Orange County, are now managing the Southern California region for Bälle de Mätch exclusively. In Florida, the company added Mari Workman and Lisa Durkin. Also, Terry Gratz and Laurie Bouch will manage sales in the Northeast and Southeast regions.

The two-year agreement with the tennis pro association in Canada will give the 1,600 TPA members the opportunity to purchase Bälle de Mätch apparel on a “preferred” basis. The company will offer special packages to members, including a warm-up designed specifically for the TPA.

“Having TPA members wear our product will enhance our brand awareness with consumers, which will help drive sales at retail,” says Bälle de Mätch co-owner John Embree.

Dunlop Sponsors Junior ‘Points Race’

Dunlop Sports Group Americas and the USTA Southern Section announced Dunlop’s sponsorship of the D-Squad Points Race competition in the Southern Regional Bullfrog Junior Tennis Circuit, which kicked off in early February in Jackson, Miss.

Players who compete in at least four of the eight Bullfrog Tennis Tournaments held throughout the South will garner points as they advance into and beyond the quarterfinal rounds — ranging from 3 points for reaching the quarters to 10 points for the winner. The overall winners in the boys and girls categories will have their names engraved on the Dunlop Cup Legacy Trophy, which will be on permanent display at the USTA Southern Section office in Atlanta. Each winner will also be presented with a personal Dunlop Cup trophy.

The top three total point finishers in each age group (12s, 14s, 16s, and 18s) of boys and girls will receive a variety of premium Dunlop tennis products based on their performance in the D-Squad Points Race. These awards will include Dunlop’s Aerogel racquets, clothing, and a variety of Dunlop bags, grips, and other accessories from its 2007 line.

“Dunlop is excited about its renewed commitment to junior tennis,” says Kai Nitsche, general manager of racquet sports. “We are extremely proud of our D-Squad team of sponsored players and see the Dunlop Cup as a way of further expanding our efforts to junior tennis overall.”

Georgia, Georgia Tech Win Team Indoor Titles

Top-seeded Georgia beat No. 2 Ohio State 4-0 in the final at the USTA/Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Men’s Team Indoor Championships at Midtown Tennis Club in Chicago. It’s Georgia’s second straight team Indoor title. The Bulldogs have now won 38 of their last 39 matches over the past two seasons.

This event, which features 16 of the nation’s top programs, has crowned a national indoor champion every year since 1973. This is the second time in three years Midtown Tennis Club and the University of Illinois have served as hosts.

For the women, fourth-seeded Georgia Tech beat Notre Dame 4-2 in the final at the USTA/ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships at the University of Wisconsin’s A.C. Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison. Earlier, in the semifinals, Georgia Tech handed No. 1 Stanford its first loss since May 18, 2003. Stanford had won its last 89 matches, an NCAA Division I women’s tennis record, before falling 4-3 to Tech.

“We keep telling our players it’s all about taking things day by day and just try to keep getting better, that good things will come,” Georgia Tech coach Bryan Shelton said. “We’ll be able to really appreciate this win down the road, but right now we just want to hold on to the mentality of looking to improve every day. I think we’re heading in the right direction.”

In Division 3, the University of California-Santa Cruz beat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to claim the ITA Men’s National Team Indoor Title.

USPTA Kicks Off 2007 Tournament Series

In 2007 the USPTA will once again offer its members the chance to earn prize money and ranking points through its USPTA National Surface Championship Series.

USPTA members will test their playing skills beginning with the USPTA Clay Court Championships set for May 4-7. The event is presented by the USPTA Florida Division and the Ibis Golf and Country Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. Total prize money for this tournament is $8,000. The tournament will feature events in men’s and women’s 35s, 45s, 55s, and Open divisions in singles and doubles.

The series will give USPTA members the flexibility and opportunity to compete on various surfaces. The national tournaments are open to Professional-Level members in good standing.

For additional information, contact 800-USPTA-4U. USPTA Professionals may log in to the “members only” section of uspta.com for an application.

2007 USPTA National Surface Championship Series schedule:

Classifieds

Now hiring tennis racquet stringer with prior stringing experience. Must be reliable, detail oriented and able to work in a high-volume and fast-paced environment. USRSA certification preferred. Chicago Tennis and Golf Company has been serving the tennis community for the last 18 years. Email corinne@ctgc.comor or call Corinne at 773-588-8884.

Help Wanted: Racquet Stringer/Manager wanted, Beverly Hills, South Bay. Please call Pete at 310-600-2009.

For Sale: Established Tennis & Health Club in Bristol, Tennessee. Four Indoor hard courts with complete Nautilus and Free weight room, three racquetball courts, basketball, and pro shop. Outdoor court complex with four clay hydro courts and two hard courts, clubhouse and garage. Our website is toddsmith.usptapro.com or email toddsbrfc@btes.tv phone 423-341-3484.

HEAD Continues Partnership with Beach Tennis

HEAD Penn Racquet Sports has renewed its agreement with Beach Tennis USA to be the official racquet and ball supplier for its 2007 national tour. Beach Tennis USA, which launched the new hybrid sport in 2005, kicked off its nine-city pro tour in Delray Beach, Fla., in mid-March.

beach tennis

“We are excited to have extended our partnership with Beach Tennis USA. This is just one more outlet for Head to be involved in growing the game of tennis,” says Amy Wishingrad, promotions manager for HEAD Penn Racquet Sports.

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, directly over the net, without letting it hit the sand. Only one hit per team is allowed on each volley and 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 — just as in beach volleyball.

In related news, Beach Tennis USA announced that its Charleston, S.C., licensee, Carolina Beach Tennis, will hold a series of beach tennis exhibitions at the Family Circle Cup in April. Instructional clinics as well as professional demonstrations of beach tennis playing techniques will take place April 10-13 on-site at the Family Circle Cup, which will be held in Charleston.

To learn more, call (917) 305-0975 or visit beachtennisusa.net.

California Stringer Sets Record At Tennis Channel Open Competition

A new stringing champion was crowned at the 2nd Annual Wilson World Stringing Championships held at the Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas in early March. Stringing his Wilson [K]Factor racquet with an impressive time of 8 minutes and 46 seconds, Bryan Richter of Irvine, Calif., set a new competition record, earning the 2007 Championship title and a prize package worth $10,000.

This year’s Wilson World Stringing Championships was hosted by Wayne Bryan, father of world No. 1 doubles team Bob and Mike Bryan, and refereed by Dave Bone, executive director of the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association (and the co-publisher of Racquet Sports Industry magazine).

Each competitor’s clocked time included unwrapping the packet of Wilson Reaction string, mounting the racquet, and stringing a 16-main, 18-cross pattern. The six finalists had each cleared several heats to make it through to the final round. Besides Richter, who works at the Irvine Tennis Shop, the finalists were Gilbert Gan of Northridge, Calif.; Rob Cortney of Voorhees, N.J.; Jim Downes of Baltimore; Paul Neely of Phoenix; and Joseph Heydt of Omaha.

Letters

Pro Says Limit Foreign Players at U.S. Colleges

To the Editor:

Colette Lewis may be “a longtime observer,” but she hasn’t been observing long enough or observing close enough. Her opinions concerning limits on foreign tennis players in U.S. colleges and universities (Your Serve: An International Flavor, February 2007) are “bad ideas” and “all wet.”

Older, more experience foreign tennis players who have been unable to make it in professional tennis are taking scholarship money from deserving American kids. Most of this money is U.S. taxpayer dollars.

If a similar thing was happening in football and basketball, there would be a national uproar. In addition, this practice is hurting the grassroots efforts of the USPTA teaching professional to “grow the game.” Talk to some U.S. USPTA pros and get their perspective on U.S. college tennis and how it impacts “growing the game.” Only the presidents of Division 1 universities can direct the NCAA to change the rule. Let’s hope they take action soon.

John R. Williams
USPTA Professional 1

We welcome your letters and comments. Please email them to rsi@racquetTECH.com or fax them to 760-536-1171.

 

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