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Vegas to Host CTDW in February
The USTA’s popular Community Tennis Development Workshop will be Feb. 22-24 in Las Vegas. The educational weekend workshop, held at the Flamingo Las Vegas, will feature leading speakers and opportunities to network with peers from across the country.
Programming topics include board and volunteer development, advocacy marketing and communication, fundraising best practices, event management, personal development, and more, including on-court demonstrations and tennis programming. The CTDW annually attracts more than 500 community tennis providers, from teaching pros to CTAs, to park and rec personnel.
Two full-day “Pre-Workshop Sessions” will be presented on Friday, Feb. 22, offering an intensive learning opportunity for a limited number of attendees. The two sessions (for an additional $60 per session) are Fundamentals of Organizational Management and Tennis Court Construction/Facility Operations.
Full conference registration is $330. The hotel rate for registered attendees is $155 per night. For more information, visit usta.com, or call 914-696-7205.
Prince Launches New Recoil String
Prince will soon start shipping its new Recoil string, which the company says will deliver precise string realignment after every shot, along with top control, playability, and durability.
“It’s a breakthrough in string technology,” says Tyler Herring, Prince’s product manager for strings, grips and machines. Prince will start shipping the string to stores Jan. 18 and says the Recoil launch will be the largest string launch in the company’s history.
Key to the development of the string is Prince’s partnership with W.L. Gore & Associates, the creators of Gore-Tex. The Recoil string uses a new coating called Gore MicroWeb Technology, which is a proprietary formulation of expanded polyTetraflourothylene (ePTFE). Essentially, says Herring, it is a “mesh-like web that allows for an ultra-low-friction surface.”
According to Prince, the ePTFE coating creates “a combination of benefits never before achieved in string playability and design.” Those benefits, says the company, include precise string realignment after each shot and drastically reduced string notching for increased durability. In addition, says Prince, Recoil’s advanced thermoplastic core and multi-layered construction with new “high-tenacity filaments” provide extra comfort and better feel.
Prince says Recoil was playtested by both ATP and WTA players, along with top juniors. The company recommends that, due to the low friction design of Recoil, it be strung with about 10 percent less tension than with other strings. For Recoil, Prince is targeting tournament-level players with longer, faster strokes, who use “player” frames.
“The launch of Recoil is a testament to a dedicated team focused on creating, refining, and perfecting products that will take players to the next level,” says Doug Fonte, president of Prince Americas.
Herring says Recoil has been in development for about three years. “The material and process had to be designed from scratch,” he says. “Every step had to be tweaked. We went through three or four dozen initial prototypes, and then another couple dozen after that. It really was a labor of love for us.”
Videos and other information regarding Recoil will be on princetennis.com beginning Jan. 2.
Futty, Hanssen Promoted at Lee Tennis
Lee Tennis has named Randy Futty as its new general manager and Pat Hanssen as director of sales. Both Futty and Hanssen have been active in the tennis industry for many years.
Futty (above) joined Lee Tennis, the maker of the Har-Tru surface, in 1992 and has been instrumental in leading various initiatives for Lee in the areas of engineering, sales and marketing. In his new role, he will oversee sales, marketing and operations. Futty has served in leadership positions for various industry associations including the American Sports Builders Association and currently is the president of the associate affiliate division of ASBA.
Hanssen, who joined Lee seven years ago, will manage the company’s sales team while being integral to the marketing and communications efforts. He currently serves as president of the USTA Virginia district and vice president of the USPTA Mid-Atlantic section.
PBI Holds Annual Meeting, Presents Awards
Peter Burwash International recently held its annual meeting at the Naples Grande Resort & Club in Naples, Fla. The meeting brought together 90 PBI pros from around the world for continuing education.
Topics focused on both personal and professional development, ranging from coaching tour players and innovative teaching techniques to communication and program marketing. Tennis industry icon Alan Schwartz highlighted the meeting with both a presentation and as the keynote speaker at the concluding banquet.
In addition to this week of intensive educational activities both on and off the tennis court, the following awards were presented during the banquet:
- Professional of the Year: Rene Zondag, tennis director at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
- Most Improved Professional: Victor Motta, tennis pro at the InterContinental Muscat in Muscat, Oman.
- Rookie of the Year: Scott Anders, tennis director at The Lodge at Ventana Canyon in Tucson, Ariz.
- Site of the Year: The Lake George Club in Diamond Point, N.Y.
- Friend of the Year: Peter Loewy from Carmel, Calif.
Peter Burwash International directs tennis programs at resorts, hotels and clubs in North America, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Caribbean, Mexico, Indian Ocean and the Pacific. For more information, visit pbitennis.com.
HEAD Prestige Joins MicroGel Family
HEAD’s popular Prestige racquet, first introduced in 1987, is now available with MicroGel technology. Three new MicroGel Prestige frames will be available in January: the Prestige MP, Prestige Mid and Prestige Pro.
“In today’s fast-paced, aggressive game, competitive players need a racquet that provides ultimate feel,” says Kevin Kempin, vice president of sales and marketing for HEAD Penn. “MicroGel technology creates amazing response qualities and is wrapped up in cool-looking high-tech racquets.”
When combined with carbon composite fibers in the racquet head, MicroGel deforms and compresses upon ball impact, says Head, uniformly absorbing and distributing the impact load around the frame. This creates a solid feel while offering extra stability, says the company.
The MicroGel Prestige MP is a mid-plus tour racquet that provides touch and control, says Head. The Prestige Mid is for serious heavy-hitters, and the Prestige Pro is for the faster playing style of aggressive players. For more information, visit head.com.
PTR Symposium Set for February
The PTR will hold its International Tennis Symposium & $25,000 Championships Feb. 16-22 at PTR Headquarters on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The Symposium attracts nearly 1,000 tennis teachers and coaches from more than 50 countries.
Speakers this year include Pat Etcheberry, Chuck Kriese, Dr. Jim Loehr, Dave Miley and Anne Smith, conducting classroom and on-court presentations. Subjects range from tennis business to tactics to injury prevention and treatments. There is also a special high school coaches’ program held over President’s Weekend.
Companies including DecoTurf, Gamma, HEAD Penn and Playmate are among the 45 tennis organizations and manufacturers that will exhibit at the Tennis Trade Show. Product demonstrations will be conducted on an adjacent demo court.
For information and registration, visit ptrtennis.org and click Upcoming Events.
Blake to Endorse Tourna Grip
Unique Sports announces a multi-year agreement with World Top 10 player James Blake to endorse the Tourna Grip overgrip. Blake has been using Tourna Grip throughout his career and joins Pete Sampras and Bob and Mike Bryan as an official spokesman of Tourna Grip. He will be featured on Tourna Grip packaging starting in 2008. Visit uniquesports.us.
Lejay Fitness Skorts
Lejay has come out with a variety of “fitness” skorts suitable for tennis and other outdoor and indoor activities, from cycling and spinning to dancing and aerobics. Lejay says the fitness skort adds a more feminine touch to the traditional shorts. For more information or to request a catalog, call 800-932-7535 or log onto lejay.com.
Trion:Z Introduces Upscale Bracelets
Trion:Z, maker of ionic/magnetic health gear for sports, has launched its Palette line of titanium bracelets, an upscale version of its popular dual-banded sports bracelets and necklaces. The Palette Mag-Titan is a more dressy version of the Trion:Z technology that is designed to deliver therapeutic benefits for wearers.
The Palette bands are made with pure Ti-22 titanium. The company says titanium in its pure form has therapeutic power, due to its negative electrical potential, to draw out positive ions from the body. The bands won’t rust or stain. Trion:Z technology combines the therapeutic properties of medical-grade magnets and minus ions.
For more information, visit trionz.com.
Deco Chosen for Beijing Olympics
The DecoTurf II cushioned tennis surface has been chosen for the 2008 Olympic Games to be held in Beijing, China. Tennis practice sessions and match play will take place on the 17 courts at the Beijing Olympic Tennis Centre from Aug. 10 through 17. A total of 172 men and women will compete for medals in men’s and women’s singles and doubles.
The choice of DecoTurf was ratified by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games and the International Tennis Federation. “DecoTurf is honored and gratified to be selected as the tennis surface for the Beijing Olympics,” says John Graham, managing director for DecoTurf. For more information, visit decoturf.com or call 800-225-1141.
Footwear Veteran Joins Prince
Prince Sports has hired former Nike and Adidas executive George Poulos as the company’s new Global Category Director in charge of footwear. Poulos will be responsible for refining and managing Prince’s plan for the category, which encompasses a range of consumer targets from frequent players to leisure usage, as well as varied channels of distribution and price points.
“Prince is an industry leader, a forward-thinking company that has, in the last few years, brought some of the most innovative products to market,” says Poulos. “The company is poised for growth in the coming years and I am excited to help them achieve that. More importantly, I am completely focused on delivering players the best tennis footwear available.”
Prince Adds Frames to O3 Line
Prince has expanded its O3 line with the Speedport White and Ozone Tour frames for serious players and the Speedport Platinum and Speedport Gold for those looking for a game-improvement stick. The four new frames will debut in January.
The O3 Speedport White and Ozone Tour are for players looking for feel, control and racquet speed in a traditional weight frame, says the company. Prince says the racquets are a result of continuing conversations with top touring pros and juniors and incorporate features they desire. Both racquets also will be available in a Pro version offering a slightly heavier frame and a denser string pattern. For those who purchase the Pro versions (O3 Speedport Pro White and Ozone Pro Tour), the frame will be pre-strung with the new Prince Recoil string (see above).
“O3 continues to become a must-have technology among top-level players and we continue to develop and deliver frames that meet the needs of this group,” says Dave Holland, global category director for performance racquets at Prince.
The new O3 Speedport Platinum and O3 Speedport Gold are the first frames to feature Prince’s “Strung-Thru-Stringing System,” which extends the main strings through the yoke of the racquet. Prince says this easy to string design will create the largest sweetspot available. (For players who would prefer to string the new frames like any current O3 Speedport racquets, Prince offers an easy to insert throat piece for the Platinum and Gold.)
“The Strung-Thru-Stringing System is, quite literally, a breakthrough design feature that will not only surprise players in look but in overall feel and comfort as well,” says Holland. For more information, visit princetennis.com.
FOR SALE: Prince P-200 Stringing machine. Runs perfectly, inc. all tools. $300. Will throw in $300 worth of string. Must be picked up. Lecanto, FL. Phone: 352-746-4063.
FOR SALE: Tennis Shop located in central New Jersey. Excellent opportunity, please call for more information @ 908-230-0050.
FOR SALE: Silent Partner Aria Electric Stringer. Base clamps upgraded. Also included: String clamps, manual and tools. Working in excellent condition. $675.00 plus shipping. Please call Ron Condio at 716-763-0106.
FOR SALE: Tennis/Swim Club for Sale in North Carolina. Profitable, excellent location, established membership.
- Babolat will sponsor the USTA National Senior Tennis Championships, now known as the Babolat World Tennis Classic, Jan. 20-27 at Rancho Mirage, Calif.
- The 2008 editions of Friend at Court and Rules of Tennis will be available for purchase in mid-January at the USTA Shop at USTA.com or by calling the USTA Shop at 800-677-0275.
- In a whimsical press release at the end of October, Tennis Channel announced that it officially retired the word “The” from its name.
- Tennis Corporation of America (TCA)/ Midtown Clubs has announced a partnership with Wayne Elderton, course facilitator for Tennis Canada, to develop exclusive adult and performance junior curriculum for Midtown clubs. Elderton recently introduced his “situation” Game Based Approach training program to more than 50 TCA/Midtown Club tennis pros at a three-day training at the company’s flagship Midtown Tennis Club in Chicago. For more information, visit midtown.com.
- The USPTA presented a $2,000 grant to the first collegiate wheelchair tennis team at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. USPTA First Vice President Tom Daglis was on hand to present the check.
- Play Tennis Florida, a new magazine, has been named the official USTA Florida magazine for 2008. Richard Vach, the former publications editor for the ATP, is the editor and publisher of the magazine, which will be published 11 times in 2008. Also, Janice Gendreau is the magazine’s new director of ad sales.
- Tennis Life Magazine has signed a 30-month agreement to be the official magazine of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Starting with the January issue, the magazine will run editorial in each issue on college tennis.
- The next Clay Court Maintenance Seminars presented by Welch Tennis will be in May, at locations to be announced. Welch presented three well-attended one-day seminars in October at different sites in Florida. For more information, contact Deb Carlson 800-282-4415.
- The new Palm Coast Tennis Center officially opened Nov. 10. More than 500 people attended the grand opening of the 10 new Har-Tru HydroGrid courts. On hand were George Todd, president of Welch Tennis Courts; Sheldon Westervelt of Global Sports and Design Group; and Chris Forrest, the project manager at Welch. Former pro tour stars Tom Gullikson, Brian Gottfried, Mal Washington and Scott Melville played a pro exhibition. The Palm Coast Tennis Center superintendent is Ken Obermeier, and the courts were built with the support of the Palm Coast Friends of Tennis.
- Deuce magazine, the ATP’s official publication, has unveiled its first online issue, featuring exclusive stories with US Open champion Roger Federer and finalist Novak Djokovic. Launched as an annual magazine in 2002, Deuce will now appear as an all-digital publication on a quarterly basis, showcasing the lifestyles and personalities of ATP players and promoting ATP tournaments. You can find a link to the publication at atptennis.com.
- The Tennis Server website has named Justine Henin its 2007 Player of the year, and has named the U.S. the 2007 Tennis Nation of the Year. The annual awards, now in their 10th year, recognize exceptional achievement in professional tennis.
- Beach Tennis USA has hired MJ Global Sports & Media Inc., the consulting company founded by former NBA Senior Vice President Scott Levy, to further develop its media and sponsorship programs for the 2008 Beach Tennis National Tour.
- The “Standard,” the newsletter of the USPTA Southern Division, has been named the 2007 USPTA Newsletter of the Year.
New Drymax Tennis Socks
New from Drymax Sports are tennis socks with the company’s Drymax Fiber technology. Drymax says that its socks stay up to 25 times drier than socks made with wicking fibers like polyester, acrylic, nylon, wool or cotton.
Drymax Tennis Socks are designed with two different fiber technologies interwoven to form a dual-layer sock. “You can’t stop a tennis match to allow your socks to dry out,” says Gus Blythe, developer of the Drymax Tennis Socks. “Drymax socks need no drying time; they dry at the speed of sweat.”
Suggested retail prices range from $9 to $15. For more information, visit drymaxsports.com.
- Tina Tharp is the new executive director of Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis & Education in Philadelphia, one of America’s premier public youth tennis programs, and winner of RSI’s 2007 Municipal Facility of the Year Award. Tharp formerly served as operations manager for the AAYTE.
- Communications Manager Megan Burch has left HEAD Penn to become the director of marketing for Blizzard Ski Company in New Hampshire. Allison Starr, who has been with HEAD Penn for a year and half, will become the company’s new communications manager.
- RSI Contributing Editor Bob Patterson has sold Professional Racquet Service Inc. and Player’s Choice retail store in Birmingham, Ala., to concentrate on his RacquetMaxx business, which provides racquet customization and stringing services via the website at www.racquetmaxx.com (or toll-free at 877-663-0757). Patterson, a Master Racquet Technician and RSI’s 2005 Stringer of the Year, also is consulting with companies looking to open new tennis retail stores. He will join the Top Serve stringing team for the 2008 Australian Open.
- Danish badminton star Michael Christensen has signed a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Ashaway Racket Strings.
- Gary Herman is the new senior v.p. of advertising sales for Tennis Channel.
- The International Tennis Hall of Fame honored Hall-of-Famer Bud Collins on Oct. 4 at the Marriott Boston Copley Place. The evening was emceed by Emily Rooney, a Boston TV personality, and included honors by Tony Trabert, Donald Dell and others. Proceeds from the event will benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Annual Fund and a donation will be made to Collins efforts in helping to build tennis courts at a school in Chiang Mai, Thailand, that was started by his grandparents in the late 1800s.
- Babolat has hired Mickey Maul as the sales manager in the Northern Region and Michael Lata as the sales manager in the Western region of the U.S. Maule most recently was a territory manager with Prince and Lata was responsible for regional sales at Adidas.
- Former U.S. Davis Cup standout Stan Smith is this year’s recipient of the Davis Cup Award of Excellence, presented by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Tennis Federation. The presentation was made during the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final between Russia and the U.S. in Portland, Ore.
- Fernando Velasco, the USTA Texas Section manger and director of tennis, received the section’s Senior Spirit Award recently from USTA Texas Excecutive Director Ken McAllister.
- Jaime Kaplan of Macon, Ga., was honored as a “Champion Beyond the Game” recently by Florida State University. Kaplan, who graduated from FSU in 1983, became the first FSU tennis player to qualify for the NCAA championships. After college, Kaplan played in 14 Grand Slam tournaments and won five doubles titles. She also held a world singles ranking of No. 252 and doubles ranking of 91. She was inducted in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006.
- The last weekend in October proved to be an extremely successful one for Prince players, as they captured three tour titles in less than twenty-four hours. The world’s top men’s doubles team of Mike and Bob Bryan captured their 10th title of the season, No. 9-ranked Daniela Hantuchova took home her second WTA Tour title and Liezel Huber, one half of the world’s top women’s doubles team, captured her eighth title of the year. The Bryans play with the O3 Speedport Black, Hantuchova plays with the Ozone Seven, and Huber plays with the O3 Tour.
Machine Manuals Available Online
The USRSA has recently added a new page to its members-only website, racquettech.com, that features user manuals for stringing machines and diagnostic machines. The online manuals will come in handy for anyone who has lost the user manual for their machine or who buys a used machine that doesn’t come with a manual.
“The website page currently has manuals for more than 50 machines,” says USRSA Executive Director David Bone. “But we intend to continue adding to the page so that we can eventually offer a manual for every machine being used today.” To find the new page on racquettech.com, click on “Reference,” then click on “Machine Manuals.”
“If you have a user manual for a discontinued machine, we encourage you to share it online through the USRSA,” adds Bone. If you are unable to digitally scan the manual and email it, you can send it to the USRSA at 310 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N Ste 400, Birmingham, AL 35203-3369. The USRSA will scan the manual then post it on the site. Your manual will be returned the next business day. For more information, call 760-536-1177.
ITF launches Beach Tennis Tour
The International Tennis Federation recently announced the launch of the “ITF Beach Tennis Tour” in 2008. Beach tennis merges tennis and beach volleyball.
Predominantly played as doubles on a court similar to beach volleyball, players use paddle bats and a slightly depressurized tennis ball. Regular tennis scoring is used, with no-advantage at deuce, no second serve and no let. And of course the ball does not bounce.
The ITF spent a year researching the activity and interest level in beach tennis. While a relatively small number of nations are currently active in beach tennis, the federation concluded that the potential for growth around the world is significant.
The 2008 calendar will consist of National Association sanctioned and/or organized tournaments worldwide, which will offer international ranking points to participants. Players will be ranked individually based on their results in doubles events only.
The official rules of beach tennis and of the Beach Tennis Tour, along with application forms to stage ITF-approved Beach Tennis tournaments, are at itftennis.com/beachtennis.
USTA/ITA Award Winners Named
Ouachita Baptist University Director of Tennis Craig Ward is the national winner of the USTA/ITA Community Service Award and Gustavus Adolphus’ men’s tennis coach Steve Wilkinson is the national winner of the USTA/ITA Campus Recreation Award. Both coaches were honored Dec. 15 at the ITA Coaches Convention at the Naples Grande Resort and Spa in Naples, Fla.
The USTA/ITA Community Service Award honors an ITA coach for significant contributions in developing community-based tennis programs through community centers, schools, parks, community tennis associations, inner city, suburban or rural programs. The USTA/ITA Campus Recreation Award honors an ITA coach who has done an outstanding job implementing the USTA’s Tennis on Campus program or similar recreational tennis programs in an effort to grow tennis participation within the campus community.
“Craig and Steve are great examples of coaches who give back to their communities and campuses and our hope is that their efforts continue to inspire other varsity coaches to emulate the great work they are doing,” says ITA Executive Director David A. Benjamin.
USPTA Honors Heckler, Gilbert
The USPTA recently recognized its CEO, Tim Heckler, and longtime member Townsend Gilbert at its World Conference on Tennis. Heckler (below) was honored for his 25 years of service and Gilbert received the President’s Award.
Heckler has been instrumental in increasing membership and income for the USPTA and leading the organization since 1982. Gilbert, a USPTA member for 21 years, was honored by outgoing President Ron Woods for his service to the USPTA, especially his dedication to Little Tennis, the association’s program for children ages 3 to 10.
Dunlop Named Title Sponsor of Orange Bowl
In a multi-year deal with the USTA, Dunlop has been named title sponsor of the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships, one of the premier junior tournaments in the world.
The 2007 event, the first under Dunlop’s sponsorship, was held Dec. 3 to 9 at The Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, Fla. Dunlop was the official tennis racquet, racquet bag, ball and string provider for the tournament.
ASBA Picks New Chairman
George Todd (left) of Welch Tennis Courts in Sun City, Fla., is the new chairman of the American Sports Builders Association, taking over from Gerry Wright (right) of Court One in Youngsville, N.C., for a two-year term. The new Tennis Division chairman is Mark Brogan of Pro-Sport Construction of Devon, Pa., who replaced Gordy Pierce of Cape & Island Tennis and Track of Pocasset, Mass. The ASBA held its annual Technical Meeting and Trade Show Dec. 1 to 4 in Austin, Texas, with a full slate of seminars and presentations on construction-related topics. Also, the organization presented its annual awards. For more information about the ASBA, visit sportsbuilders.org.
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- Person of the year: Don Tisdel
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- Grassroots Champion of the Year: Scott Hanover
- Pro/Specialty Retailer of the Year: Game-Set-Match
- Municipal Tennis Facility of the Year: Oklahoma City Tennis Center