Information to help you run your business.
‘Tennis Night’ to Feature Youth Registration, WTA Showdown
The USTA is planning its first-ever National Youth Registration Night for Monday, March 2, which will be billed as “Tennis Night in America” and will culminate in the “BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup,” a one-night single-elimination event that will bring together four of the world’s best women players. The pro event will be at Madison Square Garden in New York and televised live on HBO starting at 7:30 p.m.
The USTA says Tennis Night in America will be among the largest grassroots initiatives the sport has ever seen. On that night, kids and teenagers across the country can begin signing up for spring and summer USTA league play.
Also, in conjunction with the BNP Paribas Showdown, the USTA will kick off its search for “America’s Best Tennis Town,” which will include a nationwide search for the most passionate tennis town in the U.S. The announcement of the winner will be made at the 2009 US Open in August.
The four pros vying for the BJK Cup will be 2008 Grand Slam Champions Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic, and World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic. Each participant will compete in a one-set, no-ad scoring semifinal, with the winners advancing to a best-of-three-set final (regular scoring) for the Billie Jean King Cup.
“Our core mission is to grow the sport of tennis throughout the United States,” says USTA Executive Director and COO Gordon Smith. “An exciting event such as this, featuring four of the most dynamic players in the game in one of the most revered venues in the world, is a wonderful opportunity to not only galvanize our fans, but to attract so many more to this great sport.”
Tickets for the pro “showdown” range from $50 to $1,000 and can be purchased online at thegarden.com or at Ticketmaster. The $1.2 million event is produced by StarGames in association with Madison Square Garden and will benefit the Dream Vaccines Foundation and Women’s Sports Foundation.
Kantarian to Leave USTA
Arlen Kantarian, CEO of Professional Tennis for the USTA, is stepping down at the end of 2008, after spearheading nine years of record growth for the USTA and the US Open. The former NFL and Radio City executive joined the USTA in March 2000 in the newly created position of Chief Executive, Professional Tennis.
Under his leadership, the US Open became the highest attended annual sporting event in the work, with revenue increasing more than 80 percent and attendance setting records every year. In addition, he developed and launched the Olympus US Open Series, which links 10 summer North American tournaments in a lead-up to the US Open.
While there’s no denying his impact on the professional game in the U.S., it was widely known that Kantarian’s contract, unless renewed by the USTA, was set to expire at the end of 2008. Kantarian announced he was leaving the USTA in a statement at the end of October.
Kantarian has brought several other innovations to the sport, including the introduction of instant replay with player challenges, the prime-time US Open Finals, live entertainment, and the transformation from green to blue courts — now being embraced by schools and parks across the country. Under Kantarian’s leadership, the USTA secured new television deals with CBS, ESPN, and Tennis Channel which will provide an unprecedented 400 hours of live television coverage in the U.S. next summer.
PTR International Symposium Set for February
The PTR will hold its annual International Tennis Symposium & $25,000 Championships from Feb. 14 to 20 at PTR Headquarters on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The Symposium attracts nearly 1,000 tennis teachers and coaches from more than 50 countries.
More than 50 presenters will conduct classroom and on-court presentations, including Leo Alonso, Mike Barrell, Bob Bigelow, Doug Cash, Lisa Duncan, Pat Etcheberry, Dick Gould, Laury Hammel, Don Henson, Whitney Kraft, Dr. Jim Loehr, Anne Pankhurst and Lenny Scheuermann. Topics will range from tennis business to tactics to injury prevention and treatments. There also will be a special high school coaches’ series held over President’s Weekend.
The Symposium also offers a Tennis Trade Show where 45-plus organizations and companies, such as, Gamma, Head/Penn and Playmate, exhibit their new product lines, latest technologies and services. For information and registration, visit ptrtennis.org.
Lucy Garvin to be Next USTA President
Lucy Garvin of Greenville, S.C., will be the next USTA chairman of the board and president, serving a two-year term beginning Jan. 1. Garvin, who completes a two-year term as first vice president, is a longtime volunteer who has dedicated more than 30 years to growing the sport of tennis in local communities around the country.
In addition, the USTA Nominating Committee announced the following slate for USTA Officers for 2009-10: Jonathan Vegosen (Midwest Section) as first vice president; Joseph A. Grover (Mid-Atlantic Section) as vice president; David A. Haggerty (Middle States Section) as vice president; and Donald L. Tisdel (Pacific Northwest Section) as secretary-treasurer.
Nominated for director-at-large positions on the USTA Board are: Karin J. Buchholz (Eastern Section), Steven K. Champlin (Northern Section), Hon. David N. Dinkins (Eastern Section), Walter E. Massey (Midwest Section), Pamela J. Sloan (Northern California Section), Carol J. Welder (Texas Section), Katrina M. Adams (Eastern Section), Patrick J. Galbraith (Pacific Northwest) and Tommy Ho (Texas Section).
Racquet Network Expands into U.S.
Racquet Network (racquetnetwork.com), a social network for adult racquet sports players and instructors, is now accepting members from the U.S. and Australia. “Five years ago we started out as a network of two Canadian squash players,” says founder Brent Johner. “Now we include all major racquet sports and we have members on four continents.”
The recent downturn in the American economy has created ideal conditions for Racquet Network’s expansion into the U.S., says Johner. “When consumers face economic difficulties, extras like club and gym memberships are the first things to go. Racquet Network allows people in these circumstances to continue playing racquet sports until they can get back on their feet and go home to their clubs.”
Racquet Network also helps instructors, clubs and leagues weather tough economic times, says Johner. “We have a proven track record in the racquet sports industry. We can help fill holes in leagues and top up lessons and programs. Working within our network can help clubs and instructors stay in business long enough to see the good times return.” For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website.
GSS Symposium Draws Stringers from 7 Countries
The 2008 Grand Slam Stringers Symposium presented by the USRSA was held in Orlando in October, tripling attendance from the inaugural event last year and drawing stringers from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Great Britain, France and Spain.
“Feedback has been extremely positive,” says symposium organizer Tim Strawn. “Vendor participation in the trade show was phenomenal. Many symposium attendees have already commented that they plan to return next year.” The 2008 event was held at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., and Strawn hopes to return in 2009.
Seminar leaders included Dave Bone, Mark Gonzales, John Gugel, Ron Rocchi, Richard Parnell, Bob Patterson, Brian Laumeyer, Jeff Davies, John Elliot, and Strawn.
Visit grandslamstringers.com for information.
USPTA Offers Online ‘Practice Planner’ Tool
The USPTA is now offering an online Practice Planner tool to assist members in building individualized practice and lesson plans. Users can take advantage of several predesigned plans or start their own plans from scratch.
The planner has two user modes: Wizard and Expert. Wizard, which is recommended for new users, includes a step-by-step, one-question-per-page process in which you are asked to answer questions and select drills to build your practice plan. The Expert mode lets you build your practice plan quickly with a series of selection boxes for length of practice, type of activity, drill category, drill type, length of time per activity and more.
QuickStart Tennis Tips Offered Online
PlaySportsTV, an online youth sports resource for kids, parents and coaches, has developed a series of web-based instructional videos for the QuickStart Tennis format for bringing tennis to children aged 10 and under.
PlaySportsTV specializes in developing original instructional and coaching videos. The aim is to bring tennis down to size for kids, parents, and youth coaches, through the production and distribution of over 35 short-form videos that offer an introduction to QST, the equipment, coaching advice, drills, and game tips.
PlaySportsTV teamed up with top tennis coaches Anne Davis and Kirk Anderson of the USTA to create the “How to Play QuickStart Tennis” video library. The complete series of videos can be viewed free of charge at playsportstv.com/quickstarttennis.
USTA, ITA Announce Campus Coach Winners
Washington State University women’s tennis coach Lisa Hart has been named the national winner of the USTA/ITA Community Outreach Award and Bill Macom, the director of tennis, men’s and women’s tennis coach at Florida Institute of Technology is the national winner of the USTA/ITA Campus Recreation Award. Both coaches were honored by the ITA and the USTA in December at the ITA Coaches Convention in Naples, Fla.
This year’s national winners were selected from a group of USTA Sectional winners determined this fall (and listed below). The Community Outreach Award honors ITA coaches for contributions in developing community-based tennis programs. The Campus Recreation Award honors coaches who have done an outstanding job implementing recreational tennis programs on campus. The awards program, which began in 2003, was open to more than 2,000 ITA head and assistant coaches at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College levels.
USTA/ITA Community Outreach Award — Sectional Winners
- Florida: Chi Ly, Palm Beach Atlantic University
- Hawaii Pacific: Stefan Pampulov, Hawaii Pacific University
- Intermountain: Mark Tichenor, Boise State University
- Northern California: Marc Weinstein, Mills College
- Pacific Northwest: Lisa Hart, Washington State University
- Southern: Bill Riddle, Cumberland University
- Texas: Bobby Kleineckie, Texas A&M University
USTA/ITA Campus Recreation Award — Sectional Winners
- Florida: Bill Macom, Florida Institute of Technology
- Intermountain: Michael Phillips, Montana State University
- Mid-Atlantic: Marc Walters, West Virginia University
- Missouri Valley: Chase Hodges, Drake University
- New England: Chris Davis, Smith College
- Texas: John Peterson, Tyler Jr. College
USTA National League Champions Named
The USTA recently held national championships for USTA League Tennis in Indian Wells, Calif.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Las Vegas. Winning national titles for 2008 are teams from the following cities (USTA section in parentheses):
5.0 Adult Women: Sacramento, Calif. (Northern California)
5.0 Adult Men: Sacramento, Calif. (Northern California)
4.5 Adult Women: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Midwest)
4.5 Adult Men: Baton Rouge, La. (Southern)
4.0 Adult Women: Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Florida)
4.0 Adult Men: Seattle, Wash. (Pacific Northwest)
3.5 Adult Women: Sunnyvale, Calif. (Northern California)
3.5 Adult Men: Guaynabo, Puerto Rico (Caribbean)
3.0 Adult Women: Seattle, Wash. (Pacific Northwest)
3.0 Adult Men: Columbia, Md. (Mid-Atlantic)
2.5 Adult Women: Haverhill, Mass. (New England)
2.5 Adult Men: Salt Lake City, Utah (Intermountain)
4.5 Senior Women: Long Beach, Calif. (Southern California)
4.5 Senior Men: Shreveport, La. (Southern)
4.0 Senior Women: Clearwater, Fla. (Florida)
4.0 Senior Men: Lancaster/Manheim, Pa. (Middle States)
3.5 Senior Women: Nashville, Tenn. (Southern)
3.5 Senior Men: Roswell, Ga. (Southern)
3.0 Senior Women: Baltimore, Md. (Mid-Atlantic)
3.0 Senior Men: Roswell, Ga. (Southern)
PBI Presents Awards at Annual Meeting
Peter Burwash International (PBI) recently held its annual meeting at the Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt in Tirol, Austria. The yearly meeting brings 90 PBI pros together from around the globe for craft sharing and continuing education, with more than 10 hours of seminars and conferences daily. Topics focus on both personal and professional development, ranging from coaching tour players and innovative teaching techniques to communication and program marketing.
Senior PBI professionals conducted “PBI University” seminars covering a variety of key areas, including: Putting Your Tennis Program on the Map, Creating Repeat Business, Hosting Events with Pro Players, Improving Member/Guest Service, Technology and the Tennis Coach, Coaching Teams, Organizing a Tennis Carnival, and more.
Guest speakers from the tennis and hospitality industries included John Embree, president of Prince Americas. In addition, the following awards were presented:
- Professional of the Year: Eric Thorel (above, left, with Peter Burwash), tennis director at Tokyo Lawn Tennis Club in Tokyo, Japan.
- Most Improved Professional: Adri Atkinson, tennis director at Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt in Tirol, Austria.
- Rookie of the Year: Todd Kramer, head pro at Rancho Las Palmas in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
- Site of the Year: Kapalua at Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii.
- Friend of the Year: Jim Sheridan of London, former senior partner with Goldman Sachs.
RSI Award Winner To Host Fed Cup
The USTA has chosen the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz. — RSI’s 2008 Municipal Facility of the Year award winner — as the site for the 2009 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas quarterfinal between the U.S. and Argentina, Feb. 7-8.
The complex, which will be hosting a Fed Cup event for the first time, currently hosts an annual USTA Pro Circuit women’s event. It also received the 2008 USTA Outstanding Facility Award. The USTA will construct a temporary stadium at the complex for the two-day, best-of-five-match quarterfinal.
“We are thrilled to choose a community that loves tennis,” says Mary Joe Fernandez, who will make her debut as the U.S. Fed Cup captain. “We are eager to start the 2009 Fed Cup campaign in front of an enthusiastic and patriotic crowd.” The U.S. has met Argentina three times in Fed Cup play, leading the series 2-1. The U.S. is 33-3 in home Fed Cup ties.
Collegians Represent U.S. in France
The USTA and Intercollegiate Tennis Association selected six top American collegians to represent the U.S. in the International University Challenge of Tennis sponsored by BNP Paribas. The event, in its third year, features eight teams composed of college and university players from around the world and was played in early December in Poitiers, France.
The seven nations competing with the U.S., which is competing for the first time, include Belgium, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Montenegro, Russia and Switzerland. Teams will compete in a best-of-seven format consisting of two men’s and two women’s singles matches, one men’s and one women’s doubles match, and one mixed-doubles match.
Representing the U.S. were: John Kauss, Gustavus Adolphus College; Nate Schnugg, University of Georgia; Michael Venus, Louisiana State University; Amanda Fink, University of Southern California; Jennifer Kung, University of Chicago; and Kelcy McKenna, Arizona State. The team was coached by Michelle Dasso, head women’s tennis coach at the University of Illinois, and Paul Settles, head coach of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges men’s team.
The U.S. team was selected using the following criteria: Top male and female American finishers at the 2008 ITA All-American Championships, top male and female American finishers at the 2008 ITA Small College Championships, and top male and female Americans ranked in the 2008 ITA Preseason Division I Rankings.
Rob Grow Joins Prince as Director for USA Apparel
Prince Sports has hired Robert Grow as its director for USA apparel. Grow most recently was at Athco Inc., which was the North American apparel licensee for Wilson Sporting goods.
At Prince, Grow will manage all U.S. apparel sales and marketing initiatives, collaborating with Jane Gao, global business manager of apparel, bag and accessories, on product development and sourcing. He will report to John Embree, president of Prince Americas, and will be responsible for building upon the relaunch of Prince’s apparel business last year with the introduction of Aerotech.
“The introduction of Aerotech last year was the first step in establishing Prince as a major player in the category,” says Grow. “I look forward to building upon that success and using it as a stepping-stone to introduce some truly innovative product.”
Grow was a ranked junior player, played on the satellite circuit for two years before attending Florida State University, and served as director of tennis operations at the Boca Grande Club in Florida throughout the 1990s. He will be based at Prince headquarters in Bordentown, N.J.
Squash Star Uses New Ashaway Shoe
Ashaway has come out with the new AMPS 301 squash shoe, which quickly became the favorite for squash star Natalie Grainger, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 4 on the women’s international tour. Grainger helped evaluate the new line of Ashaway squash shoes introduced in 2008.
The AMPS 301 is designed for both serious and recreational players. AMPS stands for Anatomic Multi-Performance System, and the shoes are anatomically molded to the shape of the human foot, says the company. The shoe supports the whole foot, not just the ball and heel, increasing comfort and stability and reducing foot fatigue. Visit ashawayusa.com or call 800-556-7260 for more information.
The Tennis Market
Tennis Racquet Performance
Specialty Stores, January-September, 2008 vs. 2007
|% Change vs. ‘07||1%|
|% Change vs. ‘07||0%|
|% Change vs. ‘07||1%|
Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores
By year-to-date dollars, January-September 2008
(average selling price)
- Babolat Aeropro Drive Cortex MP, $173
- Babolat Pure Drive Cortex MP, $170
- Wilson K Blade MP, $174
- Prince O3 Speedport Black MP, $187
- Wilson K SixOne 95 MS (16 x 18), $175
“Hot New Racquets”
(Introduced in the past 12 months)
- Wilson K Blade MP, $174
- Wilson K Blade Tour MS, $183
- Prince O3 Speedport White MP, $186
- Wilson K Pro Open MP, $168
- Wilson K Tour MS, $170
Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores
By year-to-date dollars, January-September 2008
(average selling price)
- Adidas Barricade V, $102
- Nike Air Breathe Free 2, $97
- Adidas Barricade II, $84
- Nike Air Breathe Cage II, $98
- Nike Air Breathe Cage, $90
Top-Selling Tennis Strings at Specialty Stores
By year-to-date dollars, January-September 2008
- Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex
- Wilson NXT
- Wilson Sensation
- Prince Lightning XX
- Luxilon Alu Power
For Sale: Tennis/Swim Club for Sale in North Carolina. Profitable, excellent location, established membership, email@example.com.
For Sale: 1986 Babolat Star 3 Stringing Machine Perfect working order! New tension dial, potentiometer and circuit board. Impeccably maintained! $1500 plus shipping (FL) contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations To the Following For Achieving MRT & CS Status
Clint Laukhuf, Lewisville, TX
Francisco E.P. Bruni, Sao Paulo, BRAZIL
Dimas Mendez, Ponce, PUERTO RICO
Andrea Oliveira do Amaral, Rio de Janiero, BRAZIL
Richard Schumann, Rockledge, FL
Chuck Hakansson, Doraville, GA
Bill Black, Arcadia, CA
Cathy Lehman, Raleigh, NC
Carmine Grimaldi, Wayne, PA
David Yamane, Winston-Salem, NC
Brian Trinkle, Alpharettta, GA
Andrew Hurt, Melbourne, FL
Ed Matheson, Dunwoody, GA
Kazumichi Shinohara, Cupertino, CA
Mark Brunner, O’Fallon, IL
Thomas Carter Green, Virginia Beach, VA
Reed Stout, Rocklin, CA
Alex Campbell, San Diego, CA
Linsay Ling, San Diego, CA
Jon Deputy, Bell, CA
Don Roesler, Carmel, IN
Diane Hamm-Vida, Shallotte, NC
Kaye Kimpling, Effingham, IL
Marcee Finn, Wilmington, NC
- Brian Hainline, M.D., has been named to the newly created position of chief medical officer for the USTA. Hainline will develop and oversee medical policies affecting all aspects of the sport, from recreational programs to professional tournaments, with an eye toward promoting and developing the healthy growth of tennis. He also will develop and coordinate comprehensive medical practices for the US Open, Davis and Fed Cup competitions, and USTA Pro Circuit events, and will supervise medical, sport science and conditioning issues for USTA Elite Player Development athletes.
- Frenchman Gael Monfils, 22, has signed with Prince and will play with a new Prince frame that will be released in 2009.
- Tom Gorman, a world-renowned tennis player and successful Davis Cup captain, has been named director of tennis at La Quinta Resort & PGA West in the Palm Springs, Calif., area. Gorman was one of the founding tennis professionals who originally developed La Quinta Resort’s award-winning tennis program in the late 1970s.
- William “Bill” Rombeau announced that he will step down as president of the Southern California Tennis Association (USTA Southern California Section) effective in February. Rombeau, who’s been president since 1997, will turn over his gavel to William Kellogg.
- Jim Courier closed out the 2008 Outback Champions Series season in November by defeating Series newcomer Stefan Edberg in the final of the Emirates NBD The Legends “Rock” Dubai Championships, held in the United Arab Emirates. The win earned Courier a first-prize paycheck of $54,000 for his fourth tournament title of the year on the global tennis circuit for champion tennis players age 30 and over. Courier was also presented with a $100,000 check for finishing the 2008 Series as its No. 1 ranked player. In all, he collected $404,000 in prize money in 2008.
- Belgian tennis player Yanina Wickmayer, 19, has signed with IMG.
- Former No. 1 Lindsay Davenport joined Tennis Channel’s on-air staff during its telecast of the 2008 Sony Ericsson Championships from Doha, Qatar, in November. Davenport, who has won six Grand Slam singles and doubles titles, worked with a broadcast team that included veteran play-by-play announcer Barry MacKay, analyst and former doubles No. 1 Corina Morariu; and on-the-spot interviews, features and commentary from Doha by Tracy Austin.
- Moacir Santos, a sophomore at Laredo Community College, and Suzana Cavalcante, a senior at the University of West Florida, received the 2008 James O’ Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Awards presented by Rolex Watch USA. The awards go to players who display outstanding sportsmanship and exemplify the spirit of college tennis during the course of the ITA National Small College Championships.
- Julie Ditty made tennis history in late September when she swept singles and doubles at the 2008 ColemanVision Tennis Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., her 31st and 32nd career USTA Pro Circuit titles. With the wins, she becomes the all-time leader in USTA Pro Circuit titles.
- Argentine Guillermo Vilas is the 2008 recipient of the Davis Cup Award of Excellence, presented by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Tennis Federation.
- Cory Ross, the No. 3 seed, of Denver, claimed the men’s open title at the $10,000 USPTA Hard Court Championships held in Tyler, Texas, in October. Marina McCollom of Ames, Iowa, earned the women’s open title.
- Shane Vanderson, a member of Head’s Elite Racquetball Team of National Pro Staff, won the 2008 IRT Japan International Tournament in November. The event, held in Tokyo, is the only International Racquetball Tour (IRT) event held outside North America. Vanderson, of Tampa, Fla., currently ranked No. 5, defeated fellow Team head member Tony Carson of Scottsdale, Ariz., in the final.
- The Nevada Tennis Hall of Fame inducted new members in November: tennis legend Mike Agassi, the father of Andre Agassi; community leader Ann Rockwell; and junior legends the Thompson twins, Catrina and Christian, for their outstanding talents, abilities and commitment to the game of tennis.
New Grip Aid
Oncourt Offcourt and USPTA and PTR Master Professional Joe Dinoffer are the distributors of a new training aid for tennis. Grip Loose finger sleeve is a quick and easy way to get players to relax their grip on the racquet, using a simple “beeping” sound every time the player grips too tightly. The Grip Loose was designed and patented by veteran international tennis coach Allen Webb and also works for other sports, including golf, baseball and hockey. The Grip Loose neoprene sleeve comes in two sizes and is packaged for retail sale. For information, call toll-free 88-TENNIS-11 or visit oncourtoffcourt.com.
Babolat Announces Promotion, New Hires
Babolat has promoted Seth McKinley to sports marketing manager for the Americas and Australia and added Jackie Carleton and Steve Strecker to the Babolat USA sports marketing team.
McKinley, formerly in charge of Babolat promotions for professional and junior players in the U.S., has been with the company since 2005. In addition to his new international player responsibilities, he will continue to work closely with the promotions team in the US.
Carleton joins Babolat as promotions manager for the US and will head up junior and college player programs, handling recruitment, sponsorships, contracts and player relations. She came from Adidas, where she was a junior team representative for its tennis division. She is a former U.S. No. 1 junior player and played at UCLA and Duke and is a two-time All-American in singles.
Strecker is the new marketing/ promotions coordinator and will be transitioning from his current position as a Babolat inside sales rep. He has a strong background in marketing and promotions and as a student at the University of Colorado helped shape and run the club tennis team.
USTA Community Development Workshop Set for February
The 2009 USTA Community Tennis Development Workshop will be February 13-15 at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa in South Carolina. The workshop, featuring key speakers in the industry, is one of the best resources for community tennis development and tennis programming for local organizations. More than 500 tennis pros, organizers, coaches, etc., are expected to attend. For more information or to register, visit usta.com/ctdw.
- Penn has been named the official ball of the BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup, which will be Monday, March 2, at Madison Square Garden. The event will be telecast live on HBO beginning at 7:30 PM EST honoring Billie Jean King and will feature four of the women’s top tennis players in a single elimination format.
- Babolat sponsored a special event in December in support of Babolat player Andy Roddick and The Andy Roddick Foundation. The “Rock-n-Racquets” exhibition hit Louisville, Ky.; Columbia, S.C.; and Knoxville, Tenn., with top players that included Roddick, Serena Williams, John Isner and Caroline Wozniacki.
- Head/Penn participated in Touchstone Behavioral Health’s 6th Annual Family Fun Day event, which supports children and families who have behavior issues at home and at school, and introduced the game of tennis to children of all ages. Members of the Head/Penn team set up four mini tennis courts, which supports the QuickStart Tennis format, to allow children to play tennis for the first time. The company also gave away 40 junior racquets, T.I.P. 1 and 2 balls, and other prizes.
- Prince was named the official apparel and footwear partner for the season-ending Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Championships, which was held in early November in Doha, Qatar, and featured the top eight women’s singles players and top four doubles teams, competing for the largest purse in women’s tennis, $4.5 million in total prize money.
- In addition to being the official string of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, Luxilon also was named the official stringer at the Tour’s year-end Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, Qatar. The Luxilon stringing team, consisting of world-class stringers from several countries, was on-site for the tournament.
- The USPTA and Elations, a drink to maintain healthy joints, have entered into a licensing agreement incorporating the USPTA’s service mark, “Tennis — for the health of it!” Elations will promote the slogan on its packaging and in some advertising into June.
- The International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) has chosen the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum as a first-place Communications Awards winner in the Video Presentation category. The Hall of Fame’s winning entry is the video presentation that accompanied the 2007 exhibit “Breaking the Barriers: The ATA & Black Tennis Pioneers,” researched by the Hall of Fame’s museum staff and produced by Harold Hecht.
- FindTennisStore.com is a new search website for tennis consumers to connect and work with local tennis pro shops and specialty stores. Pro shop and store owners register their store (annual membership fee $175) and become part of a search network and have an instant internet presence. Website visitors enter their zip code and results show the nearest tennis stores, actual distance, maps, directions, contact information, products and brands that they carry. Contact 206-715-7973 or email at email@example.com.
- Industry veteran Martin Baroch has created a networking website — MyTennisWorld.net — “to help facilitate worldwide tennis contacts among serious tennis lovers,” both players and fans. The site also contains educational content to help grow the game. Similar to Facebook, creating a profile on the site is free, and members can upload photos, videos and leave comments on other members’ pages. Current members include players and fans from all over the world.
- In late November, Tennis Channel launched “Tennis Channel Academy,” a celebrity-packed six-part tennis coaching series hosted by Hall of Famer Tracy Austin. Tennis coaches in the series include Nick Bollettieri, John and Chris Evert, Pat Etcheberry, Robert Lansdorp, and Carlos Rodriguez with Justine Henin. Visit tennischannel.com for info.
- Roger Federer says he will play for Switzerland in the first round of the 2009 Davis Cup against the U.S. The U.S. will host the Swiss team for the March 6-8 tie at a location still to be determined. “It’s certainly not going to feel like a first-round tie,” says U.S. Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe. “Obviously, it’s great for us and great for tennis. I don’t think Roger would come if he didn’t think the same way.”
- Cliff Drysdale Tennis (CDT) has extended its partnership with Fila as its “Official Worldwide Apparel and Footwear Sponsor” through 2011. As part of the agreement, Cliff Drysdale and every coach, director and staff member from CDT, as well as tennis legends from CDT-owned Grand Slam Sports, including John Newcombe, Roy Emerson, Jimmy Arias, John Lloyd, Mikael Pernfors, Dick Stockton, Ross Case, and Tom Gorman, will act as brand ambassadors for Fila. In addition, each CDT-managed resort in the U.S. will feature Fila apparel, footwear and accessories in pro shops.
- The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum honored USTA President Jane Brown Grimes on Dec. 11 at a special tribute in New York City. Network-TV tennis announcer Mary Carillo served as master of ceremonies and Hall of Fame President Tony Trabert was honorary chairman. Featured speaker was U.S. Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe. Proceeds from the event will benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Annual Fund.
- Lacoste will continue as the official apparel and footwear partner of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals until 2013. As part of the restructuring of men’s tennis in 2009, the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals will replace the Tennis Masters Cup, currently held in Shanghai, as the year-ending finale of the ATP World Tour.
- Prince was the official racquet, string and ball of the Nike Junior Tour and its season-ending International Masters event. The NJT brings together top 12- and 14-year-old juniors from 24 countries. In addition, Team Prince junior Carlos Bautista of Spain captured the Boys’ Under-14 title at the NJT International Masters.
Athco to Produce Dunlop Apparel
Athco is teaming with Dunlop Sports to produce and distribute tennis and other sports apparel in the U.S. “We’ll continue our focus on technical fabrics and solid design,” says Athco’s Bill Hall. The longterm agreement with Dunlop includes men’s and women’s apparel, including Athco’s SunBlock line shown at right, which provides a UPF 50+ rating, to block more than 98 percent of UV rays. For information, contact Athco at 800-990-0000 or 941-351-1600.
Ashaway, Huczek Sign New Deal
Ashaway Racket Strings has signed a new two-year sponsorship agreement with racquetball pro Jack Huczek in which Huczek will continue to support his favored Ashaway Superkill II string as well as his signature Jack Huczek/AMPS 311M racquetball shoes. In addition, under the new agreement, Huczek will become more involved with Ashaway product development and marketing efforts. Visit ashawayusa.com for more information.
Klip is Exclusive Licensee for Völkl Worldwide
Klip America is the worldwide licensee for Völkl Tennis equipment, bags and accessories, effective Jan. 1. The 10-year agreement with Marker Völkl International of Switzerland means Klip will now design, manufacture and distribute Völkl products worldwide. Klip has been the U.S. and Canadian distributor for Völkl Tennis for the past 21 months.
“Our goal is to keep research and development true to its German roots,” says Sean Frost, managing director of Klip America. Frost says Völkl will continue to use the same experienced R & D team located in Straubing, Germany. Völkl has been designing and manufacturing tennis equipment since 1973.
Frost says the arrangement between Klip and Völkl will make Völkl a stronger player in the worldwide market. “Klip America will make significant investments to increase visibility, consumer demand and dealer profitability,” he says.
Klip also has a separate licensee agreement with Boris Becker Tennis. “There’s a lot of brotherhood between Völkl Tennis and Boris Becker Tennis, but we’ve found that there is some confusion, too,” says Frost.
“We’ve found some nice niches for the Becker brand, and we need to correctly position the brand. Going forward, there will be more separation between the brands.”
Pacific is Stringer for 2008 Masters Cup in Shanghai
Pacific was the official stringer for the 2008 Masters Cup held in Shanghai Nov. 9-16. Tom Parry, Pacific’s global brand manager, and Christian Reuter, the company’s European player services manager, both put in time in the stringer’s room, often working from 8 a.m. to well past 11 p.m., when the last ball was struck.
Parry says that brothers Bob and Mike Bryan “led the pack” when it came to stringing requests. To start each day, Parry and Reuter strung up three frames for each of the Bryans — both used the same hybrid, but slightly different tensions.
During Andy Murray’s first match, Parry says he sent in two of his frames at the same time for “emergency” stringing. “Chris cranked them out in less than nine minutes per stick,” says Parry. “I barely had the second frame cut out before he’d finished the first! They came in on a changeover, and the first one was back on court before the next changeover.”
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, for his last match, decided to switch from 100 percent poly to natural gut mains and poly crosses, with no change in tension, says Parry. Early in the second set, however, he grabbed an old frame from his bag that was all poly. “Players, no matter their ranking, are really finding the world of hybrid stringing one to explore,” says Parry. Pacific’s stringing log of the Masters event is below.
|Name||Country||Racquet||Racquet Model||String||String Model||Tension|
|Björkman, Jonas||Sweden||Wilson||K Six.One 95 18×20||Luxilon/Wilson||Alu Rough / Natural||23/23 K|
|Bryan, Bob||USA||Prince||O3 Speedport Black||Luxilon/Tecnifibre||Timo / NRG² 17||41/45|
|Bryan, Mike||USA||Prince||O3 Speedport Black||Luxilon/Tecnifibre||Timo / NRG² 17||43/46|
|Bhupathi, Mahesh||India||Wilson||K Six.One 95 16×18||Wilson||Natural||57/57|
|Coetzee, Jeff||South Africa||Dunlop||AeroGel 200||Pacific||Poly / gut hybrid||54/54|
|Cuevas, Pablo||Uruguay||Head||MicroGel Prestige Mid||Luxilon||Original||54/54|
|Davydenko, Nikolay||Russia||Prince||03 Tour Midplus||Polystar||Polystar 130||23/21 K|
|Del Potro, Juan Martin||Argentina||Wilson||K Six.One 95 18×20||Luxilon||Alu Power||63/63|
|Dlouhy, Lucas||Czech Republic||Fischer||Magnetic Pro No. 1||Luxilon||Alu Power||25.5 K|
|Fyrstenberg, Mariusz||Poland||Babolat||Pure Storm||Luxilon||Alu Power||24/23 K|
|Horna, Luis||Peru||Babolat||Pure Storm +||Luxilon||Alu Power Rough||49/49|
|Knowles, Mark||Bahamas||Head||MicroGel Prestige Mid||Babolat/Luxilon||VS Gut / Alu Power||57/55|
|Matkowski, Marcin||Poland||Babolat||Pure Drive Roddick||Babolat||Pro Hurricane / VS Gut||23.4/22.5 K|
|Moodie, Wesley||South Africa||Head||MicroGel Prestige Mid||Pacifc||Poly / gut hybrid||62/60|
|Murray, Andy||Scotland||Head||MicroGel Radical MidPlus||Luxilon/Babolat||Alu Power / VS Gut||60/60|
|Nestor, Daniel||Canada||Wilson||K Six.One 95 16×18||Wilson/Luxilon||Natural / Alu Power||54.5/52.4|
|Paes, Leander||India||Babolat||Pure Drive||Luxilon/Babolat||Alu Power / VS Gut||51/51|
|Roddick, Andy||USA||Babolat||Pure Drive Roddick +||Babolat||Pro Hurricane / VS Gut||61|
|Simon, Gilles||France||Head||MicroGel Prestige Mid||Head||Intellitour||24/23 K|
|Stepanek, Radek||Czech Republic||Wilson||K Blade 98||Babolat||VS Gut||24.5/22.5 K|
|Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried||France||Wilson||K Blade 98||Luxilon||Alu Power||26/25 K|
|Ullyett, Kevin||Zimbabwe||Wilson||K Six.One 95 18×20||Wilson||Natural||50/50|
|Zimonjic, Nenad||Serbia||Head||Radical||Babolat/Luxilon||VS Gut / Ace||23/21.5 K|