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700 Facilities Take Part In ‘Tennis Night’
The USTA says more than 700 tennis facilities, recreation departments and community centers across the U.S. took part in the first-ever national youth registration initiative for spring and summer tennis programs — held as part of “Tennis Night in America” on March 2 — attracting tens of thousands of kids and parents.
Tennis Night in America also included the ”BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup” at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The Showdown featured Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic competing in a single-elimination tournament for the inaugural BJK Cup before a live national TV audience on HBO. The tournament was captured by Serena Williams in a straight-set victory over her sister Venus.
National Youth Registration Night events were created to give young players and their families around the country a day all their own to sign up for spring and summer programming including team tennis play. Facilities and clubs across the country, in cooperation with HBO, also offered live viewing parties for the Showdown.
“We were excited about the possibilities of what Tennis Night in America could be, but last night truly exceeded our expectations,” said Kurt Kamperman, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis, after the event.
Babolat Unveils New Y Line of Racquets
Babolat’s latest racquet innovation is “Y” technology, most visible in its five new oversize racquets by the longer arms that extend up the side of each racquet. The new Y line debuted in March at the BNP Paribas Open tournament in Indian Wells, Calif.
Designed for club players, Babolat says Y racquets combine power with precision, mainly due to four featured technologies:
- Side Drivers: This dual-structure construction connects the yoke and the head with arms that extend the yoke up to the 3 and 9 o’clock positions, creating a stiffer construction and distributing more power from the base of the yoke to the middle of the head, says the company. The Side Drivers cause less twisting at ball impact, according to Babolat.
- Dual-Graphite Construction: Two types of graphite — high-modulus in the yoke for power, and Babolat’s proprietary Crystal Graphite material in the head for torque resistance.
- Cellular Grommet System: These are individual grommet sections that run 360 degrees around the head of the racquet. Babolat says this system creates more consistent energy absorption at ball impact for more comfort and forgiveness.
- Smart Grip: Ergonomically designed grip allows players to hold the racquet with less effort, says Babolat, by increasing the contact surface with the hand. Smart Grip is standard on two Y frames and, if players prefer, can be replaced with a regular grip, or it is available as a stand-alone kit.
The frames in the Y line are the Y112 Limited (suggested retail $249), Y112 ($229), and Y112 with Smart Grip ($229), each at 112 square inches; and the Y118 ($239) and Y118 with Smart Grip ($239), at 118 square inches. Babolat Y tennis bags and slings, designed to fit Y racquets in shape and color, are also available, as is the Smart Grip Kit.
View the line of Y products at babolat.com, or call 877-316-9435.
PTR to Host Inaugural Tennis Club & Facilities Conference on Hilton Head
The PTR will host its inaugural Tennis Club & Facilities Conference May 13-15 at PTR Headquarters on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The event has been designed specifically for tennis club owners, club managers, and directors of tennis.
Presentations and breakout sessions will include topics such as Customer Service, Programming to Fill Courts, Innovative Ideas for New Clinics, Marketing Your Club & Programs, Forming a Club Owners Association, Controlling Energy Costs & Expenses, Managing Your Staff, Renovating Your Club, Creating/Improving Your Website and more.
The program starts at 1p.m. Wednesday, May 13, and runs through 5 p.m. Friday. Cost is $295 before April 1, $325 after April 1, and the price includes all workshops, meals and social activities through Friday afternoon. For more information or to register, contact PTR at 800-421-6289 or visit ptrtennis.org.
Sports Marketing Veteran Harlan Stone Joins USTA
The USTA has hired sports marketing veteran Harlan Stone as its new chief marketing officer for Professional Tennis. Stone will be responsible for all advertising, marketing, promotional programs and campaigns for the US Open, the Olympus US Open Series, the USTA Pro Circuit and all USA Team events including Davis and Fed Cups.
Stone also will be responsible for entertainment programming at the US Open and other select USTA pro tennis events. He will report to USTA Executive Director Gordon Smith.
In the early 1980s Stone launched his own agency that promoted a number of “Legends” tennis events in the Northeast. He headed the N.Y. Times Magazine Group’s Golf Digest/Tennis Sports, then was a partner at Advantage International (later renamed Octagon where he served as president). He worked as a marketing consultant for many leading sponsors and properties and most recently has been president of Major League Gaming Properties.
Tennis Channel is Home for U.S. Davis, Fed Cup
Tennis Channel has signed a multi-year deal to be the exclusive U.S. television home of all U.S. Davis Cup ties. The agreement struck with the ITF and USTA puts all three ITF annual international team competitions — Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, Fed Cup by BNP Paribas and Hyundai Hopman Cup — on Tennis Channel in the U.S.
In addition to exclusive U.S. telecast rights, a broadband component to the agreement will see U.S. Davis Cup matches available on demand and in their entirety on Tennis Channel’s web site, tennischannel.com, posted the day after each competition. Tennis Channel aired the U.S. Davis Cup first-round match in March as the U.S. beat Switzerland in Birmingham, Ala.
PTR Presents Annual Awards
The PTR presented its annual awards in February during the 2009 PTR International Tennis Symposium. The event, which included 60-plus on-court and classroom presentations, a tennis trade show and $25,000 Championships was held at Van der Meer Shipyard Racquet Club on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
- PTR Professional of the Year: Ken DeHart, San Jose, Calif.
- Clinician of the Year: Scott Mitchell, Charlotte, N.C.
- Tester of the Year: John MacDonald, Waynesboro, Ga.
- Humanitarian Award: Vicky Matarazzo, Lakewood, Colo.
- Volunteer of the Year: Don Henson, Bonita, Calif.
- Coach Verdieck Touring Pro Coach of the Year: Leo Alonso, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Coach Verdieck College Coach of the Year: Bryan Shelton, Alpharetta, Ga.
- Coach Verdieck High School Coach of the Year: Michael Kypriss, Hollywood, Fla.
- Male Player of the Year: Fernando Velasco, Austin
- Female Player of the Year: Diane Fishburne, Charleston, S.C.
- Public Facility of the Year: Bass-Rudd Tennis Center, Louisville, Ky.
- Private Facility of the Year: Pacific Athletic Club, Redwood City, Calif.
- PTR Pride Award: Miller Tennis Center, Williamsville, N.Y.
- PTR/USTA Community Service Award: Milan Kubala, Stowe, Vt.
- PTR/TIA Commitment to the Industry: Jorge Andrew, Lexington, Vt.
In addition, PTR recognized several State Members of the Year for their contributions to the organization in their respective states.
Award winners at the 2009 PTR International Tennis Symposium: (back row, from left) PTR CEO Dan Santorum, Ken DeHart, Leo Alonso, John MacDonald, PTR Founder Dennis Van der Meer, Jorge Capestany, Don Henson, Michael Kypriss; (front row, from left) Debbie Miller, Todd Miller, Vicky Matarazzo, Scott Mitchell.
Capestany Named PTR Master Professional
Jorge Capestany of Hudsonville, Mich., earned Master Professional status in the PTR, the only person to do so this year. He is also now one of only a handful of Master Professionals with both PTR and USPTA. Capestany was honored during the 2009 PTR International Tennis Symposium, held in February on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
In his 27 years in the industry, Capestany has created and directed lesson programs that have generated over $1 million in revenue annually. He has had articles published in several industry journals and has been a frequent speaker at the PTR International Symposium, the USPTA World Conference, USTA Tennis Teachers Conference and many others.
The founder of www.tennisdrills.tv — a video-based website that shows more than 700 tennis drills and tips — Capestany has developed many nationally ranked juniors, including three national champions. In 1998, he wrote the booklet “Tennis Strategy,” followed by his second book in 2008, “Mental Toughness — Workbook for Tennis.” He also is a Master Trainer on the Cardio Tennis Speakers Team and is a member of Wilson’s National Speakers Bureau.
2009 Stringers Symposium Set for October at Disney
The 2009 Grand Slam Stringers Symposium will once again be held at the Regal Sun Resort at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. The event will be Oct. 10 to 14.
Registration is open now, at gssalliance.com, or you can call event organizer Tim Strawn at 540-772-4418. Cost is $495 per person, but if you sign up before May 15, you can receive a 10 percent discount off the registration fee. Group rate at the Regal Sun Resort, an official Disney hotel, is $95 per night.
For 2009, new registration types have been added to provide even more discounts. Also, a fourth day has been added specifically for USRSA certification testing. Also new for 2009, sessions have been made longer to allow more time for presentations and questions, roundtable discussion groups and a speed-stringing contest have been added, and new topics include understanding and stringing polyester, marketing, customer service, using USRSA online tools, and more. Visit the website for more information.
Chris Maragozis, Victoria, BC CANADA
Matt Bennett, Victoria, BC CANADA
Allen Lee, Victoria, BC CANADA
Wesley Fry, Fitzroy, VC AUSTRALIA
Andrew Kotnik, Fitzroy, VC AUSTRALIA
Gregg McIntosh, Gastonia, NC
Aaron Petersen, Winston Salem, NC
Dipesh Rao, Greensboro, NC
Min-Wei Lee, Kaohsiung County, TAIWAN
Chi Hang Chris Chu, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Upgrades Available for Wise 2086 Tension Head
For users of the Wise 2086 Tension Head machine, the company now offers a newly designed Diablo for free for anyone who has purchased a 2086 in the last six months. (The Diablo is included with each new machine purchase.) Bought separately, the Diablo is $25 plus shipping; the current price of the Wise 2086 is $495.
Users of drop-weight machines can convert their machine to a full electronic with a new bracket. Remove the old drop-weight mechanism, add the new bracket and the Wise 2086 converts almost any model drop-weight to a digital electronic stringing machine. The bracket costs $20 plus shipping. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dunlop Expands Aerogel 4D Line
Dunlop has added four new frames to its premium racquet line. Designed for players ranging from beginners to advanced, the four are the Aerogel 4D 2Hundred, Aerogel 4D 5Hundred, Aerogel 4D 5Hundred Tour and Aerogel 4D 7Hundred. In addition to Aerogel, each features Dunlop’s 4D Braiding for control and feel.
The 4D 2Hundred, which ATP player Tomas Berdych uses, has a 95-square-inch head, 18×20 string pattern, and strung weight of 11.9 ounces. Like the other 4D frames, it features 4D Touchpoints positioned around the frame that Dunlop says makes the racquet 33 percent more stable and 33 percent softer, for added touch and feel.
The 4D 5Hundred Tour, played by Dunlop Tour Team member Nicolas Almagro, is 11.1 ounces strung, with a head size of 100 square inches and a more open 16×18 string pattern.
Dunlop launched its initial four Aerogel 4 D racquets in January (4D 3Hundred, 4D 3Hundred Tour, the 4D 5Fifty Lite and the 4D Super-Lite). For more information visit dunlopsport.com or call 800-768-4727.
‘Tennis Life’ To Be Official Florida Section Magazine
Tennis Life Magazine will become the new official section publication for USTA Florida starting in May. USTA Florida members will receive six regionally customized hard-copy editions of Tennis Life in 2009 and nine editions in 2010, along with an additional online version at no extra cost.
The association’s current official section publication, Play Tennis Florida, distributed its final edition to members via an all-digital interactive tennis magazine in February.
The USTA Florida section, with nearly 50,000 members, joins USTA Texas, USTA Southwest and USTA Northern in partnering with Tennis Life to distribute its section publication to USTA members.
Tennis Week Suspends Print Edition
Tennis Week will place the print edition of the magazine “on hiatus through 2009,” according to a statement from IMG, which owns the magazine. TW will, instead, shift its focus to its website, tennisweek.com, and its video distribution platforms. TW has been the official publication of the USTA Eastern Section. IMG Publishing acquired TW in December 2006.
- The U.S. Davis Cup team beat Switzerland, 4-1, in the first round in March to advance to an away quarterfinal match against Croatia in July. Croatia has won both previous Davis Cup series with the U.S. and is the only nation with a winning record against the Americans.
- The U.S. Fed Cup team beat Argentina, 3-2, in February at the Surprise Tennis Complex in Arizona to gain a spot in the semifinals. The U.S. will next play the Czech Republic April 25-26, at a site in the Czech Republic.
- Head has launched the first of 6 SPEED Lessons by Novak Djokovic on head.com, or visit speedlessons.com. Djokovic is the voiceover, and there is a test giving consumers the opportunity to win one of 10 new autographed SPEED Racquets, which will be available in May.
- Trinity College of Hartford, Conn., beat Princeton 5-4 to win the College Squash Association men’s national team championship in February and extend the nation’s longest college winning streak to 202 matches. Trinity, ranked No. 1 in the nation and seeded No. 1 in the tournament, won its 11th consecutive CSA national title. Its winning streak is the longest active winning streak in any intercollegiate varsity sport.
- Olga Govortsova, a top 50 WTA Tour player, is the first professional player to use the new Wilson [K]obra Tour. The [K]obra is geared for the hard hitting aggressive player who utilizes heavy spin on his shots.
- The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) and the USPTA have joined forces to promote the preventive health benefits of exercise on Capitol Hill. The partnership aligns two major initiatives: The USPTA’s Tennis–for the health of it! and IHRSA’s “Vision for a Healthier America.”
- Tennis Channel canceled its coverage of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates after it was announced that WTA pro Shahar Peer of Israel would not be allowed into the country. “Preventing an otherwise qualified athlete from competing on the basis of anything other than merit has no place in tennis or any other sport,” the network said in a statement.
- Prince was once again the official racquet, ball, footwear and apparel supplier to the SAP Open, held in San Jose, Calif., in February. It was Prince’s fourth year as the sponsor of the ATP World Tour stop.
- ATP Tour Pro Jarkko Nieminen is now playing “head to toe” with Wilson. In addition to his longstanding racquet contract, the top 40 player debuted Wilson’s new apparel and footwear on this year’s pro tour.
- USTA Serves–Foundation for Academics. Character. Excellence., the philanthropic and charitable entity of the USTA, will host its 3rd annual USTA Serves Theater Benefit in New York City on April 23, which will include seats to the Broadway musical “West Side Story.” The night begins with a cocktail reception and dinner at Sardi’s Restaurant. Guests will then watch the show from orchestra seating at the Palace Theater. Tickets for the dinner and show are $500 ($300 is tax deductible) and are available by calling 914-696-7223.
- Babolat has named Rich Francey as its Western Regional Sales Manager. Francey has spent the last 26 years with Prince Racquet Sports. Most recently, he was Territory Manager for Southern California and Tennis Warehouse, and was twice named rep of the year. Michael Lata, who previously managed sales efforts in the West, will be the National Strategic Account Manager.
- Wilson Racquet Sports has signed a long-term contract with 15-year-old Laura Robson from the United Kingdom. The 2008 Wimbledon Junior champion, she will play with the Wilson [K] Blade 98 racquet, strung with a combination of Wilson Natural Gut 17 and Luxilon Timo 1.10.
- The U.S. Olympic Committee honored USPTA members — Anne Smith, Ph.D., and Rita Gladstone — as part of its Coaching Recognition Program. Smith, of Dallas, was honored with the “Doc” Counsilman Science Award for tennis for her contributions in the area of sports psychology and mental training, and Gladstone, of Port Orange, Fla., was named USOC Volunteer Coach of the Year for tennis.
- Wilson [K]Six-One 95 player Mardy Fish became the first top-seed to win the title in the 17-year history of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships. It was his third career singles title.
- Hall-of-Famer and two-time US Open Champion Tracy Austin will serve as a special consultant for USTA Player Development.
- Karen Ronney, girls’ tennis coach at San Diego’s Patrick Henry High School, has won Positive Coaching Alliance’s Double-Goal Coach Award for her positive impact on young athletes.
- USTA Southern has hired Russell Dendy of Jackson, Miss., as the section’s Mississippi Tennis Service Representative. Dendy has worked as the Junior Programs Director for USTA Mississippi in Jackson from 2005 to 2009.
- William (“Bill”) J. Kellogg, president of the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club and the former co-chair of the USTA Davis Cup & Fed Cup Committee, was elected president of the 45,000-member Southern California Tennis Association.
- Dean Hadaegh has been named chief technology officer and senior vice president, technical operations, of Tennis Channel. He previously served as chief technology officer and vice president, administration.
USPTA Announces 2009 Tourney Schedule
The USPTA kicks off its 2009 National Surface Championship Series with the USPTA Indoor Championships April 24-26, presented by the USPTA Northern Division. The series offers USPTA members the chance to earn prize money and ranking points.
Prize money for the Indoor Championships, held at Lakeville Lifetime Fitness in Minneapolis, is $5,000. The tournament will feature events in men’s and women’s open and 45s singles and doubles competition.
The tournaments are open to Professional-level USPTA members in good standing. For information, contact 800-USPTA-4U. USPTA Professionals may log in to the “members only” section of uspta.com. Other events in the series are:
- May 8-11: USPTA Clay Court Championships, Ibis Golf and Country Club, West Palm Beach, Fla.
- Aug. 21-23: USPTA Grass Court Championships, Philadelphia Cricket Club, Philadelphia
- Sept. 21-24: USPTA International Championships, Marco Marriott, Marco Island, Fla.
- Oct. 23-25: USPTA Hard Court Championships, Hollytree Country Club and Tyler Tennis & Swim Club, Tyler, Texas
College Tennis Roundup
- The Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the governing body of college tennis, has reached a multi-year agreement that makes the Campbell Soup Co. the title sponsor for the ITA College Tennis Rankings and the ITA College Players of the Year awards.
- Virginia captured it second consecutive ITA National Men’s Team Indoor title at Midtown Tennis Club, hosted by the University of Illinois, after defeating No. 3 Georgia, the last team to accomplish such a feat.
- Top-ranked Northwestern, the 2008 runner-up, became the first Big Ten team to capture the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Women’s Team Indoor title with a 4-1 victory recently over No. 6 Georgia at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Stadium, hosted by the University of Wisconsin.
- Alex Clayton of Stanford University received the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Sportsmanship Award at the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships.
- Lauren Lui of Northwestern University received the ITA Sportsmanship Award at the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships.
- Georgia freshman Chelsey Gullickson was voted the Most Outstanding Player of the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships.
- No. 2 Emory University upset top-ranked Washington University, 6-3, to capture the team’s third Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division III National Men’s Team Indoor Championship title.
- Carnegie Mellon, the No. 5 seed, beat No. 2 Emory to win the inaugural ITA Division III National Women’s Team Indoor title in February. The event was held at the Swanson Tennis Center on Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minn.
USTA Names Community Tennis Award Winners
At the 2009 USTA Community Tennis Development Workshop, held in February in Hilton Head, S.C., the USTA honored individuals and organizations for their commitment to growing the game and being true tennis ambassadors at the grassroots level. Receiving honors at the event were:
- Community Tennis Association of the Year: Brandon Tennis Association, Brandon, S.D.
- Eve Kraft Community Service Award: Bill Humes of Princeton, N.J., and Hank Merges of York, Pa.
- Janet Louer USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Organizer of the Year: Laura Mitchell of Centreville, Va.
- Adaptive Tennis National Community Service Award: Handi-Racket Tennis of Wayland, Mass.
- National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) of the Year: New Lyons Park NJTL of Mobile, Ala.; NJTL of Indianapolis, Ind.; and the MaliVai Washington Kids’ Foundation of Jacksonville, Fla.
USPTA Pros Raise $4 Million for Charity
USPTA teaching pros once again demonstrated that giving to charity is a priority by raising $4 million in 2008 through the association’s Lessons for Life program.
“Our members continue to show their commitment to giving to charitable causes, especially during the difficult economic climate,” says Paula Scheb, Lessons for Life chairwoman, secretary/treasurer of the USPTA national board of directors and director of tennis and fitness at Bonita Bay Club in Bonita Springs, Fla. “Thanks to all of our members who step up year after year for charity.”
The USPTA and its members have now raised more than $36 million since the program’s inception in 1999. Under the Lessons for Life umbrella, the USPTA encourages its members to use tennis as a vehicle to help others through fundraising activities in their communities. Many of the fundraisers take place at country clubs and commercial clubs. Fundraisers take the form of tournaments, pro-ams, auctions, black-tie dinners and clinics.
Nova Sports Chosen for India Sports Complex
Nova Sports USA and its installer in Delhi, India, has been chosen by the Indian Olympic Association and the Jharkhand Olympic Association to surface the seven new courts of a mega-sports complex near the city of Ranchi, India. The courts will use the Novacrylic sport surface.
The tennis center, part of the 325-acre sports complex, will include a 2,100-seat championship court and will host India Olympic Association tournaments along with all future India National Games. Designers toured the Olympic village in Sydney, Australia, along with national stadiums in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in an effort to incorporate the finest features of the sports facilities. For more information visit novasports.com.
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- Tennis Technology: Smarten up!