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Walter Montenegro Turns 100!
Tennis and racquet sports industry veteran and innovator Walter Montenegro will celebrate his 100th birthday this summer. A celebration is planned for Aug. 15 in New Jersey.
Montenegro was born Aug. 25, 1909, in San Jose, Costa Rica. He earned an accounting degree at the University of Buenos Aires, then arrived in New York in his early 20s. He learned to string tennis racquets and ultimately established a number of racquet companies, including Calhoun-Cragin and Cragin Simplex, where he also imported Babolat strings.
Among other endeavors, he developed a squash ball for summer play that changed the game to a year-round sport, and generated a Sports Illustrated article by George Plimpton. He also was instrumental in building up the USPTA, USRSA, TIA and U.S. Professional Squash Racquets Association. He was inducted into the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame in 1985.
The family would love to have cards, greetings, testimonials, etc., to make his day truly special. Mail can be sent to: Walter Montenegro, c/o Barbara Montenegro, 7 Tall Pines Drive, Neptune, N.J. 07753.
Prince Adds to EXO3 Line of Frames
Prince is introducing three new EXO3 models: two advanced-player frames — the EXO3 Ignite 95 and Ignite Team 95 — and a classic oversize — the EXO3 Blue 110. “The EXO3 Ignite is built for a very particular high-level player and will help continue our assault on that growing segment of the market,” says Tyler Herring, Prince’s global business director for performance racquets. “The EXO3 Blue 110 is built with the millions of recreational club players in mind who look to Prince to help them have more fun on court and who seek the ultimate in comfort and power.”
The Ignite 95 joins the EXO3 Graphite and Rebel racquets in providing advanced-level players with control and feel, says Prince. The Ignite Team 95 is for competitive players who want a lighter weight, more maneuverable frame. The EXO3 Blue 110 will be positioned between the EXO3 Silver 118 and Red 105 for club players looking for a 110-square-inch head.
“With more players taking to tennis courts in the U.S., we need to ensure that our racquets deliver the core benefits each player type demands, and focus on making it easy for consumers to identify the right racquet for them at retail,” says Linda Glassel, VP of sports marketing and branding at Prince.
“The Graphite, Rebel and Ignite franchises signify racquets built for players typically looking for control-oriented frames in heavier weights and more traditional cross sections. In our recreational frames, we have continued with a color naming strategy (Red 105, Blue 110, Silver 118) so players can identity which racquet they should graduate to.”
The EXO3 Ignite 95 is for advanced players with faster swing speeds who are looking for a heavy, yet head-light, racquet. Suggested retail price is $210. The EXO3 Ignite Team 95 is designed for intermediate to advanced players who like a classic, mid-size frame in a slightly lighter weight for added maneuverability and more power from the baseline. Price is $200.
The EXO3 Blue 110 is for club players looking for the great feel in a classic oversize, with a larger sweetspot. Suggested retail is $280. For more information, visit princetennis.com.
USPTA World Conference Set for Florida
The USPTA’S World Conference on Tennis will be Sept. 21 to 26 at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club and Spa on Marco Island, Fla. The conference will feature more than 35 general sessions, seminars and specialty courses and is expected to draw 1,500 attendees, including tennis professionals, industry leaders and representatives, manufacturers, wholesalers and media. Also during the conference, USPTA hosts its International Tennis Championships, board and executive committee meetings, industry meetings, a tennis-only buying show, silent auction, nighttime parties, awards presentation and more.
USPTA members, their friends and family, nonmember tennis-teaching professionals, industry leaders and media are invited to attend the conference. Details, including registration information, are available at uspta.com or by calling 800-877-8248.
Register for the TTC
Register now for the USTA’s 2009 Tennis Teachers Conference, which will be held Aug. 29-Sept. 1 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, just as the US Open gets under way. Now in its 39th year, the TTC is a premier resource for teaching pros, organizers and coaches, offering the latest information, along with an opportunity to connect with colleagues from around the U.S. and the world. For information or to register, visit usta.com/ttc.
Wilson Contest for Open Trip
Wilson’s 2009 US Open Sweepstakes Contest offers consumers a chance to win a trip to the 2009 US Open and other Wilson equipment. The sweepstakes, which runs through July, with winners drawn on Aug. 7, is being promoted on specially marked three-packs of Wilson US Open tennis balls. For registration and more details, visit wilson.com/usopentrip.
Coaches Chosen for USTA Collegiate Teams
Four coaches have been chosen to lead the USTA Men’s and Women’s Summer Collegiate Teams, an elite training program for the top American collegiate tennis players that began in 1996 and is designed to provide players with exposure to the USTA Pro Circuit in a team-oriented environment.
Amanda Augustus from the University of California-Berkeley and Kathy Sell from Princeton University will coach the women’s team, while Chris Brandi from Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia’s Tony Bresky will lead the men’s team. Each team will have 12 participants, selected based on performance at national championship events and ITA rankings.
Zvonareva Signs with Tourna Grip
WTA Tour World No. 7 Vera Zvonareva has signed a multi-year deal with Unique Sports. Zvonareva, a 2009 Australian Open semifinalist who won her ninth singles title at Indian Wells this year, joins Victoria Azarenka as an official endorser of Pink Tourna Tac by Tourna Grip.
“Tourna Grip has been such an important part of my tennis success,” says Zvonareva. “Nothing else performs quite like it. I’m happy to now have an official agreement.” Visit www.uniquesports. com.
PTR Joins Forces With TennisLMS
The PTR has signed a two-year agreement with TennisLMS Corp. to be the Player Development Platform of PTR. TennisLMS is a new company with a platform for tracking players’ development and performances.
PTR members will receive exclusive discounted pricing for all components of TennisLMS web application: Video Analysis, Match Analysis, Fitness Analysis, Mental Game Development and High Performance Academy Editions.
The TennisLMS (Learning Management System) platform provides a range of unique features for club owners, directors, coaches and physical trainers that encourages participation, retention, and long-term player development and helps up-sell tennis memberships and lessons. The PTR says the system is easy to use and doesn’t require any software to be installed — PTR coaches will access all features and player development plans over the Internet.
“In this economic downturn, PTR is trying to help our coaches and clubs to become more profitable and TennisLMS has the platform and the vision at an affordable price,” says PTR CEO Dan Santorum. “It will maximize sharing of the knowledge of PTR coaches and extend value-added services they offer to their clients.”
“Most of the industry is talking about modern tennis, but it starts with modern tennis coaches,” says Kelly Jones, TennisLMS president and former No. 1 in ATP doubles. TennisLMS has carefully chosen partners (Tennis Europe Junior Tour, Croatian Tennis Association, Stanford University, University of Virginia, Prince Plugged In Academies, Etcheberry Certified Coaches, Little Mo Tournaments and Saddlebrook Academy) with whom we want to help build the next generation of modern tennis coaches.”
Volkl Adds to Power Bridge Line
Volkl Tennis has come out with four new racquets in its Power Bridge line, along with new junior frames in the series. New frames include the Power Bridge 3, Power Bridge V1, Power Bridge 10 Mid, and Quantum Scorcher.
The Power Bridge 3, designed for players looking for performance and power, is 110 square inches and weighs 9.5 ounces, with a 16 × 19 string pattern.
The Power Bridge V1 comes in a midplus (102 square inches) and oversize (110). It weighs 10.1 ounces with a 16 × 19 string pattern, and is designed to provide comfort and performance.
For tournament players, the Power Bridge 10 Mid provides control and precision, permitting a hard, dominating play style, says Volkl. The frame is 93 square inches, weighs 11.6 ounces and has a 16 × 19 string pattern.
For control, feel and value, Volkl offers the Quantum Scorcher, at 102 square inches, 9.7 ounces and 16 × 19 pattern. The new junior frames include the Power Bridge 8 Jr., Power Bridge 9 Jr., and Power Bridge 10 Jr.
Ektelon Launches EXO3 R-Ball Frames
Ektelon has launched two EXO3 high-performance racquetball frames, the Black and Copper. EXO3 features “Energy Bridge” and “Energy Channel” designs that suspend the string bed, expand the sweetspot and deliver other playing benefits, says the company.
The Energy Channel is a frame design that creates elongated open channels at the 12, 3 and 9 o’clock positions of the frame which moves the mass to the outermost edges of the frame for stability. Energy Bridge are soft thermoplastic pieces inserted into the Energy Channel to create an exo-skeletal bridge structure that results in a string bed that is almost entirely suspended from the frame.
The EXO3 Black has a suggested retail price of $300, while the Copper is $280. For information, contact 800-283-2635 or visit ektelon.com.
WTT signs Turfer Athletic As Official Apparel Supplier
World TeamTennis and Turfer Athletic announced a multi-year agreement making Turfer Athletic the official apparel supplier of both the Advanta WTT Professional and Recreational Leagues. Turfer will develop a proprietary lifestyle brand of WTT apparel available online and at select Advanta WTT Pro and Rec League events.
Turfer has launched a website, featuring tennis-inspired lifestyle clothing suited for wearing both on and off the court. The website will offer discounts for WTT members on the WTT Collection of custom apparel and outerwear. WTT members will also receive special incentive buying offers throughout the year.
During the Pro League season, Turfer will outfit officials, ball kids and staff in the 10 franchise markets and will have merchandise onsite at many of the Advanta WTT Pro League matches in July.
Wilson Grand Slam Bag Debuts
In recognition of all Wilson’s great champions, Wilson has created the new Grand Slam Limited Edition Bag, which debuted at the French Open and will be exclusively carried on tour by all of Wilson’s Grand Slam Champions.
“There is no better feeling than winning a Grand Slam title,” says Roger Federer, who recently won the French Open for the first time, tying Pete Sampras’ all-time Grand Slam title record at 14. “This new Wilson Grand Slam bag is a very cool and unique way of celebrating my Grand Slam titles.” Wilson players have won a total of 467 Major titles.
Protect Your Group and Yourself With CTA and NJTL Insurance
We’ve all seen the Geico commercials with those two large eyeballs on a stack of cash, showing individuals that they’ve paid too much for insurance. It’s a simple concept that resonates in these times of economic uncertainty.
The USTA recognizes the need for low-cost solutions for community-based organizations — such as Community Tennis Associations and NJTL Chapters and Programs — that promote and develop the growth of tennis. And one solution, for eligible CTAs and NJTLs, is the USTA Master Liability Insurance Program and the Directors & Officers and Employment Practices Insurance Program. Each is a professional, high-quality program offering substantial liability coverage with a discounted enrollment contribution.
The Master Liability Insurance Program offers up to $2 million in coverage against allegations of negligence resulting from bodily injury or property damage. This program offers coverage for liability claims such as injury or death to a player or participant; accidental injury to a bystander or spectator; property damage; allegations of libel, slander, abuse or molestation; and more. The enrollee contribution is $165 a year for CTAs or NJTLs with an annual budget of $25,000 or less and $465 for organizations with a budget of more than $25,000. You can’t find this type of coverage at this cost anywhere on the market.
The Directors & Officers and Employment Practices Insurance Program offers coverage through an “A”-Rated carrier for CTAs and NJTLs. Policy features include providing defense counsel; no deductible; $1 million limit of liability with simple and inexpensive pricing; and loss prevention services from a national law firm specializing in employment, labor and benefits law risk-management assistance.
Both insurance programs have a toll-free number for dedicated support and assistance. Over 500 CTAs and NJTLs have enrolled so far this year. For additional information, contact the USTA’s insurance consultant, Eagle Risk Management, at 1-800-654-USTA (8782) or visit usta.com/cta. — David Slade
David Slade is the USTA National Manager of Community Tennis Associations and can be reached at email@example.com.
- Rally for the Cure and the USPTA have joined forces to raise awareness in the fight against breast cancer. Rally for the Cure has tools and materials for USPTA tennis-teaching professionals interested in running a Lessons for Life charity tennis event in support of Rally for the Cure. Visit rallyforthecure.com or uspta.com for more.
- Tencap has signed on as a corporate member of the PTR. Tencap provides tennis clubs web-based technologies that are integrated into a club’s website, and offers PTR members 15 percent off set-up and maintenance. Tencap technologies include a social networking platform, event management system and more. Visit tencaptennis.com.
- The first day of ticket sales in June to the general public for the 2009 US Open was the second best opening day in US Open history. With nearly 35,000 tickets sold, this marks only the second time that opening day ticket sales topped 30,000 tickets.
- The Georgia Chapter of the Club Managers Association of America invited the Georgia State Chapter of the USPTA Southern Division to a joint meeting on May 18 at the Dunwoody Country Club in Dunwoody, Ga. More than 50 tennis-teaching professionals attended the meeting to network and learn more about CMAA. Tom Daglis, the USPTA first vice president and director of tennis at Lakewood Country Club in Rockville, Md., was the featured guest speaker.
- Advanta, which is the main sponsor of the World TeamTennis Pro League, appears to be having financial problems. Recently the company, which provides credit cards to many small businesses, including many in the tennis industry, essentially canceled its 1 million credit-card accounts, announcing it would no longer make loans on their cards. A WTT spokesman said in June Advanta’s difficulties won’t affect the 2009 Pro League season, which takes place in July.
- USTA Serves–Foundation for Academics. Character. Excellence., the philanthropic and charitable entity of the USTA, announced that it will grant 71 high school students a variety of college scholarships this spring totaling $379,000. Individual amounts will range from $1,000 to $15,000.
- The PTR presented a plaque and $2,500 check to the Photography Department of Hilton Head Island High School to honor the memory of Dr. Kin Yee “Ken” Mak, who died suddenly in March. Mak served as the official photographer of PTR for more than 10 years. The money will be used for scholarships of $250 a semester for the next five years.
- “On Court with USPTA,” the cable TV show produced by the USPTA, received the Award of Distinction in the 2009 Communicator Awards competition. The award-winning episode, “Creating a Successful Doubles Team,” which aired on the Tennis Channel, won in the category of programs/news–sports. This was also the first episode of “On Court with USPTA” in high-definition.
- More than 200 children showed up for the USTA’s third annual open casting call in June at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, hoping to perform at the 2009 US Open, Aug. 31 to Sept. 13. A panel of celebrity judges from the music and entertainment industries will help choose winners, who will perform live at Arthur Ashe Stadium during night sessions.
- Squash star Adrian Grant has signed a deal with Head.
USPTA launches Tennisresources.com
The USPTA launched tennisresources.com, a tennis search engine that allows users to find all things tennis — from exclusive educational and instructional videos to articles and drill diagrams — all located at one site. Tennisresources.com, a subscription-based site, targets tennis-teaching professionals and coaches and tennis players of all levels.
The site provides teaching pros with the tools they need to enhance lessons and programs, whether they teach competitive juniors and adults or Little Tennis players. Tennis players will also find the site useful with access to numerous instructional videos, one-minute video tips and drills from top tennis-teaching pros to help improve their game.
Paid subscribers to tennisresources.com have unlimited access to high-quality educational tennis material. Other benefits include rating media, the opportunity to leave comments about media, sharing content with others by sending it via e-mail and saving media to a list of personal “Favorites” so that you may quickly find the content that is most useful to you. USPTA members will receive a complimentary basic subscription. There are several subscription rates available. Visit tennisresources.com for more information and to view sample clips.
French Open Tecnifibre Team Strings 3,060 Frames
Paul Kid of Tecnifibre reports that the company’s 11 stringers at the French Open this year strung a total of 3,060 racquets during the three weeks (including qualifying), which is 300 more frames than in 2008. The Tecnifibre stringers, using TF-8000 machines, came from France, Japan, United Kingdom, Argentina, Switzerland, Spain and Germany. Interesting stats from the Tecnifibre Stringing Service logs include:
- Lowest tension: 22 lbs., for Filipo Volandri (Italy)
- Hightest tension: 77 lbs., for Jurgen Melzer (Austria)
- Most racquets strung: 52, for Serena Williams
Tensions and other stats for some popular players:
- Rafael Nadal: 55 lbs.
- Robin Söderling: 56 lbs. and 36 racquets strung
- Dinara Safina: 66/64 lbs.
- Svetlana Kuznetsova: 57/55 lbs.
- Fernando Verdasco: 51/46 lbs.
- Mike Bryan: 50/53 lbs. and 24 racquets strung
- Bob Bryan: 49/53 lbs. and 28 racquets strung
- Andy Roddick: 62 lbs.
- John McEnroe: 52 lbs.
Gore Supplies Wimbledon Roof Fabric
W.L. Gore & Associates Inc., the company best known for its waterproof and breathable outerwear fabric, announced that the new retractable roof over Centre Court at Wimbledon is made of Gore Tenara Architectural Fabric, a product that will lessen the impact of wet weather at the tennis tournament. The fabric was chosen, in part, for its ability to let light pass through while offering protection from the elements.
- Peter Burwash International has appointed Jeff Henkelman to the recently created position of director of quality control. Henkelman, who has been with PBI for 20 years, will travel to PBI facilities to conduct on-site inspections, oversee company-wide performance evaluations, assist with the training of all new professionals and help with the planning of the PBI Annual Meeting as part of his duties. He also will continue in his current role as regional manager for the Caribbean.
- Roger Federer made history with his Wilson [K] Six.One Tour in June when he won his first French Open title, tying Pete Sampras’ record 14 career Grand Slam titles. Also for Wilson, Juan Martin Del Potro with his [K] Six.One 95, reached his first Grand Slam semifinal in Paris. In the Junior French Open event, 16-year-old Kristina Mladenovic used her [K]Tour to take the girls’ singles title and Daniel Berta used his [K]Six-One 95 to take home the boys’ title.
- Head player Svetlana Kuznetsova, who plays with a MicroGel Extreme with Teflon polymer, won the French Open final in June. On the men’s side, Robin Soderling, playing with a Head MicroGel Radical MP, defeated No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the round of 16 and reached the final.
- Jack Huczek captured his third USA Racquetball Men’s Singles National Championship on May 24 at the 2009 USA Racquetball National Singles Championships in Houston. Huczek is a member of Head’s Pro Staff. This was his second USA Racquetball National Championship title this year.
- Troy Hahn is the newest USTA coach. He will facilitate coaching and training programs while working with players in the USTA Player Development program. Hahn, who was assistant men’s tennis coach at Purdue University, will be based at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla.
- Duke’s Mallory Cecil and Oklahoma State’s Oleksandr Nedovyesov of have been named the 2009 Campbell/ITA National College Players of the Year. Tennessee’s Davey Sandgren and John-Patrick Smith and Fresno State’s Renata Kucerkova and Anastasia Petukhova of are the ITA National Doubles Teams of the Year. For the first time, the collegiate players will be recognized at the 2009 International Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on July 11 in Newport, R.I. during the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.
- The late Arthur Ashe and his wife Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe will be recognized with the Eugene L. Scott Award by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum at the 29th annual “Legends Ball” on Friday, Sept. 11, in New York. The award honors an individual who embodies Scott’s commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game.
- WTA Tour star Vera Zvonareva has been named a “Promoter of Gender Equality” as part of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s partnership with UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. In this role she joins fellow Tour stars Venus Williams, Tatiana Golovin, and Zheng Jie, who were previously named as Promoters of Gender Equality, as well as Tour founder and legend Billie Jean King, who was named “Global Mentor for Gender Equality” last November.
- Adam Milner has been named Associate Publisher for Tennis Magazine, the world’s largest tennis title. In this role he will work to develop integrated solutions across The Tennis Company’s different platforms including: Tennis Magazine, Smash and Tennis.com.
- IMG has signed Russian tennis star Vera Zvonareva.
- Alex Bogomolov, the former top 100 touring pro, is the touring pro in residence for the Napeague Tennis Club in the Hamptons area of Long Island, N.Y.