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PTR Symposium Set, Cardio Tennis for Kids to Debut
The PTR will hold its annual International Tennis Symposium & $25,000 Championships Feb. 12 to 18 at PTR Headquarters on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The event is expected to attract nearly 1,000 tennis teachers and coaches from more than 50 countries.
Among the more than 50 speakers at this year’s event will be Leo Alonso, Doug Cash, Lisa Duncan, Pat Etcheberry, Dr. Ben Kibler, Dr. Jim Loehr, Anne Pankhurst and Bill Tym, who will conduct classroom and on- court presentations. There is also a special high school coaches’ program held over President’s Weekend.
At the Symposium, the official debut of Cardio Tennis for Kids (CT4Kids) will take place Feb. 18. The three-hour CT4Kids workshop will be conducted by National Cardio Tennis Program Manager Michele Krause and members of the National Cardio Tennis Speakers Team. The workshop will consist of both classroom and on-court sessions.
Cardio Tennis for Kids is a group play activity featuring action-based tennis drills and games for children ages 6 to 12 of all ability levels. CT4Kids emphasizes movement and fun using music and pedometers. Using age appropriate equipment, the CT4kids environment develops tennis and athletic skills and improves health and fitness.
PTR teaching pros will compete in the $25,000 Championships, a tournament held in conjunction with the Symposium. The Symposium also offers a Tennis Trade Show. Visit ptrtennis.org.
Tennis Participation Tops 30 Million Players
Tennis participation in the U.S. topped 30 million players for the first time in more than 20 years, according to the latest survey by the USTA and TIA. The annual phone survey of 6,000 Americans showed that participation grew in all age groups under the age of 50 and within all ethnicities. With 30.1 million people hitting the courts, tennis participation grew 12 percent over 2008 and 25 percent since 2003.
New players comprised 7.1 million of the total, and the majority of tennis players — 14.8 million — consider themselves “regular players,” playing four to 20 times a year. Total play occasions surpassed 560 million for only the second time in more than 20 years, but were down slightly from last year. The greatest percentage growth in participation was in players in the 12 to 17 age bracket, which grew from 15.7 percent of total participants in 2008 to 20.5 percent in 2009.
“Over the past several years, we’ve strived to make the game more accessible, particularly at parks and schools,” says Kurt Kamperman, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis. “Combine this with the health benefits of tennis, and you get surging interest in the sport.”
“The TIA and the USTA have been focused on growing participation since the mid-90s and this is the result of a consistent and sustained effort,” says TIA President Jon Muir. “Our ongoing challenge is to continue to build our frequent player base, the economic lifeline for the sport.” In fact, the same survey shows a slight drop in frequent players, from 5.62 million in 2008 to 5.3 million in 2009.
The survey showed that participation in 2009 is up in every major ethnic group, but especially among African Americans (+19%) and Hispanics (+32%).
Age groups comprising the greatest percentage of players are:
- 12-17 years at 20.5% of the total (more than 6 million players)
- 18-24 years at18.4% of the total (more than 5.5 million players)
- 6-11 years at 16.25% of the total (4.9 million players)
‘Best Tennis Town’ Wins $100,000 for Community
More than 1,300 people turned out on Nov. 13 to celebrate Midland, Mich., being named America’s Best Tennis Town. The $100,000 first prize that went along with the title, which was announced during the 2009 US Open, will be used to upgrade tennis facilities in the community, provide equipment to kids, restart school tennis programs dropped for budget reasons, offer free tennis programming, and more.
The USTA named Midland “The Best Tennis Town In The U.S.” following a nationwide ballot that saw the community outvote 56 other cities in the competition. Midland rated high in level of participation and passion for the sport in this community of 40,000. Second-place winner Ojai, Calif., received $75,000 and third-place Independence, Kan., won $25,000.
ASBA Elects New Officers and Directors
The American Sports Builders Association, the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities, has announced the election of its officers and directors for 2010-2011.
- Sam Fisher of Fisher Tracks Inc. of Boone, Iowa, is the new chairman of the ASBA.
- John Graham of DecoTurf in Andover, Mass., has been re-elected to the position of secretary-treasurer.
- Mark Brogan of Pro-Sport Construction Inc. of Devon, Pa., has been re-elected to the position of Tennis Division president.
- Dan Wright of Sports Turf Co. of Whitesburg, Ga., was elected Fields Division president.
- Randy Futty of Lee Tennis Court Products in Charlottesville, Va., has been re-elected as Supplier Division president.
- Rob Delmonico of RAD Sports in Rockland, Mass., will serve as a Builder Director.
- Ben Rennolds of Tennis Courts Inc. of Aylett, Va., will also serve as a Builder Director.
- Rob Righter of Nova Sports, USA in Milford, Mass., was re-elected to the office of Supplier Director.
Officers remaining on the Board of Directors will be Track Division President Kristoff Eldridge (Cape & Island Tennis & Track in Pocasset, Mass.); Professional Division President Ed Norton (Holcombe Norton Partners of Birmingham, Ala.); and Indoor Division President Robert Cohen (Robert Cohen Co. LLC of Albuquerque).
Directors continuing on the board include Bruce Haroldson (Connor Sports Flooring, Salt Lake City, Utah), David Nielsen (Leslie Coatings Inc. of Indianapolis), Gerry Perry (Gerald Perry Tennis Courts of Springfield, Mo.), and Pete Smith (The CourtSmiths of Toledo, Ohio).
George Todd Jr. (Welch Tennis Courts of Sun City, Fla.) the association’s most recent chairman, will continue on the Board of Directors in the role of immediate past chairman.
Pacific Introduces Racquet Line, New BasaltX Technology
Pacific, long known for its strings, is bringing tennis racquets to market in early 2010. The brand, which recently acquired Fischer Tennis and Racquet Sports, will launch a line of racquets with what it calls BasaltX Technology.
The frames actually were introduced in late November in London, during the ATP World Finals. Pacific collaborated with the Austrian company Asa.Tec, a leader in basalt fiber technology. Basalt is found in volcanic stones, mined in Austria.
The Pacific BasaltX racquet line, which is scheduled to start delivery in January, will include models for all levels of player, from tour players to juniors. For more information visit pacific.com or basaltx.com.
Pro Coaches Launch Tour-Level Association
A group of ATP World Tour and WTA Tour coaches are launching a new organization to help support tour coaches and trainers by offering them a full range of benefits and services, including access to various forms of insurance, financial services, job training, and mentoring.
The organization is known as the Tour Level Tennis Coaches Association, and it will be for ATP and WTA Tour coaches and trainers. The TLTCA will work in concert with the ATP, WTA and ITF to promote the game across the globe.
Roger Rasheed (coach of ATP player Gael Monfils) and Vlado Platenik (coach of the WTA player Dominika Cibulkova) are spearheading the process of forming the TLTCA’s initial Advisory Board of Directors. With the assistance of tennis industry professionals, they have developed a set of bylaws and are engaged in enlisting other coaches to join. Plans call for a member vote in early January in Australia for the first official board of directors.
Congratulations To the Following For Achieving CS & MRT Status
Charles Borchers Port Charlotte, FL
Eric Ohlson White Salmon, WA
Dan Raykovitz Longmont, CO
David Wang Beaverton, OR
Adam Young Lantana, FL
Ron Castillo La Plata, MD
Diane Hamm-Vida Shallotte, NC
Irvin Hernandez Houston, TX
Lee Young Hoon Hwaseong, SOUTH KOREA
Mathew Mathew Oakbrook Terrace, IL
Jarrad Magee Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Stacey Moon Anchorage, AK
Mark Nissen Lane Cove, NSW, AUSTRALIA
Hao Shi Jacksonville, FL
Liem Thai Houston, TX
Oncourt Offcourt Celebrates 15 Years
Oncourt Offcourt, started in 1994 by USPTA and PTR Master Professional Joe Dinoffer, is celebrating its 15th year of supplying creative tennis training aids, target systems and court accessories. The Dallas-based company now features more than 100 proprietary products distributed worldwide. For a free color anniversary catalog with lower prices to celebrate during 2010, contact Oncourt Offcourt toll-free at 1-88-TENNIS-11 or visit oncourtoffcourt.com.
Hinding Tennis Adds QuickStart Courts
Mayor Dinkins (in red bow tie) was on hand at the grand opening of the newly renovated tennis courts on East Sidney Street in Mount Vernon, N.Y. Hinding Tennis of West Haven, Conn., renovated the two existing courts into 8 new QuickStart Tennis courts for children.
“This brings a whole new level of excitement for the younger tennis players,” said Skip Hartman, of the New York NJTL.
Hinding also rebuilt 16 courts in New Haven’s East Shore Park, including four permanent QST courts. For more information, visit hindingtennis.com or call 203-285-3055.
Viking Athletics Named Official Partner of PPTA
Viking has been named the official partner of the Professional Platform Tennis Association. Through the new one-year deal, Viking will be the exclusive provider of paddles, accessories, footwear and apparel at all PPTA events in 2010.
“To have Viking step up and offer support to the PPTA and its members in this fashion further solidifies why they are considered the industry leader,” says Nate Parsons, president of the PPTA. “Our organization, comprised of approximately 200 teaching pro members, is extremely impressed with Viking’s commitment of support.”
Through the new partnership, all PPTA members will receive a new Viking fleece jacket and substantial discounts off the purchase of the popular Prince T-8 line of shoes, available in styles for men, women and juniors.
The 2009-2010 Viking product line features eight paddles, including newly designed versions of the Oz, Ignite, and Zone. For more information, visit vikingathletics.com.
- Belgian tennis players Yanina Wickmayer and Xavier Malisse have asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn their one-year bans for missing drug tests. The players want to annul their suspensions for failing three times to report their whereabouts for unannounced drug-testing. The tribunal is expected to issue a ruling by mid-March.
- Serena Williams received a record $82,500 fine for her US Open tirade and could be suspended from that tournament if she has another “major offense” at any Grand Slam in the next two years. The previous highest fine for a Grand Slam offense was about $48,000 to Jeff Tarango in the 1990s.
- Peter Burwash, president of Peter Burwash International, recently received the “2009 Faculty Emeritus Award” from the USTA. The award recognizes those men and women who both through speaking and presentations have made enormous contributions over the years to the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference.
- Roger Federer recently signed sponsorship agreements with Credit Suisse bank and with Lindt chocolates. It’s the first time in Lindt’s 160 years that it has had a celebrity spokesperson. Both companies are based in Switzerland.
- Gamma Sports has honored Paul Shlien with its Regional Sales Rep of the Year award. Shlien covers the New England territory and has been representing Gamma for more than 10 years.
- WTA Tour pro Sabine Lisicki cracked the fastest women’s serve on record — 130.5 mph — at the Commonwealth Tournament of Champions in Bali on Nov. 2.
- Bob and Mike Bryan ended 2009 as the No. 1-ranked doubles team in the world. The 31-year-old twins from California won the ATP World Tour Doubles title in November, playing with Prince EXO3 Ignite Team 95 racquets.
- Wilson players Roger Federer and Serena Williams were the year-end world No. 1 players on the men’s ATP tour and women’s WTA Tour. Federer plays with the [K] Six.One Tour and Williams with the [K] Blade Team.
- PBI’s Todd Kramer is the new director of tennis at Caneel Bay, Rosewood Hotels’ luxury resort on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The 11-court tennis center has been under the direction of Peter Burwash International for more than 30 years and is ranked by Tennis Resorts Online as one of 10 best tennis resorts in the world.
- US Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin won the inaugural Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Heart Award. She received a unique heart bracelet along with $5,000 to donate to her chosen charity.
USPTA Adds “My Membership Page” to Website
The USPTA has a new member management area of its website, uspta.com. The new membership page now contains insurance information and a member profile, as well as a new feature, member documents.
The newest member tool allows members to print membership documents from their home or office computer, including membership cards and certificates, education report cards, insurance verification letters, and dues invoices. Each document is personalized, dated, and includes a security verification code for the member’s protection. Only members in good standing will be able to print documents that verify membership.
Members log into uspta.com using their last name and member number and click on the new menu item “My membership.” Then, they can select member documents, liability insurance and member profile.
New Doubles Book Released
Tennis Doubles Beyond Big Shots is the latest book by pro and tennis director Greg Moran, offering strategy and tactics that will lead to winning doubles play. Moran tells readers how to control the net in doubles, how to hit an effective serve, what to do when your partner is serving, the importance of communications in doubles, when to hit down the alley, doubles formations and much more. The book ($26.95) also has an accompanying DVD, which is sold separately. Discounts are available for retailers and tennis groups. Visit mansiongrovehouse.com for more information.
- Pilot Pen Corp. will drop its sponsorship of the New Haven, Conn., men’s and women’s tournament after the 2010 event. Pilot Pen has been the title sponsor since 1996, when it was a men’s-only event. Tournament Director Anne Worcester said the sponsorship cost Pilot Pen about $1.4 million a year, but that she’s confident the event will secure a sponsor before the 2011 tournament, which is part of the US Open Series.
- The board of directors of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships Inc. has decided to sell the tournament’s ATP sanction, due to loss of sponsorship and waning TV dollars. Most likely the event, which is part of the US Open Series, will move out of Indianapolis. It will be the first time in more than 80 years that Indy will be without a pro tennis event. The hunt is on for a sponsor and location for the 2010 event, scheduled for July.
- The USTA’s 2010 Community Tennis Development Workshop will be Jan. 22-24 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina in San Diego. The workshop is for community tennis leaders, tennis teachers, and many others involved in tennis. For more information, visit usta.com/ctdw.
- Italy defeated the U.S. 4-0 in November to win the 2009 Fed Cup. In February, the U.S. Fed Cup Team will face France in the 2010 quarterfinals.
- Mercedes-Benz is the new car sponsor of the US Open, replacing Lexus. The four-year deal with the USTA designates Mercedes-Benz the “Presenting Sponsor of the US Open Men’s Singles Championship” and the “Official Vehicle of the US Open,” starting with the 2010 event. Lexus was a US Open sponsor from 2005 to 2009.
- Tecnifibre has signed a new partnership with 6th Sense, the tennis academy launched by Justine Henin and Carlos Rodriguez. 6th Sense has two locations, in Belgium and the U.S. Tecnifibre is the official tennis partner, along with Adidas. Tecnifibre will equip all coaches in both academies with racquets, strings and bags. Players at the two academies will use Tecnifibre “Club” balls. Visit 6thsenseacademy.com.
- Head NV and the ATP have extended their partnership until end of 2012. The partnership began in 1994 and is the longest agreement of any current partner of the ATP. Under the agreement, Head/Penn will continue to be the official tennis racquet, ball and bag of the ATP and will be the official ball of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London until 2012.
- The ballot for the 2010 induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame includes Gigi Fernandez, Natasha Zvereva, Todd Woodbridge, Mark Woodforde and Anders Jarryd in the Recent Player category; Owen Davidson, Peter Fleming and Bob Lutz in the Master Player category; and Contributors Nick Bollettieri, Derek Hardwick, Brad Parks, and Eiichi Kawatei.
- Italian sportswear brand Fila was the official tennis clothing and footwear partner of the year-end 2009 Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, which was held from Oct. 27 to Nov. 1.
- ReelSticks recently was installed at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open. ReelSticks is a singles stick that attaches to a doubles netpost. The auto-retracting reel and cable positions the singles stick to hold the net in regulation position for singles play. The singles stick can then easily be retracted for doubles play. Visit reelsticks.com for more information.
- In 2010, The Advanta World TeamTennis Pro League will celebrate its 35th season, which will run from July 1 to 25.
- The USTA awarded more than $400,000 in Recreational Tennis Grants to 45 non-profit organizations across the country. Combined with a half million dollars in grants that were awarded in April, the USTA awarded over $900,000 in Recreational Tennis Grants to qualified applicants in 2009.
- The Etcheberry Experience has signed on as a PTR Corporate Member. The Etcheberry Experience provides PTR members discounted prices on Etcheberry Strength and Condition Certification, as well as other products and services from sports fitness guru Pat Etcheberry. Call PTR at 843-785-7244 or visit ptrtennis.org or etcheberryexperience.com.
- The USTA will award annual $2,500 Pancho Gonzalez Scholar-Athlete Grants to one male and one female high school student of Hispanic heritage in honor of the tennis pioneer and Hall-Of-Famer. The grant will recognize students who aspire to reach excellence in both competitive tennis and the academic arena, and is part of the USTA’s initiative to grow the game of tennis among Hispanic youngsters.
- The Rodney Street Tennis & Tutoring Association of Wilmington, Del., has been named the USTA Middle States Section NJTL of the Year Award. It’s the second straight year the RSTTA has won he honor. Also, Comcast is renewing as RSTTA principal sponsor for 2010.
- The USTA’s Player Development program is launching the USTA Training Center-East at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The USTA Training Center-East will conduct year-round programming for youngsters in the New York area and will host week-long and weekend camps. USTA National Coach Tim Mayotte will be based at the facility with additional staff to be named.
- The Indianapolis Tennis Center, on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, has been named as a USTA Certified Regional Training Center as part of the USTA’s efforts to develop future American tennis champions.
- The USTA has a three-year sponsorship agreement with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association to become title sponsor of the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships and 88 USTA/ITA Regional Tournaments starting next year. Additionally, the USTA will host the 2010-12 USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Wheelchair Tennis Pioneer Randy Snow Dies at Age 50
Wheelchair tennis great Randy Snow died on Nov. 19 from a heart attack. The 50-year-old Snow was in El Salvador at the time, giving a wheelchair tennis clinic.
During his playing career, Snow was ranked No. 1 in the world, and swept both the singles and doubles gold medals at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona. He also won the U.S. Open wheelchair singles titles 10 times, and was a six-time winner of the U.S. Open wheelchair doubles. In addition, Snow was a member of the bronze medal winning USA wheelchair basketball team in Atlanta in 1996.
Snow was a pioneer in the sport of wheelchair tennis and remained one of its strongest advocates, conducting hundreds of wheelchair sports camps, lectures and presentations. In 2004, he was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Committee Hall of Fame.
Industry Loses Walter Montenegro
Tennis and racquet sports industry innovator Walter Montenegro died on Nov. 3 in New Jersey. He had celebrated his 100th birthday this past August.
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. 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.
USPTA Schedules Certification Exams for 2010
The USPTA has scheduled more than 165 Certification Exams nationwide in 2010. The exam includes an on-court evaluation of tennis strokes and playing skills, stroke and grip analysis, private and group lesson instruction, and other skills needed in the tennis-teaching profession. The exam also includes a two-hour written test covering teaching, playing and business management skills, rules, club activity programming and other topics. Applicants can now opt to take the written and grip exams online after completing the on-court portions of the certification test.
Visit uspta.org for more details. Advanced registration is required. The total fee for the exam and application is $175, plus prorated USPTA membership dues.
PTR to Host West Coast Club & Facility Conference
The PTR will host a West Coast Tennis Club and Facility Conference March 8-10 at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club in La Jolla, Calif. The event is designed specifically for tennis club owners, club managers, and directors of tennis.
Presentations and breakout sessions will include relevant 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 cost, $349 before Feb. 22 and $399 after, includes all workshops, meals and social activities. Additional registrants from the same club are $299. For more information or registration, contact PTR at 800-421-6289 or visit ptrtennis.org
New ZyMax 70 Badminton String
Ashaway Racket Strings has introduced the first string of its ZyMax line of badminton strings. ZyMax 70 makes maximum use of Ashaway’s patented new ZyWeaVe core processing technology which produces thinner, stronger strings. According to Ashaway, ZyMax 70 is the strongest 0.70 mm string ever made. Designed to provide durability and responsiveness at all stringing tensions, ZyMax 70 is ideal for heavy hitters who want a micro-gauge string but need to maximize durability. Visit ashawayusa.com.
Guide to College Tennis Available
The USTA Guide to Tennis on College Campuses provides high school juniors and seniors who want to play competitive college tennis — either varsity or recreational — with the information they need to choose a school. This second edition is a comprehensive resource for locating tennis programs at about 2,000 colleges and universities across the country and identifying their requirements for entry. The guide includes:
- Information on tennis organizations that can help prospective college players.
- Eligibility requirements and recruitment rules.
- Online and print directories and databases of colleges with varsity and recreational tennis programs.
- Scholarship information and other financial aid opportunities.
The guide, priced at $4.75, should be available in January, and is at ustashop.com, or visit tennisoncampus.com.
Ferris PTM Program Offers TennisConnect Course
The Professional Tennis Management program at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich., now has a required course in tournament/activity administration that focuses on the TennisConnect business tool. The 16-week course, which is taught by PTM Director Derek Ameel, is designed to give students a well-rounded view of event programming and of TennisConnect’s capabilities in running a tennis business. The last eight weeks of the course cover various aspects of TennisConnect.
The course was created by Ameel with help from Charlie Ruddy, the developer of TennisConnect. Each student will create their own TennisConnect website and will complete a “go-live” process for their final exam.
“TennisConnect is a great business tool for any club and a fantastic addition to our program,” says Ameel. “There are so many aspects of TennisConnect that improve a club’s ability to run and manage their business. It provides many tools to improve customer service and increase profits.”
For more information on the Ferris State Professional Tennis Management program, visit ferris.edu/ptm. For information on TennisConnect, visit TennisConnect.com.
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TI magazine articles
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- Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards: Residential Development
- Community Tennis: Local Heroes
- String Playtest: Pacific Poly Force Black Series 1.20
- Your Serve: The Perfect Storm