Hall of Fame to Induct Doubles Stars, Wheelchair Leader
The International Tennis Hall of Fame class of 2010 will include two doubles teams, Todd Woodbridge-Mark Woodforde and Gigi Fernandez-Natasha Zvereva, former player Owen Davidson, wheelchair tennis pioneer Brad Parks, and, posthumously, former British Lawn Tennis Association Chairman Derek Hardwick.
The inductees for 2010 were announced on March 1, in Madison Square Garden in New York City, during the BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup. The two doubles teams are in the Recent Player category, Davidson is in the Master Player category, and Parks and Hardwick are in the Contributor category.
“In recognition of their competitions and contributions, the Class of 2010 is a tribute to the game of doubles and to wheelchair tennis,” said Christopher Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “The Recent Players and Master Player achieved an incredible record of doubles wins. In the Contributor Category, we are pleased to honor individuals who led two important evolutions of the game through the creation of wheelchair tennis and the initiation of the Open Era.”
The Hall of Fame’s 2010 Induction Ceremony will be July 10 in Newport, R.I., during the final weekend of the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships (July 5-11). Visit www.tennisfame.com for info and tickets.
Head to Launch Star Series Frames
In early May, Head plans to introduce to consumers its new YouTek Star Series racquets, which the company says has revolutionary technologies that will help the game of players with shorter, more compact swing styles. The three frames are the YouTek Six Star, Five Star and Three Star.
Key technologies include “QuadFace,” which extends the stringbed at key points of the frame, providing longer strings and an enlarged sweetspot that results in more power, says Head. “Inner QuadFace” is an indentation on the inside of the frame that allows the strings to be more flexible before reaching the grommets for a more forgiving sweetspot. “Outer Quadface” exends the outside of the frame to allow the strings to be longer, providing more consistent power, says the company.
The “Control Ring” — either two-piece or four-piece, depending on the racquet model — is designed to reduce string deformation for added control and accuracy. The third new technology is the “MultiZone Grip,” a smooth, sweat-absorbing nonslip surface for greater comfort and control.
YouTek frames also use Head’s d3o “smart material,” which Head says changes its behavior under dynamic loading or impact. The material “senses” the needs of a player during different strokes. On aggressive shots, the molecules lock together to increase stiffness and provide power; on slower-speed shots the molecules absorb impact and provide a softer touch for better feel, says Head.
Head officials say champions Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi were an integral part of the development team for the Star Series of frames. Both legends will be featured in three online teaser videos to consumers, which will run from April 12 to 30, prior to the consumer launch in May.
Consumers can go to head.com/stars to learn about the frames and hear and see Agassi and Graf explain the technologies and features in a series of four videos. Each video will contain a clue that, when pieced together, will allow consumers to enter a contest to win an on-court session with Agassi and Graf in Las Vegas.
YouTek Six Star
Features: d3o, Inner QuadFace, Outer QuadFace, 4-Part Control Ring, MultiZone Grip
Head size: 107 sq. in.
Weight: 9 oz.
String pattern: 16/19
YouTek Five Star
Features: d3o, Inner QuadFace, Outer QuadFace, 2-Part Control Ring, MultiZone Grip
Head size: 107 sq. in.
Weight: 9 oz.
String pattern: 16/19
YouTek Three Star
Features: d3o, Inner QuadFace
Head size: 115 sq. in.
Weight: 8.3 oz.
String pattern: 16/19
PTR Presents Annual Awards
The PTR presented its annual awards in February during the 2010 PTR International Tennis Symposium at PTR Headquarters on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The event included 50-plus on-court and classroom presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, a tennis trade show and $25,000 Championships. PTR award winners are:
- Master Professional: Ron Manilla, Charlottesville, VA
- Professional of the Year: Herbert Schnaubelt, Meran, Italy
- Clinician of the Year: Butch Staples, Chicago, IL
- Tester of the Year: Jose Naranjo, San Jose, Costa Rica
- Humanitarian Award: David Altschuler, Peabody, MA
- Wheelchair Pro of the Year: Dan James, Oakdale, Minn.
- Volunteer of the Year: Dr. Glenn Roswal, Jacksonville, AL
- Coach Jim Verdieck Touring Pro Coach of the Year Brian De Villiers, Atlanta, GA
- Coach Jim Verdieck College Coach of the Year: Frank Barnes, Janesville, WI
- Coach Jim Verdieck High School Coach of the Year: Wendy Thomas, Albuquerque, NM
- Male Player of the Year: Karl Hale, Toronto, Canada
- Male Player of the Decade, Zbynek Mlynarik, Chatsworth, CA
- Female Player of the Decade, Diane Fishburne, Charleston, SC
- Public Facility of the Year: DeWitt Tennis Center, Holland, MI
- Private Facility of the Year: The Polo Club Boca Raton, FL
- PTR/USTA Community Service Award, Mary Conaway, Reston, VA
- PTR/TIA Commitment to the Industry Mike Woody, Midland, MI
In addition, PTR recognized several State Members of the Year for their contributions to the organization in their respective states. They are:
AK — Colin Gillam
AZ — Larry Funk
CA — Paul Allam
CO — Rich Berman
CT — Jack Waite
FL — Devin Reddick
GA — Craig S. Jones
HI — Ron Romano
ID — Adam King
IL — Oliver Stephens
IN — Desmond Evans
KY — Federico Mas
LA — Richard Verzaal
MA — Lance Andersen
MD — Aaron Hutt
MI — David Brouwer
MO — Donna Austin
MS — Amy Williams
NY — John Curtis
OR — Anni Miller
PA — Lisa Duncan
SC — Graham Cox
TN — Orlando Lourenco
TX — Todd Carlson
VT — Scott Colebourne
Back row, from left: PTR CEO Dan Santorum, Butch Staples, Dr. Mark Kovacs, Ron Manilla, Dan James, Frank Barnes, Herbert Schnaubelt; front row: David Altshuler, Jean Mills (The Polo Club), Jose Naranjo, Jorge Capestany (DeWitt Tennis Center). Photo by Clive Carrigan.
Babolat Updates Propulse, Team Shoes
Babolat has updated its Propulse and Team range high-performance tennis shoes. The Propulse range is the company’s highest performing line.
Andy Roddick wore the new Propulse 2 Titanium, the most popular in the range, at this year’s Australian Open. The Propulse 2 Titanium (suggested retail $109, junior version $60) is designed for players who move with speed and aggression on the court. The Propulse 2 White ($109) is a more classic all-white look, but features the same technology as the Propulse 2 Titanium.
Also in the line is the Propulse Lady 2 Parma ($104), an all-surface women’s shoe with new touches of purple for 2010, worn by pro Nadia Petrova. This shoe has Propulse 2 technologies with materials and fit specifically designed for the female foot.
Key Propulse features include “Foot Belt” technology for precise and adjustable foot support, Exact Pro for an extra strong spring and Michelin technology in the sole for grip and durability.
New in the Team range is the Team All Court Style Reverse ($89, junior model $50), an offbeat look for the Team All Court 4 because the left and right shoes are asymmetrical. Other Team Range models include Team Clay 4, Team All Court 4, Team All Court 4 White, Team Lady 3 and Team Junior 4.
College Tennis Roundup
- Tournament host University of Virginia captured its third Division 1 ITA National Men’s Indoor Championship title after defeating the fifth-seeded Tennessee Volunteers in Februrary. Sanam Singh, a junior at the University of Virginia, received the ITA Sportsmanship Award.
- The University of Northwestern captured its second consecutive Division 1 ITA National Women’s Indoor Championship title after defeating unseeded North Carolina at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Stadium, hosted by the University of Wisconsin. Amanda Granson, a senior at Duke University, received the ITA Sportsmanship Award.
- Top-seeded and top-ranked UC-Santa Cruz captured its third ITA National Division III Men’s Team Indoor title with a 6-2 victory over Washington University in the 2010 championship in February hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota.
- Top-seeded Emory University captured the 2010 ITA National Division III Women’s Team Indoor title with a 6-3 win over the University of Chicago. The event was held at DePauw University in Indiana.
Corona Extra Is Major ATP Partner
Corona Extra, the world’s No. 1 Mexican beer brand, is the new global premier partner of the ATP World Tour. As part of the 5½-year agreement, which begins later this year, Corona Extra becomes the official beer sponsor of the ATP World Tour and will have significant presence at tour events around the world, including net branding and other marketing rights.
“We have admired the success of the sport in recent years and view the ATP World Tour as a terrific platform for us globally,” said José Parés, chief sales and marketing officer for Grupo Modelo, maker of Corona Extra. Corona Extra has been a sponsor of ATP tournaments in Acapulco for 16 years and Toronto for four years.
Girls Night Out at Madison Square Garden
As part of Tennis Night in America and the BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup at Madison Square Garden on March 1, USTA Eastern held a “Girls Night Out” panel discussion. A group of 100 of the top-ranked girls in the USTA Eastern section, ages 12 to 18, attended the forum. Panelists included (from left) Olympic skating champ Nancy Kerrigan; Ilana Kloss, chair of the Women’s Sports Foundation; tennis champ and commentator Mary Joe Fernandez; WTA Chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster; and Katrina Adams, executive director of Harlem Jr. Tennis and Education.
- The members of the U.S. Davis Cup team that took on Serbia March 5-7 were all Prince players, using racquets that featured O-Technology. John Isner, ranked No. 20, plays with the O3 White and Sam Querrey, ranked No. 22, uses the O3 Hybrid Tour. Bob and Mike Bryan joined Prince in 2007 and last fall switched to the EXO3 Ignite Team 95 frame, prior to winning the ATP World Tour Finals in November and the Australian Open earlier this year.
- Birmingham, Ala., has been selected as the site for the 2010 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas semifinal tie between the U.S. and Russia, April 24-25. The matches will be played at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Arena, which will be hosting a Fed Cup event for the first time. The venue also was the site for the 2009 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas first-round tie between the U.S. and Switzerland. The Tennis Channel will present live daily coverage of the U.S. vs. Russia Fed Cup semifinal.
- Babolat signed a two-year contract to become presenting sponsor of the Road to the “Little Mo’“ Nationals and the “Little Mo” International Open tennis tournament. The “Little Mo” is open to any player from around the world who is 8 to 11 years old. The tournament has special meaning for Babolat’s top U.S. men’s player, Andy Roddick — he won “Little Mo” in 1992 at age 10.
- The USPTA is accepting nominations for its 2010 National Awards Program. The awards are presented in every facet of the tennis business in which USPTA members work. Deadline for nominations is July 2. Recipients will be honored during the annual awards breakfast at the USPTA World Conference Sept. 27-Oct. 2 in La Quinta, Calif. Award nomination forms and guidelines are available at www.uspta.com.
- Active Network, a leading provider of software technology and marketing solutions for community service organizations, will be the exclusive advertising representative for the USTA’s official website, USTA.com. Active Media + Marketing, a division of the Active Network, will manage USTA.com’s online advertising inventory, and USTA.com will join Active.com’s family of media properties targeting people who participate in sports and activities.
- John Isner and James Blake, the second- and fourth-ranked American men’s tennis players, have committed to play the 2010 Atlanta Tennis Championships. The Atlanta event, owned and operated by USTA Southern, will serve as the kick-off to the 2010 Olympus US Open Series and will be held at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga., from July 19 to 25. USTA Southern purchased the sanction for the ATP World Tour 250 tournament in December. It had been held in Indianapolis.
- The Family Circle Cup has selected Vapor Apparel to manufacture and design its 2010 apparel for this year’s tournament, held April 10-18 in Charleston, S.C. Vapor Apparel is based in North Charleston.
- More than $34,000 in USTA Wheelchair Program grants has been awarded to 23 wheelchair tennis programs across the country. Grants were awarded to local organizations that promote and develop the growth of wheelchair tennis and use the sport of tennis to build stronger, healthier communities. Additional USTA Wheelchair Tennis Grant opportunities will be announced in 2010. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Peter Burwash International will direct tennis operations at the new Hyatt Regency Curaçao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina, opening April 20. The luxury resort’s tennis facility will feature four state-of-the-art HydroGrid clay courts, all lit for night play, and a full-service pro shop.
- Tifosi Optics Inc. has added Tennis Warehouse to its domestic and international dealer base. Tifosi Optics offers tennis-specific technology in over 40 models featuring the GT™ lens tint, to make it easier to see the ball in flight and on the court.
- The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s second annual “Heroes Among Us” global campaign, which recognizes parents, teachers, coaches and community leaders who have encouraged young women to pursue their dreams, is accepting nominations. To submit a nomination, visit www.sonyericssonwta-tour.com/heroesamongus. Five finalists will be announced on Oct. 1, then fans can vote online for the winner, who will receive a prize package for two to the Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Roddick, Hingis, Davenport Top WTT Draft Picks
Andy Roddick, Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport were selected as the top three overall picks in the 2010 World TeamTennis Pro League Marquee Player Draft, held in February. The Philadelphia Freedoms picked Roddick with the overall No. 1 selection while the New York Buzz chose Hingis with the second pick and the St. Louis Aces took Lindsay Davenport with the third pick.
The WTT Pro League, co-founded by Billie Jean King, is a professional co-ed sports league featuring three generations of tennis stars playing in a team format in 10 U.S. markets. The 2010 WTT Pro League begins July 5, concluding with the WTT Championship Finals on July 25.
Prior to today’s Marquee Draft, two teams made big moves with last-minute trades. The 2009 WTT Champion Washington Kastles acquired the rights from Philadelphia for Venus Williams, who now joins her sister Serena on the Kastles lineup. The New York Sportimes picked up the rights for 2009 US Open Champion Kim Clijsters in a deal with the St. Louis Aces.
For more details and information, visit www.WTT.com.
U.S. Knocked Out Early in Davis Cup
Serbia dashed U.S. hopes in Davis Cup with a 3-2 win over the Americans in the first round in Belgrade. It’s the first time since 2005 that the U.S. was eliminated in the first round. John Isner and Sam Querrey lost their opening-day singles matches, but Bob and Mike Bryan kept the Americans in it by winning the doubles point. On the last day, Isner fell in five sets to Novak Djokovic to seal the win for Serbia. Querrey won the abbreviated fifth match.
Serbia advances to the quarterfinals, where it will meet Balkan rival Croatia in July. The U.S. will play in the World Group Playoffs Sept. 17-19, to compete for a spot in the 2011 Davis Cup World Group.
USPTA Pros Raise $4 Million for Charity
In 2009, USPTA teaching pros raised just over $4 million for charity through the association’s Lessons for Life program.
“Our members continue to stay committed to raising money for important charitable causes, while at the same time bringing their communities together through these efforts with tennis,” says Diane Selke, Lessons for Life chair, USPTA Master Professional and head tennis professional at Valley Country Club in Aurora, Colo.
A variety of charities benefit each year from the USPTA’s Lessons for Life program, including the American Cancer Society, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Scripps Stevens Cancer Center, and many other national and local charities.
Lessons for Life became USPTA’s national charitable program in 1999. The USPTA and its members have raised more than $40 million since the program’s inception.
Obama Names Solomon To Arts/Humanities Group
Cable industry veteran Ken Solomon, who is the CEO and chairman of Tennis Channel, was sworn in as a member of President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities recently in the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Stephen Breyer administered the oath to committee members, including Solomon, who also is chairman of Ovation, the only television network dedicated to art and contemporary culture.
As a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Solomon and his fellow committee members will work with federal cultural agencies and civic, corporate, foundation, and private funders to further the U.S.’s national investment in its cultural life.
- Roy Barth of Charleston, S.C., has joined the PTR board of directors as treasurer, replacing Skip Hartman of New York City, who served in the position from 2003. Barth, a former pro player (ranking as high as No. 8 in singles and No. 2 in doubles) and junior champion, became the tennis director at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in 1976 and currently runs two tennis centers, with 28 courts, at Kiawah. He was named PTR Pro of the Year in 1990 and selected as a PTR Master Pro in 2007.
- Edoardo Artaldi is the new global tour manager for the Völkl brand. Also, Völkl Tennis signed doubles pro Liezel Huber.
- The Vero Beach Tennis Club in Vero Beach, Fla., has hired Danny Tarpley as its director of tennis.
- Lee Schlazer is the new vice president, distribution for the Tennis Channel. He comes to Tennis Channel from Lifetime Entertainment Services, where he was vice president of national accounts and field sales for the western region.
- Marat Safin, the charismatic winner of two major singles titles and one of 24 men to rank No. 1 in the world, made his debut on the Champions Series tennis circuit at the 2010 Rio Champions Cup played March 12-14 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- World No.15 Yanina Wickmayer has signed a sponsorship agreement with Donnay for racquets, strings and accessories. The 100-year-old Belgian company will design a special black-and-gold racquet for Wickmayer that will feature the Belgian flag and the company’s anniversary logo.
Babolat Offers Promo to Support Roddick Foundation
Babolat has teamed up on a special promotion to raise money for the Andy Roddick Foundation. “Put Yourself in Roddick’s Shoes” gives tennis fans an opportunity to win prizes, receive added value on Babolat purchases and support the Andy Roddick Foundation.
Through May 18, participants may enter to win Babolat’s weekly giveaways of Roddick’s team bag, T-shirts, hats, tennis racquet accessories and more with the chance of winning the ultimate grand prize — hitting with Roddick at the 2010 US Open. Promotional efforts include a free club backpack with the purchase of any Babolat shoe and racquet at participating retailers. A portion of the proceeds from Babolat’s promotion will go to the Andy Roddick Foundation.
“Andy has been part of our Babolat family for the past 10 years. We are excited to be able to support him and his passion for his foundation with this promotion,” says Susan DiBiase, marketing director of Babolat USA.
To enter, consumers visit www.babolat.com/advantagebabolat and answer the Andy Roddick trivia questions correctly. All adult racquets, Pure Drive junior, Aeropro Drive Junior and adult and junior shoes are eligible for the promotion.
Ashaway Introduces Light Badminton String
Ashaway Racket Strings’ new ZyMax 62 is the lightest badminton string ever made, says the company, thanks to a new core construction technique called ZyWeaVe, which makes it 25 percent lighter than standard .70mm strings. Ashaway says ZyWeaVe prevents tension loss while its braided surface provides control.
“ZyMax 62 is designed for very particular professional players who want the lightest string possible for more power on smashes and better feel and control on touch shots,” says Steve Crandall, vice president of Ashaway. “ZyWeaVe technology guarantees less elongation, so ZyMax 62 strings up tighter and plays crisper with maximum tension stability.”
Visit www.ashawayusa.com for more information.
Upcoming Industry Schedule
- Mar. 19-22: USTA Annual Mtg., Dallas
- Mar. 24-Apr. 4: Sony Ericsson Open, Key Biscayne, FL
- Apr. 10-18: Family Circle Cup, Charleston, SC
- May 13: USPTA Southern Division Convention, TBD
- May 17: USPTA Eastern Division Convention, Flushing, NY
- May 19: PTR Professional Development Weekend/Tennis Club & Facility Managers Conference, Hilton Head Island, SC
- June 1: USPTA Florida Division Convention, Key Largo, FL
- June 3: USPTA Pacific Northwest Division Convention, Richland, WA
For the numerous certification workshops available, visit ptrtennis.org and uspta.org.
Manufacturer Responds to ‘Bill of Rights’
I’d like to respond to Tony Taverna’s Your Serve (“Retailer’s Bill of Rights”) in the March issue. In general, we agree on many of these topics. The local pro shop is a great source of support, information and of course products for local players. Well-run local shops can be among the biggest drivers of tennis growth in a region, which we see time and time again across the country. I know that HEAD/Penn recognizes this and am sure that other members of the Tennis Industry Association feel the same way.
HEAD/Penn has taken many steps to support this trade channel, including the first pro/specialty-only tennis racquet in 2002, an elite retailer program in 2003, the first racquet company to require a separate application to sell via the internet in 2001, etc. Some of these initiatives have been embraced by pro/specialty and been visible, while others have operated behind the scenes. However they have all been put in place to reward and support the local dealer.
We have been the only brand to keep a tennis ball exclusive to pro/specialty shops with Pro Penn, and we’ve held true to this promise for over 30 years. In addition, our support of USTA, PTR, USPTA, WTA, ATP, etc., are all meant to help build demand at the local level.
However in our most recent racquet launch we have taken this support to the next level, and based on our commitment would hope that support is shown at the local level with specialty retailers. In our new Stars series of power racquets, we will do some of the things suggested by Mr. Taverna in his article: guarantee MAP pricing for two years, limit distribution to the less than 10 percent of the total tennis retailers in the U.S., provide more demo’s at grassroots than ever before, make sure that only authorized Stars retailers are able to receive product from our authorized distributors, etc.
We agree that pro/specialty shops are critical, which is why we have decided to take this approach. The important thing for local retailers to realize is that taking these aggressive measures is not without risk to a manufacturer, and it is important for this to be a two-way street in which the product is supported and promoted at the pro shop based on the level of manufacturer’s commitment.
At the end of the day, it is critical that both retailers and manufacturers maintain a relationship that helps both parties build profitable business models. That requires a healthy amount of investment and support on both sides of the table.
VP — Sales and Marketing,
HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports
We welcome your letters and comments. Please limit letters to 300 words maximum. Email them to rsi@racquetTECH.com or fax them to 760-536-1171.
Babolat Launches RPM Blast String
Babolat has launched a new string, RPM Blast, a black string with a white double line, which is now being used by pros Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. RPM Blast (RPM for “revolutions per minute”) is a monofilament designed to give players more spin, more power and a unique feel at ball impact. It will be in stores starting in April in 125 and 130 gauge, with a suggested retail price of $16.95.
“The advice and recommendations of tour players has been decisive in the development of the string,” says Cécile Gindre, string products manager at Babolat. “The tests have allowed us to identify their needs in order to develop the characteristics of the new RPM Blast. The combination of the high-density material and a specific coating gives it both power and spin.”
PTR to Host Second Tennis Club & Facility Conference
The PTR will host its second Tennis Club and Facility Conference May 19-21 at PTR Headquarters on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The three-day event is designed 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, and Creating/Improving Your Website.
The program starts at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, and runs through 5 p.m. May 21. The cost, $349 before May 1, $399 after, includes all workshops, meals and social activities through Friday afternoon. Additional attendees from the same club are $299 each. For information or registration, call 800-421-6289 or visit www.ptrtennis.org.
GSS Sets 4th Annual Stringers Symposium
Grand Slam Stringers has finalized the time and place of the fourth annual GSS Racquet Stringers Symposium. It will be held Oct. 9 to 14 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Orlando, Fla.
“We’re excited about the 2010 symposium,” says GSS founder Tim Strawn. The core staff of GSS seminar leaders will return for 2010, along with some new presenters and material.
“For stringers and shop owners, this is a great event because it opens up face-to-face opportunities for direct dialogue, learning experiences through hands-on participation and networking never available to them before,” says Strawn. “Attendees tell me they like the laid-back atmosphere and the fact that seminar leaders are so approachable and eager to teach. That’s a testament to their professionalism and their dedication to the success of this event.”
For more details and to register, go to grandslamstringers.com and select the “Symposium” link.