Sampras, Agassi, Mac, Lendl to Meet in MSG Event
Two of the greatest rivalries in tennis will resume at Madison Square Garden when tennis legends Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, and Ivan Lendl take to the court in the 2011 BNP Paribas Showdown scheduled for Monday, Feb. 28, 2011.
Renewing classic rivalries of the 1980s and ‘90s, McEnroe and Lendl will compete in a one-set pro match (first player to win eight games), followed by a best-of-three-set match between Sampras and Agassi. The four all-time greats have won a combined 37 Grand Slam singles titles and 295 ATP Tour events.
“I have been going to Madison Square Garden since I was 8, and I have played some of my best tennis there,” McEnroe said. “I am very happy to have the chance to play Ivan Lendl again in The World’s Most Famous Arena.”
“To have the opportunity to play Pete at Madison Square Garden is thrilling,” added Agassi. “Playing in front of the New York fans has always been exciting and I’m sure Pete and I will give them something to cheer about.”
Tickets go on sale Sept. 27, and VIP packages are available. Visit tennisshowdown.com. The BNP Paribas Showdown, in partnership with the USTA, will continue efforts to grow youth participation in the sport through “Tennis Night in America,” a national grassroots initiative.
Donnay Comes Back Into U.S. With 9 New Racquets
Donnay is back in the U.S. market. The racquet manufacturer, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, announced it is introducing a line of nine frames for the U.S. called the X-Series.
“We are excited for the Donnay brand to have a renewed presence in the U.S.,” says Neil Morton, a spokesman for Donnay International. “We are looking forward to the Donnay brand being played once again at the highest level and used by the world’s top players.”
Based on patented technology called “XeneCore,” the nine models will be the X-Black 94, X-Black 99, X-Blue 94, X-Dark Red 94, X-Red 94, X-Red 99, X-Orange 99, X-Yellow 99, and X-White 99.
Distribution in the U.S. will be handled by Donnay USA Ltd., based in New York. Initial distribution will be limited to the exclusive Donnay Centers, online at donnayusa.com, and through teaching pros. A custom fitting process will be available on the website as well as a demonstration of the customization possibilities of each racquet.
“These racquets are geared toward established players looking for the maximum combination of power, control and technology,” says Roman Prokes, owner of RPNY Tennis and technical advisor to Donnay USA.
Donnay says the properties of XeneCore create a solid frame that results in the highest strength to weight ratio in the industry, for better power, control and feel, and allowing for the thinnest beam width on the market at 15mm.
Babolat Taps Jèrôme Pin as Managing Director in U.S.
Babolat has selected Jèrôme Pin as the new managing director of Babolat USA, overseeing the sales, marketing, logistics/supply chain and administrative departments for the company’s operations based in Boulder, Colo.
“I am happy to be joining a strong, dynamic company,” says Pin. “Babolat is fortunate to have a cohesive, motivated group of people in place — I will be adding my skills and energy to an already winning team.”
Before joining Babolat, Pin spent 13 years with the French lifestyle and sportswear brand Lacoste, serving as director for Latin America in Brazil and director for the Americas in Miami. Most recently he held the position of director of the Americas for Innothera, a French company in the pharmaceutical industry.
“Babolat is a family-run French company, strong on the export market, with a history rooted in tennis,” Pin says. “Unlike public companies, a private business such as Babolat has a longterm vision, focused on leaving a legacy for the next generation. I like that strategy and want to be a part of this success story.”
Eric Babolat, president and CEO of Babolat, says, “The American market is very important for us. Since launching our products here 10 years ago, we have established a healthy distribution network with specialized tennis stores and developed lasting partnerships with our dealers. Jèrôme’s expertise in the export business and with brand development will help strengthen Babolat’s activities in the U.S.”
Hinding Tennis, Ace Surfaces Complete NYC Nike Grind Projects
Tom Hinding of Hinding Tennis Courts of West Haven, Conn., recently teamed up with Franz Fasold of Ace Surfaces of North America and, combined with a generous donation from Nike, installed the Rebound Ace with Nike Grind System on six new basketball courts in New York City.
The $400,000 project was completed in 25 days on courts in Manhattan, Harlem and the Bronx. For information on Rebound Ace with Nike Grind, contact Hinding Tennis at 203-410-6090 or Ace Surfaces at 321-689-4070.
Embree Leaves Prince Americas
John Embree resigned as president of Prince Americas in June. With his departure, Prince says it will consolidate North American sales and promotion under Gordon Boggis, who will retain his title as president and COO of Prince Sports Inc.
The company says the move will “streamline and flatten the organization” and create an integrated commercial function in the U.S. that will facilitate and improve coordination and communication between sales, product development, marketing and promotion.
As part of this change, Ken Daiss, executive v.p. and chief financial officer, will add information technology, customer service and logistics to his responsibilities. In addition, Latin America will be integrated under of Mike Ricketts, president of Prince International.
Lee to Host Har-Tru Seminar in NYC
Lee Tennis Court Products, the manufacturer of Har-Tru, will host a Har-Tru Maintenance Certification Seminar Aug. 12-13 at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy at Sportime at Randall’s Island in New York City. The seminar is designed for anyone managing, maintaining or considering installing clay tennis courts, including club managers, teaching pros, court builders and maintenance professionals.
The seminar will bring together leading experts on indoor and outdoor clay courts to discuss construction and maintenance techniques. In addition, the seminar will include information on the causes of indoor and bubbled court surface compaction and what techniques are being used to alleviate it. There will be presentations, panel discussions and on-court demonstrations.
For more information, contact Ed Montecalvo at 1-877-4HARTRU or emontecalvo@ leetennis.com.
USPTA World Conference Set for California
USPTA’s 2010 World Conference on Tennis will be Sept. 27-Oct. 2 at the La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, Calif.
The conference attracts nearly 1,500 tennis professionals, industry leaders, manufacturers and others, and features more than 40 seminars and courses. Also scheduled are nighttime parties, the country’s largest tennis-only buying show, a silent auction, the USPTA International Tennis Championships and more.
The speakers at this year’s conference include Dr. Martin Baroch, Nick Bollettieri, Todd Ellenbecker, Allen Fox, Ph.D., Tom Gorman, Ron Holmberg, Mark Kovacs, Ph.D., Page Love, Rick Macci and John Yandell. For a complete lineup of speakers, seminars and activities, and for registration information, visit usptaworldconference.com or call 800-877-8248.
Genesis Releases 4 New Strings
Genesis has recently launched four new strings. The Hexonic is a hexagonal shaped co-polyester that comes in a red color and is available in three diameters: 1.27mm, 1.18mm, and 1.09mm. Heptonic is a heptagon shaped co-polyester string available in white and in two diameters: 1.24mm and 1.14mm.
Genesis Xplosion is a premium multifilament available in natural color and in two diameters: 1.30mm and 1.25mm. And Genesis offers a basic nylon string, which comes in various gauges and colors. For more information, visit genesis-tennis.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALM Sports Now Exclusive USA Distributor For Polyfibre
Polyfibre is now distributed by ALM Sports Group, who also is the USA distributor for Genesis, Poly Star, Pro Supex, and co-distributor for Topspin.
Since 1993, the company, based in Germany, has developed and sold over 30 different types of string in more than 40 countries. Polyfibre produces performance tennis strings along with a full line of racquet sports products.
Polyfibre strings have been used by former ATP top 10 player Magnus Larsson and is currently used by former world No. 6 Mario Ancic. For more info on Polyfibre, visit almsportsgroup.com or email email@example.com.
- Tecnifibre signed a multiyear agreement with the No. 1-ranked U.S. junior player, Denis Kudla, who was ranked as high as No. 3 in the world in January. Kudla, age 17, recently started his ATP career, and is ranked No. 793. He uses the Tecnifibre T-Fight 325 VO2 Max racquet. For more information, call (888) 838-3664 or (888) TFTennis or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The San Diego Sports Arena is the site for the 2010 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final between the U.S. and Italy, Nov. 6-7. This will mark the first time the Fed Cup Final has been played in the U.S. since 2000, when the U.S. won a record 17th Fed Cup title. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale beginning in August. Call 888-334-8782 or visit usta.com/fedcup.
- Nike recently launched a 14-piece “Roger Federer Collection” of men’s tenniswear.
- The USTA is selling the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships, an ATP Tour event that takes place in Houston in April, to the country club that hosts the event. The event, on the lowest tier of the ATP’s tourney schedule structure, rarely attracts a major star. The Clay Courts takes place at the River Oaks Country Club.
- The PTR recently signed two more Corporate Members: MyTrainingDiary and Fitness Anywhere Inc.
- Beginning in July, USTA Members 10-and-under started receiving “Bounce,” a new quarterly newsletter aimed at helping to introduce kids to tennis. The newsletter is designed to keep kids engaged in tennis, with fun features, kid interviews, games, and exclusive peeks at the pros.
- Geico was named presenting sponsor of the 2010 World TeamTennis Pro League. Since 2005, Geico has been the official auto insurance sponsor of the WTT Pro League, and WTT co-founder Billie Jean King has been featured in tennis-themed Geico commercials.
- USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the USTA, announced that it granted 70 high school students a variety of college scholarships totaling $398,000 this spring.
- Nike is an official corporate partner of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, which will open in mid-September at the new $19 million Sportime at Randall’s Island in New York City. For at least the next five years, Nike will be the official athletic apparel and tennis shoe for the students and staff of the academy.
- The USTA announced that 25 of the nation’s top men’s and women’s collegiate tennis players have been named to the 2010 USTA Summer Collegiate Team, administered by the USTA and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The USTA Summer Collegiate Team is an elite training program designed to provide college players with exposure to the USTA Pro Circuit in a team-oriented environment during the summer months.
- Beach Tennis USA recently announced a strategic partnership with the International Tennis Federation to expand the global development of the sport of beach tennis. Under the new agreement, BTUSA may propose tournaments for sanction by the ITF as part of the ITF Beach Tennis Tour.
- Prince was again named stringing machine supplier to the Wimbledon Championships this year.
- International Tennis USA (or iTUSA) recently signed an agreement wit the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation to support their players and coaches with iTUSA’s instructional and video technology, a player development system and approach. iTUSA, based at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch, is run by former pro Rafael Font de Mora.
- Venus Williams’ new book, “Come To Win: Business Leaders, Artists, Doctors, and Other Visionaries on How Sports Can Help You Top Your Profession” includes essays by nearly 50 business leaders, politicians, doctors and artist, all of whom played competitive sports. Included in the book are essays by Ken Chenault, Meg Whitman, Phil Knight, Jack Welch, Condoleezza Rice, Bill Bradley, Vera Wang, Marcus Samuelsson, and Bill Clinton. The book is published by Amistad/HarperCollins.
ASBA Tech Meeting Set for Florida
The American Sports Builders Association’s annual Technical Meeting will be Dec. 5-7 at the Marriott Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. The ASBA is already accepting applications for its exhibit hall. Both preferred and regular spaces are available.
This year’s meeting includes state-of-the-art sessions on advanced technique in sports facility design, construction and materials, as well as more rudimentary “how to” programs directed at those who want a more hands-on approach. There also are multiple social events to facilitate networking, golf and tennis tournaments, meetings of board and committees, presentations of industry awards, exams for those interested in the ASBA’s professional certification program, and more.
For information, contact the ASBA at 866-501-ASBA (2722) or 410-730-9595, e-mail info@sportsbuilders. org, or visit sportsbuilders.org.
PTR to Host Midwest Coaches Conference
The PTR will host a Midwest Coaches Conference on Aug. 20, 2010, at the Midtown Tennis Club in Chicago. The event is open to all PTR and USPTA teaching pros, high school and college coaches, as well as team captains and club players.
Presentations include Training Juniors to the Highest level, by Daniel Spatz; Injury Prevention for Competitive Juniors, by Dr. Neeru Jayanthi; When to Move a Child to the Next Stage, by Butch Staples; Dynamic Drills, by Jorge Capestany; ball-feeding, by Oliver Stephens, the Secrets of Teaching Defense, by Spatz; and Capestany’s Seven Habits of Highly Successful Tennis Pros. There also will be a fast-feed contest.
Cost for the entire day (8 a.m.-6 p.m.) is $40. For more information or to register, call 800-421-6289 or visit ptrtennis.org.
Our April issue listed our long time members, and we left out 30+ year member Gerald Winder.
FOR SALE: Used Eagnas Hawk 800 Stringing Machine, Good condition. Please contact Bob at email@example.com.
WANTED: RDC wanted — Call Gary @ Palm Springs 602-487-5432
Congratulations to the Following USRSA members for Achieving MRT & CS Status
- Hassan Mirza, Chicago, IL
- Daniel Breag, Saint Marys, GA
- Rowell Salvado, Arlington, VA
- Max Liberty-Point, San Jose, CA
Braden Launches ‘Junior Tennis Ambassadors’
Vic Braden is rolling out his Junior Tennis Ambassadors program, designed to provide an easy entry point for millions of young students who would love to play tennis if it were accessible to them. The program teaches young elementary and junior high students to coach any student in their school at no cost.
The Junior Tennis Ambassador program provides free instruction for adult volunteers who will supervise young elementary and junior high school tennis coaches. The young tennis coaches also receive free instruction that qualifies them as permanent tennis coaches for classmates throughout the school year.
For more information, visit juniortennisambassadors.com.
- Philip Mintz has joined Dunlop in the newly created position of Northern Regional Sales Manager. He comes to Dunlop with nearly three decades experience in the sporting goods business. After beginning his career at the legendary NYC-based sporting goods dealer Paragon, he transitioned to Head/Penn, where he rose to the position of Director of Key Accounts.
- Travis Mettenbrink has joined Prince/Ektelon as an Indoor Sales Representative, dedicated to indoor court sales for Ektelon racquetball and Prince squash. He will cover Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and Missouri. Mettenbrink joins Mike Orr, who was named an Indoor rep earlier this year for California, Nevada and Arizona.
- Dunlop has signed a long-term deal with 22-year-old Egyptian squash star Ramy Ashour, the world No. 2 player. He joins Nick Matthew (No. 1), Amr Shabana (No. 4), Greg Gaultier (No. 5), and Julian Illingworth (USA No. 1) on the Dunlop Tour Team. Ashour will play with the Dunlop Aerogel 4D Max squash racquet.
- USTA Southern has named Mark Suiter as a tennis service representative for Georgia. Suiter has been a teaching pro for 36 years, and most recently was the tennis director at Berkeley Hills Country Club. He currently serves on the executive board of the Southern USPTA as secretary/treasurer. He served as president of the Georgia Professional Tennis Association in 1994 and again in 2007.
- The Wilson/ITA National Coaches of the Year for NCAA Division I tennis are Peter Smith of Southern California as the top men’s head coach and North Carolina’s Brian Kalbas as the top women’s coach.
- Peggy Edwards, the PTR’s director of communications and the editor of TennisPro Magazine, received two 2010 APEX Awards for publishing excellence — one for Magazine & Journal Writing and one for “Education & Training Writing.” TennisPro is the official publication of PTR tennis teachers and coaches.
- Bernard A. Chavis, president of The Black Tennis Foundation of Philadelphia Inc., recently received the Distinguished Service Award at the graduation commencement program of The Geneva College/Center for Urban Theological Studies. He was honored for his long and dedicated service in advancing the mission of the school.
- Georgia Tech’s Irina Falconi and USC’s Robert Farah are the 2010 Campbell/ITA National College Players of the Year. Tennessee’s Natalie Pluskota and Caitlin Whoriskey and Duke’s Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha are the ITA National Doubles Teams of the Year.
- Diego Moyano has been hired as a Clay-Court Specialist for USTA Player Development. He will facilitate coaching and training programs designed specifically for clay-court play while working with players in the USTA Player Development program at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla.
- The YWCA Greater Los Angeles honored multiple Grand Slam tennis champion and entrepreneur Venus Williams at its Phenomenal Woman Awards Luncheon in July.
Four Honored With USOC National Coaching Awards
Four members of the tennis community were honored with national awards as part of the USOC Coaching Recognition Program.
Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez was named the 2009 USOC National Coach of the Year for Tennis. John Evert of Boca Raton, Fla., Director of the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, was named USOC Developmental Coach of the Year for Tennis.
Julie Jablonski of Port Townsend, Wash., was named USOC Volunteer Coach of the Year for Tennis, and Butch Staples of Chicago was nominated for the “Doc” Counsilman Science Award for Tennis for his contributions to the sport in the areas of growth and development.
USTA Picks 20 Students to Train at Center
Fourteen boys and six girls have been accepted into the 2010-2011 class at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla. The students will reside and train full-time at the facility, where they will receive coaching from the USTA National Coaching staff and will continue their academic education through course work provided by Kaplan Virtual Education.
“I think we are bringing in a very dynamic group of kids of all age groups from across the country,” says Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, USTA Player Development. “These kids have demonstrated their commitment to improvement on and off the court, and have consistently displayed a strong work ethic and desire. Our hope is that they will continue to push each other to become the best players they can be.”
The following players will train full-time at the USTA Training Center Headquarters this school year:
- Jordan Belga, Elk Grove Village, Ill.
- Luca Corinteli, Alexandria, Va.
- Jake DeVine, Boca Raton, Fla.
- Joseph DiGiulio, Newport Beach, Fla.
- Jeremy Efferding, Lake Worth, Fla.
- Alexios Halebian, Glendale, Calif.
- Hunter Harrington, Spartanburg, S.C.
- Daniel Kerznerman, Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Thai Kwiatkowski, Charlotte, N.C.
- Nikko Madregallego, Duarte, Calif.
- Spencer Newman, Miami
- Reilly Opelka, Palm Coast, Fla.
- Spencer Papa, Edmond, Okla.
- Konrad Zieba, Glenview, Ill.
- Bridget Forster, Boca Raton, Fla.
- Mia King, Hendersonville, N.C.
- Ally Miller-Krasilnikov, Boca Raton, Fla.
- Grace Min, Duluth, Ga.
- Julia O’Loughlin, Boca Raton, Fla.
- Taylor Townsend, Stockbridge, Ga.
Babolat Again a GSS Symposium Sponsor
Nate Bickel, after-sales manager of Babolat USA, says the company will once again be a sponsor of the GSS Racquet Stringers Symposium Oct. 9-13 in Orlando, Fla. Babolat has participated in every GSS Symposium since its inception by providing stringing machines and diagnostic equipment for use in the seminars.
“Babolat participates in the symposium because we believe strongly in supporting the racquet stringers,” says Bickel. “The symposium gives me a great opportunity to meet the people who use our equipment.”
For more details and to register for the symposium, go to grandslamstringers.com.
4 Juniors Win Novo Nordisk Awards
Four junior tennis players recently were honored with 2010 Novo Nordisk Donnelly Award Scholarships.
Kelsey Aho, 18, of Marietta, Ga., and Melanie Nolt, 19, of Manheim, Pa., have been named the 2010 Novo Nordisk Donnelly Award national recipients. Aho and Nolt, who are both tennis standouts with Type I Diabetes, will each receive a $5,000 scholarship to be used for education, tennis development, and/or medical care.
Garrett Jensen, 18, of Portland, Ore., and Lauren Stauffer, 16, of Lititz, Pa., will also receive regional finalist scholarship awards of $2,500.
The Novo Nordisk Donnelly Awards annually distribute $15,000 in scholarships, including two one-time $5,000 scholarships given to two young people, ages 12-21, who have diabetes and play tennis competitively in tournaments or on their school team. Billie Jean King, through WTT Charities, established the scholarship program in 1998 to encourage children with diabetes to lead an active life and compete in tennis. For more information, visit WTT.com
USTA Serves Awards $300,000 to 26 Groups
USTA Serves, the philanthropic and charitable entity of the USTA, has awarded 26 grants in its 2010 spring funding cycle, totaling $301,000. The bi-annual granting process was developed to provide disadvantaged, at-risk children the opportunity to learn to play tennis and improve their academic skills in a structured format, and to help combat childhood obesity by promoting healthy lifestyles. To date, USTA Serves has disbursed $10 million to a variety of programs that share those aims.
At funded program sites, children between the ages of 5 and 18 learn about healthy nutrition and lifestyles, responsible citizenship, study skills, and computer literacy. The grants are awarded to programs that successfully combine tennis and education and help children pursue their goals and highest dreams by leading healthier lives, succeeding in school and becoming healthier citizens.
USTA Midwest Unveils ‘Play It Forward’ Campaign
The USTA Midwest Section launched an image campaign aimed at highlighting how USTA memberships impact local communities, and the goodwill created by supporting the Section through membership.
The “Play It Forward” campaign will feature a series of visual images with text focusing on how USTA membership positively affects people’s lives through USTA programs and more. It will include ads, an email campaign, facility branding, postcards, social media, success stories and more.
“The new image campaign will illustrate how USTA membership may positively impact the lives of countless groups of people in USTA programs, as well as make a difference in an individual’s life,” says Steve Butzlaff, USTA Midwest Section president. “It also reminds us how the USTA Midwest Section plays a critical role in helping to create this impact for individuals of all ages.” Visit midwest.usta.com/playitforward.
Currently, the section has more than 80,000 individual members and 1,200 member organizations and is the second largest of the USTA’s 17 sections.