Tennis Industry magazine


Industry News

USTA, First Lady Team For ‘Let’s Move!’ Campaign

The USTA has teamed up with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign to encourage young people across the country to get active, try tennis and lead healthy lifestyles. Part of the collaboration includes a new public service announcement featuring the first lady promoting the 10 and Under Tennis initiative.

“It’s important for kids to get the hour of active play they need every day, and there are so many fun things that each of us can do to be healthier,” said Michelle Obama. “Thanks to programs like the USTA’s 10 and Under Tennis initiative, it’s easier than ever for kids to get active and have fun. And that’s a big part of what we’re doing with Let’s Move!, America’s campaign to raise a healthier generation of kids.”

The public service announcement debuted on Feb. 28, during ESPN’s telecast of the BNP Paribas Showdown from Madison Square Garden, featuring Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl. Feb. 28 also was Tennis Night in America and Youth Registration.

“Our new collaboration with the First Lady and ‘Let’s Move!’ will help us reach more families to teach them that tennis is easier to learn and access than ever before,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA Chairman of the Board and President.

The PSA with the first lady also features Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf, all of whom play the role of ballpersons for youngsters playing on smaller courts with smaller racquets and modified balls. The USTA plans to create 60-second and 30-second versions of the PSA.

Another component of the collaboration with Let’s Move! is the construction and renovation of 3,000 tennis courts across the country in 2011, ensuring that all will be lined for the QuickStart Tennis play format. Also, the USTA will use its resources and programs to encourage 200,000 kids to take the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA), which encourages young Americans to be active 60 minutes a day, five days a week for six weeks in an eight-week period.

Slate Proposed for Next USPTA Board of Directors

Randy Mattingley tops the list from the USPTA’s national Nominating Committee for president of the organization for 2011 to 2013. Other names submitted by the Nominating Committee for the next USPTA Board of Directors are:

Additional nominations may be made by the general membership and submitted in writing to the CEO by 5 p.m., Central time, May 4. In order for a new candidate to be added to the ballot, he or she must be nominated by at least 120 members. Only one nominee per office will be added to the slate.

Lee Develops 10 Lines for Har-Tru

As 10 and Under Tennis continues to grow in the U.S., Har-Tru has developed the first set of temporary and permanent lines specifically for Har-Tru courts. The temporary lines for 36- and 60-foot courts can be installed by one person in 5 to 7 minutes, says the company. For permanent installations, Har-Tru has a set of dark green lines, which blend in with the court color.

The 36-foot temporary lines come in red, to match the red ball used on 36-foot courts and to show up sharply against the court surface. The system comes in two pieces—an outside rectangle and an inside I. The pieces are attached with Velcro and secured to the court with 15 nails, which are included. The 60-foot temporary lines are in orange to match the orange ball used on 60-foot courts. There are no Velcro connections; all intersections are stitched. The set includes 12 nails.

Permanent lines for both size courts are made from Har-Tru’s Herringbone tape, colored green, and are designed for courts that are regularly used for both full-size and 60-foot play. These lines are nailed into the surface similar to standard court lines. The set comes with 180 feet of tape, enough for one 60-foot or one 36-foot court. For more information, visit

ASBA Seeks Facility Award Nominations

The American Sports Builders Association is now accepting applications for its annual awards program, which honors outstanding design and construction in various types of athletic facilities, including tennis courts. The deadline to submit applications is June 1.

All types of tennis facilities are eligible—public, private or residential—and hard or soft courts. In addition, there are honors in the “Green” competition, for athletic facilities that used the most eco-friendly design, construction and operating techniques.

To be eligible for entry into the awards program, a facility must have been designed by, or built by, an ASBA member company. (If you are not a member, go to and click on "Join Us.") The ASBA member who designed or built the facility must be the one to enter it in the awards program; facility owners who are interested in having their projects entered should get in touch with their builder or designer. Also in order to be eligible for this round of awards, projects submitted must have been completed within the current year or within the previous two calendar years (ending Dec. 31).

Presentation of award plaques will be at the ASBA Technical Meeting in December in Palm Springs, Calif.

USPTA Pros Raise $5 Million for Charity

In 2010, USPTA teaching pros raised more than $5 million for charity through the association’s Lessons for Life program. Since the program began in 1999, the USPTA and its members have raised more than $45 million for various charities.

Through Lessons for Life, the USPTA encourages its members to use tennis as a vehicle to help others through fundraisers and other activities in their communities. The fundraisers take many forms including tournaments, pro-ams, auctions, clinics and black-tie dinners. Many of the fundraisers take place at country clubs and commercial clubs, where the majority of USPTA Professionals direct tennis operations and programming. While Lessons for Life is officially celebrated in October, events may be hosted any time during the year.

In 2009 an additional element was added to the program when the USPTA and Rally for the Cure joined forces to raise awareness in the fight against breast cancer through tennis and Lessons for Life under the broader “Tennis – for the health of it!” initiative.

PTR Recognizes State Members

At the PTR Symposium in February, several State Members of the Year were honored for their contributions to the PTR:

AL - Tony Oswald

CO - Christina Walker

DE - Bob Bratcher

FL - John MacDonald

GA - Daniel Breag

HI - Madeleine Dreith

IL - Doug Cash

IN - Siobhan Belloli

KS - Daryl Greenstreet

MA - Phil Parrish

MI - Adam Ford

MN - Patty Egart

NJ - Ed Ransom

NY - Nic Sabbatini

NC - Scott Mitchell

OH - Leonie Turack

PA - Delaine Mast

RI - Rita Marsella

SC - Kim Halter

SD - Jeff Nelson

TX - Brian Tennery

VA - Bob Calloway

PTR Presents Annual Awards

The PTR’s annual awards were presented in February during the 2011 PTR International Tennis Symposium on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The symposium included 50-plus on-court and classroom presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, a tennis trade show and tennis tournament. PTR award recipients included:

(Front row) Lucy Garvin, Harlon Matthews, Nancy Hoekstra, Aaron Hutt, Butch Staples. (Back row) Dan Santorum, Dr. Doug Eng, Jean Mills, Jonathan Vegosen, Adam Gard’ner, Ernest Quarles, Corbin Graves, Brad Pearce.

USPTA Accepting Awards Nominations

The USPTA is now accepting nominations for its 2011 National Awards Program, which seeks to recognize USPTA members who are leaders through tennis. Deadline for nominations is July 1.

Recipients will be honored during the annual awards breakfast at the USPTA World Conference Sept. 19-24 at Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel, Fla. All Professional-level USPTA members are eligible. The award categories include:

USTA Names Community Tennis Award Winners

The USTA honored eight award winners at its 2011 Community Tennis Development Workshop, held Feb. 11-13 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va. The honorees were recognized in a variety of categories for their dedication to growing the game.

The USTA bestows the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) Chapters of the Year Awards to chapters and programs at three different budget levels to reward those organizations that are able to do more with less.

Babolat Debuts New Footwear Models

Babolat recently unveiled its latest footwear collection, featuring the all-new, high-performance Propulse line and the new V-Pro line.

The new Propulse 3, with its dominant red color, is Andy Roddick’s shoe, and features two new innovations from Babolat: the “Kompressor System,” which absorbs shock when the heel hits the ground, and “Cell Shield,” a high-performance upper made with cellular material to stand up to abrasion while providing comfort, says the company.

The Propulse 3 men’s version has a suggested retail of $109. The Propulse Lady 3 ($104) has a fit adapted to a woman’s foot, says Babolat, and the Propulse Junior 3 ($59.95) offers support, grip and durability.

Babolat says its new V-Pro line was inspired by the Propulse shoe. It’s available in the V-Pro All Court and V-Pro Clay ($89), V-Pro Lady ($85) and V-Pro Junior ($49.95). For more information, visit

CareersInTennis Site Tops 1,000 Listings

Careers In Tennis, a free service to both job-seekers and employers that was launched in late 2009 by the Tennis Industry Association, has now surpassed more than 1,000 job-board listings on its central portal, The site, the TIA reported in February, is one of the largest “clearinghouses” for connecting individuals to information and education on tennis industry careers.

“Our goal is to create greater awareness for the tennis industry and assist with placement of quality talent to provide the future workforce and leaders of our sport,” says TIA Executive Director, Jolyn de Boer. “There are a multitude of opportunities available in tennis.”

“Through the first two months of 2011, we’ve seen the number of jobs being pulled to the job board jump from around 700 to more than 1,000 active listings,” says Ryan Melton, the TIA’s Careers In Tennis manager. As of late February, the site had more than 500 registered job-seekers, 1,000-plus tennis industry jobs, and over 7,000 job views.

In addition to posting jobs for free, tennis companies can search candidates who are registered on and even take applications directly through the site. For info, visit the site or contact Melton at (843) 686-3036 x.226 or


Nominate For USTA Facility Awards

Do you know an outstanding tennis facility in your area, one that you feel should be recognized for its contributions to tennis in your community? Nominate them for a 2011 USTA Outstanding Facility Award.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 30th Annual USTA Outstanding Facility Award program, administered by the USTA and the USTA Technical Committee. Go to for more information and for an application/nomination form. All nominations are due in the USTA National office by June 29.

Agassi, Graf to Serve as Spokespersons For 10 and Under Tennis

At the recent USTA Community Tennis Development Workshop in Arlington, Va., the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis, Kurt Kamperman, outlined key strategies to promote 10 and Under Tennis, and announced that Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf will serve as spokespersons for the initiative. The tennis power couple will appear in marketing and advertising for 10U tennis, promoting starting kids in tennis on shorter courts, with modified equipment and scoring.

“This is the biggest consumer push we’ve ever had in tennis,” Kamperman told the more than 600 workshop attendees. He outlined top strategies for growing 10 and Under Tennis and increasing participation in the U.S. among youngsters:

  1. Increase the number of adults trained to deliver 10 and Under Tennis. The goal, says Kamperman, is to have more sites and people hosting 10U training for teaching professionals and parents. If a site or organization can get a minimum of 20 people to sign up for a 10U training workshop, the USTA will send a trainer for free. “We’re going to need an army of pros and parent helpers to deliver this game,” he notes.
  2. Increase the number of courts with “blended lines.” Kamperman says there needs to be more courts in the U.S. lined for 36- and 60-foot courts. “We have a sizeable budget for this. We can help facilities turn two courts into eight courts." USTA National grants and section grants are available for adding permanent lines to existing courts, which could pay for from 50 percent to 75 percent or more of the cost.
  3. Redefine youth competition. The progression should be from skills development programs to “Play Days” (for informal competition), then to formal competition. Play Days, says Kamperman, are a critical component, not just for kids, but also to educate parents. “We need to expose parents and kids to tennis in a softer way. Our tournaments need to change dramatically. We need more local play,” says Kamperman. He also adds that with 10U tennis, “It’s not a race to full-size courts.”
  4. Maximize the use of technology. The website has been relaunched. Facilities can register on the site so consumers can find their programs. "This site has great tools for pros and information for parents, with lots of great videos that will help people see what 10 and Under Tennis is all about," Kamperman says.
  5. Drive provider and consumer awareness. “We need a distribution base, so we need teaching pros and facilities to register their programs,” Kamperman says. Tennis providers will get a kit with a DVD, among other things, to help spread the word and get parents and kids involved. On the consumer side, in addition to having Agassi and Graf serve as 10 and Under Tennis spokespersons, starting in June the USTA will start the “SmashZone Mobile Tour,” traveling to sites around the country bringing tennis to kids and their parents.

Nominate for the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame

Nominations are now being accepted for the 4th Annual Tennis Industry Hall of Fame award, which recognizes those individuals who have made a significant impact on and contribution to the sport, from the 1960s to the present. The final inductees will be honored in New York City, just before the start of the US Open during the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference at the 5th Annual TIA Tennis Forum.

Nominations, which are due by June 30, 2011, can be made in four categories — inventors, founders, innovators and contributors — by visiting

The Tennis Industry Hall of Fame was created in 2008. The first two inductees were Dennis Van der Meer and the late Howard Head. In 2009, Alan Schwartz was the sole inductee, followed in 2010 by Billie Jean King. There is a Tennis Industry Hall of Fame section, including plaques on permanent display, at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.

Babolat Serves Up Roland Garros Gear

As part of its partnership with Roland Garros, Babolat has developed an official Roland Garros range of tennis equipment, including racquets, bags and accessories in the colors of the French Open, available in May.

The Aeropro Drive French Open ($199, 100 sq. in., 10.6 oz.) is the frame of French Open champion Rafael Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and is for baseline players looking for power and control, says the company. There is also a junior line featuring the Aeropro Drive Junior French Open frame ($104, 100 sq. in., 8.6 oz.). A matching bag is available for six or 12 racquets.

The E Sense Comp French Open racquet ($99, 100 sq. in., 9.5 oz.) is lightweight and offers good maneuverability, says Babolat. There is also the Roland Garros Club Bag and Club Backpack to carry frames.

Strings in the Roland Garros line include the XCEL French Open available in black. For grips, there’s the VS Grip French Open. And two dampeners are available, the Custom Damp, which is customizable, and the fun Loony Damp French Open. Babolat also offers the French Open All Court ball, for all surfaces and player types. For info, visit

Olympus to End US Open Sponsorship

This year will apparently be the last year for Olympus as a USTA sponsor of the US Open and the US Open Series of summer tournaments. Although the two sides settled their lawsuit over the sponsorship deal for 2011, the contract, which was renewed in 2007 to run through 2013, allows Olympus to opt out of the last two years of the deal, which the company has decided to do.

The USTA says it had sued Olympus for $11.65 million when the camera company tried to get out of its sponsorship agreement for 2011, a year earlier than the contract allowed. Olympus and the USTA have been partners since 2003.

Market watch

Tennis Racquet Performance

Specialty Stores, January - December, 2010 vs. 2009

Units 2010 719,943
2009 724,225
% change v. ‘09 -1%
Dollars 2010 $102,216,000
2009 $100,664,000
% change v. ‘09 2%
Price 2010 $141.98
2009 $139.00
% change v. ‘09 2%

Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January - December, 2010 (average selling price)


  1. Babolat Aero Pro Drive GT (MP)
  2. Babolat Pure Drive GT (MP)
  3. Wilson BLX Six.One 95 16 × 18 (MS)
  4. Babolat Aero Pro Drive+ GT (MP)
  5. Prince EXO3 Black (MP)

“Hot New Racquets”

(Introduced in the past 12 months)

  1. Babolat Aero Pro Drive GT (MP)
  2. Wilson BLX Six.One 95 16x18 (MS)
  3. Babolat Aero Pro Drive+ GT (MP)
  4. Prince EXO3 Black (MP)
  5. Wilson BLX Pro Open (MP)

Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January - December, 2010 (average selling price)

  1. Prince T22
  2. Adidas Barricade V
  3. Adidas Barricade 6.0
  4. Nike CourtBallistec 2.3
  5. Nike Air Breathe Free

Top-Selling Tennis Strings at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January - December, 2010

  1. Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex
  2. Wilson NXT
  3. Wilson Sensation
  4. Luxilon Alu Power
  5. Prince Lightning XX

(Source: TIA/Sports Marketing Surveys)

Biggest Loser Winner Participates in Cardio Tennis Kids Session

Patrick House, the winner of Season 10 on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” took part in a Cardio Tennis Kids presentation on Feb. 24 at the Professional Tennis Registry Symposium on Hilton Head Island, S.C. Cardio Tennis (www.cardiotennis .com), a program managed by the Tennis Industry Association, was one of the activities that Biggest Loser contestants participated in, with surprise guest Anna Kournikova, now the new spokesperson for Cardio Tennis.

After going through Cardio Tennis on the show, House, who played tennis as a junior, said he “fell back in love with tennis” and plans to get back into the game. At the start of The Biggest Loser season, House weighed 400 pounds. He shed 181 pounds by the end of the season.

“Tennis is a great game and Cardio Tennis is a great program,” House told the audience of tennis teachers and coaches. “Cardio Tennis isn’t about keeping score, it’s about having fun and getting exercise.” Also in attendance were 25 fifth-grade students from the St. Francis School on Hilton Head Island, who helped the TIA’s Cardio Tennis team demonstrate the Cardio Tennis Kids program.

House, who said he’s always been involved in mentoring kids and volunteering, now works for Mindstream Academy in Bluffton, S.C., a boarding school for overweight teens that helps them solve their weight problems.

Short Sets

Ashaway Renews RacquetBall Contract

Ashaway Racket Strings has renewed its agreement as the official string of USA Racquetball for another two years. Ashaway has been the USAR Official String since 2004.

“We are delighted to be able to continue our longstanding support for USAR and the sport of racquetball,” says Steve Crandall, vice president of marketing for Ashaway. “As the only U.S. manufacturer of racquet strings, Ashaway has sponsored many amateur and professional racquetball players of all ages and skill levels, including champions such as Jack Huczek.”

French Open to Remain at Roland Garros

French Tennis Federation officials voted in mid-February to keep the French Open at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, rather than move the tournament to larger sites in the suburbs. The plan is for the current site to be expanded and renovated.

“Roland Garros has a strong and unique image and possesses global prestige due to the city of Paris,” said FTF President Jean Gachassin.

Roland Garros currently occupies 21 acres, by far the smallest Grand Slam in terms of land, as the US Open sits on more than 34 acres and both Wimbledon and the Australian Open sites are 47 acres. The FTF’s plan is to expand to about 33 acres by using land at nearby municipal courts and expanding into an adjacent public botanical gardens.



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