Tennis Industry magazine

 

Industry News

W.H. Easter Egg Roll Features 10U Tennis, Obama Visit

The 133rd annual White House Easter Egg Roll took place on April 25 on the South Lawn with 30,000 people attending and lots of activities and entertainment, including a 10 and Under Tennis court that featured a visit from President Barack Obama.

The theme of this year’s Easter Egg Roll was “Get Up and Go!” focusing on promoting health and wellness and encouraging children to lead healthy and active lives. This is a central part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, which is a national effort to combat childhood obesity.

The Easter Egg Roll is the largest annual public event at the White House and tennis was one of the sports chosen to be showcased this year. Children received instruction on the 10 and Under Tennis court from USTA tennis pros as well as tennis stars Chris Evert, Katrina Adams, Mal Washington and Chanda Rubin. The mascots from the Washington Kastles of World TeamTennis also came by to lend a helping hand.

But the court’s biggest visit of the day came from President Obama, who stepped onto the 36-foot court to hit a few balls with some lucky children with help from Evert and Adams.

Sharapova Debuts New Head Frame

At the Madrid WTA Masters event in May, Maria Sharapova premiered the new Head YouTek IG Instinct racquet. The 2004 Wimbledon champion played a key on-court role in the development of the new Head Instinct Series, says the company. The YouTek IG Instinct Series will include two new frames, both providing players with as Head calls it, “effortless power.” The frames should be available for consumers in August.

85th Public Parks Championships in Minnesota

The 85th Annual National Public Parks Tennis Championships will be July 28-Aug. 7 at the Baseline Tennis Center at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The event is open to all USTA members, with age divisions ranging from the 10s (using the QuickStart Tennis play format) up to the 90s, with prize money to Open division champions.

The schedule includes NTRP Division competition for men and women in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. There is also Age Division competition and Wheelchair Tennis competition. In addition, there will be Family events (such as husband-wife, parent-child, etc.) and Adaptive Tennis events. For more information, visit nppta.org or baselinetenniscenter.com.

New Stringer Site Launched by GSS

Grand Slam Stringers recently launched the GSS Alliance website, gssalliance.com, which co-founder Tim Strawn says is designed to “present technical data pertaining specifically to tennis, and to focus on product reviews,” among other features.

The site, which is the result of a collaboration between Strawn and John Gugel, both Master Racquet Technicians, also includes an international message board that can be translated into more than 50 languages, along with an interactive blogging format.

“We’re excited about this new project,” Strawn says. “We designed the site to be data rich, very member-oriented, and one that presents new ideas and data in an entirely different way.” Visit the site for a free two-day trial.

Gasquet Partners with Tourna Grip

Unique Sports has announced a multi-year agreement with world No. 16 ATP player Richard Gasquet to endorse Tourna Grip. The Frenchman has used Tourna Grip his entire career, and recently fought his way back into the Top 20 after an injury.

Gasquet, who has a signature style of wrapping the grip only part way up the handle for his one-handed backhand, joins the Tourna Grip team that includes the Bryan Brothers, Sam Querry, David Ferrer, Victoria Azarenka, Vera Zvonareva and Juan Carlos Ferrero. For more information, visit uniquesports.com.

Ferris PTM Program Celebrates 25 Years

The Professional Tennis Management program at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. — the first four-year PTM program in the country — recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. To mark the milestone, the PTM program played host to presentations by an all-star slate of speakers.

On the program for the celebration weekend were presentations by USPTA/PTR Master Pros Jorge Capestany and A.J. Pant, Jill Fonte of Business Visions Group, and Mike Woody, director of Midland (Mich.) Community Tennis Center. Ferris PTM program founder and current USTA Managing Director of Youth Tennis, Scott Schultz, discussed the growth and current state of 10 and Under Tennis. The keynote speaker for the weekend was former world No. 4 pro player Todd Martin.

The event culminated with a banquet honoring the “25 Years of Excellence” and a presentation of awards and scholarships to recognize the achievements of the top PTM student performers of the year. For more information about the Ferris PTM program, visit ferris.edu/ptm.

Allen Fox Releases New Book

Dr. Allen Fox’s newest book, “Tennis: Winning the Mental Match,” is now available. The book tackles issues faced by players at all levels, and Fox’s solutions are logical and straightforward, and have been tested on court.

Chapters deal with the emotional issues of competition and using emotion to help you win, reducing stress, causes of choking, gaining confidence, game plans, maintaining mental effectiveness during a match, the role of parents, and the psychology of doubles. Fox currently consults with tennis players on mental issues, appears on the Tennis Channel and writes for Tennis Magazine. Visit his website, allenfoxtennis.net, for more, and to order his latest book.

Ashaway Debuts Dynamite 17 Soft String

Ashaway has introduced its new Dynamite 17 Soft, which it says is in response to increased market demand for tennis strings that are easier on the arm and yet deliver more power. The string uses a new Zyex multifilament fiber core technology that the company says provides the increased power and tension-holding characteristics of the original Dynamite strings, but also provides a softer feel for enhanced ball control.

The string comes in a bright fluorescent green color, in 40-foot sets and 360-foot reels. Because of the tension-holding properties of Zyex, Ashaway recommends stringing at approximately 10 to 15 percent lower than normal tension, up to a maximum of 60 pounds. For information, visit ashawayusa.com.

U.S. Bounced Out of Fed Cup World Group

For the first time since the Fed Cup World Group format was instituted in 1995, the U.S. team has been bounced out of the top group and relegated to “World Group II” competition for 2012. The tumble for Captain Mary Joe Fernandez’s squad came at the hands of Germany, which routed the U.S., 5-0, in a World Group Playoff on clay in Stuttgart in mid-April. This means the U.S. is ineligible to compete for the Fed Cup title in 2012 and must battle through the second tier to reach the top World Group for the 2013 competition.

Christina McHale and Melanie Oudin lost their singles matches to Germany’s Andrea Petkovic and Julia Goerges. The U.S. doubles team of Liezel Huber-Vania King lost to Anna-Lena Goenfeld-Sabine Lisicki to complete the German sweep. “It’s tough to be out of the World Group for the first time, but we just came up against a better team,” Fernandez said. “We did the best we could.”

In the World Group semifinals, also played in mid-April, the Czech Republic defeated Belgium, 3-2, and Russia swept defending champ Italy, 5-0. Russia will host the Czech Republic in the final, Nov. 5-6.

USTA Serves Leadership Initiative Honors Judy Levering

USTA Serves, the national charitable foundation of the USTA, has created the Judy Levering Leadership Initiative to honor Levering, who was the first woman president of the USTA, and her work to accelerate the growth, expand the network, and improve the quality of grassroots tennis and education organizations that are dedicated to building and bettering the lives of those most in need.

Money raised through the initiative will be used for the collection and tabulation of best practices of already successful tennis and education organizations. To donate online, visit ustaserves.com, click on “Donate Now” and specify in honor of “Judy Levering Leadership Initiative.”

Tennis Warehouse Europe Fulfills French Open Product

Tennis Warehouse Europe, the European division of Tennis Warehouse, will process all online orders for the Roland-Garros store for the 2011 French Open.

“We are very excited that the French Tennis Federation selected Tennis Warehouse Europe to handle the fulfillment of the exclusive Roland-Garros products for spring 2011,” says Rick Kerpsack, managing director of Tennis Warehouse Europe. Select items from the line will also be available for purchase from Tennis Warehouse.

Peoplewatch

ASBA Announces 7 New CTCBs

Seven tennis facility and court builders from the U.S. and Canada recently completed the requirements to receive the Certified Tennis Court Builder designation from the American Sports Builders Association.

For the complete list of CTCB’s nationwide, and to find out more about builder certification, visit sportsbuilders.org.

USTA Teams With First Lady’s ‘Joining Forces’

The USTA is supporting “Joining Forces,” an effort led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to mobilize all sectors of society to give U.S. service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned. A national initiative, it will highlight issues that are of special importance to military families, including employment, education and wellness.

The USTA will introduce 4,000 National Guard and Reserve members and families to tennis through festivals at Yellow Ribbon pre-deployment events to help reduce stress and encourage social interaction within the service members’ local communities. The USTA also will work with the Department of Veterans Affairs and local VA hospitals to expand tennis programs.

Additionally, USTA Tennis on Campus will work with Joining Forces to create awareness by welcoming back and engaging student veterans and help support those veterans transition to civilian life. Initial plans call for 50 colleges and universities to take part in this program by the end of 2011. The USTA will work with Student Veterans of America to implement these programs.

Forest Hills Stadium Doesn’t Get Landmark Status

The effort to save the historic tennis stadium at Forest Hills was dealt a blow in May when the New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission decided not to consider the venue for landmark status. The commission said the “deteriorated state of the building’s architectural features” contributed to the decision.

However, supporters of preserving the stadium can apply again to the commission, a spokesman said. And even without landmark designation by the city, the property may not be redeveloped, since changes of this magnitude need to be approved by the Forest Hills Gardens Corp., which runs the private neighborhood and enforces strict guidelines.

The US Open moved from Forest Hills to Flushing Meadows in the late 1970s and the Forest Hills stadium fell into disrepair. It’s estimated that it would cost more than $15 million to restore the stadium, money that the West Side Tennis Club says it doesn’t want to spend.

USTA Serves Announces ‘Neighborhood’ Paver Initiative for Avenue of Aces

USTA Serves, the USTA’s national charitable foundation, is launching a new “Neighborhood” initiative for its donor-supported Avenue of Aces, located on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Past US Open Champions Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe will join tennis legend Billie Jean King in lending their names to this charitable initiative. The concept will allow fans to order their own personalized pavers to be placed in the Avenue of Aces next to those of their favorite champion by donating to USTA Serves.

Since its inception in 2005, the Avenue of Aces initiative has raised more than $1.4 million to help USTA Serves support programs. To date, USTA Serves has awarded more than $13 million in grants and scholarships to people and programs throughout the country in order to provide the under-served youth with greater opportunities to realize success. Those wishing to order a paver in the neighborhood of their favorite champion can visit ustaserves.com or call (914) 696-7223.

UCLA Wins National Campus Championship

The team from UCLA won the 2011 USTA National Campus Championship title, defeating a team from the University of Florida, 30-19, in the final. The event took place April 7-9 in Cary, N.C., with 64 teams from across the country participating in the 12th annual championship, presented by the USTA, National Intramural-Recreation Sports Association, Intercollegiate Tennis Association and World TeamTennis.

The USTA’s Tennis On Campus program involves more than 500 colleges and universities and over 30,000 student participants, who form teams to play intramural and club tennis. Visit tennisoncampus.com for more information.

‘Tennis Show 2011’ Planned for NYC Aug. 27

Plans are in the works for “The Tennis Show 2011,” a collaborative celebration of tennis featuring informative and educational meetings and presentations — all on Saturday, Aug. 27, in New York City, prior to the start of the US Open.

Presented by both the TIA and USTA, The Tennis Show 2011 will be held at the Grand Hyatt in the afternoon and evening. It will include a Tennis Trade Show, the TIA Tennis Forum, and the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame Award Ceremony, then will lead directly into the Opening Session of the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference. Further details will be announced soon, or visit The Tennis Show page on Facebook.

USTA Names Recipients of Annual Awards

Honored recently at the USTA Annual Meeting were:

Congratulations to the Following

New Master Racquet Technicians

Marcell Rengifo, Copiague, NY

Samuel Jones, Georgetown, TX

Peter Angulo, San Luis Obispo, CA

Christopher Simmons, San Luis Obispo, CA

Nicholas Simmons, San Luis Obispo, CA

Jenn Thomas, San Luis Obispo, CA

SueEng Tiang, Temple City, CA

Richard Chen, San Gabriel, CA

New Certified Stringers

Darren Sidney, Colorado Springs, CO

Nathan Frank, Ardmore, PA

Classifieds

Wanted. Babolat Star 4. Call Jim @ (561) 393-7978

Wanted. Babolat Star 5. Call Doug @ (858) 735-2658 or e-mail d2tennis at san dot rr dot com

PTR to Host Club Conference in October

The PTR will host its third Tennis Club Owners and Facility Managers Conference, Oct. 5-7, at Crowne Plaza Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The event has been designed for tennis club owners, managers, directors of tennis and those who aspire to expand their tennis business acumen.

Presentations and breakout sessions will include topics such as Customer Service, Programming to Fill Courts, Pro Compensation for Maximizing Productivity, Marketing Your Club & Programs, Grants for 36’ and 60’ Courts, Going Green, Evaluating Your Staff, Federal Labor Laws and Your Pros, Court and Facility Maintenance, Creating/Improving Your Website and Social Networking, and more.

Club consultant Doug Cash will be the conference facilitator. Others providing their expertise to the program include USTA’s Kurt Kamperman, TIA Executive Director Jolyn De Boer, Ed Montecalvo of Lee Tennis, DecoTurf’s Tom Magner and former pro player Tim Wilkison, known as “Dr. Dirt,” the owner of Salisbury Tennis Academy.

The program starts at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 5, and runs through 5 p.m. on Oct. 7. The cost, $395 before August 1, $445 after August 1, includes all workshops, Cardio Tennis workouts and vendor exhibits. Additional attendees from the same club are $349 each. For info or to register contact 800-421-6289 or visit ptrtennis .org.

Waters Moves to USTA National

Jeff Waters, the executive director of the USTA New England section, is moving to the USTA national office as the managing director of Adult Tennis. Waters will oversee the Competitive Tennis Department, which includes USTA Leagues, Flex Leagues, Adult/Senior Competition, Wheelchair Tennis, Senior International and Technical departments. He’ll also have oversight over Network Services which includes USTA meetings and conferences.

Short Sets

USTA Offers Free Membership for 10 and Under Kids

The USTA is offering tennis providers a chance to get more kids on court, and playing 10 and Under Tennis, by giving free one-year USTA memberships to kids under age 10. The offer ends Dec. 31 and is for new members only.

To take advantage of this offer, tennis providers should have parents visit usta.com/membership and use code JOIN2PLAY to become a member. For more information, visit 10andundertennis.com.

Esurance Expands US Open Deal

Esurance, the direct-to-consumer car insurance provider, has extended and expanded its sponsorship of the US Open. The company came on board as an Open sponsor in 2010 and will continue through the 2012 event. Its expanded deal will include a focus on the US Open’s Green Initiative.

One component of the Green Initiative is to encourage attendees to take mass transit. Esurance will distribute New York City Subway MetroCards at select times during the two-week tournament. Esurance will also have branding exposure on USTA shuttles and select on-site maps, and is sponsoring a bag-check station during the event for the convenience of fans.

By the numbers

Tennis Racquet Performance

Specialty Stores, January-March, 2011 vs. 2010

Units 2011 121,679
2010 126,090
% change v. ‘10 -3%
Dollars 2011 17,473,000
2010 17,700,000
% change v. ‘10 -1%
Price 2011 $143.60
2010 $140.38
% change v. ‘10 2%

Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January-March 2011

Best-Sellers

1. Babolat Aero Pro Drive GT (MP)

2. Babolat Pure Drive GT (MP)

3. Babolat Aero Pro Drive+ GT (MP)

4. Wilson BLX Six.One 95 16 × 18 (MS)

5. Head YouTek Radical (MP)

“Hot New Racquets”

(Introduced in the past 12 months)

1. Wilson BLX Blade (MP)

2. Prince EXO3 Red (2011) (OS)

3. Wilson BLX Ciezro Two (OS)

4. Prince EXO3 Blue (2011) (OS)

5. Prince EXO3 Tour 16 × 19 (MP)

Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January-March 2011

1. Prince T22

2. Adidas Barricade 6.0

3. Nike Air Breathe 2K10

4. Nike Air Breathe Free 2

5. K-Swiss Big Shot

Top-Selling Tennis Strings at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date units, January-March 2011

1. Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex

2. Wilson NXT

3. Babolat RPM Blast

4. Wilson Sensation

5. Prince Lightning XX

(Source: TIA/Sports Marketing Surveys)

InTennis.com Introduces ‘The Tennis Network’

Tennis players and fans looking for a “complete” online network should check out InTennis — The Tennis Network, located at InTennis.com. The free network offers tennis news, products, services and local community court connections.

“The Network delivers personal interviews, feature stories and tennis tips from top tennis professionals,” says founder Bob Gore. “With so many sources of information and services available to tennis players, The Tennis Network serves as a single point of entry.”

Gore says The Tennis Network provides social networking platforms to share your tennis success, videos, blogs and forums. Players also can perfect tennis strokes and strategy, including receiving digital postcards on key items to remember during their next match.

The cornerstone of the new site is the Video Tennis Magazine delivering new video features daily, 365 days a year.

 

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