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USTA Invests $1.3 Million for 10U in 26 Markets

The USTA will invest $1.3 million to introduce 10 and Under Tennis in 26 communities. The USTA’s goal over the next five years is to bring 10 and Under Tennis to kids in more than 100 local markets nationwide.

Each of the 26 communities will receive $50,000 in matching grants from the USTA to be used to build new courts and adapt current tennis courts to accommodate 10 and Under Tennis. In addition to the national $50,000 grant, the markets will receive an additional $50,000 grant from their respective USTA sections, for a total of $2.6 million invested in the communities.

Communities also will work with the USTA national office to ensure local organizers are taught the proper techniques and skills to implement 10 and Under Tennis. The USTA and its 17 sections will work with schools, public parks and youth organizations to add tennis to PE classes and after-school programs.

As kids develop their skills, they also will be encouraged to participate in Play Days, USTA Jr. Team Tennis and USTA tournaments. The $50,000 will be provided over a three-year period for communities to add new programs.

“With this approach, tennis has become the newest ‘pick-up’ sport, and we expect to see participation numbers increase dramatically in the very near future,” says Kurt Kamperman, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis.

The USTA has created USTA.com/facilities for groups interested in applying for court construction or renovation grants. As part of a public-private partnership, the USTA will build courts in places where local officials, public parks and schools commit to building tennis into their core programming for kids.

For more info, visit 10andundertennis.com.

The 26 markets receiving $50,000 grants are:

‘Get Your Game On’ at USPTA Conference in Sept.

The USPTA’s World Conference on Tennis — “Get Your Game On” — will be Sept. 19-24 at Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel, Fla. More than 1,500 tennis-teaching pros, industry leaders, media and manufacturer representatives are expected to attend.

This year’s speakers include Tracy Almeda-Singian, Dr. Martin Baroch, Lorenzo Beltrame, Martin Blackman, Craig Jones, Kurt Kamperman, Jose Higueras, Page Love, Rick Macci, Patrick McEnroe, Luis Mediero, Emilio Sanchez Vicario, Dave Kozlowski, Jorge Capestany and Kerri Whitehead.

The event also includes a Tennis Buying Show on Sept. 22. Exhibitors will include tennis equipment, apparel and footwear companies, marketers and wholesalers of hard and soft goods, video analysis, Web-based programs and software, teaching aids, court surfacing and lighting, awards, educational materials, nutrition bars and vitamins, and more.

To register, or for more information, visit usptaworldconference.com.

TIA Board Adds Adidas, ASBA

The Tennis Industry Association has added David Malinowski (left), the tennis category manager for Adidas, and Fred Stringfellow (right), the executive director of the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), to its board of directors. Malinowski and Stringfellow join Dave Miley of the ITF, who was named in April, as the newest members of the TIA board.

“We’re pleased to have both David and Fred join the TIA board of directors,” said TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “David and Fred, along with Dave Miley, have broad and valuable experience that will help this industry and the TIA as we work toward our three key areas of focus: frequent player growth, tennis economic growth, and communications/positioning to broaden the TIA’s reach with the industry and consumers.”

Malinowski joined Adidas last year and is responsible for all U.S. tennis products and sales. As ASBA executive director, Stringfellow represents nearly 400 companies in the sports facility construction industry, including builders, suppliers and designers of tennis courts, tracks, sports fields and indoor facilities.

Amex, USTA Partner for 2nd Annual ‘Fresh Courts’

American Express is again partnering with the USTA for its second annual Fresh Courts program, a community funding effort that invests in the renovation of existing tennis facilities across the U.S. Launched in 2010, this year’s program will support tennis facilities at La Mesita Park in San Diego, Jefferson Recreation Center in Washington D.C., North Avondale Courts in Cincinnati and Astoria Park in Queens, N.Y.

All work on the courts will be performed by the USTA’s Facility Assistance department and will be funded by American Express. Work on the facilities began in July, with the goal of having all three sites completed by early fall. By the end of 2011, the Fresh Courts program will have successfully repaired 26 courts across the country.

American Express will join local officials and youth tennis players in each of these communities to celebrate the new Fresh Courts and to honor individuals in each city who have helped to bring the game of tennis to members of their community with the Fresh Courts Community Leadership Award. All award recipients will travel to the US Open in September as guests of American Express to watch the Men’s and Women’s Doubles finals.

Tennis Fantasies Israel Schedules Camp

Tennis Fantasies Israel has scheduled its first Tennis Fantasy Camp in Israel May 6-15, 2012. The trip combines clinics, matches and sightseeing and visits such places as Tel Aviv, Akko, Galilee and Jerusalem, where participants will have the chance to play at venues run by the Israel Tennis Center, in addition to touring historic locations, museums and other places of interest.

Tennis legends currently set to lead the group include former U.S. Davis Cup players Brian Gottfried, Harold Solomon and Dick Stockton. Former world No. 22 pro Shlomo Glickstein rounds out the staff and will be the group’s Israeli host.

The event costs $3,000, which includes all transportation within Israel, breakfasts, two dinners, tennis, lodging tour guide and sightseeing attractions. A portion of every registration fee will benefit a new co-existence program for local Jewish and Arab children involving tennis, families and teachers.

For more information, contact program creator Steve Contardi through tennisfantasiesisrael.net.

Huczek To Advise Ashaway on Products

Ashaway Racket Strings has announced that recently retired racquetball World Champion Jack Huczek has agreed to help the company steer the development of UltraKill and other product lines.

"Jack has been an Ashaway sponsored player for most of his career, and recently has been very instrumental in the development of Ashaway’s new UltraKill product family," says Steve Crandall, Ashaway’s VP of marketing.

"Certainly, there are few people who understand more about how string behaves in a racquet than Jack. So despite his decision to retire from professional competition and to pursue a new career with Ericsson, we’re pleased he is keeping a finger in the racquetball world a while longer."

"Working with and acting as an ambassador for my sponsors has always been an enjoyable part of being a professional racquetball player," Huczek says. "I’ve worked with Ashaway on the UltraKill family since its inception. I’m very pleased with the opportunity to continue that work with Ashaway, and perhaps help out with some other products as well."

Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co., based in Ashaway, R.I., is the only U.S. manufacturer of string for squash, tennis, racquetball and badminton. Visit ashawayusa.com.

Sharapova, Wozniacki Top Forbes List

Maria Sharapova, who hasn’t won a Grand Slam title since 2008, remains the world’s highest paid woman in professional sports for the seventh straight year. The annual list, from Forbes magazine, shows the Russian’s earning, mostly from off-court endorsements, at an estimated $25 million, twice as much as her nearest rival, Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki, currently the world No. 1. Race car driver Danica Patrick was third with $12 million.

Seven of the top 9 female earners were tennis players: 1) Sharapova, $25 million; 2) Wozniacki, $12.5 million; 4) Venus Williams, $11.5 million; 5) Kim Clijsters, $11 million; 6) Serena Williams, $10.5 million; 8) Li Na, $8 million; 9) Ana Ivanovic, $6 million.

Har-Tru to Host Maintenance Seminar

Har-Tru Sports will host a Har-Tru Maintenance Certification Seminar on Sept. 27-28 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 purpose of the seminar is to bring together leading experts on indoor and outdoor clay courts to discuss the construction and maintenance of clay. The seminar also will include information on the causes of indoor and bubbled court surface compaction and what techniques are being used to alleviate it.

For more information, contact Ed Montecalvo at 877-4HARTRU or emontecalvo@hartru.com.

Gamma Debuts Scor-Post Pro

Gamma Sports has come out with the Scor-Post Pro, the next generation scoring device which replaces the discontinued Scor-Post. The newly designed Scor-Post Pro is more durable than its predecessor, but maintains a similar appearance on court.

The Scor-Post Pro has an extruded center column, molded ball cups that can be individually replaced, and top and bottom caps that secure the center column and ball cups in place. The molded top cap has channels that support Scor-Post Name Cards.

The Scor-Post Pro ($69.95 retail) uses tennis balls to score matches, with standard scoring allowing for three traditional sets or an eight-game pro set. The Scor-Post Pro ships with an all-metal support that attaches to the net post with quick release hose clamps for easy court change over (no tools needed). Scor-Post Name Cards, dry erase poly cards that identify players or teams, are sold separately.

Ashaway Adds to UltraKill Racquetball Line

Ashaway Racket Strings has introduced UltraKill 16 racquetball string, which utilizes the same Zyex core polymer as other members of the UltraKill family, but in a special, multi-stranded monofilament construction that increases power and resilience, says the company. This Zyex construction allows UltraKill 16 to maintain tension throughout the life of the string for consistent performance, says Ashaway, while the 16-gauge (1.30 mm) thickness maximizes durability. For more information visit ashawayusa.com.

Undefeated Kastles Win World TeamTennis Title

The Washington Kastles completed the first perfect season in the 36-year history of World TeamTennis, defeating the St. Louis Aces 23-19 in the WTT Finals in late July in Charleston, S.C. It was the Kastles’ second WTT title in the last three years, in only its fourth season as a franchise.

Three Kastles players were singled out for season honors: Leander Paes won male MVP, Arina Rodionova won female rookie of the year and Murphy Jensen won coach of the year. Liezel Huber of the runner-up St. Louis Aces won female MVP honors.

PTR to Host Professional Development Weekend

The PTR will hold its Professional Development Weekend Oct. 6-9 at PTR Headquarters and Van der Meer Shipyard Racquet Club on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Among the speakers are Iñaki Balzola, Dr. Louie Cap, Doug Cash, Colleen Cosgrove and Judy Vogt, Craig Jones, Kurt Kamperman, Anne Pankhurst, Tito Perez, Dr. Bryce Young and Tim “Dr. Dirt” Wilkison. On court and classroom topics include How to Make Money with QuickStart, Great Games & Drills for Your Not so Great Juniors, How to Play Better Doubles without Hitting a Ball, Coaching Philosophy, 30 Unique Error Detections & Corrections, How to Run Junior Camps, Social Media for Tennis Pros, Hard & Clay Court Maintenance and more! The event is open to everyone; registration is $349.

The PTR also is hosting a club and Facility Managers Conference at PTR Headquarters on HHI Oct. 5-7, which is designed for club owners, club managers and tennis directors.

For information or to register, visit Events at ptrtennis.org or call 800-421-6289.

By the numbers

Tennis Racquet Performance

Specialty Stores, January - June, 2011 vs. 2010

Units 2011 310,717
2010 320,274
% change v. ‘10 -3%
Dollars 2011 $44,546,000
2010 $45,248,000
% change v. ‘10 -2%
Price 2011 $143.37
2010 $141.28
% change v. ‘10 1%

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. Babolat Pure Drive Lite GT (MP)
  5. Wilson BLX Six.One 95 16 × 18 (MS)

“Hot New Racquets”

(Introduced in the past 12 months)

  1. Wilson BLX Blade (MP)
  2. Prince EXO3 Red (2011) (OS)
  3. Prince EXO3 Blue (2011) (OS)
  4. Wilson BLX Cierzo Two (OS)
  5. Prince EXO3 Tour 16 x 19 (MP)

Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January – June, 2011

  1. Prince T22
  2. Adidas Barricade 6.0
  3. Nike Air Breathe 2K10
  4. Babolat Propulse 3
  5. Nike Air Breathe Free 2

Top-Selling Tennis Strings at Specialty Stores

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

  1. Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex
  2. Babolat RPM Blast
  3. Wilson NXT
  4. Wilson Sensation
  5. Prince Lightning XX

(Source: TIA/Sports Marketing Surveys)

Peoplewatch

Ashaway Offers Dynamite 16 Tough

Ashaway Racket Strings’ new Dynamite 16 Tough tennis strings utilize Zyex core resin in a special, multi-stranded monofilament construction that increases power and resilience, says the company. Zyex construction allows the 16-gauge Dynamite 16 Tough to maintain tension throughout the life of the string for consistent performance, according to Ashaway. Visit ashawayusa.com for info.

PTR Receives NCACE Accreditation

PTR announced that it has gained Level 5 accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE) for its Master of Tennis – Performance program.

“We congratulate PTR for recognizing the value of having an accredited coaching education program,” wrote NCACE Executive Director Christopher Hickey. “PTR has shown that it is a leader among leaders. Your Master of Tennis coaching education program will serve as a prototype for other organizations seeking to promote excellence in coaching preparation.”

NCACE, a division of AAPHERD, promotes and facilitates coaching competence within all levels of amateur sport by overseeing and evaluating the quality of coaching education programs. In addition, NCACE endorses comprehensive standards for sport practitioners, including: volunteer, interscholastic, collegiate, and elite coaches. Through accreditation, NCACE provides leadership and guidance to coaching education providers.

USTA Serves Grants $400K in Scholarships

USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the USTA, will grant 78 high school students a variety of college scholarships totaling over $400,000. Each year, USTA Serves awards scholarships to deserving youth who have participated in USTA and other organized youth tennis programs, have demonstrated high academic achievement, and require financial assistance for college matriculation.

Among the awards are:

Sponsor Package Announced for GSS Attendees

The fifth annual GSS racquet stringers symposium, to be held Sept. 24-28 at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, announces a new sponsorship, says symposium founder and owner Tim Strawn. Babolat, Gamma, Prince and Wilson will be involved in a joint effort to sponsor the event this year. Each symposium attendee will receive a triple racquet thermal bag, 12 sets of premium string, and a premium racquet from one of the four companies.

“We’re fortunate to have such great support from these companies,” Strawn says. “The retail value of this giveaway is between $350 to $450 and this is just one part of the overall package attendees will receive. This should go a long way in offsetting the registration costs to attend this year.”

GSS also welcomes Nathan Price, Prince’s global manager for strings, grips, accessories, and stringing machines. Price will host an open roundtable session as well as conduct the popular Prince speed-stringing contest.

The symposium has added several new speakers as well as eight new seminars. Visit gssalliance.com or call 540-632-1148.

ASBA Sees Record Number of Award Applicants

The American Sports Builders Association, the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities, has announced an all-time high number of entrants in its annual awards program. This year, members entered a total of 126 projects to the awards program, an increase from the previous high of 87.

Awards are given for tennis courts, running tracks, indoor multi-purpose facilities, and sports fields. There were 40 tennis projects submitted for awards: 21 outdoor facilities, 16 residential courts and 3 indoor tennis facilities. For info, visit sportsbuilders.org.

Social Networking Making a Mark on Fitness & Exercise

Social networking and Generation Y’s focus on technology might be having a dramatically different impact on America’s fitness patterns than many assume, according to the “2011 Tracking the Fitness Movement,” released recently by the SGMA.

Rather than locking young people into an inactive lifestyle, social media may be driving the younger generation into new forms of fitness activities, the report says.

Highlighting Gen Y’s (those born between 1980 and 1999) physical fitness trend is the growing interest in group exercise. High-impact aerobics, step aerobics and group stationary cycling activities have all increased more than 20 percent in participation within the past three years.

In tennis, the TIA-managed Cardio Tennis — an on-court group fitness program, has seen rapid growth. The latest research shows that more than 1.5 million people have engaged in Cardio Tennis since its inception in 2005 and that participation has grown 81 percent from 2008 to 2010.

Shortsets

2011 Stringers Digest

The 2011 edition of “The Stringer’s Digest,” containing about 6,000 stringing patterns for all types of racquets (including 113 patterns added this year), is now available for USRSA members. This indispensable tool for all stringers and pro shops has detailed stringing instructions for virtually ever tennis, racquetball, squash and badminton frame in circulation. It is the only source in this industry for this information, and it includes stringing patterns for frames that have long been discontinued by their manufacturers. For more information on The Stringer’s Digest, call the USRSA at 760-536-1177 or visit racquettech.com.

Special 9/11 Tributes Before US Open Finals

The US Open and the USTA will remember those whose lives were lost on Sept. 11, 2001, with a pair of pre-match ceremonies in Arthur Ashe Stadium before both the men’s and women’s finals.

Prior to the start of the prime-time women’s singles final on Saturday night, Sept. 10, there will be a special performance by Grammy and Emmy Award-winner Cyndi Lauper. On Sunday, Queen Latifah — musician, television and film actress, label president and author — will preside over a tribute before the start of the men’s singles final. Queen Latifah performed at the US Open’s first ever Opening Night Ceremony in 2002, which was 9/11 themed.

For both the women’s and men’s singles championships “9-11-01” will be inscribed on Arthur Ashe Stadium court as part of this memorial tribute. The USTA also will include on the upper ring encircling Arthur Ashe Stadium the 9/11 memorial logo developed by the City of New York.

“The USTA’s goal is to mark this solemn occasion in a dignified and respectful manner,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA chairman of the board and president. “We are one of this nation’s global stages on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and we have a special responsibility to honor those fallen and those who responded heroically on that fateful day.”

Each ceremony will include a moment of silence and the unfurling of a giant American flag over the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium by a U.S. Marines Corps color guard. On Sunday, the 10th anniversary, the two men’s players competing in the final will enter the court through an honor guard comprised of members of the New York Police Department, the Fire Department of New York and the Port Authority Police, and there also will be a military flyover at the conclusion of the ceremony.

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