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Jorge Andrew Named President of PTR Board

At the recent PTR Symposium, Jorge Andrew was named president of the PTR Board of Directors for a three-year term. Andrew, who accepted the reins from outgoing President Jean Mills, is the first Latino to serve as president of a major U.S. tennis organization.

Andrew is the director of operations of the Lexington Recreation and Aging Committee, in Lexington, S.C., which has 51 courts at its two facilities, the Lexington County Tennis Complex and the new Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center. A PTR member for more than 32 years, he is a Master Professional, clinician and tester. He’s also a USTA Master Trainer for Recreational Coach Workshops and a 10 and Under Tennis Specialist, and is chairman of the Cardio Tennis National Speakers Team.

A former Venezuelan Davis Cup player and captain, Andrew played on the ATP Tour for more than 10 years. He now serves on the USTA Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Paralympic committees. In 2008, he was named USTA/SC Lucy Garvin Volunteer of the Year, USTA Southern QuickStart Trainer of the Year, and RSI’s PTR Member of the Year.

“I am honored to carry on the strong tradition set for PTR by Dennis Van der Meer,” Andrew says. “PTR continues to grow as an organization and I look forward to working to further that growth for PTR and tennis.”

Har-Tru Sports Acquires J.A. Cissel, Century Sports

Har-Tru Sports of Charlottesville, Va., has acquired the tennis operations of J.A. Cissel Manufacturing and Century Sports. Har-Tru says the acquisition will provide its customers with access to a wider array of products in the tennis accessories and surfacing marketplace, while adding value to current and future customers of Cissel and Century.

Cissel and Century, headquartered in Lakewood, N.J., are being purchased from Bob Hellerson. “We’ve admired Bob’s product leadership and focus on introducing innovative and top-of-the-line tennis court accessories for years,” says Randy Futty, general manager of Har-Tru Sports. “This acquisition allows us to expand our current product offering to include accessories for clay and hard courts while giving us a chance to increase our reach and name recognition nationally and globally.”

In an effort to integrate the companies as smoothly as possible, Har-Tru will operate Cissel and Century independently for the foreseeable future. During this time, Hellerson will continue to serve in a management role and help to transition the company over to Har-Tru. Approximately 30 associates are employed within the two companies.

“The acquisition supports and aligns with Har-Tru’s mission to develop innovative tennis products that help our customers maximize their potential,” said Anderson McNeill, president of Har-Tru Sports. “The acquisition allows us to stay competitive in the sports supply segment and focused on our path of developing champions around the world.”

New ‘Tennis 15-30’ Digital Consumer Pub Is Launched

The Tennis Media Company has launched a new digital magazine called “Tennis 15-30.” Delivered twice each month, on the 15th and 30th, the interactive digital-only editions are available on both desktop browsers and tablet devices such as iPad and Kindle Fire.

“Tennis 15-30 is a game-changer,” said TMC Managing Partner Bob Miller. “We’re now able to provide world-class written and video content more quickly, efficiently and creatively than ever before with a product that can be delivered across every relevant digital platform.”

The digital magazine offers previews, insight and analysis of professional tennis in addition to fitness tips, instruction help and other useful content designed to improve the reader’s game. In addition to the regular twice-monthly issues, TMC will produce four Grand Slam Specials with in-depth coverage.

Produced in collaboration with the USTA, Tennis 15-30 will be available to all USTA members. Jon Vegosen, USTA Chairman of the Board and President, said, “This is an extraordinary opportunity to reach out and have a direct relationship with our members. We are thrilled with this adaptable form of communication designed for the growing tennis community.”

Jeff Williams, Group Publisher of Tennis Media Company (and co-publisher of RSI), said, “We believe this new digital-only publication further solidifies our place as the unrivaled premier source of all news, entertainment and information surrounding tennis. Advertisers will have increased opportunities to reach the consumer with video enhanced ads and direct links to advertisers’ sites. We expect Tennis 15-30 to be a win/win for both the consumer and our partners in the advertising community.”

Babolat Holds VS String Academy

Babolat conducted its inaugural VS String Academy on Feb. 29 at its U.S. headquarters in Louisville, Colo., bringing in elite stringers from around the country to become certified to string for Babolat at Grand Slams and other premier events. It was the first time Babolat has brought the elite stringers together.

At the conclusion of the String Academy, two stringers — Chris Gaudreau of Connecticut and Marc Kessler of New York — were selected to attend Roland Garros, where they will be part of the official stringing team for the French Open. “Stringing in a tournament like Roland Garros adds a different level of pressure,” said Babolat’s National Sales Manager, Mickey Maule. “Chris and Marc both bring a strong technical proficiency and previous experience stringing for Grand Slam tournaments. We’re honored to have these talented stringers represent our brand at Roland Garros.”

Other stringers participating in the String Academy were: Woody Schneider (NY), Steve Vorhaus (CO), Mark Campanile (IL), Richard Flores (TX), Drew Sunderlin (PA), Jason Costello (CO) and Josh Newton (CO).

New String Brand, L-TEC, Launches Full-Poly Hybrids

The newest string brand to enter the market is L-TEC Premium. The company says its strings are “specifically designed to perform together in hybrid combinations for maximum playability and results.” The line consists of 15 string products, allowing for a multitude of hybrid combinations, which means players can customize and fine-tune their string beds to suit their games.

A key to the L-TEC line is that they are extruded in shapes that the company says will enhance playability, boost performance and extend string life. According to L-TEC, the strings are “the first to be specifically engineered to give optimal performance at low tensions, especially when installed by a trained professional who is experienced and/or certified in stringing copolys using specific low-tension techniques.” L-TEC recommends a precision stringing method known as the JET Method.

L-TEC Premium copolymers are extruded in four shapes: L-TEC Premium 45 is a “squoval” (squared-off oval), which the company says is the only string on the market in this shape; 35 is “delta” (triangular) shape; 55 is a pentagon shape; and OS is a traditional shape. L-TEC also offers synthetics that are designed to be used as cross strings with the copolys. Strung properly, says L-TEC, the strings will lose only 2 to 4 pounds of tension in the first six to 10 hours of play.

The L-TEC Premium line consists of 12 poly-based and three synthetic strings. The strings are packaged in spool lengths, and customers and stringers will receive a discount of 20% to 30% off retail price. Stringers who use L-TEC in their retail businesses, clubs, schools and shops are eligible to receive additional discounts when purchasing in quantity.

For stringers interested in learning more about the L-TEC Premium strings and JET Method of stringing, the U.S. distributor, Guts and Glory Tennis (ggtennis.com), has live interactive webinars to provide an overview and address questions. For more information and a description of the strings, visit L-Tectennis.com.

10U ‘Legacy Program’ Created for Pro Circuit Events

The USTA Pro Circuit Committee has introduced the “10 and Under Tennis Legacy Program,” which will provide grants to Pro Circuit tournament sites that actively promote the 10 and under Tennis format at their events, and whose facilities make programming available to the community.

The goal of the legacy program, a collaboration between the USTA’s Profession and Community Tennis divisions, is for tennis communities in Pro Circuit markets to benefit from the tournament throughout the year with enhanced support of grassroots programs. Tournaments can apply for grants to cover the painting of permanent lines on courts at their facility or a partner site connected with the tournament, such as at a school or park.

The program is separate from, and in addition to, the grants available to tournaments for community events. Information is at usta.com/pro-tennis.

US Open Men’s Final to Move to Monday

The US Open men’s final will move to Monday, possibly as early as this year.

"We’re in ongoing discussions regarding the schedule to ensure there’s a day of rest for the men and women between the semifinals and finals," Chris Widmaier, the USTA’s managing director of corporate communications, told ESPN.com’s Greg Garber in early March. "It’s not clear if it will happen for 2012, but we expect it will by at least 2013."

For the past four years, the men’s final was pushed to Monday due to rain, and last year after two days of rainouts, a number of men pros protested the initial decision not to move the final from Sunday to Monday. Even without rain, however, the US Open was always the Grand Slam exception — having both the men and women play their semifinals and finals on back-to-back days. The other three majors give the players a day of rest.

"We need to reach an agreement with a number of different constituents," Widmaier said. "Our domestic and international television partners, our fan base, as well as certain sponsor commitments we have to work through.”

Peoplewatch

New Book Tells of Titanic’s Tennis Connection

Karl Behr was one of the best tennis players in the U.S. — a member of the 1907 U.S. Davis Cup team and a Wimbledon doubles finalist. In 1912, he was in love with Helen Newsom, but Newsom’s mother did not approve and whisked her daughter away on a European adventure in an attempt to break up the couple. Behr concocted a business trip to chase after his love. Both scheduled return trips to America on the Titanic.

The love story of Behr and Newsom, as well as the incredible story of survival and triumph of another Titanic survivor and future U.S. singles champion, Dick Williams, are featured in the new book “Titanic: The Tennis Story,” by Lindsay Gibbs ($12.95, New Chapter Press, available on Amazon.com).

The book narrates the extraordinary stories of Behr and Williams, who survived the sinking 100 years ago and met on the deck of the rescue ship Carpathia. The two men eventually became teammates on the U.S. Davis Cup team and faced each other in the quarterfinals of the 1914 U.S. Nationals in Newport, R.I. — the tournament that is now the US Open.

The historical novel is published by New Chapter Press of New York City.

USTA, Nickelodeon Launch ‘Tennis Really Rocks’ Sweepstakes

The USTA and Nickelodeon’s “Tennis Really Rocks” sweepstakes will run through April 1, with the grand prize for one lucky youngster of a trip for four to New York to attend Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, the annual kick-off event to the US Open; as well as hang with the stars of Nickelodeon’s new live-action series “How to Rock,” Cymphonique Miller and Max Schneider.

Fifty other youngsters will win a first prize: 10 and Under Tennis equipment. Kids between 6 and 12 years old or their parents can enter the contest by visiting nick.com/tennisrocks.

“With our agreement with Nickelodeon, we’re now stepping outside of tennis and reaching a much wider youth audience to engage them in tennis,” says Kurt Kamperman, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis. Also as part of the partnership, Miller and Schneider will make appearances, throughout the year, at USTA events aimed at kids and be featured in commercials promoting youth tennis.

ASBA Tech Presentation Videos Available Online

Videos of a number of presentations at the ASBA’s Technical Meeting held in December are now available for viewing on the association’s website, sportsbuilders.org.

Among the videos available is the presentation “Court Preparation, Removing Coatings (Techniques, Equipment),” which was presented by Tom Hinding of Hinding Tennis Courts; Tom Magner of Plexipave System, Div. of California Products Corp.; and Carvin Pallenberg of RiteWay Crack Repair. Other presentations for the track, fields and indoor divisions are available.

To view the videos, go to the homepage and click the “videos” button at the bottom right.

Kids Learn 10U Tennis Aboard Aircraft Carrier

Hundreds of kids from USTA Eastern were introduced to 10 and Under Tennis aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Feb. 23, receiving encouragement from Patrick McEnroe (below), the general manager of USTA Player Development and a former French Open doubles champion. The clinic was held for the second consecutive year at the Intrepid, which is a World War II aircraft carrier docked in the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan, as part of the Museum’s Annual Kids Week, which features fun, educational and interactive activities for kids during the Presidents’ Week vacation. The clinic was led by a group of instructors from Yonkers Tennis Center, the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program, and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Short Sets

USTA PlayDev Names 5 Regional Training Centers

USTA Player Development has named five junior development programs in four states as USTA Certified Regional Training Centers — part of the continuing effort to develop the next generation of world-class American players.

The Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego and the Northwest High Performance Tennis program in Seattle are the first CRTCs named in the USTA Southern California and USTA Pacific Northwest sections, respectively. The 4 Star Tennis Academy in Fairfax, Va., will join the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., in a CRTC network for the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section. The Rochester Athletic Club in Rochester, Minn., and the Life Time Fitness center in Lakeville, a suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul, will comprise a USTA Certified Regional Training Center network for the USTA Northern Section.

As USTA Certified Regional Training Centers, the five programs will enhance the training and development of juniors in their areas, and USTA Player Development will use these new partnerships as vehicles to educate and collaborate with junior tennis coaches in these four USTA sections.

Pros Can Travel Free to Wimbledon

Looking to go to Wimbledon this year? The Wimbledon Experience, a part of Keith Prowse Ltd., is offering tennis pros, tennis directors and general managers the chance to travel for free as the 10th person accompanying nine members, with trips that can be customized to your group.

The Wimbledon Experience has worked with the All England Club since 1982 as the official agent for overseas tours and hospitality at the Championships. The “Tennis Club Tour Program” includes guaranteed reserved seats for two days of play and playing time on grass courts at a nearby club. The trip also includes an evening at the theater, dinner, lunches and more.

For details, visit wimbledon-experience.com or call 888-552-6791.

Tennis Marketplace

Tennis Racquet Performance at Specialty Stores

January-December, 2011 vs. 2010

Units 2011 719,490
  2010 719,943
  % change v. ’10 0%
Dollars 2011 $101,748,000
  2010 $102,216,000
  % change v. ’10 0%
Price 2011 $141.42
  2010 $141.98
  % change v. ’10 0%

Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores

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

Best Sellers

  1. Babolat Aero Pro Drive GT (MP)
  2. Babolat Pure Drive GT (MP)
  3. Babolat Aero Pro Team 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) ()S)
  4. Head YouTek IG Extreme (MP)
  5. Head YouTek IG Speed 18×20 (MP)

Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores

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

  1. Prince T22
  2. Adidas Barricade 6.0
  3. Babolat Propulse 3
  4. Nike Air Breathe Free 2
  5. Nike Court Ballistec 3.3

Top-Selling Tennis Strings at Specialty Stores

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

  1. Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex
  2. Babolat RPM Blast
  3. Wilson NXT
  4. Wilson Sensation
  5. Luxilon Alu Power

Kirk Anderson Named PTR Pro of the Year

Kirk Anderson of New Fairfield, Conn., was presented with PTR’s Professional of the Year Award during the 2012 PTR International Tennis Symposium, held Feb. 24-28 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Fla.

Anderson, who was named RSI’s Person of the Year in 2006, is the Department Director for Coach Education and Development at the USTA. Since 2000, his department has conducted on-court training workshops for more than 69,000 coaches.

One of only a handful of Master Professionals certified by both PTR and USPTA, Anderson has served on the ITF Tennis Participation Task Force since 2000 and is a member of the Special Olympics International Global Resource Tennis Team and the Special Olympics North America Tennis Development Committee. He is also on the National Tennis Advisory Staff for both Head and Adidas. He’s published dozens of articles, written curriculum guides and participated in instructional videos.

Anderson is a graduate of the USTA High Performance Coach program and is certified as a Youth Fitness Specialist by the International Youth Conditioning Association. He’s a popular presenter at international, national, regional and local workshops. In 2003, he received the International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award.

PTR Names Winners of Annual Awards

During the PTR International Tennis Symposium in February, the PTR named its 2012 award winners:

PTR State Members of the Year

Life Time Fitness Buys Racquet Club of South

Minnesota-based Life Time Fitness Inc. has bought Atlanta’s Racquet Club of the South. Life Time Fitness now operates clubs with a total of 158 courts, 104 of them indoors.

With the purchase, for an undisclosed sum, Racquet Club of the South has been renamed Life Time Tennis Atlanta. The facility will undergo a remodeling to its exterior, lobby and locker rooms, and the company says it will add a fitness center, clubhouse with restaurant, pro shop and stadium court that could seat more than 4,000 fans.

Life Time Tennis Atlanta has 28 outdoor courts and eight indoor courts, and it is a USTA regional training center.

Nominations Open for USTA Outstanding Facility Awards

Do you know an outstanding tennis facility? One that has great courts — and great programming? The USTA is accepting nominations through June 29 for its 31st Annual Outstanding Facility Awards program, designed to recognize tennis facilities by encouraging high standards for construction and renovation. Nominations are evaluated on criteria that includes the facility and courts themselves (i.e. quality of construction, overall layout, accessories/amenities, etc.) and also tennis programming (such as USTA programs, 10 and Under Tennis, and other programs). Winners are recognized at the USTA Semiannual Meeting in September in New York City. Visit usta.com/facilityawards for more information and to nominate.

 

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