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USTA Unveils ‘Strategic Vision’ for NTC

On June 14, the USTA, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Queens borough officials released details of a proposed strategic vision for future development at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the site of the US Open.

The strategic vision — a series of interconnected construction projects that include building developments, infrastructure upgrades and improvements to site circulation — aims to enhance the current conditions at the NTC and preserve its stature as a world-class venue, the USTA said in a statement. The project, expected to develop throughout a multi-year period and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, will be undertaken by the USTA, which will investigate a multitude of potential financing options. The strategic vision does not include plans for a roof over the main tennis venue, Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The project will primarily entail the replacement and renovation of aging facilities and infrastructures and will enable the facility to accommodate an extra 10,000 people each day during the US Open. Since 1978, the USTA has invested more than $500 million of its own funds into the NTC.

“The US Open is one of the city’s greatest sporting events, and it generates more than $750 million a year in economic activity,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The city recognizes the crucial need to improve the USTA facility and supports this vision, so that the center remains a top-ranked tennis venue capable of hosting the US Open, and thereby allowing the tournament to remain in New York City for many decades.”

“Our goal remains to ensure that the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center remains a world-class facility for the top professional tennis players, for the hundreds of thousands of fans who annually attend the US Open, and, as importantly, the near hundred thousand recreational tennis players who use this facility all year round,” said Jon Vegosen, Chairman of the Board and President of the USTA.

Most notably, the project calls for the construction of two new stadiums, one to replace the aging Louis Armstrong Stadium in its current location at the northeast corner of the site, and the other a new Grandstand Stadium, built in a different location at the southwest corner.

Seven tournament courts on the southern section of the site will be relocated between 30-50 feet, and a new walkway will be built. Two parking garages will be constructed over existing parking lots, and seven courts on the northwest section — five practice and two tournament — will be replaced and linked by a new, elevated viewing platform. For more information, visit usta.com.

PTR to Host New
Directors of Tennis Conference

The PTR will hold its inaugural Directors of Tennis Conference Oct. 16-18 on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The conference, limited to 75 attendees from the U.S., its territories and Canada, will be the first in North America targeted specifically to directors of tennis.

The format will include experts presenting for one hour at a time on a variety of topics relevant to directors at all types of tennis facilities. Each day will close with roundtable discussions, so attendees can share their best practices. The faculty will include directors of tennis and consultants Doug Cash, Jorge Andrew, Roy Barth, David Brouwer, Michael Mahoney, Mark McMahon and others.


“We spoke with representatives in the tennis industry about the need to offer more of a business track dedicated to helping directors of tennis,” said Dan Santorum, CEO of PTR. “We believe this will strengthen our profession, tennis facilities and our sport.”

“The TIA is looking forward to being involved and to providing an update of where our industry is right now and where we believe it is headed,” said Jolyn de Boer, TIA Executive Director. “We applaud PTR for its ongoing effort to offer continuing education and training.” In addition, the USTA will host a luncheon and Kurt Kamperman, USTA Chief Executive of Community Tennis, will be one of the keynote speakers.

To register, call the PTR at 843-785-7244.

USPTA World Conference Sept. 16-21 in Calif.

The 2012 USPTA World Conference on Tennis will be Sept. 16-21 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa in Monterey, Calif. More than 1,500 tennis-teaching professionals, industry leaders and representatives, media and manufacturer representatives are expected to attend.

In addition to presentations, seminars and other educational offerings, the World Conference will feature a Tennis Buying Show on Sept. 19. Exhibitors 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. There also will be a USPTA Silent Auction during the Buying Show, which benefits the USPTA Foundation.

The World Conference also will offer Cardio Tennis and TennisCize sessions, the USPTA International Championships and the annual Awards Breakfast. For more information, including to register, visit usptaworldconference.com or call 800-877-8248.

12 Named to U.S. Olympic Tennis Team

Twelve tennis players were nominated to play for the U.S. in the 2012 Olympic Games, to be held on grass courts July 28 to Aug. 5 in London. U.S. women’s tennis coach Mary Joe Fernandez nominated Serena Williams, Christina McHale, Varvara Lepchenko and Venus Williams for singles and Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond for doubles. Men’s coach Jay Berger nominated Andy Roddick, John Isner, Ryan Harrison and Donald Young, and doubles team Bob and Mike Bryan.

The U.S. will also nominate two teams in mixed doubles, which will be contested at the Olympics for the first time since tennis returned to the Games in 1988, comprised from among the 12 players and named once all players are on site.

Also, USTA and U.S. National Wheelchair Tennis Team Coach Dan James announced nine players who will represent the U.S. in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, Sept. 1-8. The men’s team will be Stephen Welch, Jon Rydberg, Steve Baldwin and Noah Yablong. The women’s team will be Emmy Kaiser and Mackenzie Soldan. The quad team, led by two-time doubles gold medalists David Wagner and Nick Taylor, will also include Bryan Barten.

New 10U Products from Oncourt Offcourt

PTR and USPTA Master Pro Joe Dinoffer announced the release of a new, patented 18-foot portable net system for 10 and Under Tennis. The MultiNet features a built-in scorekeeper, quick set-up hinged legs, a built-in Airzone with telescoping end poles and more.

Dinoffer says Oncourt Offcourt is also launching other new products this year for 10 and Under Tennis, such as numbered, colored balls in cans, a line of color-coded junior racquets, red and orange boundary lines for red and orange level courts, and a new cart with removable color-coded baskets. For information, visit oncourtoffcourt.com or call 888-366-4711.

Member Classifieds

FOR SALE: True Tension Stringing Machine…..Lock Out…..can set specific prestretch and exact tension. Strings 2 point- 4 point- or 6 point hold downs. Very sturdy does professional quality string jobs. $400.00 For further information please contact jcmomarm@comcast.net

Correction

The phone number for Sports Attack in the 2012 Guide to Ball Machines in our July issue (page 30) was incorrectly listed. The correct phone number is 800-717-4251.

Congratulations To the Following For Achieving MRT and CS Status

New MRTs

Scott Switzer, Toronto, Canada

Bradley Kirkham, Toronto, Canada

Kane Elkind, Toronto, Canada

Karly Hoffman, San Luis Obispo, CA

Michelle Ewing, San Luis Obispo, CA

Evan Mehischau, San Luis Obispo, CA

Matt Tuskan, San Luis Obispo, CA

Tim Smith, San Luis Obispo, CA

Reyn Sugiyama, Honolulu, HI

Hilary Wighton, San Luis Obispo, CA

New CSs

Alvin Macasinag, Brandon, FL

Michael Sims, Lilburn, GA

Industry Loses Former USTA ED Lee Hamilton

Former USTA Executive Director Lee Hamilton of Dallas passed away on June 15. Hamilton served a variety of roles at the community, section and national levels, and was a former president of the USTA Texas Section. He was executive director of the USTA from 2003 to 2007.

“Lee was a passionate advocate for our sport, and his great vision, remarkable consensus-building skills, and good humor played a large role in guiding the growth of our association and of the sport we all love,” said USTA President and Chairman of the Board Jon Vegosen.

Following a successful career in the oil industry, Hamilton brought his talents to tennis. He served as president of Community Tennis Associations in both Houston and Dallas before serving on the board of the USTA Texas Section. As USTA executive director, Hamilton played a leading role in the growth of the game and the health and vitality of the USTA. He was inducted into the USTA Texas Hall of Fame in 2009.

Licensing Deal Reached with New ‘Prince Americas’

The operating assets of Prince Sports, including exclusive rights to the Prince, Ektelon and Viking brands in North America, have been acquired by the newly formed Active Brands Co. and its new wholly owned subsidiary, Prince Americas.

Prince Americas will exclusively operate and manage the production and distribution of all products and services associated with Prince, Ektelon and Viking in North America, Latin America and South America through the existing Prince Sports facility in Bordentown, N.J. The term of the agreement is for 10 years with three renewal options. A statement from Prince Sports says the company anticipates entering into license agreements covering Europe, Asia, Australia and other areas in the near future.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved the license agreement with Prince Americas on June 19, then followed that with approval of the Disclosure Statement for the company’s Plan of Reorganization. The Court’s rulings were a result of an agreement reached between Prince Sports, its secured lender ABG Prince (which is owned by Authentic Brands Group) and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.

“The agreement with our major creditors on the key terms of a Plan of Reorganization and their joint support for the license agreement with Prince Americas is a major step toward Prince’s emergence from Chapter 11,” said Prince Sports’ CEO Gordon Boggis. “Given the support of our major creditors, we are confident that with Prince Americas we will return to normal order levels with our suppliers and our customers, getting our business and our world-class brands back on track.”

Active Brands Co. was formed by the principals of two Omaha-based companies, Battle Sports Science and Waitt Co. Battle Sports Science was formed in 2009 and previously had focused on safety equipment for sports such as football, baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey. Waitt Co. is a diversified investment company that is now a majority owner. Active Brands is now the umbrella company for both Prince Americas and Battle Sports Science. The co-founder of Battle Sports, Chris Circo, is the CEO of Active Brands.

“This is a very significant event in the growth of our company, as the Prince, Ektelon, and Viking brands are prominent and highly regarded properties with tremendous potential for growth,” said Circo. “We are excited to grow our relationships with our retail and manufacturing partners as we look to deepen and expand the Prince, Ektelon and Viking brands through delivering quality products, accessories and service.”

TIA, Rocchi, Crandall To Be at GSS Symposium

The Tennis Industry Association will have a presence at the 2012 GSS Symposium, offering information about the state of the tennis industry and an overview of where the industry is headed. The TIA also will provide attendees with information about TIA benefits and services that can help their businesses.

The sixth annual GSS Symposium, aimed at those who work in the racquet service side of the business, will be held Sept. 22-26 at Saddlebrook Resort near Tampa. In addition to presentations over the course of the five days, GSS founder and owner Tim Strawn says he will set aside time Saturday, Sept. 22, late afternoon/early evening, for a roundtable discussion with attendees and manufacturers about how to increase business overall in the stringing segment of the industry.

Also set to deliver presentations at this year’s GSS Symposium is Ron Rocchi of Wilson and Steve Crandall of Ashaway Line & Twine. Rocchi, a principal designer at Wilson, will offer an insider’s look into the racquet manufacturing process. Crandall will offer a presentation on one of the most popular yet misunderstood strings in tennis: polyester.

“Steve has a unique approach when it comes to explaining strings and application in layman’s terms, which fits well with the overall concept of the symposium,” Strawn says. “Polyester strings present some big challenges for technicians with regard to selection, hybrid configurations and installation, and Crandall will be addressing all of these issues.”

For more information and to register, visit gssalliance.com, or email Strawn at crazydiamond23@cox.net.

Peoplewatch

Ashaway Renames Zyex MonoGut to ‘MonoGut ZX’

Ashaway Racket Strings has renamed the recently introduced Zyex MonoGut tennis string as MonoGut ZX. The early version of the string has gained popularity for its dynamic stiffness and gut-like playability, says the company. In addition to its resilience, the newly dubbed 1.27 mm MonoGut ZX has improved abrasion resistance and a surface design that minimizes string movement for better ball control, according to Ashaway.

“Like natural gut, MonoGut ZX string provides exceptional energy return,” said Steve Crandall, vice president of Ashaway Racket Strings, “This means more power. Also like gut, MonoGut ZX remains soft at higher tensions, reducing impact shock. This results in more comfortable performance — what we call ‘soft power.’ MonoGut ZX contains no polyester, and its 100% Zyex monofilament construction maximizes abrasion resistance and enhances string life.”

A natural gut-like tan in appearance, MonoGut ZX is available in 40-foot sets and in both 360- and 720-foot reels. Recommended stringing tension is up to 60 lbs. Visit ashawayusa.com.

Dunlop Updates Classic Max 200G with Biomimetics

Dunlop has updated its classic Max 200G racquet, taking advantage of its current Biomimetic technologies.

The original Max 200G, named one of Tennis magazine’s “Top Ten Racquets of All Time,” shook up the tennis world in the early ‘80s — and it didn’t hurt that it was the frame of choice for John McEnroe and Steffi Graf. The original frame, the first injection-molded racquet ever, had an 85-square-inch head and was among first racquets with a wider beam (22mm).

Today’s version combines some of the classic feel of the original with the advantages of Biomimetic technologies like Aeroskin and HM6 carbon, says Dunlop. The Aeroskin coating helps improve aerodynamics, increasing swing speeds up to 25 percent, according to the company, and giving players more power on groundstrokes and serves. The racquet throat is of HM6 carbon, which helps with feel and reduces vibration by up to 10 percent, says Dunlop.

The handle has the distinctive tan leather grip, and just above is a nod to the original 200G — two chevrons in green and gold. The updated racquet also features McEnroe’s autograph. McEnroe is helping to launch the new Biomimetic Max 200G, using the frame in exhibitions and Masters Tour events.

The Max 200G is 98 square inches, with a beam of 21 mm, length of 27 inches, unstrung weight of 11.02 ounces, 16 x 19 string pattern. Suggested retail is $210. Visit dunlopsports.com.

Outdoor Industry Group Releases New Report

The Outdoor Recreation Economy report says more than 140 million Americans engage in outdoor activities each year, delivering $646 billion to the economy and supporting 6.1 million domestic jobs. The report was released in June by the Outdoor Industry Association.

“During a time when some American industries are struggling, we are seeing solid growth,” said Will Manzer, CEO of Eastern Mountain Sports and chair of the OIA board of directors. “Since 2005, the outdoor recreation economy has grown approximately 5 percent annually.”

In a statement, the OIA said the new study reinforces what the outdoor industry has known for a long time: Outdoor recreation is a larger and more critical sector of the American economy than most people realize. For a full copy of the report, visit outdoorindustry.org/recreationeconomy.

Short Sets

USTA Serves Awards $410,000 in Scholarships

USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the USTA, will grant 59 high school students a variety of college scholarships, totaling $410,000. Each year, USTA Serves awards scholarships to deserving students who have participated in USTA and other organized youth tennis programs, have demonstrated high academic achievement, and require financial assistance for college matriculation.

16 Named to USTA Collegiate Team

Sixteen of the nation’s top men’s and women’s collegiate tennis players have been named to the 2012 USTA Collegiate Team, administered by the USTA and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The Collegiate Team is an elite training program designed to provide college players with exposure to the USTA Pro Circuit in a team-oriented environment.

Men’s Team

Women’s Team

S.C. Pro Teaches on Dual-Surface Court

Teaching pro and former WTA Tour player Renata Marcinkowska has invented and has been teaching on a Hybrid Tennis Court in Myrtle Beach, SC. The court is half clay, half hard, and Marcinkowska says the Hybrid helps develop complete players faster.

“Hybrid can make an immediate impact on U.S. players,” she says. “I’m a concerned coach who would like to see our players better than athletes from other countries.”

Playing on a Hybrid not only helps with developing great hands, better concentration, better points building, better footwork, and mental toughness, but also develops complete athletes, who are not just “surface specialists,” Marcinkowska adds. “Just by hopping the net, players see the difference between strategy on both surfaces and learn to make intelligent choices naturally. As one of my students said, ‘Training on a Hybrid is the best-kept secret.’”

Marcinkowska says Carolina Asphalt Maintenance did most of the work for the Myrtle Beach court, which is the first permanent Hybrid installation, with clay-court advice from David Schniebbe. The dual-surface court also can be lined for 10 and Under Tennis.

For more information, visit hybridtennis.com, email info@hybridtennis.com or call 803-524-3308.

Racquet Art Introduces Water-Based Stencil Ink

Racquet Art’s newest product is an environmentally friendly, water-based stencil ink, available in black, red and white. The ink is sold in 1- and 8-ounce containers with a specially designed applicator.

“We want to do our part to help the environment as well as the users of our products. We have been working for the past few years to come up with a formula that we can put our name on,” says Michael Waroff of Racquet Art LLC. Unlike solvent-based inks, the water-based ink can be shipped throughout the world without any of the additional costs.

Visit racquetart.com or email mwaroff@racquetart.com.

HJTEP Celebrates 40 Years

The Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program (HJTEP) celebrated its 40th anniversary in May with an all-star lineup at an event held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. The daylong event featured a celebrity pro-am with stars that included tennis players Mary Joe Fernandez, Zina Garrison, Gigi Fernandez, Chanda Rubin, James Blake, Thomas Blake and Patrick McEnroe, along with George Martin of the New York Giants and former NBA stars Allan Houston and John Starks of the New York Knicks. Katrina Adams is the executive director of HJTEP.

PEP Funding Passes Senate Appropriations Committee

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee took a stand for physical education in schools and approved $78.693 million for the Carol M. White Physical Education (PEP) Program in the U.S. Department of Education’s fiscal year 2013 budget on June 14.

The PEP Bill, founded by SGMA, funds a competitive grant program to give school districts and community-based organizations, including tennis organizations, resources to provide students with quality, innovative physical education, including tennis. The bill now awaits full consideration by the U.S. Senate.

“We have been working closely with many leaders in the Senate. By supporting PEP funding, the Senate sends a strong message about the value of PEP as an important solution in the fight against obesity,” said SGMA President Tom Cove. PEP is the only Federal funding dedicated to physical education. To date, nearly $800 million in PEP grants have been distributed across the country by the U.S. Department of Education since 2001.

New court manual

RSI Editorial Director Peter Francesconi (left) presents the latest edition of “Tennis Courts: A Construction and Maintenance Manual” to David Meharg, owner of Putnam Tennis Courts of Harwinton, Conn. Francesconi edited and updated the new manual with a team of tennis court construction experts from the American Sports Builders Association and U.S. Tennis Association. Meharg’s company recently renovated the four clay courts at the Country Club of Waterbury (Conn.) and has been assisting CCW head pro Michael Stedronsky (right) with court maintenance. The new court construction manual is available at sportsbuilders.org.

44 Organizations Awarded USTA Serves Grants

USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the USTA, has awarded more than $400,000 in grants to 44 community tennis and education organizations during its 2012 spring funding cycle. The bi-annual grant process was developed to provide disadvantaged, at-risk children with the opportunity to learn to play tennis and improve their academic skills, and to help combat childhood obesity by promoting healthy lifestyles. To date, USTA Serves has disbursed $11 million to a variety of programs that support its mission.

“USTA Serves is proud to continue to provide financial resources to organizations impacting the future of thousands of children throughout the nation, helping them to develop life skills through tennis and education,” says Deborah Slaner Larkin, Executive Director, USTA Serves. 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.

Register Your Free Play Day Event

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and to help combat this growing epidemic, and to get kids active and involved in tennis, the USTA is hosting USTA Free Tennis Play Days nationwide in celebration of Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play. The USTA Free Tennis Play Days, which take place Sept. 1 through Oct. 6, are a unique and fun way for tennis facilities, parks and municipalities to introduce tennis to a new generation of kids and their parents.

The Play Days are open to the public and emphasis is placed on family participation, effort and sportsmanship. Participants take part in tennis skills and game challenges that can be done individually or in teams, giving them a chance to experience success and get active.

The first 2,000 registered events will receive special giveaways for their attendees. Organizers will receive branded materials and national exposure for hosting an event. The promotion will drive consumers to youthtennis.com, where they can find a local event through a searchable database, providing additional exposure. To host a USTA Free Tennis Play Day, register on youthtennis.com.

Cardio Tennis on Agenda at ACSM

Members of the Cardio Tennis National Speaker’s Team traveled to the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in San Francisco in June to deliver Cardio Tennis workouts. The ACSM annual meeting is one of the most comprehensive sports medicine and exercise science conferences in the world. Two Cardio Tennis classes were offered to attendees.

 

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