Industry Veteran John Embree Named As New CEO/Executive Director for USPTA
Industry veteran John Embree is the new CEO/Executive Director of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association. Embree will take the administrative reigns from Tim Heckler, who will retire at the end of the year, after 30 years in the position (see page 30).
After interviewing several candidates in conjunction with the search firm GSI Executive Search Inc., the USPTA Search Committee offered the position to Embree. The contract was ratified by the USPTA Executive Committee in late August.
“I began my tennis odyssey during college as a teaching professional in Virginia. After more than three decades of working in the sport that I began playing at 6 years old, my career has come full circle, back to my foundation as a grassroots advocate. I am thrilled to have been chosen to help lead the USPTA in the years to come,” said Embree.
“We are pleased to welcome John into the USPTA family. His vast tennis industry expertise, contacts, and company management skills will serve the USPTA well,” said USPTA President Tom Daglis.
Embree has held a variety of tennis industry roles, including serving as president of Prince Sports, The Americas; president of Balle de Match; and vice president/general manager, Racquet Sports Division for Wilson Sporting Goods. Most recently, he launched a tennis consulting practice. His client list included the USTA, Intercollegiate Tennis Association, Peter Burwash International, Off the Grid Technologies, and Donnay USA.
Embree has served on many national USTA Committees, including the USTA Nominating Committee in 2005-2006 and currently as the vice chair of USTA Professional Circuits Committee. In addition, he recently served as presidential appointee of the Board of Directors of USTA Middle States section, is a past member of TIA Board of Directors and Executive Committee, member of the Board of Directors of American College of Sports Medicine Foundation, and past president of the Chicago Tennis Patrons Foundation.
He says one of his proudest achievements in tennis was the creation of the USTA Adult League Tennis program in 1980, when he served as the first USTA Adult League Tennis Administrator for two years. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA, and was inducted into the W&L Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.
USTA Announces Slate for 2013-2014 Board of Directors
The USTA nominating committee announced the following slate of officers and board members for the 2013-2014 term.
Officers — President: David A. Haggerty, USTA Middle States; First Vice President: Katrina M. Adams, USTA Eastern; Vice President: Thomas S. Ho, USTA Texas; Vice President: Donald L. Tisdel, USTA Pacific Northwest; Secretary-Treasurer: Patrick J. Galbraith, USTA Pacific Northwest.
Directors at Large: Alexander Boyd Andrews IV, USTA Southern; Joan E. Baker, USTA Northern; Raymond Benton, USTA Mid Atlantic; Mark D. Ein, USTA Mid-Atlantic; Andrew A. Valdez, USTA Intermountain; Jeff Williams, USTA Eastern; Todd Martin, Elite Athlete, USTA Florida; Chanda R. Rubin, Elite Athlete, USTA Southern; Brian Vahaly, Elite Athlete, USTA Mid-Atlantic
Task Force to Look Into Single Teaching Pro Group
TIA President Jon Muir said the TIA will work with the USPTA and PTR to form a task force that will look into the possibility of creating a single, unified tennis teaching professional organization.
Muir made the announcement to more than 300 tennis providers, teaching pros, coaches, facility managers, retailers, media and industry supporters at the TIA Tennis Forum in New York just before the US Open, which was part of The Tennis Show (see page 20).
“The goal with a single organization would be to strengthen the position, economic growth and industry impact overall for coaches and tennis pros,” Muir said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to initiate something that can be very positive for the industry and strengthen the delivery system.”
Muir acknowledged that talk of a unified tennis teaching pro group tends to be “politically charged,” but he said, “There’s no secret agenda here. It’s about having a stronger teaching pro segment. It’s a critical delivery system for our sport and consumers.”
Initial talks took place during the US Open. By the end of 2012, Muir said, he hopes a task force can “deliver a clear recommendation for next steps. We really want to lay out a simple process of engagement with both organizations. It’s purely exploratory to say, let’s sit and talk.”
Hingis, Stich Among Nominees for Hall of Fame
Martina Hingis, a former world No. 1 and the winner of five Grand Slam tournament singles titles; the 1991 Wimbledon champion and former world No. 2 Michael Stich; and the great Czech doubles player Helena Sukova, winner of 14 Grand Slam titles in doubles and mixed doubles, are among the Recent Player nominees for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
In the Master Player Category, Thelma Coyne Long of Australia, who captured 19 Grand Slam titles between the 1930s and 1950s, has been nominated. Additionally, three individuals have been nominated in the Contributor Category: ESPN’s longtime tennis broadcaster Cliff Drysdale, tennis promoter and industry leader Charlie Pasarell, and Ion Tiriac, the Romanian tennis player turned influential player manager and tournament promoter.
Voting for the 2013 ballot will take place over the next several months. The Induction Ceremony will be July 13, 2013, at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.
ASBA Technical Meeting Nov. 30-Dec.4
The American Sports Builders Association Technical Meeting and Trade Show will be in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 30-Dec. 4, at the Doubletree Hotel at Universal Orlando.
The agenda includes presentations that relate to tennis, track, field and indoor construction. Tennis topics include fencing and custom fence design, asphalt installation practices, acrylic cushion systems, dealing with club committees, and a tennis roundtable. There also will be a preparation course for the Certified Tennis Court Builder exam. The keynote speaker will be Steve Gilliland.
For more information, visit sportsbuilders.org.
Novacrylic Ultracushion Selected for Fed Cup Final
The Novacrylic Ultracushion system manufactured by Nova Sports USA of Milford, Mass., has been selected for November’s 2012 Fed Cup final between the Czech Republic and Serbia. The Fed Cup defending champions Czech Republic will host the event at Prague’s 17,000-seat O2 Arena.
The championship match will be played on an ITF classified category 4 cushion system consisting of five blended EPDM/acrylic rubber coats followed by two coats of the Combination Surface color coating system. Prague’s O2 Arena is the third Davis/Fed Cup venue in 2012 to be played on a Novacrylic brand surfacing system. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Dynamite String ‘Family’ Allows Customized Play
Ashaway Racket Strings says the range of characteristics available in its Dynamite family of Zyex-based tennis strings allows players to customize the response of their racquets to maximize performance. The multifilament Zyex cores balance toughness, touch and tension holding, says the company, while the various core packages and gauges allow players to fine-tune power and durability.
At 1.15 mm (18-gauge), Dynamite 18 Soft is one of the thinnest strings on the market, and is designed to provide a softer feel yet still generate power and an optimum ability to spin the ball. Utilizing a special multi-stranded monofilament construction that increases power and toughness, the 16-gauge (1.30 mm) Dynamite 16 Tough is designed to provide power and ball control for players who hit the ball hard and tend to break strings. The middle member of the family, 1.25 mm (17-gauge) Dynamite 17 Natural, has been engineered to optimize power and resilience, while providing a softer, more natural gut-like string bed with a crisper feel and the power to hit deep fast shots.
High School Tennis Still a Top 10 Sport, Says NFHS
Tennis has long been popular among high school students, and this year looks to be no exception. According to a survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), which tracks sports participation at the high school level, tennis remains in the top 10 for both boys and girls.
Each year for more than two decades, the survey (which reflects the previous school year; in this case, the 2011-2012 academic period) has shown more kids overall playing sports than the previous year. This year is no different, with another all-time high of 7,692,520.
Tennis is the eighth most popular boys’ sport in terms of player numbers, with 159,800 players. Among girls, it is the seventh most popular sport, with 180,870 players.
Overall, tennis showed a decline over some previous years (in 2009-2010, for example, there were 162,755 boys playing, and 182,395 girls). Team tennis, however, grew; in 2011-2012, there were 36,160 boys, and 37,223 girls, as compared to the 2009-2010 totals of 28,904 boys and 30,818 girls.
The full survey, including interactive participation results, is available free of charge at nfhs.org (click on “Participation Data”).
USPTA to Offer PlayDev Workshop
The USPTA will hold its Player Development Conference in Naples, Fla., Dec. 7-9, with the theme, “The Spanish Way to Develop Players.” Featured speakers at the event will include Emilio Sanches Vicario, Luis Mediero and Derek Touchette.
Visit uspta.com to view the complete course schedule. For more details and to regiser, visit sanchez-casal.com, call 239-641-0010 or email florida@ sanchez-casal.com.
Gamma Introduces New RZR Bubba Frame
Gamma Sports has introduced the new RZR Bubba super-oversize racquet, with a 137-square-inch head and featuring “RZR Advanced Aerodynamics.”
The company says the new frame has the largest sweetspot of any legal racquet in the game, providing outstanding power and fewer mis-hits. Gamma says RZR Advanced Aerodynamics is the set of unique design characteristics that allow the Bubba racquet to channel and displace air, allowing more acceleration and speed in the natural swing, minimizing drag, making the racquet easy to swing on any shot from any angle.
The RZR Bubba weighs 9.6 ounces unstrung and is 29 inches long. Suggested retail price is $219.99. Visit GammaSports.com.
US Open Reaches Millions of Fans Worldwide
Despite rain moving both the men’s and women’s US Open finals back a day, television viewership of the three-set women’s singles final featuring Serena Williams defeating Victoria Azarenka on CBS Sports was the highest since 2002, with 17.7 million viewers watching all or part of the match, says the USTA.
The men’s five-set match in which Andy Murray captured his first Grand Slam victory by defeating Novak Djokovic was seen by 16.2 million viewers on CBS Sports, the most viewers to watch a men’s singles final since 2007. The tournament was broadcast in 180 countries.
Also, total attendance at the Open was 710,803, the fifth time it’s been above 700,000 for the two weeks of the tournament. The official website, USOpen.org, generated more than 325 million page views and was accessed by more than 11.7 million visitors worldwide.
USTA Honors 7 Facilities With ‘Outstanding’ Awards
The USTA announced seven winners of its 31st annual USTA Facility Awards Program, which recognizes excellence in the construction and/or renovation of tennis facilities. Each facility was honored at the USTA Semi-Annual Meeting in New York City on Sept. 2. The 2012 winners are:
- Public Courts: Large Tennis Centers (11 or more courts): The Courts at Gabe Nesbitt Community Park – McKinney, Texas
- Educational Institution: Wake Forest Tennis Complex – Winston-Salem, N.C.
- Private Facilities: Charlotte Country Club – Charlotte, N.C.; Ellis Tennis Center – El Paso, Texas; Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort – Tucson, Ariz.; Sea Colony Resort – Bethany Beach, Del.; The Haig Point Club – Daufuskie Island, S.C.
To be considered for an award, facilities must be under the jurisdiction of a parks and recreation department, an educational institution, a non-profit corporation, or private or commercially-owned and operated facilities that offer both USTA and public programming designed to grow tennis.
Facilities were judged on the following criteria: overall layout and adaptation to site; excellence of court surface and lights; ease of maintenance; accommodations for players, spectators and press/officials; aesthetics; graphics (including the use of signs and landscaping); amenities such as casual seating for spectators, food services and social areas; and the facilities’ participation in USTA programs.
USPTA Provides Logo Program for Members
The USPTA has a logo program for all professional-level members in good standing, which will provide access to the USPTA certified professional logo. The goal is to help members promote themselves as a USPTA professional, promote their events and build the USPTA brand.
Once the logo agreement is signed, members have access to the logo in various formats and sizes to use in many ways. Members are encouraged to use the logos on email signatures, promotional fliers for their club/facility, to promote their tennis programs, on social media platforms, such as their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages, etc.
To access the logo program for USPTA members, go to documents.uspta.com or the member login page, sign in and click on the My Membership tab and then on membership documents. The link to the certified member logos is at the bottom of the page. If a member is current on dues and is also a Master Professional or Tester, he/she will gain access to those logos as well.
PTR, Norwegian Federation Sign Partnership
During Wimbledon, representatives of PTR and the Norwegian Tennis Federation (NTF) signed a two-year partnership agreement in which PTR will provide educational services and all full-time tennis coaches in Norway will become members of PTR. “At the Norwegian Tennis Federation, we see our partnership with PTR as another indication of our resolve to improving tennis in Norway,” said Erik Solberg, NTF Vice President. A goal of PTR President Jorge Andrew is to expand PTR’s role internationally. In photo are, from left, Solberg; Oivind Sorvald, NTF Director of Sports; Andrew; and Dan Santorum, PTR CEO.
- Rob Scott is the new executive director of the USTA Intermountain Section.
- At the USTA Semi-Annual Meeting held during the US Open, Barbara Lawrence of Toledo, Ohio, was honored with the USTA Service Bowl Award, and Andre Agassi of Las Vegas received the USTA President’s Award.
- Head has reorganized responsibilities within the company and will merge the Customer Service and Communications areas. Allison Barnett will become Customer Service and Communications Manager and will oversee the daily operations of both areas.
- Ray Moore has been named CEO of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and the BNP Paribas Open. Moore has been involved with the event for 25 years as a former owner and managing partner. He’ll report to owner Larry Ellison.
- Ralph Shaw is the new Dunlop territory manager for the Southwest. He’ll handle racquet sports accounts throughout Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas and Southern Nevada. Also, Kit Rohm and Vicky Franz are new Dunlop territory managers for Southern California.
- Former USTA President Mervin A. Heller Jr. died Aug. 22, following a prolonged illness. He was 65.
- U.S. Navy Capt. Steve Kappes (ret.) of San Diego, a member of the USTA’s Community Tennis Association Committee, received the Navy Region Southwest Fleet, Fighter, Family Champion Award in a ceremony aboard the USS Midway on Oct. 13. The award recognizes individuals and organizations that are providing outstanding support to the fleet, sailors and their families. Kappes has been instrumental in the USTA’s tennis-related military outreach efforts.
- Andy Murray became the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win a Grand Slam singles title, beating fellow Head player Novak Djokovic in the 4-hour, 54-minute US Open final in five sets. Murray plays with the YouTek IG Radical Pro, and Djokovic uses the YouTek IG Speed MP.
- Serena Williams beat fellow Wilson player and world no. 1 Victoria Azarenka in the US Open women’s singles final in three sets. Williams, who has 15 Grand Slam titles, uses the Blade Team racquet, and Azarenka the Juice 100.
- American Samantha Crawford of Atlanta captured the 2012 US Open Girls’ Junior Championship with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over No. 12 seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia. Crawford, who currently trains at the USTA National Training Center in Boca Raton, Fla., is the second consecutive American to win the US Open Junior Girls’ title, and the third in the past five years.
- Head Penn Racquet Sports signed a long-term sponsorship contract with Nick Montalbano, an up and coming star on the men’s professional racquetball circuit. A New York native currently attending college at Colorado State University–Pueblo, Montalbano finished the 2011-2012 season on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) ranked No. 33.
- Leo Alonso of Buenos Aires, Argentina, has been appointed to the PTR’s Board of Directors. Alonso, a PTR Master Professional, has been a member of the organization for more than 30 years, and has served as the Official Representative for PTR in Argentina since 1995.
- General Ann E. Dunwoody, alumna of the State University of New York at Cortland Class of 1975, received the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s highest honor — the 2012 ITA Achievement Award. The award honors past participants in the world of varsity tennis who have achieved excellence in their chosen careers.
- Kaitlin Flaherty is the new assistant director of the PTM program at Methodist University, working for director Tom Daglis. Flaherty is completing her MBA degree at Methodist, was a former student association president for PTM and played No. 1 on the women’s team.
- South African native Steve Host, PTR, and a USTA High Performance Coach, is the new director of competitive tennis at the Midland Community Tennis Center in Midland, Mich.
- Former University of Tennessee Head Women’s Basketball Coach Pat Summitt received the Billie Jean King Legacy Award, which honors individuals whose outstanding courage and contributions have helped to change the global cultural landscape. At its 2012 USTA ICON Awards, the association posthumously honored 2012 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee and wheelchair tennis pioneer Randy Snow and former USTA CEO and pioneer of the Diversity and Inclusion Department at the USTA, the late Lee Hamilton.
- Bob and Mike Bryan and Samantha Stosur have received the first-ever US Open Sportsmanship Awards, presented to the male and female professional tennis players who best demonstrate excellence in sportsmanship throughout the Emirates Airline US Open Series and the US Open.
- Dorothy Watman Levine Kohl of Palm Beach, Fla., (formerly of Chicago and Milwaukee), one of the top U.S. women players in the 1950s, will be inducted into the 2012 USTA Midwest Section Hall of Fame on Dec. 1 in Indianapolis.
- Dennis Rossi, owner of American Tennis Courts in Baltimore and a former ASBA board member, passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 30.
- Dennis Novikov, of San Jose, Calif., swept the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships singles and doubles titles, and Victoria Duval, of Bradenton, Fla., won the singles title at the USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships in August, earning wild card entries into the main draws of the 2012 US Open.
- Oren Motevassel of Sunnyvale, Calif., won the men’s open title at the USPTA International Championships in September in Monterey, Calif. He also won the Men’s 40 singles title.
- Players for the sixth annual BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden, on March 4, will be World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, Wimbledon champion and Olympic gold medalist Serena Williams, Olympic bronze medalist Juan Martin del Potro, and 11-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.
Antigua Tennis Announces 2013 Apparel Line
The Antigua Group Inc., known in the golf apparel, sports licensing and casual wear business for over 30 years, has launched its 2013 line of men’s and women’s tennis apparel, in three collections: Performance, Essentials and Outerwear. Contemporary styling and high-tech performance feature prominently, with Antigua’s Desert Dry and Desert Dry Xtra Lite (D2XL) technical fabrics, the company says.
“Choosing stylish colors and designing contemporary pieces that match well is important with any women’s tennis line,” says Ron McPherson, president and CEO of Antigua Group. “But the apparel must also stand up to competitive use. Our new women’s line not only does that, but our proprietary fabrics can help your tennis game by keeping players dry and cool.”
The Performance collection for women consists of seven items, ranging from polos to skorts to jackets. Most come in at least five color options. The Essentials collection is made up of eight different tops, some available in as many as 22 colors. The Outerwear collection has four tops, including hoodies, half-zip fleeces and long-sleeve full-zip jackets. Some are available in as many as 26 colors.
Antigua, which was the official apparel of the 2012 Family Circle Cup, also offers a custom embroidered logo program. Visit antigua.com for more information.
Hall of Fame Names New Board and Officers
Corporate leaders, a tennis industry veteran, and a former WTA star are among the eight individuals who have been elected to the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. The new board members were announced at the Hall of Fame’s Annual Meeting in New York City in early September.
The newly elected board members are Jim Citrin, senior partner at the global executive search firm of Spencer Stuart; Marianne Gaige, president & CEO of Cathedral Corporation; Jim Goldman, president & CEO of Godiva Chocolatier; David A. Haggerty, current first vice president of the USTA, incoming president of the USTA, and former chairman of Head USA; Bob Jeffrey, chairman and CEO of JWT Worldwide; Stephen Lewinstein, owner of the real estate investment and development firm of Stephen R. Lewinstein Associates and part owner of the Boston Celtics; Betsy Nagelsen-McCormack, a former top-25 player on the WTA Tour, and wife of the late Mark McCormack; and Mark J. Panarese, managing director of Rockefeller Financial.
“Our new board members bring a variety of expertise and talents to the organization and their active participation will be very helpful in our efforts to preserve the history of tennis and to provide a premier landmark for tennis fans, while honoring the game’s greatest champions and most influential contributors to the game of tennis,” said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum.
In addition to the new members of the Board of Directors, the following officers were elected for two-year terms: Christopher E. Clouser as chairman, Mark L. Stenning as chief executive officer, Stan Smith as president, Donald L. Dell as vice chairman, Barbara A. Georgescu as vice chairman, Nancy von Auersperg as treasurer, and Peggy H. Woolard as secretary.
Racquet Art to Distribute Ardor Sports Strings in the U.S.
Racquet Art, which manufactures custom racquet stencils as well as premium stencil inks in both solvent- and water-based formulas, will be the exclusive distributor of Ardor Sports (ardorsports.com) products in the U.S. Ardor Sports makes tennis strings.
“We are excited to now be in a position to provide the tennis industry in the U.S. with an exceptional product at a fair price,” says Michael Waroff, owner of Racquet Art. Ardor Sports offers strings ranging from synthetic gut in four colors to its “Twisted 5” co-poly. Racquet Art will market the strings to retailers, pro-shops, coaches and stringers.
In related news, Klip Europe will be the exclusive European distributor of Racquet Art products, which allow players to customize their racquets with creative stencils, ranging from their initials to various designs, and include 10 ink colors.
For more information, visit racquetart.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collegiate All-Star Team Members Picked
The 29th ITA Collegiate All-Star Team includes the nation’s top-ranked men’s and women’s players from the year-end Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings, as well as winners of the 2011 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships and 2012 NCAA Division I Championships.
- NCAA Div. I Singles — Men: Steve Johnson - University of Southern California, Mitchell Frank - University of Virginia, Eric Quigley - University of Kentucky; Women: Nicole Gibbs - Stanford University, Marta Lesniak - Southern Methodist University, Beatrice Capra - Duke University
- NCAA Div. I Doubles — Men: Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola - Ohio State, Steve Johnson/Roberto Quiroz - University of Southern California, Raony Carvalho/Gonzalo Escobar - Texas Tech University; Women: Nicole Gibbs/Mallory Burdette - Stanford University, Kaitlyn Christian/Sabrina Santamaria - University of Southern California, Sofie Oyen/Allie Will - University of Florida
- NCAA Div. II — Men: Georgi Rumenov - Armstrong Atlantic State University; Women: Annie Hwang - Brigham Young University-Hawaii
- NCAA Div. III — Men: Dillon Pottish - Emory University; Women: Gabrielle Clark - Emory University
- NAIA — Men: Bruno Tiberti - Oklahoma Christian University; Women: Ana Veselinovic- University of Auburn-Montgomery
- NJCAA — Men: Memford Owusu - Georgia Perimeter College; Women: Kerrie Cartwright -Tyler Junior College
- USTA Player Development has released 10 and Under Tennis Competency videos to provide coaches, players and parents with a source on fundamental guidelines and skill proficiencies that young players should learn prior to progressing from one play format to the next. The videos can be found in the “about USTA,” “player development” area of USTA.com.
- Spain knocked the U.S. out of the 2012 Davis Cup with a 3-1 semifinal win in mid-September on a red clay court in Gijon, Spain. Spain will face the Czech Republic in November in the Davis Cup final. The U.S. will host Brazil in the first round of the 2013 Davis Cup, to be held Feb. 1-3 at a location to be determined.
- Prince has renewed a partnership with record-breaking American doubles team and 2012 US Open Men’s Doubles Champions Mike and Bob Bryan. The Bryan Brothers will continue to use Prince’s EXO3 Rebel 95 racquet and Beast XP string. The Bryans have won 12 Grand Slam titles, more than any other team in the Open era. Prince also renewed its deal with top American player John Isner, who uses the EXO3 Warrior 100 frame.
- The Courts at Gabe Nesbitt Community Park in McKinney, Texas, received the USTA Featured Facility Award, which was presented at the USTA Semi-Annual Meeting held during the US Open.
- The U.S. Quad Doubles wheelchair tennis team of David Wagner and Nick Taylor were recently selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee as the 2011-2012 Paralympic Team of the Year. Wagner and Taylor are the first Quad wheelchair tennis players to be recognized by the USOC for this honor. The duo won the doubles gold medal at the recent Paralympics in London, and in singles, Wagner won the silver and Taylor the bronze.
- The USPTA raised $7,582 from its silent auction held at the Tennis Buying Show during the USPTA’s World Conference on Tennis in September in Monterey, Calif. The auction benefits the USPTA foundation, which supports various programs in the community that help to grow tennis and bring the game to those who might not otherwise have the chance to play.
- Venus Williams led the Washington Kastles to their second consecutive World TeamTennis title in September with a 20-19 victory over the Sacramento Capitals at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C. Williams was also named the Finals MVP, winning her sets in women’s doubles, mixed doubles and the decisive final set of women’s singles.
- IMG has partnered with Sergio Tacchini to bring back the tennis and sportswear brand in major markets around the world.
- TennisHub (TennisHub.com), designed to help tennis players find more playing opportunities by arranging play and booking court time, is now live. “Players can create games, publish their desire to play and share games with both their social network and tennis community, and it’s fully integrated with Facebook,” says founder Eddie Ross.
- The credential lanyards used during the 2012 US Open were made from recycled tennis ball cans and lids. Insignia Promotions President J.T. Marburger collected more than 600 pounds of tennis ball containers and lids from the USTA from the 2011 US Open and worked with a recycling center to turn the material into recycled polyester that was then weaved into the lanyards. Visit insigniapromo.com.
- For the second consecutive year, the U.S. has won seven cups at the ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships. The 2012 event, the 32nd edition of the championships, was held in Umag, Croatia, and consisted of 186 teams from 35 countries competing in 10 age categories from 60 and over to 80 and over.
- The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national organization for builders, designers and suppliers of materials for running tracks, tennis courts, sports fields and indoor and outdoor synthetic sports surfaces, has announced the publication of the seventh edition of “Running Tracks: A Construction and Maintenance Manual.” Visit sportsbuilders.org.
Ashaway Calls New Tennis Strings ‘Manmade Natural Gut’
In a recent column on his company’s website, Ashaway Vice President Steve Crandall says newly developed tennis strings made from a polymer material called Polyketone, or PEEK, play more like natural gut than any other synthetic string yet devised.
According to Crandall, the key to the gut-like playability of these strings, which Ashaway markets under the brand names Dynamite and MonoGut ZX, is their “dynamic stiffness.”
Crandall’s tennis stringing tips columns, including “Ashaway’s Zyex-Based Tennis Strings: the New ‘Manmade Natural Gut,’” can be found at ashawayusa.com/TennisTips.php.
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Congratulations To the Following For Achieving MRT Status
Randy Houston, Palm Desert, CA
Christopher Kuehn, Champaign, IL
Dan Swanson, St. Paul, MN
Nathan Frank, Bryn Mawr, PA
Stockton Morris, Bryn Mawr, PA
Daniel Schank, Chesapeake, VA
Ricardo Rodrigues Dipold, BRAZIL
SGMA Launches New Strategic Plan and Rebranding
The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) unveiled its new rebranding effort that will change its name to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). The move will also include a new website, national advocacy campaign, research initiative, supplier directory and thought leadership programs
The decision followed a two-year strategic review and planning process that led the organization to refine its mission statement, core services and communications platform to focus on promoting sports and fitness participation and industry vitality.
“Traditional concepts of ‘sporting goods’ and ‘manufacturers’ have evolved while our terminology has not,” says Tom Cove, SGMA president and CEO. “Thus, the change from ‘Sporting Goods’ to ‘Sports & Fitness’ is more definitive about our inclusion of brands connected to fitness and active lifestyle products. The change from ‘Manufacturers to ‘Industry’ embraces a broader community including suppliers, brands, major sports and fitness retailers and partners — a much clearer reflection of our current and future membership.
“This is not a change in philosophy for our organization as we already have many members in these categories. It is simply a more accurate and transparent indication of the industry segments that we serve,” Cove adds.
The rebranding process includes a new mission statement developed by the Board of Directors: To Promote Sports and Fitness Participation and Industry Vitality. This translates to focusing the new SFIA on four core product areas: Thought Leadership & Events, Public & Industry Affairs, Member Services and Research Insights.
Several new initiatives are planned including:
- Innovative Thought Leadership programs led by the 2013 SFIA Industry Leaders Summit, scheduled for September 25-26, 2013.
- A national campaign to grow sport and fitness participation: PHIT America
- A new “member friendly’” website: SFIA.org
- A comprehensive SFIA Supplier Directory
- A new “Grassroots Sports Participation in America” research report
- Content enhancements and design updates to our weekly e-newsletter, InBrief
- Major upgrades to the Product Testing member benefit
5 Teams Win Inaugural National Family Tennis Championships Tournament in Florida
The National Family Tennis Championships celebrated its pilot year of play as 18 husband/wife and parent/child teams from seven states competed in the national championship tournament at the Waldorf Astoria in Naples, Fla., in September.
After three days of fun and competitive tennis, teams in five divisions left Naples with the title “2012 National Family Tennis Champion.” These include:
- Father/Son: Brad & Benjamin Goodman (age 15) of Birmingham, Ala., and the Hoover Country Club
- Mother/Son: Kathy & Christian Smith (age 14) of Austin, Texas, and the Circle C Tennis Club
- Mother/Daughter: Marcy & Samantha Hirschberg (age 14) of Alpharetta, Ga., and the South Fulton Tennis Center
- Father/Daughter: Andrew & Evan Lake (age 14) of Davie, Fla., and the Lauderdale Tennis Club
- Husband/Wife: David King and Kimberly Cashman (above) of Clearwater, Fla., and the Harvey L. McMullen Tennis Complex.
“This was a phenomenal event,” said Brad Goodman, who teamed with his son Benjamin to capture the Father/Son title. “It was great to play tennis with my family and meet other families with a similar passion for tennis.”
The 18 teams earned an invitation to the national championships after participating in local competitions. For more information, visit FamilyTennis.com.
ITA Names Leadership & Sportsmanship Winners
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association recognized recipients of the 2012 Arthur Ashe Jr. National Leadership and Sportsmanship Awards at the ITA Awards Luncheon hosted by the USTA before the US Open. The award takes into account a player’s tennis accomplishments, scholastic achievements and extracurricular endeavors. The recipients are:
- NCAA Div. I — Men: Ryan Thacher - Stanford University; Women: Caroline Newman - College of Charleston
- NCAA Div. II — Men: Tyler McCullough - West Liberty University; Women: Kara Murphy - Bentley University
- NCAA Div. III — Men: Will Petrie - Williams College; Women: Cze-Ja Tam - Carnegie Mellon University
- NAIA — Men: David Spennare - Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Women: Jordan Kimura - Concordia University-Irvine
- Junior/Community College — Men: Simon Bardell - Meridian Community College; Women: Gienna Gonnella - Santa Rosa Junior College
Dunlop Announces 2013 Racquet Range
Dunlop has brought out six new racquet models for 2013, including four entirely new frames. The racquets also feature three new Biomimetic technologies.
Each new racquet starts with either an “F,” “M,” or “S,” signifying a players’ swing speed and style. F stands for Fast/Full, M stands for Medium/Moderate, and S stands for Short/Slow. The numbers have been changed from hundreds to a decimal system to signify the new molds.
The new frames are the 3.0 racquets — F3.0 Tour (right), M3.0, S3.0 Lite — which Dunlop says enhances spin and power; the 6.0 frames — M.6.0 and S6.0 — which build on the inaugural 600 Biomimetic racquets played by tour players Dominika Cibulkova and Tommy Robredo; and the S8.0 Lite, designed for players with shorter or slower swings.
The new Biomimetic technologies are Aeroskin, which Dunlop says reduces drag; BioFibres, which are plant stem fibers woven in the throat and handle that the company says are stronger than steel and lighter than carbon and help to minimize shock; and Molybdenite (MoS2), in the new grommet system, which reduces string friction. Visit dunlopsports.com for more information.
Hinding Refurbishes Highland Park in Brooklyn
Just before the start of the US Open, newly refurbished tennis courts were unveiled in Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Highland Park, as part of the Fresh Courts program, which is a partnership between American Express and the USTA to support local tennis in communities across the U.S. Hinding Tennis of West Haven, Conn., renovated the 18 courts, which included eight courts for Youth Tennis. For information, visit HindingTennis.com.
USPTA Recognizes Leaders in Tennis at World Conference
The USPTA honored tennis coaches, players and volunteers during its annual national awards breakfast at the USPTA World Conference on Tennis, held Sept. 16-21 in Monterey, Calif.
- Doris Hart of Coral Gables, Fla., and Pancho Segura of Carlsbad, Calif became part of an elite group as grand inductees into the USPTA’s Hall of Fame. Hart, who won 35 Grand Slam titles during her career, has been a tennis-teaching professional and a USPTA member since she retired from the tour in 1955. Segura, who was a former leading player of the 1940s and 1950s, joined the USPTA in 1946. He was widely credited with helping develop the young Jimmy Connors.
- David Porter of Laie, Hawaii, received the association’s top annual member award, the Alex Gordon Award for the USPTA Professional of the Year.
- Geoff Griffin of San Diego, Calif., is the recipient of the USTA/USPTA Community Service Award.
- Ken Sumrow of Plano, Texas, is the recipient of the USPTA Industry Excellence Award, which is sponsored by the TIA and supported by Tennis Tutor ball machines.
- Catherine Thomas, of Mason, Ohio, received the USPTA Star, recognizing teaching professionals who make an indelible mark on their communities.
- Kyle Kaneshiro of Honolulu, Hawaii, received the Lessons for Life Individual Award.
- Dave Neuhart of Madison, Ga., also received the Lessons for Life Individual Award.
- Jackie Roe of Greenville, Del., received the Tennis Across America Individual Award.
- Angel Lopez of San Diego, Calif., received the USPTA Diversity Award.
- Dee Henry of Norwalk, Calif., received the Manager of the Year Award – Small Facility. Henry is the tennis director at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif.
- Trent Schiek of Tyler, Texas, received the Manager of the Year Award – Large Facility. Schiek is the former general manager of Hollytree Country Club in Tyler, Texas.
Other honorees are:
- Jonas Lundblad, Austin, Texas – Touring Coach of the Year
- Ron Albers, Vincennes, Ind. – College Coach of the Year
- William Wickenheisser, Whippany, N.J. – High School Coach of the Year
- Feisal Hassan, Midlothian, Va. – George Bacso Tester of the Year
The following have been named Player of the Year in their respective divisions:
- James Daly, Tyler, Texas – Men’s Open
- Jonas Lundblad, Austin, Texas – Men’s 35-and-over
- Jeff Cohen, Boca Raton, Fla. – Men’s 45-and-over
- Kimm Ketelsen, Tyler, Texas – Men’s 55-and-over
- Agata Cioroch, Atlanta, Ga. – Women’s Open
- Robin Keener, Melbourne, Fla. – Women’s 35-and-over
- Kathy Vick, Lubbock, Texas – Women’s 45-and-over
USPTA divisions receiving awards are:
- Texas Division – Large Division of the Year
- Southwest Division – Small Division of the Year
- Southern Division – Most Improved Division of the Year
- Southern Division – Newsletter of the Year
Two Earn USPTA Master Professional Honor
Mark Centrella of Wilmington, Del., and Gary Trost of Nichols Hills, Okla., were recognized for achieving USPTA Master Professional status, the highest USPTA professional rating. Only about 1 percent of USPTA’s more than 15,000 members worldwide have achieved the Master Professional designation.
Centrella is the director of racquet sports at Greenville Country Club in Wilmington, Del. He has been a certified USPTA professional for 18 years. Trost is the director of tennis at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club, in Nichols Hills, Okla. He has been a certified USPTA professional for 25 years.
Phillips Receives Top Education Credit Honors
The USPTA honored William Phillips from Lafayette, La., as the top credit earner in USPTA’s Career Development Program. Phillips, a USPTA-certified P-1 and member since 1986, earned 88 continuing education credits, the most in the 2011 program.
Other top education participants for 2011 include: Jeff Rothstein, Feisal Hassan, Ken DeHart, Alan Cutler, Craig Wells, Bill Mecca, Andrew Minnelli, Andrea Barnes, Zwelo Khupe, Kevin Jackson.
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