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NYC Council Approves $500 Million Plan for NTC

The New York City Council on July 24 voted overwhelmingly in favor of the USTA’s plan to improve the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (NTC) in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The $500 million plan will ensure the NTC remains a top public recreational facility and world-class spectator venue and also continues to be an economic catalyst for Queens and the City of New York.

By a 47-1 margin, the City Council approved the legislation, which will enable the USTA to replace and renovate aging, out-of-date infrastructure and facilities that have reached the end of their useful lives. The City Council vote was the culmination of a public review process that also included the local community boards, Queens Borough President, City Planning, and the State Legislature.

“We are very pleased that the City Council passed the legislation,” said David A. Haggerty, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President of the USTA. “The updates and improvements to the NTC will enhance the usage of the tennis center for local residents, visitors and professional and recreational tennis players while also preserving the US Open Tennis Championships as a world renowned event.”

In exchange for the 0.68 acres of parkland it will add as part of its improvement plan for the NTC, the USTA will return to the city a portion — 1.56 acres — of its currently leased NTC land. The USTA will also launch an increased community outreach program and has made a long-term commitment to fund capital improvements in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and to help establish the FMCP Alliance, which will be dedicated to improving all aspects of the park.

USTA, PTR, USPTA Collaborate on Youth Coaching Curriculum

The USTA, PTR, and USTA are working together to develop an educational curriculum, consisting of a series of courses and workshops, that focuses on the development of young players. The collaborative curriculum will serve as part of the pathway to PTR and USPTA certification.

A statement by the USTA says the three associations will use their partnership to “raise the level of coaching in the U.S. and enhance the teaching process and long-term development of children in the sport.” The program, which is set to launch in January, will consist of two stages of course work and will include interactive and engaging online courses and tests. In addition, the program includes a 10 and Under Tennis workshop that will provide proper fundamentals and skill development progression for teaching professionals.

“This important partnership and commitment among our organizations will positively impact how we develop and grow the sport among our nation’s youth,” said Kurt Kamperman, USTA chief executive of Community Tennis.

“This cooperation should result in more tennis teaching professionals becoming educated and certified to coach 10 and Under Tennis so we can continue to grow the game,” said PTR CEO Dan Santorum.

"Continuing education will only strengthen the industry, especially at the grassroots level,” said Tom Daglis, USPTA national president.

ITF to Permit Use of ‘Smart’ Equipment

The International Tennis Federation has amended the Rules of Tennis to permit data collection by “player analysis technology” during play. The new rule was approved at an ITF meeting in Paris on July 12 and will be included in the 2014 edition of the Rules of Tennis as Rule No. 31. Player analysis technology includes any equipment that collects, stores, transmits, analyses or communicates information on player performance, and may be a stand-alone device or incorporated within existing equipment.

However, during a match, the data collected by the technology constitutes “coaching” under the Rules of Tennis, therefore the use of such technology during play is restricted in accordance with the existing Coaching rule. In other words, while the data can be “collected” during a match, a player can’t “use” the information during that same match. The ITF will approve all player analysis technology that may be used during play.

“When the Rules of Tennis relating to equipment were written, no one foresaw the advent of Player Analysis Technology,” says ITF Executive Director of Science and Technical Stuart Miller. “This new rule is necessary to ensure that all types of Player Analysis Technology are covered.”

Chase, City Parks, USTA Refurbish Hurricane-Ravaged Courts

In mid-July, representatives from Chase, City Parks Foundation, and the USTA cut the ribbon on the refurbished Wolfe’s Pond Park Tennis Courts in the New York City borough of Staten Island and opened them back up to the public. Chase dedicated funds to ensure that the courts were refurbished and opened after they were severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The Wolfe’s Pond Park courts have hosted “CityParks Tennis presented by Chase” for over a decade, teaching hundreds of children to play the sport each summer for free.

More than 20 aspiring young tennis players, ages 8 to 15, who have participated in free intermediate tennis lessons in Wolfe’s Pond Park in previous years, enjoyed the newly opened courts with a free clinic led by three-time Grand Slam singles champion Virginia Wade, who is a City Parks Foundation board member and a longtime youth tennis advocate. The players were also greeted by Patrick McEnroe, the general manager of USTA Player Development.

The project received technical and financial support from the USTA’s Disaster Relief Fund and Facility Assistance Program, and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. "We are committed to the people and parks of Staten Island and are so pleased to be hosting our first ever reopening of tennis courts here in this borough," said Alison Tocci, President of City Parks Foundation. "Over the years, City Parks Foundation and Chase have introduced over half a million youths to this ‘sport for life’ and produced hundreds of college tennis scholarship recipients, including several who have competed in the US Open.”

PTR Hosts Inaugural Southwest Tournament & Conference in Arizona

PTR will host its inaugural Southwest Tournament & Conference Sept. 26-29 at the Mesa Country Club in Mesa, Ariz. The event is open to members and non-members.

Participants are encouraged to play two divisions in the prize money (up to $5,000) tournament, and take advantage of the educational opportunities provided. Speakers include Paul Allam, Josh Bates, Eric Burke, Ken DeHart, Jeff Greenwald, Jason Jamison and Steve Keller.

Registration is $110 for both the tournament and conference, but interested parties may register for only the tournament or conference. A PTR 11 to 17 Certification Workshop will be held immediately following the event for those who wish to get certified to teach this age group.

For information about the Southwest Tournament & Conference, accommodations, or to register, visit Events at or call 843-785-7244.

USPTA to Change Membership Categories in January

Starting in January, the USPTA will change its membership categories. In an email to members, the USPTA said that in the new year, “We will no longer have the Professional 3, Professional 2 or Professional 1 categories, as the Executive Committee and Board of Directors voted in April to streamline the categories of membership to make them easier to understand and promote to the public.”

USPTA membership categories will change to: Recreational Coach,
 Professional, and 
Elite Professional. USPTA pros can complete the exams and tests to upgrade their ratings before the changes take effect. Contact the USPTA membership department for more information.

Patterson Named RSI Special Projects Manager

Bob Patterson of Birmingham, Ala., a USRSA Master Racquet Technician, is the new Special Projects Manager for Racquet Sports Industry and the USRSA. Patterson, the founder of RacquetMaxx, which provides racquet service to tennis players at all levels of the game, has been a racquet technician since 1975 and was RSI’s “Stringer of the Year” in 2005.

A tester for USRSA Certified Stringer and MRT programs since 2000, Patterson also has been a contributing editor for RSI, writing and editing articles on racquet service. In his new role, he’ll not only continue to provide editorial content for the magazine and website, but he will also manage many of the projects involving strings, racquets, and court and service equipment. He can be reached at or 760-536-1177 x25.

Wheelchair Competition Returns to US Open

The US Open Wheelchair Competition is returning to the National Tennis Center this year, to be held Sept. 5-8 during the US Open. The wheelchair event, in its sixth year, is returning after a year’s hiatus due to the 2012 Paralympic Games, which were scheduled during last year’s US Open.

This year’s US Open Wheelchair Competition field will feature 20 of the top wheelchair tennis athletes from around the world. They’ll compete in six events: men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles, women’s doubles, quad singles and quad doubles. Wheelchair tennis follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis, except that the ball can bounce twice.

This is the first time each of the divisions will feature the world’s Top 8-ranked men’s and women’s wheelchair players (according to the July 22 ITF rankings). The Top 4 quad players in the world also will be competing. The total purse for the event will be $150,000, a $30,000 increase in prize money from 2011.

The U.S. will be represented in quad singles and doubles by three-time Paralympic Quad doubles gold medalists David Wagner (Chula Vista, Calif.) and Nick Taylor (Wichita, Kan.). Wagner is the defending US Open quad singles champion. In doubles, Wagner and Taylor have won four US Open doubles titles.

The USTA became the national governing body for the Paralympic sport of wheelchair tennis in June 2002 — the first Olympic NGB to earn this recognition.

New 10U Sport Court Spurs Youth Tennis Participation

Three years ago, in the midst of an economic recession, Marc Stulz had a wild idea: Why not build a year-round, private tennis club in Overland Park, Kan., that in part would be dedicated to developing all levels of junior tennis players?

Today, Stulz’s vision is a reality with the Elite Squad Tennis Club, which now is a thriving tennis business in the southern suburb of Kansas City. Stulz is president of Elite Squad, which hosts a nationally recognized junior program headed by Mike Wolf, Tony Tsymbalov, Diego Mayorga and Nick Hegarty. Over the years, this program has produced numerous local, sectional and national champions.

Courtney Vialle, the club’s youth tennis director, credits Stulz and the club’s owners for equipping the club with the tools needed to make tennis approachable and exciting for all players. “Kids want a place to call their own, and our new 36-foot Sport Court tennis court gives them that space,” Vialle says. “For kids under 8, a full-size tennis court can seem way too big. That’s why we committed to building a stand-alone 36-foot court for our 4- to 8-year-olds to practice and play on.”

The court was installed by local Sport Court dealer and builder Marc Loe. Working with the club’s existing layout, Loe was able to convert an underutilized patio area into the centerpiece of Elite’s youth programming.

“Our court is so inviting for the kids and for their parents,” Vialle adds. “It’s an amazing feeling to see the excitement that our kids have toward ‘their’ court. And, without a doubt, it’s been a catalyst for the surge in youth tennis at the club.” The club’s long-term vision includes adding more 10U courts to ensure young players can properly learn and enjoy tennis.

Spinfire Adds Two New Ball Machines

Spinfire has two new ball machines, the Spinfire Pro 1 and Pro 2, both of which offer features that include a 200-ball capacity, feeding intervals from 2 to 15 seconds, and ball speeds from 20 to 80 mph. The Pro 1 is $1,599, while the Pro 2 sells for $1,899 (the Pro 1 can be upgraded to the Pro 2 for $499).

Other features the two machines share include: a two-year warranty, propulsion via spinning wheels, electronic elevation control with ability to feed lobs, and battery operation (22 amp/hour, with indicator light). The 26 x 20 x 20-inch unit weighs 48 pounds and comes with a smart charger. Options include a light cover (additional $40), carry cover ($80) and fast charger ($120).

The Spinfire Pro 2 also includes a nine-button, multi-functional wireless remote control, oscillation-random vertical oscillation, and two-line-drill capability (which can be set for wide, medium or narrow) for alternating shots to each side of the court.

RSI received the Spinfire information too late to include in our 2013 Ball Machine Guide in the July issue, however we have included it in our comprehensive chart on, in the USRSA members-only section.

For more information on Spinfire ball machines, visit or or call 888-976-6532.


Pacific, Official Stringer at Stuttgart, Offers Stats

Pacific was again the official tournament partner and stringing service for the ATP Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, Germany, held in July and won by Fabio Fognini. The company reports that it strung a total of 390 frames at the event, on its three machines: Two Pacific DX8’s and one DX6.

Three stringers worked full-time at the clay-court event, plus a full-time desk person. The Pacific booth also doubled as a retail selling booth, giving fans a close-up view of the racquet technicians at work and the players’ interaction with them.

Some of Pacific’s stats from the event include:

Hingis, Drysdale Among 5 Inducted Into Hall of Fame

Former world No. 1 Martina Hingis, Australian tennis great Thelma Coyne Long, and three tennis industry leaders — Cliff Drysdale, Charlie Pasarell, and Ion Tiriac — were inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in a ceremony in Newport, R.I., on July 13. Enshrinement in the Hall of Fame is the highest honor in tennis.

In addition to the new honorees, other Hall of Famers taking part in the ceremony included International Tennis Hall of Fame President Stan Smith and Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, who accepted the honors on behalf of the 94-year-old Long, who was unable to attend. Also present were Hall of Famers Russ Adams, Butch Buchholz, Rosie Casals, Bud Collins, Owen Davidson, Donald Dell, Peachy Kellmeyer, Dick Savitt, Vic Seixas, and Pam Shriver.

President Obama Greets WTT Champs

At the start of the 2013 Mylan World TeamTennis season, the 2012 champion team Washington Kastles visited with President Obama in the Oval Office — the first time in the 38-year history of Mylan WTT that the championship team has been invited to the White House. The visit must have spurred them on, as the Kastles went on to win its third straight WTT championship, defeating the Springfield Lasers on July 28. Representing the 2012 championship squad were Venus Williams, Bobby Reynolds, Leander Paes, Anastasia Rodionova, coach Murphy Jensen and Kastles owner Mark Ein. Mylan WTT co-founder Billie Jean King and CEO/Commissioner Ilana Kloss also accompanied the Kastles.

PTR Elevates Master Professionals

PTR’s Board of Directors voted to elevate current PTR Master Professionals to International Master Professionals. Going forward, PTR has eliminated the “Master Professional” designation and will use “International Master Professional” as one of the organization’s highest designations. The PTR has 42 International Master Professionals, including Dennis Van der Meer, Dr. Jack Groppel, Dr. Jim Loehr and Billie Jean King.

The PTR Selection Committee continually reviews applications for this designation. The application deadline for the awards presentation in February is Sept. 1. Candidates must meet certain criteria, including service to PTR or international federation, coaching experience, professional development, publications and presentation, tournament administration and community service to facilitate the growth of the game.

Congratulations To the Following For Achieving MRT and CS Status


Jose Luis Pulido Lomeli, Palm Desert, CA

New CS

Philip Tobar, Berwyn, PA

Member classifieds

FOR SALE: Pro-Owned Gamma ELS 8800 for Sale. Please contact Brandon Luu if interested 778-892-0672

Short Sets

Ashaway Offers Two Zyex Monogut Strings

Ashaway Racket Strings is now offering two versions of its popular Zyex-based MonoGut tennis strings, 16-gauge (127 mm) MonoGut ZX and 17-gauge (1.22 mm) MonoGut ZX Pro. Ashaway says MonoGut ZX Pro is a thinner, lighter string, designed to provide better elongation, snap-back, and playability for players who do not require the added durability of a 16-gauge string.

Both strings offer 100 percent Zyex monofilament construction, which provides dynamic stiffness and gut-like playability, says the company. The total lack of polyester increases elongation and decreases stiffness for comfortable soft power.

"Like natural gut, MonoGut ZX series strings provide exceptional energy return, better than any other synthetic material," says Steve Crandall, vice president of Ashaway. “This means more power. Also like gut, MonoGut ZX series strings remain soft at higher tensions, reducing impact shock. This results in more comfortable performance — what we call ‘soft power.’” For more information, visit or call 800-556-7260.

By the numbers

Tennis Racquet Performance

Specialty Stores, January-June, 2013 vs. 2012

Units 2013 304,526
2012 336,728
% change vs. ’12 -10%
Dollars 2013 $44,175,000
2012 $47,055,000
% change vs. ’12 -6%
Price 2013 $145.06
2012 $139.74
% change vs. ’12 4%

Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, Jan.-June 2013

Best Sellers

  1. Babolat Aero Pro Drive 2013 (MP)
  2. Babolat Pure Drive GT 2012 (MP)
  3. Wilson BLX Juice (MP)
  4. Wilson Steam 99S (MP)
  5. Wilson Steam 105S (OS)

“Hot New Racquets”

(introduced in the past 12 months)

  1. Babolat Aero Pro Drive 2013 (MP)
  2. Wilson Steam 99S (MP)
  3. Wilson Steam 105S (OS)
  4. Head Graphene Speed Pro (MP)
  5. Babolat Aero Pro Team 2013 (MP)

Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, Jan.-June 2013

  1. Prince T22
  2. Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour
  3. Adidas AdiPower Barricade 7
  4. Nike Air Max Cage 2013
  5. Asics Gel Resolution 5

Top-Selling Tennis Strings at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date units, Jan.-June 2013

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

Top Wheelchair Player and Coach Offer Video Tutorial

Sydney 2000 Paralympic Gold Medalist and six-time World Champion David Hall has joined with his longtime coach, Rich Berman, to produce the video tutorial “Let’s Roll — Learning Wheelchair Tennis With the Pros.” The tutorial covers all areas of the wheelchair game, including basic strokes and mobility, advanced strokes and mobility, mental toughness, wheelchair selection and injury prevention.

“Rich is the master at teaching the wheelchair game. It’s a real honor for me to be involved in this project with him,” says Hall of his coach. “I remember when I first started playing wheelchair tennis. To have had something like this [tutorial] available would have been so helpful. But also, with tennis you never stop learning, and ‘Let’s Roll’ covers all areas.” Hall was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2010.

Berman, who runs Rich’s Tennis School near Boulder, Colo., has almost 20 years of experience teaching tennis to wheelchair players. “Over the years we both have had many players, parents and organizations ask us for guidance about coaching wheelchair tennis,” Berman says. “Our hope is that all current and future wheelchair players and coaches worldwide will use ‘Let’s Roll’ as the foundation for learning and teaching this wonderful sport. That is the reason we have two primary sections — one for the novice and one for the advanced player.”

Over his 15-year career, Hall has won more than 80 tournaments worldwide, including nine Australian Opens, eight US Opens, seven British Opens and six Paralympic medals. Berman has been by his side throughout the years, providing knowledge and guidance.

For more information, visit or contact 303-494-5196 or

ITA Announces 2013 NCAA Div. I National Awards

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced the national award winners for NCAA Division I tennis.

2013 Men’s Award Winners

Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year — Sam Winterbotham, Tennessee

Assistant Coach of the Year — Chris Woodruff, Tennessee

Farnsworth National Senior Player of the Year — Jarmere Jenkins, Virginia

Rookie of the Year — Romain Bogaerts, Mississippi State

Player to Watch — Mikelis Libietis, Tennessee

ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship — Henrique Cunha, Duke

ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award — Sebastian Fanselow, Pepperdine

2013 Women’s Award Winners

Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year — Jenny Mainz, Alabama

Assistant Coach of the Year — Alex Santos, Miami (FL)

Senior Player of the Year — Lauren Embree, Florida

Rookie of the Year — Julia Elbaba, Virginia

Player to Watch — Ema Burgic, Baylor

ITA/Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship — Hannah Dake, US Air Force Academy

ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship — Mary Weatherholt, Nebraska

Marketplace Fairness Act Passes Senate

This spring, the U.S. Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, with over 70 percent of senators supporting the legislation. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The main statute of the Marketplace Fairness Act gives states the authorization to require remote sellers (i.e., online retailers) to collect and pay state sales and use taxes on products sold.



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