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Industry News

RSI to Change Name to ‘Tennis Industry’

In mid-September, Racquet Sports Industry, the world’s largest tennis trade magazine, announced it will change its name back to Tennis Industry (TI). The name change, along with a redesign, will debut with the January issue.

In 2014, Tennis Industry will begin its 42nd year covering the sport. TI is the official publication of the Tennis Industry Association, U.S. Racquet Stringers Association and American Sports Builders Association. Tennis Industry will continue to publish 10 issues a year, including print and digital editions (tennisindustrymag.com).

“We’re pleased to take this opportunity to rebrand and rename this industry’s premier trade magazine,” says David Bone, co-publisher of RSI/TI and the executive director of the USRSA. “While we still plan on offering coverage of all racquet sports, our name change back to Tennis Industry reflects the growing importance of tennis to this country’s recreational choices.”

“With so many important initiatives now helping to increase tennis participation, including 10 and Under Tennis, PlayTennis.com and new programs to help drive more business to tennis retailers, we feel this is the right time to re-emphasize our key connection to the sport,” adds co-publisher Jeff Williams.

RSI magazine was created in 2003 when Tennis Industry merged with Racquet Tech magazine, which was the magazine of membership for the USRSA. The name “Racquet Sports Industry” will continue to be used within the pages of Tennis Industry for an occasional section that will cover racquet sports besides tennis, including racquetball, squash, badminton, and paddle tennis.

Wilson Shows ‘Spin Effect’ at Media Event

Wilson created a unique media event during the US Open to get the word out about the expansion of its Spin Effect technology. As explained by John Lyons, Wilson’s global product director of tennis, “spin” may be a term suggestive of hype, but it is also at the heart of an entirely new approach to Wilson’s racquet and string lines.

Recognizing that the way the game was being played has now evolved dramatically, Wilson’s research and development team focused on what players sought most — the spin that created the paradox of more power and more control. The company went to work to create a new synthesis between racquets and strings that would maximize that energy offshoot.

The most obvious change is a more open string pattern, which Wilson says beat out the other 30-plus tested frames in optimizing rpm delivery. For the average player, the string patterns in the Blade 98S, as well as the Steam 99S and 105S, help players generate as much as 400 rpms on a ball beyond other racquets tested, the company says. That allows players to hit with more safety over the net while moving the ball faster to the opposing court and adding extra kick once the ball lands. In addition to rolling out the new technology throughout the racquet line, strings such as the new co-poly Ripspin are being created specifically to work with the new frames and seeded into the line.

Although Wilson General Manager John Muir was eloquent in introducing the technology, his points were made more forcefully by Simona Halep, 21 (at right, with Muir). At the media event, the Blade-swinging, No. 21-seed Romanian, with four 2013 titles to her credit, hit against a ball machine, and balls laced with power traveled in what seemed a straight line until suddenly diving in front of the baseline. Following her exhibition, she and the media gathered in front of a computer screen to see the results from a Doppler radar Trakman device measuring trajectory and rotation — and to see what a difference some Wilson Spin can make. Visit Wilson.com for more information.  —  Kent Oswald

USTA Furthers Commitment to Growing Youth Tennis

During Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, just before the US Open began, the USTA announced a further commitment to its national efforts to grow youth participation and encourage children to lead a healthy lifestyle. The new commitment, which was pledged to the Partnership for a Healthier America in support of Let’s Move!, was applauded by First Lady Michelle Obama, who attended Kids’ Day. The USTA has committed to the following over a three-year period:

To date, the USTA has constructed or refurbished more than 10,000 youth-sized and regular-sized tennis courts in communities across the country. Thousands of facilities now provide youth tennis programming. In 2012, tennis participation of 6- to 12-year-olds grew by 13%, the largest percentage increase of any age group in the country.

USPTA’s ‘ADDvantage’ Member Publication To Be Incorporated Into ‘Tennis Industry’

Racquet Sports Industry, which will change its name to Tennis Industry (TI) in 2014, has reached an agreement with the U.S. Professional Tennis Association in which each issue of TI will incorporate the USPTA’s official member magazine, ADDvantage. The agreement will start with the January 2014 issue.

Both the print and digital editions of TI will contain ADDvantage. All U.S. subscribers as well as USPTA members in the U.S. can receive the printed edition. International USPTA members will receive the digital edition.

Tennis Industry will continue to publish 10 issues a year. The USPTA ADDvantage section will appear in each issue and average 16 pages, except for a 36-page section in the August issue that will preview the annual USPTA World Conference.

“Tennis teaching pros are one of the most important segments of this industry, and we’re excited to reach an agreement that will ensure every USPTA member receives a free subscription to TI,” says David Bone, TI’s co-publisher.

“We’re pleased to be working with TI, which is a key resource in the tennis industry,” says USPTA CEO John Embree. “This agreement will expand the reach of our member publication and expose the USPTA, its programs and its initiatives to a wider industry audience, while helping to raise the profile of tennis teaching pros.”

“Both Tennis Industry and USPTA will benefit,” adds TI co-publisher Jeff Williams. “The USPTA will have complete control of their ADDvantage pages and will reach their members and beyond in a cost-effective way, while TI will broaden its overall audience and further reach into the key teaching pro segment of the industry.

California Products Buys Rebound Ace

California Products Corp., which includes DecoTurf and Plexipave divisions, has acquired Rebound Ace Sports, manufacturer of a cushioned, rubber sports surface that has been used on tennis courts, including at the Australian Open.

Rebound Ace was founded in 1979 and headquartered in Brisbane, Australia. It was installed at the Australian Open for more than 20 years, and used at the Commonwealth Games in India, Youth Olympics in Singapore, and various Davis Cup and Fed Cup ties.

Several employees from Rebound Ace, including Chairman Chris Canty, will join the California Sports Surfaces team in the areas of sales, customer service, distribution, and technical support.

New USPTA National Board Elected

USPTA CEO John Embree announced the official results of the elections for the USPTA Board of Directors for the 2013-2015 term:

Aussie Fitness Groups Endorse Cardio Tennis

The Cardio Tennis program in Australia was recently endorsed by Fitness Australia and Physical Activity Australia, and is now the first traditional sport in the country to be endorsed by the fitness industry. Engaging over 30,000 registered fitness trainers in Australia will allow Tennis Australia to grow Cardio Tennis to meet customer demand for its fun and fitness-focused tennis product.

“Australia has always been a tennis-loving nation but not everyone has the time to play regularly in an organized way,” said Cardio Tennis leader Karen Clydesdale. “Cardio Tennis is a great way to get involved in the sport in an all-new format and as a result is bringing people into and back into tennis.

“Fitness industry endorsement now means that fitness trainers can work together with Tennis Australia coaches to continue to grow the game of tennis through Cardio and other innovative ways. This is also a big opportunity for fitness trainers to provide value and work together with coaches who already deliver Cardio Tennis, which can lead to an increase in revenue and business growth.”

“The Cardio Tennis program is of a very high quality and represents the high standards we expect from National Sporting Organizations,” said an independent assessor. “Cardio Tennis is a great example for other sports to follow.” For more information about Cardio Tennis in the U.S., visit CardioTennis.com.

Ashaway Introduces New UltraKill 16 Racquetball String

Ashaway Racket Strings has introduced a new and improved version of its popular UltraKill 16 string for racquetball. Effecting what Ashaway describes as a “revolution in racquetball string technology,” the new UltraKill 16 utilizes a combination of Zyex filaments and a new Power Filament Technology design.

The result, says the company, is a string that maximizes durability, provides superior power, and maintains tension better than similar strings. It’s designed for top-level players who need durability but do not want to sacrifice power or ball control. Visit ashawayusa.com or email sales@ashawayusa.com.

IART Symposium Attracts Top Stringers to Tampa

The 2013 IART training symposium, held at the end of September in Tampa, Fla., attracted nearly 100 attendees, says IART Executive Director Tim Strawn.

The symposium offered three full days of training seminars and a fourth day that included an intensive four-hour racquet customization class plus USRSA certification with USRSA Executive Director Dave Bone. A highlight of the event included a drawing for a Wilson Baiardo stringing machine, which had been offered as an incentive for those who registered early. The winner was Jim Gober of Birmingham, Ala. (right)

Sponsors included Adidas, Alpha Racquet Sports, Ashaway, Babolat, Bolt, Dunlop, Gamma, Genesis, Gosen, Kimony, Mantis, Prince, Solinco, String Advantage, the Tennis Industry Association, Victory Racquet Sports, Wilson, and Yonex. For more information, contact Strawn at crazydiamond23@cox.net or visit gssalliance.com.

Six Family Tennis Teams Earn Titles at the 2013 NFTC

The best family tennis teams in the U.S. were determined recently after three days of fun and intense competition among 23 teams from 14 states in six divisions of play at the 2013 National Family Tennis Championships at Sportime Randall’s Island in New York City. The champions are:

The 23 teams earned a trip to the national championship after winning an NFTC tournament at their local tennis facility and then winning or earning a wild-card slot into the finals at one of three super regional playoffs. The National Family Tennis Championships is produced by Oasis Sports Ventures/Family Tennis, LLC, with support from Tennis.com, Tennis15-30, the USTA, Dunlop Sports, Grand Slam Tennis Tours and Orbitz Partner Network. For information about the 2014 event, visit FamilyTennis.com.

Couple Acquires TGA Franchise in New Jersey

Stuart and Winnie Woody have acquired a TGA Premier Youth Tennis (TGA) franchise in Mercer County, N.J., which will offer after-school tennis programs to local students and families. TGA is in partnership with the USTA to provide tennis enrichment programs that include educational components. This is the fourth TGA franchise in the state.

“Having a husband-wife team like Stuart and Winnie, who have strong business backgrounds, local community ties and a passion for youth and sports, is great for building successful TGA programs,” said Steve Tanner, TGA chief operating officer. “We are seeing some exciting growth with our tennis franchises recently, mainly due to our sustainable business model that creates business ownership opportunities in the tennis industry impacting youth and the future growth of the sport.”

TGA Premier Youth Tennis of Mercer County is expected to involve thousands of youth annually by introducing the sport of tennis to students at elementary and middle schools, child care centers and community based organizations through a multi-level instruction program. TGA will then transition the students to local tennis facilities and USTA youth programs. Visit playtga.com.

Ephesus LED Lights Available for Tennis Facilities

Revolutionary advances in LED lighting are now making it affordable for tennis facilities, says manufacturer Ephesus Lighting. LED lighting can reduce energy costs by nearly 85 percent and make changing light bulbs a thing of the past, the company says.

The Ephesus Arena Series combines custom light control, the power of LED and glare reduction to create an exciting yet comfortable experience for tennis players and spectators. The Ephesus Arena Series allows facilities to control up to 300 light fixtures wirelessly through the Ephesus Black Box Controller

Since LED lighting burns at a much lower temperature, it also performs better in a variety of weather conditions. Plus, less heat from the lights reduces the strain on air-conditioning systems. In addition, says the company, after 25,000 hours, Ephesus LED lights degrade by 5 percent, vs. 70 percent degradation with metal halide systems.

The Ephesus LED Arena Series comes with a 10-year warranty. For more information, visit ephesuslighting.com.

Premier Court Chosen for Lake Forest Renovation

The hard courts at the prestigious Lake Forest Academy, located on Chicago’s North Shore, recently received a facelift with Premier Court. Lake Forest chose Sport Court Midwest to revamp the courts, which were over 25 years old.

“The winters in the Midwest can wreak havoc on hard courts,” says Pat Walker, president of Sport Court Midwest. “In fact, Lake Forest Academy was experiencing costly crack repair and recoloring every two to three years. With Premier Court, we were able to save the school 20 percent of the cost of a total demolition and rebuild by using the Premier Court and Power Game to overlay the existing asphalt courts. They’ll realize further savings by not having to patch cracks for the next two decades.”

USTA Board of Directors Application

Interested in serving on the USTA Board of Directors or USTA Nominating Committee? Applications for the 2015-2016 term will be available Nov. 15 on USTA.com. The application deadline is Feb. 1, 2014.

For a complete listing of details, position descriptions, and the application form, visit usta.com/About-USTA/Organization/Committees/ApplicationInstructions/

Hall of Fame CEO Stenning To Step Down After 35 Years

At the recent annual meeting of the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, CEO Mark L. Stenning announced that he will step down from his position in September 2014.

Stenning began his career at the Hall of Fame in 1980, and over the years he has held the positions of Tournament Director, Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer. He was named Chief Executive Officer in 2000.

Stenning will remain in his current position until September 2014. He will then transition to consulting work for the organization, as well as remaining on the Board of Directors for the foreseeable future.

“Mark is a highly respected and special leader. He has brought the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum to levels that our visionary founders never could have imagined,” says International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum Chairman Christopher E. Clouser. “Under Mark’s leadership, the organization has developed programs to ensure the future success in work toward our mission to preserve the history of tennis.”

Classifieds

FOR SALE: Gamma 6004 stringing machine w/wise prof. electronic tension head. Foot pedal & cover included. Lots of string, grommets, tools, etc. Chuck – 985-855-2998 — chuckwright43@att.net

FOR SALE: Prince/Ektelon Neos 1000 stringing machine. One owner/home stringer. $750.00 plus shipping. Excellent condition. Call Bill at (262) 632-9911 for more information.

Peoplewatch

Fila Previews Heritage Collection at The Legends Ball During the Open

During the US Open, the International Tennis Hall of Fame hosted The Legends Ball, an annual fundraiser attended by more than 450 tennis industry leaders, including 19 Hall of Famers, which netted more than $330,000 to support the non-profit. Nineteen Hall of Famers attended.

A highlight was a sneak peek at the new Fila Spring 2014 Heritage line designed by Ginny Hilfiger. The collection was inspired by Fila’s archives, including apparel worn by many Hall of Famers. Models showcased the line during the cocktail hour and Fila brand ambassadors served as stage hosts. Visit fila.com.

Tennis-Theme Bracelet Benefits Hall of Fame

Rhode Island-based jewelry company Alex and Ani recently released a tennis-themed bangle bracelet, available in gold or silver, as part of the company’s Charity By Design program, in which 20% of sales will benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum.

The Game, Set, Match bangle was available for the first time at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in July, where it was spotted on the wrists of tennis greats Martina Hingis and Mary Pierce during the week. Alex and Ani jewelry line are all eco-friendly and made in America. Visit alexandani.com.

Mendes New USRSA Certification Tester

Kirby Mendes of Unionville, ON CANADA, is the newest USRSA Certification Tester. Mendes, who grew up in Ontario, Canada, has been playing tennis since the age of 4 and learned to string racquets at age 13.

“I loved tennis and loved to string, so I picked up a job stringing racquets for eight hours a day at a local tennis shop,” he says.

Mendes, who is a USRSA Master Racquet Technician, played Division 1 tennis on a tennis scholarship. Currently, he customizes racquets and coaches tennis full-time.

2013 US Open Sets New Milestones

Overall attendance at the 2013 US Open surpassed 700,000 for the sixth time, with the final tally of 713,026 ranking fourth-highest US Open attendance in history. The all-time combined session attendance of 62,794 was set on Sunday, Sept. 1.

In a rematch of last year’s women’s singles final, television viewership of Serena Williams defeating Victoria Azarenka on CBS Sports was the highest since 2002, with 19.3 million viewers watching all or part of the match. The four-set men’s singles final, where Rafael Nadal captured his second US Open title by defeating Novak Djokovic, was seen by 11.7 million viewers on CBS Sports.

US Open digital properties had record-setting growth. Throughout the 15 days of the tournament, there were a record 53.7 million web visits, an 18% increase over 2012. That resulted in more than 419 million page views, another record, surpassing 2012 by 29%.

The majority of digital growth was seen across mobile. which rose 64%. The US Open iPhone app recorded over 811,000 downloads, a 110% increase, and surpassed 109 million page views, up 66%. The official Android app received over 41.1 million page views, a 330% increase over 2012.

The US Open saw 54% growth in tablet traffic with more than 41.7 million page views. In its second year, the official US Open iPad app saw unprecedented growth with over 16.9 million page views, a 118% increase.

USPTA Announces New Member Structure

At its annual World Conference in September, the USPTA announced upcoming changes to its membership structure beginning Jan 1.

The USPTA’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors voted in April to streamline the categories of membership to make them easier to understand, promote to the public and more clearly define for owners and operators of clubs and facilities.

“The streamlining of our membership structure is intended to provide a clearer pathway for aspiring professionals who want to make teaching tennis their career choice,” said CEO John Embree. “Having a logical configuration to the various categories of membership will be more enticing, especially to a younger audience that we are trying to attract.”

After Jan. 1, all USPTA Professionals categorized as Professional 2 and Professional 3 will be reclassified as “Professional,” and all members categorized as Professional 1 will be referred to as “Elite Professional.” The Recreational Coach and Master Professional categories will remain the same. USTA members have the option to upgrade before the changes take effect Jan. 1.

In 2014, in order to become a Professional, applicants will need to complete the following: written exam (online); Feeding competency – existing exam; Private (one-on-one, 25 minutes); Group (three or four students, 25 minutes); Grip exam – existing online exam; Stroke production – existing exam; Youth Coaching Education Program.

To become an Elite Professional starting in 2014, members will need to complete the following: Elite level in private lesson, group lesson and stroke production; Continuing education – earn 16 specialty courses credits and 24 APC credits; online written exam; Feeding competency; Stroke analysis (online). Visit uspta.com.

2013 USPTA Players of the Year

Men’s Open Singles: James Daly

Men’s 35 and Over Doubles: Cary Lothringer, The Woodlands, Texas, and Jonas Lundblad, Austin, Texas

Men’s 35 and Over Singles: Juan Garcia, San Diego, Calif.

Men’s 45 and Over Singles: Jeff Cohen, Boca Raton, Fla.

Men’s 45 and Over Doubles: Jeff Cohen, Boca Raton, Fla. And Louis Ballantyne, Jacksonville, Fla.

Men’s 55 and Over Singles: Sal Castillo, San Antonio, Texas

Men’s 55 and Over Doubles: John Holladay, La Jolla, Calif., and Angel Lopez, San Diego, Calif.

Women’s Open Singles: Ristine Olson, Austin, Texas

Women’s Open Doubles: Julie Farina, West Palm Beach, Fla., and Marina McCollom, West Des Moines, Iowa

Women’s 35 and Over Doubles: Athena Cajas, Burleson, Texas, and Michelle King, Austin, Texas

Women’s 45 and Over Singles: Julie Farina, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Women’s 45 and Over Doubles: Kathy Barnes, San Jose, Calif., and Kathy Vick, Lubbock, Texas

Women’s 55 and Over Singles: Kathy Barnes, San Jose, Calif.

USPTA Recognizes Leaders in Tennis at Annual World Conference

The USPTA recognized tennis coaches, players and volunteers in September during its annual national awards presentation at the World Conference, held at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando.

Short Sets

Davenport, Pierce, Bollettieri, Grimes Among Nominees for Hall of Fame Enshrinement

Former world No. 1 and six-time Grand Slam tournament champion Lindsay Davenport; Mary Pierce, the winner of two Grand Slam tournament titles in singles; and 1994 Wimbledon Champion Conchita Martinez of Spain have all been nominated for enshrinement into the International Tennis Hall of Fame for 2014. Also nominated in the Recent Player Category is Chantal Vandierendonck, who became the first ITF World Champion for wheelchair tennis in 1991.

Additionally, three individuals have been nominated in the Contributor Category: legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, who has guided 10 players to world No. 1 status; Jane Brown Grimes, who has held executive leadership roles with the WTA, USTA, and the International Tennis Hall of Fame; and British tennis broadcaster and author John Barrett. Voting for the 2014 ballot, by an international media panel, will take place over the next several months.

NY Governor Signs Off On Expanding NTC

During the US Open, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation to expand and improve the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The legislation will enable infrastructure repairs, allow more fans to attend major tournaments and create over 1,500 construction and full-time jobs.

“As the site of the US Open, the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center brings thousands of fans to New York every year, boosting our tourism industry and spurring local economic activity,” Cuomo said. “New York is proud to showcase the biggest players in tennis at this annual event, and I am committed to making this facility the best it can be to attract and host more events like the US Open.”

The legislation will provide for a nearly 1-acre boundary expansion of the complex and a return to the New York Department of Parks of 1.56 acres of land for public recreational use. The planned improvements include a new row of tennis courts, the addition of a fenced and landscaped border area to improve spectator safety and circulation, and new positioning for the grandstand stadium. Additionally, out-of date infrastructure will be repaired and upgraded.

New MRTs

Andy Gerst — San Luis Obispo, CA

Jessica Grant — San Luis Obispo, CA

Taylor Gregoire — Longview, TX

Mara Haga — San Luis Obispo, CA

Austin Hall — San Luis Obispo, CA

Jill Johnstone — San Luis Obispo, CA

Westin Kania — San Luis Obispo, CA

Nathan LaFontaine — San Luis Obispo, CA

Luis Mendoza — San Luis Obispo, CA

Rick Panaro — San Luis Obispo, CA

Jonathan Pendergast — Seattle, WA

Monica Pflugh — San Luis Obispo, CA

Richard Rogers — San Luis Obispo, CA

New CSs

Amir Rangnekar — Sunnyvale, CA

Dale Rogers — Newport News, VA

David Wolden — ST. Louis Park, MN

 

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