USTA Picks Facility Winners
Twelve tennis facilities are winners in the 33rd annual USTA Facility Awards Program, which recognizes excellence in construction and/or renovation. The facilities were honored at the USTA’s Semi-Annual Meeting in New York City on Aug. 30.
Of the dozen winners, the “Featured Facility” is the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California (left), a public facility that is the home of the BNP Paribas Open men’s and women’s pro tourney. To be considered for an award, facilities must be under the jurisdiction of a park and rec, an educational institution, or a nonprofit corporation, or a private or commercially owned-and-operated facility that offers both USTA and public programming designed to help grow tennis.
The 2014 winners are:
- Public Courts: Small (2 to 10 courts): Claybell Park, Richland, Wash.; Wexford Plantation, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
- Public Courts: Large (11 or more courts): Athens-Clarke Tennis Center, Athens, Ga.; Montgomery TennisPlex, Boyds, Md.; Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; Samuell Grand Tennis Center, Dallas
- Educational Institution: Culver Academies Indoor Tennis Facility, Culver, Ind.
- Private Facilities: Army Navy Country Club, Arlington, Va. (Green Facility); Broken Sound Club, Boca Raton, Fla.; Indian Wells Tennis Center, Indian Wells, Calif. (Featured Facility); LifeTime Tennis Lakeville, Lakeville, Minn.; The Salvation Army, Greenville, S.C.
ITA Announces New Format
The ITA will inaugurate a new, shorter dual-meet format for Division I college tennis beginning at the start of the 2014-15 season. Highlighting the format changes are switches to no-ad scoring from regular scoring, one set of doubles rather than an 8-game pro set and no warm-up with opponents. The ITA dual-meet format, endorsed by the NCAA Division I Tennis Committee for implementation in the 2015 NCAA Division I Tennis Championships (pending approval at the September meeting of the NCAA Championships/Sports Management Cabinet) will be played as follows:
- No-ad scoring in singles and doubles.
- Three doubles matches played with no-ad scoring, each match one set to 6, with a tie-break at 6-all.
- Followed (after a 10-minute intermission) by six singles matches with no-ad scoring, each match 2 out of 3 sets, with tie-breaks at 6-all.
- No warm-up with opponents (in doubles and in singles).
- Clinch/Clinch: Once the doubles point has been clinched, the remaining doubles match shall be stopped. And in singles, once the team match has been clinched, any remaining singles matches shall be stopped (unless otherwise agreed upon by both coaches prior to the start of the dual-meet match).
IART Symposium Sept. 20-24
The 8th annual IART Symposium for racquet technicians will be Sept. 20-24 at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa. Recognized as the most comprehensive training event of its kind, the IART conference focuses on various seminars for racquet techs working in all settings at every level. Since it started in 2007, the symposium has drawn participants from over 20 countries.
“Our goal is to offer a broad range of seminars that cover every aspect of owning and operating a business within the racquet sports industry,” says IART Executive Director Tim Strawn. “While [servicing racquets is] certainly an important part of what we do, our training is much more comprehensive.”
This year’s symposium will feature several new sessions, including pickleball, platform tennis, and pro shop management. There will also be a special presentation on “Ball Effect” from Lucien Nogues, manager of Babolat’s training department. Another highlight is an expanded six-hour seminar on racquet customization, by Wilson’s Ron Rocchi and MRT John Gugel of Orlando, Fla.
Visit gssalliance.com or call 540-772-4418.
Lawn Tennis Club Opens in Michigan
Earlier this summer, Wessen Lawn Tennis Club (WLTC) in Pontiac, Mich., became the first multi-court natural grass tennis facility to open in the U.S. in more than 100 years. Located 30 minutes north of Detroit, WLTC features 24 outdoor perennial rye grass courts, with plans to build seven hard and three clay courts in the near future.
Local architect Bill Massie purchased the property in 2013 for $300,000, which included the former Pontiac Water Works building (erected in 1919) and 48 acres of land. In total, he spent $1.5 million to build the tennis club. The grass courts are managed by Jeff Monette, long-time member of the Sports Turf Managers Association, who mows them daily at 5/16 of an inch. Monette is the former sports turf manager at Longwood Cricket Club in Boston.
WLTC memberships start at $5,000 and include access to the courts, swimming pool and clubhouse, which features a 7,000-square-foot cedar deck. Currently, WLTC has 105 private members. Massie says one of his goals is for the ATP Tour to bring a professional tournament to the Motor City.
Free Play Events Emphasize Family
With an emphasis on reaching and connecting with families, and in celebration of Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play, the USTA is offering a gift-card incentive for tennis providers who sign up to offer a Free Tennis Play Event for the month of September. Providers should go to YouthTennis.com/Host or call 800-990-8772. The promotion ends Sept. 30.
Providers can choose the event that works best for them, such as hosting a Play Day, Kids’ Tennis Club, Team Play, School Tennis, tournament, or other free play event, and can be eligible to receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card (see rules on the website). The events can be for any and all ages and skill levels. By registering your event on YouthTennis.com, parents can find your facility or program and connect to your event.
When you register your events, you’ll also be able to download customizable marketing material to help you promote your programming and bring more kids into the game.
Kastles Win Fourth Straight WTT Title
The Washington Kastles defeated the Springfield Lasers 25-13 at the Mylan World TeamTennis Finals in Springfield, Mo., on July 27 to become only the second team in the league’s 39-year history to win four consecutive titles. The Kastles were led by Hall of Famer Martina Hingis, who posted a pivotal 5-2 singles win over Olga Govortsova and was named Mylan WTT Finals MVP. This is also Washington’s fifth title in the past six years.
USPTA Partners with TrueCar.com
A new benefit, the USPTA Auto Buying Program through TrueCar.com, gives certified members dealer pricing information when purchasing a new vehicle, to save an average of $3,078 off MSRP. Also, there is an added $2,000 in benefits for USPTA members — $1,000 credit against auto repairs and $1,000 for deductible reimbursement for the first year.
The program allows members to save time and money by seeing what others paid for the new car they want to purchase. In eligible states, they also receive a Guaranteed Savings Certificate for guaranteed savings off MSRP on new cars or a Used Vehicle Price Certificate from one of TrueCar’s more than 8,000 TrueCar Certified Dealers nationwide.
Little Miss Tennis Has New Owner
Little Miss Tennis, specializing in children’s court couture, is now under new ownership. Mary Morrison of Minneapolis is now leading the brand. Morrison comes to the role with 15 years of experience in the children’s fashion industry.
Little Miss Tennis founder Marilyn Kosten led the company for 40 years before deciding to turn over the reins to Morrison.
“Little Miss has a classic style and loyal following that make it unique,” says Morrison, who adds her plans include expanding the brand. “Moms that wore Little Miss are now buying our clothes for their kids. We want to continue what has worked for 40-plus years and at the same time offer more options to more customers.” Visit littlemisstennis.com.
PTR to Hold Wheelchair Tennis Workshop
The PTR will conduct an Instructing Wheelchair Tennis Workshop on Sept. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Chaplin Park Tennis Center on Hilton Head Island, S.C. This course is for tennis teachers and coaches to augment their existing certification with a certificate to teach wheelchair tennis, and will provide them with the skills required to teach wheelchair players.
Workshop participants actually use wheelchairs in order to understand the special skills required to maneuver and hit from a modified elevation. The course, taught by Harlon Matthews, a PTR Clinician of the Year and top national wheelchair player, is also valuable for rehab workers and physical therapy specialists who want to offer tennis as a rehabilitation tool.
All attendees receive the course manual and additional resources. Merit Achievement Program (MAP) and Continuing Education Hours will be awarded. The workshop is $75 and includes lunch. To register, contact 843-785-7244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
USPTA To Aid in Teaching Pro Injury Study
USPTA has partnered with the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center and the American Sports Medicine Institute to assist in conducting the first major injury study of adult tennis-teaching professionals. The study involves the completion of a short, confidential, online survey.
USPTA members’ names will not be associated with the survey and individual responses will not be shared with the USPTA or any other party. This research will provide valuable information for physicians and tennis players on the risk, types and frequency of injuries to tennis professionals.
“The USPTA has a genuine desire to prolong the careers of its members,” CEO John Embree said in an email to members. “If the information gathered can provide helpful guidelines to improve the health and well-being of our membership, we are obligated to do everything we can to meet this objective.”
To participate, contact the USPTA or call Kyle Aune at ASMI at 205-918-2118.
Ashaway MonoGut ZX Now Available in Reels
Ashaway Racket Strings has made its popular MonoGut ZX brand tennis strings — 16L gauge (1.27 mm) MonoGut ZX, and 17 gauge (1.22 mm) MonoGut ZX Pro — available in bulk reels for more efficient hybrid stringing. Of the two, 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 the 16L gauge MonoGut ZX string. Both are of 100% Zyex monofilament construction, to provide dynamic stiffness and gut-like playability, says the company. The lack of polyester increases elongation and decreases stiffness for comfortable soft power.
Nova Sports Celebrates 30 Years
Nova Sports USA Inc. of Milford, Mass., manufacturer of Novacrylic brand surfacing systems for tennis, basketball, track and inline hockey, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The company was founded in 1984 by former Truflex Recreational Coatings President Ben Righter and his wife Ruth, with the goal of producing the highest quality acrylic surface. Starting in a Holliston, Mass., manufacturing facility with five full-time employees, the company has expanded to a network of dealers in all 50 states and 40 countries around the world.
Still family-owned, Nova Sports now operates a state-of-the-art facility with advanced manufacturing, production and research capabilities. “By not making any sacrifices in material quality and searching out experienced dealers with only the highest standards, we’ve found a long-term recipe for success,” says current President Rob Righter. Through Nova Sports’ system of “certified” Novacrylic installers, the company’s coatings can be found at facilities from neighborhood parks and clubs to NCAA, ATP, WTA and ITF tournament sites.
For more information, contact 800-USA-NOVA or email@example.com.
New BowDry Removes Water from Courts
The BowDry is a new water removing machine designed for outdoor or indoor playing surfaces, walkways, pool decks, etc., including tennis courts. Neither electric nor gas-powered, BowDry is pushed by the operator, with four large wheels aiding in maneuverability and ease of motion, says the manufacturer. The thick foam roller absorbs water, which is then pressed off into a 16-gallon holding tank at the rear of the machine. Cost is $995 delivered (it arrives fully assembled except for the handle that attaches with two thumbwheels). Visit seagousa.com or contact 800-780-9889 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashaway Sponsors Junior National R-ball Team
Ashaway will sponsor the 2014-15 U.S. Junior National Racquetball Team sanctioned by USA Racquetball. Team members were announced on June 28th at the Awards Dinner for the 2014 Junior Olympic Championships in Denver.
The Championship is racquetball’s premier junior event in which players from across the U.S. compete in more than 50 divisions. Finalists in the 18 and Under, 16 and Under, and 14 and Under singles divisions, and champions in the respective doubles divisions earn one-year appointments to the U.S. Junior National Team.
“As part of the program, Ashaway has provided each Junior Team Member with a complimentary reel of string to start off the year, and will provide an additional reel during the middle of the season,” said Ashaway Vice President Steve Crandall. Boys on the Junior National Team received Ashaway’s new PowerKill Pro, girls received the new PowerKill 17, and Esprit team members received Ashaway’s SuperKill XL.
10 Win Ashe Essay Contest
The USTA Foundation, the USTA’s national charitable organization, announced 10 winners of the 16th annual NJTL Arthur Ashe Essay Contest. The winners, selected out of close to 2,600 entries, each received a trip to New York City for Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day.To enter, youngsters were asked to write a short essay about Arthur Ashe and his great accomplishments. The 2014 winners are:
- Age 10 and Under: Srinath Mahankali, Bayside Hills, N.Y., N.Y. Junior Tennis and Learning; Makda Dawit, Oakland, Youth Tennis Advantage
- 11-12: Torianh Blakes, Norwalk, Conn., Norwalk Grassroots Tennis; Marion Rye, Minneapolis, InnerCity Tennis
- 13-14: Daud Gantt-Bey, Washington, D.C., Leadership Council for Healthy Communities; Ana-Lei Kalawae, Charleston, S.C., Lowcountry Youth Tennis Association
- 15-16: Roby White, Capital Heights, Md., Prince George’s Tennis and Education Foundation; Lea Bergman, Laramie, Wyo., University of Wyoming NJTL
- 17-18: Andreas Nolan, New York, Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program; Jasmine Rivers, Eight Mile, Ala., New Lyons Park Tennis Association.
ESPN Personality Teams with USTA
The USTA is teaming with Mike Greenberg, host of ESPN’s Mike & Mike, and his wife, Stacy, in an effort to get kids active through tennis during National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in September. The couple is featured in a pair of public service announcements (PSA) that encourages facilities to host, and families to attend, USTA Free Tennis Play Events or USTA Play Days.
These events are part of the USTA’s ongoing efforts to bring new young players into the game, and September is a key period to register for fall programming at tennis facilities across the country. More than a 1,000 free events are held during the month to bring awareness of the sport to local communities while continuing the USTA’s commitment to ensuring a healthier future generation.
“Stacy and I are strong advocates for a healthy lifestyle and are happy to help the USTA with its efforts to get kids active,” said Greenberg, a longtime tennis player who competed with Hall of Famer Chris Evert for a mixed-doubles wild card into the US Open as part of the US Open National Playoffs in 2011. “Tennis is something we all enjoy together as a family.” To find or host a Tennis Play Event, visit YouthTennis.com.
NCAA Champs Compete at NTC
NCAA singles champions Marcos Giron of UCLA and Danielle Collins of the University of Virginia lead the entries of U.S. college players who will compete in the inaugural American Collegiate Invitational Sept. 4-6, during the second week of this year’s US Open, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. At stake are possible 2015 US Open main draw wild cards.
Eight men’s and eight women’s college players will compete the singles event. If the men’s champion is ranked No. 250 or better and the women’s champion No. 150 or better, they’ll compete in the singles main draw at next year’s US Open. Otherwise, they’ll compete in Qualifying. The champions will also get wild cards into two USTA Pro Circuit events, while each runner-up will get one wild card.
ZOGOtennis Joins TIA As SaaS Partner
To help tennis providers manage and grow their businesses, the TIA is partnering with technology development companies that offer “software as a service” (SaaS). The newest partnership is with ZOGOtennis, an online social network for tennis that gives players the ability to arrange games, find new partners, and build their tennis network.
“We want to bring tennis players together,” says Eliot Jenkins, co-founder of ZOGOtennis, adding that making ZOGOtennis both free and mobile is key to the company’s mission to connect tennis players.
Currently, ZOGOtennis is active in all major cities in the U.S. and has more than 600 clubs on its database. “Our goal is to add even more clubs and public courts so that everyone can use ZOGOtennis, no matter where they play,” Jenkins says.
USRSA Announces New MRTs/CSs
William Foreman - Oxford, MS
Vincent Mallari - Houston, TX
Michael Yoshi Vorachak - Houston, TX
Ivan Chong Zheng Ting - Singapore
Matt McGee - Los Gatos, CA
Trevor Merrill - Boulder, CO
Querrey Visits Players at JTCC
World No. 61 pro Sam Querrey visited the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., at the end of July as a part of the Fila junior tennis mentorship program. Querrey spoke to and answered questions from the young players, taught warm-up drills and offered tips during a clinic.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to give back to the tennis community through Fila’s junior player mentor program,” said Querrey. “The Junior Tennis Champions Center is an excellent training and learning environment, and it was great to share my enthusiasm for the game with young players in their program.” Fila outfits JTCC coaches and last year opened a concept shop at the facility.
- Longtime Bucks County (Pa.) resident Laura Canfield was recognized recently with the USTA Middle States section’s Mangan Award, which recognizes individuals who through their actions and example have made significant contributions to tennis in Middle States. Canfield’s 25-plus-year employment by the USTA, including 13 years as executive director of Middle States and seven years at the national office, has been complemented with volunteerism at the national, sectional and local levels.
- Matt Kuhar of Smithfield and Madison Clarke of Phoenix, Ariz., won the singles titles at the first-ever New Balance High School Tennis Championship, which was presented by the USTA and held in Boston in July. Kuhar and Clarke will each receive a wildcard spot in an International Tennis Federation junior event held prior to the 2014 US Open Junior Championships.
- North Carolina’s Jamie Loeb and UCLA’s Marcos Giron were honored as the 2014 ITA National College Players of the Year in July as part of the Rolex Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI. The ITA College Player of the Year Awards are given to the male and female singles players who have had the most outstanding year in Division I college tennis.
- Lotto Sport USA, distributor for Lotto Tennis and Soccer in the U.S., announced that Gary Machholz will be taking on an expanded role within the company. Machholz, who joined the company in May 2013 as a Territory Manager for the Rocky Mountain Region and VIP ambassador, will now manage the company’s sponsored and VIP players.
- Tony Trabert, a two-time U.S. National Championships singles winner and longtime voice of the US Open on CBS Sports, is the 2014 inductee into the US Open Court of Champions, a US Open and USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center attraction honoring the greatest singles champions in the history of the U.S. Championships/US Open. Trabert will be inducted during an on-court ceremony in Arthur Ashe Stadium prior to the Men’s Singles Final on Sept. 8.
- Lynn Tilton, alumna of the Yale University Class of 1981, will receive the highest honor bestowed by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association when she is presented with the 2014 ITA Achievement Award on Sept. 5, at the ITHF Board of Directors Meeting in New York. The ceremony will be hosted by the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Tilton, through her company, Patriarch Partners, works to end joblessness in America by saving companies in danger of liquidation. With revenues in excess of $8 billion and employing more than 120,000 people, Tilton’s platform is the largest woman-owned business in the country.
- Longtime friends Billie Jean King and Sir Elton John will host Mylan World TeamTennis Smash Hits to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation on Dec. 7 at the Royal Albert Hall. It will be the first time the tennis charity event will be held in London. Former world No. 1s John McEnroe and Kim Clijsters, former British No. 1 Tim Henman and last year’s Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki will headline the lineup for the one-night event, staged during the final session of the Statoil Masters Tennis tournament.
- Deborah Slaner Larkin, former executive director of the USTA Foundation from 2010 to 2013, has been named the new CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation. Larkin has over 30 years of executive experience in corporate, government and non-profit leadership.
- Florida teenagers Tommy Paul and Katerina Stewart each won singles titles recently at the USTA Boys’ and Girls’ 18s National Clay Court Championships, to earn wild card entries into the 2014 US Open Junior Championships.
- Head racquetball player Rocky Carson won the Men’s Singles Division at the World Outdoor Racquetball Championships in July in California, his 10th WOR title.
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- The U.S. Davis Cup team will host Slovakia Sept. 12-14 in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, Ill., for a World Group Playoff that will determine which country is eligible to compete in World Group competition for the 2015 Davis Cup. The loser will be relegated to Zone Group competition for 2015. For tickets, visit usta.com/daviscup or call 888-484-USTA.
- The total purse for the 2014 US Open increased by $4 million, to a record $38.3 million — an 11.7 percent increase over the 2013 US Open. Both the men’s and women’s singles champions will each earn $3 million, the largest payout in US Open history. Each round of the singles competition will see double-digit percentage increases over last year’s record payouts, and first-round singles losers will receive nearly $36,000. Both the men’s and women’s doubles champions will earn $520,000, the highest in US Open history.
- The Bryan Bros. Foundation raised more than $100,000 for junior tennis at the annual V-Grid Tennis Fest presented by Alexander Cadillac and Esurance in July. The all-time winningest doubles team in history was joined by former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and other friends in presenting $16,000 checks to the Ventura County Junior Tennis Association, Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons, Boys and Girls Club of Camarillo and the Oaks Christian High School tennis program. The Foundation will distribute the remaining funds raised to other deserving groups throughout the year.
- The USTA recently announced the refurbishment of the stadium court at the Dwight Davis Memorial Tennis Center in St. Louis, as a part of the USTA’s Fed Cup Legacy program. The legacy program is designed to leave a lasting mark in the communities which host Fed Cup ties in the U.S. The city hosted the April tie against France. The main stadium court at Dwight Davis, which seats 1,700, recently was resurfaced as a US Open “blue” hard court with blended lines for youth tennis play. The $15,000 project is jointly funded by the USTA, the Missouri Valley section, and monies generated from Fed Cup in April.
- The national after-school youth sports franchise company TGA Premier Youth Tennis has established its first franchise territory in Oregon. Jeremiah Paladino, a former banking executive, has acquired the rights in southern Oregon, including Medford and Eugene.
‘Green’ Solutions Can Save You Money
- The Tennis Legacy Fund is a non-profit committed to increasing the awareness of sustainability within the tennis industry and community. To help tennis providers operate a more profitable and sustainable business, TI magazine will run occasional tips by the Tennis Legacy Fund in partnership with Greenlight Solutions and a sustainability initiative by students at Arizona State University
- Saving Copy Paper: Ever wonder how much paper you use on an annual basis? Don’t let the thinness of a single sheet deceive you — printer paper is a major contributor to landfills and is an overlooked expenditure for businesses. Did you know that paper costs about 3 cents per page? Saving paper can easily be implemented by adopting a “double-sided” policy: print double-sided on each sheet of paper. Remember to set computer defaults to print double-sided and to print only the pages you need. You’ll be surprised how big of a difference you can make. — Vid Micevic
Evert, Tail Team Up for Apparel
Tennis star Chris Evert and Tail Activewear have collaborated on a new line of women’s tennis and active clothing. Inspired by Evert, Tail says the line is graceful, classy and sporty, yet suitable for fierce competition. The new line is called "Chrissie by Tail," or "Chrissie," and will be distributed exclusively by Tail Activewear. Spring 2015 collections will be available in November.
“Tail was extremely diligent in researching fabrics and innovating design and always open to collaborating on every detail, which enabled us to achieve a sporty, fashion-forward look as well as athletic performance,” Evert says. Visit TailActivewear.com.
Cardio Tennis Adds Training
Training sessions for Cardio Tennis and TRX Cardio Tennis continue to be added to the 2014 schedule, and the program continues to expand outside of the U.S., as training sessions are now scheduled for China on Oct. 10 and Beirut, Lebanon, on Oct. 25. The following U.S. sessions have been scheduled, but check CardioTennis.com as the list is updated regularly. (CT means Cardio Tennis Training Course; TRX CT is the TRX CT course.)
Atlanta — Nov. 14 (CT)
Fayetteville, N.C. — Oct. 26 (CT)
Gilford, N.H. — Sept. 27 (CT)
McLean, Va. — Sept. 13 (CT)
Naples, Fla. — Sept. 26 (CT)
New York, N.Y. — Aug. 27 (CT)
New York, N.Y. — Nov. 9 (TRX)
Palm Beach, Fla. — Sept. 13 (CT)
Pasadena, Texas — Nov. 1 (CT)
Portland, Ore. — Sept. 14 (TRX)
Rome, Ga. — Sept.13 (CT)
Seattle — Aug. 30 (CT) & 31 (TRX)
Tucson, Ariz. — Oct. 14 (CT) & 14 (TRX)
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