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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:

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:

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 ptr@ptrtennis.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 info@novasports.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 sales@seagousa.com.

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:

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

MRT

William Foreman - Oxford, MS

Vincent Mallari - Houston, TX

Michael Yoshi Vorachak - Houston, TX

Ivan Chong Zheng Ting - Singapore

CS

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.

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Classifieds

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Short Sets

‘Green’ Solutions Can Save You Money

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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