Register Your September Play Events at YouthTennis.com
Tennis providers can use the power of Nickelodeon, the No. 1 media brand for kids and parents, to help grow their youth tennis programs in September. The USTA’s partnership with Nickelodeon means the media giant is helping to drive traffic to YouthTennis.com, where parents and kids can find programs and places to play tennis.
As a part of Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play, hold a youth or family event or offer a Play Day this September, and make sure you register that event at YouthTennis.com/Host (or register by calling 800-990-8782), and you’ll receive visibility, training and resources.
Once your event is registered, you can take advantage of the increased traffic that Nickelodeon pushes to YouthTennis.com in the month of September. You’ll also be able to attend a complimentary Coach Youth Tennis workshop, to guarantee that youngsters at your event will want to keep coming back. Also, you’ll gain access to marketing and publicity materials to help your programs grow.
Upon registration, you’ll also be entered into a contest and eligible to win one of four prizes: a $1,000 Amazon.com gift card, local advertising to attract new business, a tennis personality appearance at select events, or on-the-ground support and volunteers for your next big event. For information, visit YouthTennis.com.
PTR to Host Annual Directors of Tennis Conference on HHI
The PTR will hold the 4th Annual Directors of Tennis Conference, Oct. 20-22, at the Shipyard Beach Club on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
“We recognize the tennis industry needs to offer more business development opportunities for tennis directors,” says Dan Santorum, CEO of PTR. “After the success and positive feedback from our past Directors of Tennis Conferences, we know PTR is on the right track to strengthening our profession, tennis facilities and our sport.”
Experts will present on a wide spectrum of topics that will facilitate a broad-based learning experience. Each day will close with peer-to-peer roundtable discussions so attendees can brainstorm and share their best practices. A variety of topics relevant to directors of indoor, resort, country club, public and private facilities will be addressed by a faculty that includes directors of tennis and consultants, including Doug Cash, formerly of Tennis Corporation of America, and Greg Lappin, formerly of Life Time Fitness.
The conference is limited to the first 75 attendees who are tennis directors. For more information or to register, visit ptrtennis.org.
Florida Debuts 10 and Under Tournament Tennis Pathway
In July, USTA Florida introduced its 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway, a graduated development path with established benchmarks at each level to guide parents and coaches through junior tennis.
From beginning “red ball” play on 36-foot courts, youngsters progress through “orange ball” and “green ball” at various tournament levels before graduating to full-court “yellow ball” tennis. Each level contains appropriate-sized racquets, balls and court sizes, along with participation or achievement benchmarks to progress between age groups or tournament levels.
The Pathway was developed in partnership with the USPTA-Florida Division and the PTR, in addition to input from coaches and parents throughout Florida. It includes a “Grandfather Clause” for players that turn age 11 during 2015 who currently have the skill set to play full-court yellow ball tournaments.
“We are confident the pathway will not only increase unique 10 and under players, but will also provide a system that ultimately looks after the technical, tactical, physical and mental well-being of the child,” says USPTA Florida President Trish Faulkner.
“PTR highly recommends the USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway,” adds PTR Director of Education Steve Keller. “These young players will greatly benefit having a pathway that will teach them technique in a tactical environment.”
For more information, visit USTAFlorida.com/10UPathway.
TIA Tennis Forum Set for Aug. 31 in NYC
Industry leaders will gather on Monday, Aug. 31, for the TIA Tennis Forum, held at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. At the 8th annual Forum, attendees will be brought up to date on the latest research in the tennis industry, including participation, equipment, and retail data. (Forum attendees also will receive a copy of the 2015 State of the Industry research report.) In addition, a major new focus will be announced, designed to create more “core” tennis players.
The Forum also will include the induction of Peter Burwash into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame. Peter Burwash International, which was founded 40 years ago, is the world’s largest tennis management company.
The Forum is free to attend, but space is limited, so registration is required. To register, visit tennisindustry.org.
Babolat Introduces Pure Aero Frame
Babolat has introduced the new Babolat Pure Aero racquet, which the company calls a “spin machine” and says it will allow players to take advantage of the spin the racquet offers.
In developing the Pure Aero range, Babolat says it zeroed in on the player strokes and movements needed for optimal topspin. The company says its Aeromodular technology improves aerodynamics for faster racquet speed, while the FSI Spin technology improves movement of the strings, helping to generate spin.
Babolat says the Pure Aero Play is for “punchers” and those looking for power and topspin. The new Pure Aero Play has the same weight and balance as the previous Aeropro Drive Play, with a 100-square-inch head, 10.6 ounces, and 16×19 string pattern. Suggested retail is $350. Visit babolat.com.
USPTA World Conference Set for New Orleans
The Hilton New Orleans Riverside will play host to the USPTA World Conference Sept. 21-25. The event will bring together leading tennis-teaching professionals and coaches for seminars, specialty courses, presentations and on-court sessions. To register, visit uspta.com/conference.
Keynote speakers will include ESPN broadcaster and former ATP pro Darren Cahill. Other featured presenters include Rick Macci, Mark Kovacs, Michele Krause, Craig O’Shannessy, and Kirk Anderson, among many others. The Conference also will include a tennis-only buying show, awards presentation and more.
Mauresmo Leads Inductees Into Hall of Fame
Former world No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo, six-time Paralympic champion David Hall, and longtime tennis industry leader Nancy Jeffett were inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., in July. Mauresmo, who was not present at the ceremony because she was pregnant and unable to travel, was recognized by Stan Smith, the HoF president and chairman of the Enshrinee Nominating Committee.
David Hall, of Sydney, Australia, is one of the world’s most decorated wheelchair athletes. He was ranked world No. 1 in singles and doubles and won every major title in the sport, including the Australian Open for Wheelchair Tennis nine times and the US Open eight times. He also is a six-time Paralympic medalist.
Jeffett, who dedicated her life to growing the sport, was inducted in the Contributor Category. She was instrumental in advancing professional women’s tennis and in developing opportunities for junior tennis development. She is a co-founder of the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation and was an early leader in the promotion of women’s pro tennis through the Virginia Slims of Dallas.
Industry Loses Caldwell, Beard
The court construction field, and the tennis industry in general, lost two giants recently. Bob Caldwell, one of the ASBA’s founders, died on July 3 at age 102. And Peggy Beard, one of the first women to run a court construction business, the first woman to become a Certified Tennis Court Builder, and the first woman to lead the ASBA as chairman, died of cancer on July 9 at age 75. Both Caldwell and Beard were trailblazers in the court construction business and were, in fact, featured in this magazine as “Pioneers in Tennis.”
Caldwell was the first to move into acrylic tennis court surfacing and founded the product that became known as Plexipave. In 1965, to help market his product, he worked with a group of others in the industry to found the U.S. Tennis Court & Track Builders Association, which later became the American Sports Builders Association.
Beard, along with her husband, Burnham, and her father, founded Welch Tennis Courts, and her involvement in the industry grew. She was a member, and later chairman, of the USTA’s Technical Committee, and through 2014, she served six years on the ITF Technical Commission. She also remained active in the USTA Florida Section. In 2001, she received the Industry Merit Award, the ASBA’s highest honor.
Emirates Partners with USTA Foundation
Emirates Airline has again partnered with the USTA Foundation, the national charitable foundation of the USTA, to bring tennis and education to children across North America as part of “Emirates Returns.” The program, a grassroots charitable initiative connected to the Emirates Airline US Open Series, provides underserved youth in the various Series markets access to tennis and opens up educational opportunities in their local market.
In each US Open Series market, Emirates provides charitable donations in the form of grants for educational programming, new tennis equipment and facility improvements. In the program’s third year, the total contribution across all Series tournaments and the US Open will eclipse $400,000.
New this year, Emirates will recognize mentors that have made a difference within their respective charitable organization and community by awarding the individual with a VIP weekend at the 2015 US Open.
New Online ‘Profit Center’ for Local Retailers
The retail and market research consulting firm Gluskin Townley Group, which contributes Retail Tips to Tennis Industry magazine through its involvement with the TIA, has partnered with Rix Quinn Communications to form BBJ Profit Center, a new online consulting service designed to bring local independent retail shop owners and managers useful business news, statistical and data nuggets, commentary, and business tips.
“BBJ Profit Center is all about providing additional information you need to discover new profit centers,” says Jay Townley. For example, specialty retailers might find there’s a market in their area for selling multi-sports clothing, or getting involved in event or travel planning. Rix Quinn is the former editor of Bicycle Business Journal, which was founded by his father in 1946.
To sign up for the BBJ Profit Center email newsletter, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
US Open Prize Money Hits $42.3 Million
The total prize money for the 2015 US Open is a record $42.3 million, a 10.5 percent increase over last year’s total purse, says the USTA. Both men’s and women’s singles champions will earn $3.3 million, the largest payout in US Open history. In the last three years, US Open main draw prize money has increased by 67 percent, and the USTA has committed to reaching $50 million in prize money by 2017.
Each round of the singles competition will see double-digit percentage increases over last year’s record payouts, with the minimum increase of 10 percent for the champions and up to a 14.4 percent increase in the round of 32. Both the men’s and women’s doubles champions will earn $570,000, the highest in US Open history, and overall doubles prize money has been increased by 8.4 percent. In addition, the US Open Qualifying Tournament will now offer more than $1.7 million in prize money, a 12 percent increase over 2014.
Gamma Offers Pickleball Line
Gamma has entered the pickleball market with five new p-ball paddles that range in retail price from $59.95 to $109.95 and feature many patent-pending innovations.
The five paddles are the Micron, Fusion Widebody, Atomic, Ion and Voltage. Among the features, says Gamma, are the Live Periphery Frame, which eliminates dead spots and increases durability at the edge of the paddle; the Flush Fit Bumper Handle, to protect the paddle without the risk of edge-guard mis-hits, increasing the hitting area by 30 percent; and the Unibody Handle, a one-piece handle molded into the paddle for durability and a stable feel.
The full line is at gammapickleball.com. Dealers interested in carrying Gamma p-ball products should call 800-333-0337.
U.S. Players Picked for Second Collegiate Invitational
NCAA 2015 champions Jamie Loeb of the University of North Carolina and Ryan Shane of the University of Virginia will lead the group of top American collegiate players selected to play in the second annual American Collegiate Invitational at the US Open, Sept. 10-12. The event, open only to American college players, is designed to spotlight college tennis. Eight men and eight women play single-elimination singles tournaments, with the winners receiving a wild card into the 2016 US Open, main draw or qualifying, depending on their ranking next summer.
Seven men and women have been chosen so far, with a wild card issued closer to the tournament. The men’s field includes: Gonzales Austin (Sr., Vanderbilt), Mitchell Frank (Sr., Virginia), Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Soph., Virginia), Winston Lin (Sr., Columbia), Mackenzie McDonald (Soph., UCLA), Quentin Monaghan (Jr., Notre Dame), Ryan Shane (Jr., Virginia).
Women’s field: Robin Anderson (Sr., UCLA), Brooke Austin (Fr., Florida), Julia Elbaba (Jr., Virginia), Lauren Herring (Sr., Georgia), Josie Kuhlman (Fr., Florida), Jamie Loeb (Soph., North Carolina), Maegan Manasse (Soph., Cal).
JP Morgan Chase Gives $110K to USTA Foundation
The USTA Foundation, the national charitable organization of the USTA, has partnered with longtime US Open sponsor JPMorgan Chase to award 10 National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapters with $10,000 each. This is the second consecutive year of the partnership, with the donated money to go toward year-round tennis and education programming. JPMorgan Chase also launched a Twitter campaign that ended Aug. 14 to award one of the 10 NJTL chapters an additional $10,000.
The 10 NJTL chapters receiving $10,000 grants are: A’s and Aces, New Orleans; Youth Tennis Advantage, San Francisco; Dallas Tennis Association, Addison, Texas; Rodney Street Tennis & Tutoring, Wilmington, Del.; MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation, Jacksonville, Fla.; New York Junior Tennis & Learning, Woodside, N.Y.; Portland After-School Tennis & Education, Portland, Ore.; LA 84 Southern California Tennis Association NJTL, Los Angeles; XS Tennis Academy, Chicago; Houston Tennis Association, Houston.
New Pickleball Tutor Ball Machine
Sports Tutor has introduced the Pickleball Tutor ball machine. The new unit, which shares the same basic design as Sports Tutor’s tennis ball machines, can shoot dinks, lobs, serves, drives and groundstrokes. Ball speed is adjustable up to 50 M.P.H. and an adjustable arc allows the user to tailor the shots. Also available as an option is a side-to-side oscillation feature.
Pickleball Tutor is available in the U.S. through exclusive distributor Oncourt Offcourt, or direct from Sports Tutor. Battery and AC models with the oscillator sell for $899 and the Basic (no oscillator) sells for $799. Visit oncourtoffcourt.com or sportstutor.com.
Tourna Partners with Pospisil
Tourna’s latest partnership is with rising star Vasek Pospisil. The Canadian standout has risen in the rankings to a career-high World No. 25 singles ranking and No. 4 in doubles. Most notably, he won the Wimbledon doubles title with partner Jack Sock in 2014 and Indian Wells in 2015. Vasek has used Light Blue Tourna Grip for his entire pro career. Connect with Tourna Tennis at facebook.com/TournaTennis and instagram.com/tourna_tennis.
Ashaway Offers Two MonoGut ZX Strings
Ashaway’s popular MonoGut ZX and MonoGut ZX Pro offer players versatility and a range of playing characteristics. Used alone or as part of a hybrid combination, both strings are of 100 percent Zyex monofilament construction, which Ashaway says provides exceptional dynamic stiffness and arm-friendly gut-like playability.
At 17 gauge (1.22 mm), MonoGut ZX Pro is a thinner lighter string, designed to provide better elongation, snap-back and playability, while the heavier 16L (1.27 mm) gauge MonoGut ZX string offers added durability while still providing excellent elongation and gut-like playability, says the company. Visit ashawayusa.com.
USRSA Announces New MRT’s and CS’s
Geno Bisceglia — Melbourne, FL
Joseph Carney — Colleyville, TX
Conrad Klank — West Chester, PA
Anna Bebin — Ottawa, ON, Canada
Matt Drummond — Ottawa, ON, Canada
Sonia Hildesheim — Ottawa, ON, Canada
Sean Vallejos Sevilla — Ottawa, ON, Canada
- California Sports Surfaces, which is based in Andover, Mass., and supplies surfaces including DecoTurf, Plexipave, Rebound Ace, Premier Court and Guardian Crack Repair, has named Steven Lock to the position of managing director for Australia and New Zealand. He was previously manager of Events, Partnerships and Strategy for CSS. Prior to joining CSS Steven was with Tennis Australia where he was responsible for National Infrastructure Strategy, Melbourne Park Redevelopment, and tennis court requirements for the Australian Open and Australian Open Series.
- Dan Johnson has been appointed as director of communications of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. He joins the ITA from the Mountain West Conference, where he served as the assistant director of communications for three years. Also, Laura Schuessler has been appointed coordinator of new media for the ITA.
- UCLA’s Robin Anderson and Oklahoma’s Axel Alvarez Llamas were honored as the 2015 ITA National College Players of the Year as part of the Rolex Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., in July. Harvard men’s tennis coach Dave Fish was also honored for winning the 2014 ITA Meritorious Service Award.
- Former world No. 7 Mardy Fish will retire after the 2015 US Open.
- World No. 62 Denis Istomin won his first ATP World Tour title in June at the Aegon Open in England. The 28-year-old Uzbek uses a Tecnifibre T-Fight 325 racquet and the company’s Black Code string.
- After 22 years, Mike Woody is leaving the Greater Midland (Mich.) Community Tennis Center, where he has been the executive director. He will become the national tennis director for Genesis Health Clubs in Wichita, Kan.
- The International Tennis Hall of Fame has named Martina Hingis as the organization’s first Global Ambassador, in which she’ll play an active part in the Hall of Fame’s effort to preserve and promote the history of tennis, and to educate and engage the global tennis community. A former world No. 1, Hingis was inducted into the HOF in 2013.
- Wimbledon junior champion Reilly Opelka has signed a deal with New Balance.
- WTA world No. 7 Ana Ivanovic is a co-owner of sports platform Trainers4Me.com, which gives consumers access to thousands of sports trainers across the globe.
- U.S. Army General Ann E. Dunwoody, the first woman to achieve a four-star officer rank, joins the board of directors of ThanksUSA. Dunwoody, who retired in 2012 after 38 years in uniform, was a ranked college tennis player and is involved in promoting ThanksUSA’s Tennis Thanks the Troops campaign in association with the USPTA.
- Head Penn racquetballers Paola Longoria and Rocky Carson both captured gold medals in July at the Pan Am Games in Toronto. Longoria won gold in women’s singles, doubles and the team competition. Carson won gold in men’s singles and a silver in men’s team. Another Head player, Maria Jose Vargas, won silver in women’s singles and doubles.
- Head/Penn racquetball player Rocky Carson won his 11th men’s singles title at the 2015 World Outdoor Racquetball Championships in July in California.
- Williams College senior Rebecca Curran and Bryant University freshman Matt Kuhar have received the inaugural USTA Rhode Island College Tennis Player of the Year Awards, for the 2014-15 school year. Curran, from Rumford, R.I., received the first Jill Craybas Award, while Kuhar, from Smithfield, R.I., received the first Andy Chase/Gordie Ernst Award. The awards are presented by USTA Rhode Island to the male and the female college players of the year who are from the Ocean State, but not necessarily playing at a Rhode Island school.
- The U.S. Davis Cup team will travel to Uzbekistan for the 2015 World Group Play-Off Sept. 18-20. If the U.S. wins the match, it will qualify for the World Group and be able to compete for the Davis Cup in 2016; if it loses, it will compete in Zonal competition in 2016. In the 2015 World Group semifinals, also to be held the same weekend, Great Britain will host Australia and Belgium will host Argentina.
- In a five-year deal, Penn has been named Official Tennis Ball of the California Interscholastic Federation. Also, Head will be the exclusive tennis racquet partner of the CIF.
- The media room at the US Open will be named in honor of longtime tennis journalist Bud Collins.
- Four former world No. 1’s — Andre Agassi, Stefanie Graf, Martina Navratilova and Andy Roddick — will headline Mylan World TeamTennis Smash Hits on Monday, Oct. 12, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The annual charity event is co-hosted by Billie Jean King and Sir Elton John, who is performing his hit show, “The Million Dollar Piano,” at Caesars Palace. Visit WTTSmashHits.com.
- Rolex, in an agreement with the ITF, will continue as an international sponsor of Davis Cup. The company will be the Official Timekeeper of Davis Cup through 2018.
- The USTA Tennis On Campus Fall Invitational will be Oct. 9-11 at Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The tournament is open for up to 48 teams from around the country.
- Boston’s bid for the 2024 Olympics is dead. With a lack of public support, and Mayor Martin Walsh not willing to assure taxpayer funds in the event of cost overruns, the USOC pulled its endorsement of the city. The potential tennis venue, though, may well have been one of the better organized pieces of the puzzle. A task force led by USTA New England volunteers had selected Sportsmen’s Tennis & Enrichment Center to host the tennis competition if Boston was selected for the Olympics.
- The USPTA has extended its partnership with 10-S Tennis Supply through June 2018 for the company to continue as the official tennis court equipment supplier of the USPTA. As part of the partnership agreement, 10-S Tennis Supply’s Six Star II tennis net will remain the official net of the USPTA. In addition, the Aer-Flo Tuffy Windscreen will also remain the official windscreen of the USPTA.
- The eighth edition of “Tennis Courts: A Construction and Maintenance Manual” is now available from the American Sports Builders Association. The comprehensive, updated manual is $44.95 and can be ordered at 866-501-ASBA (2722), or by going to the sportsbuilders.org. The publication also is available in digital format at the website.
- Pickleball, played with an oversize ping-pong paddle on a short court, is 50 years old this year. It was invented in 1965 as a backyard game played mostly in the Seattle area. According to the USA Pickleball Association, p-ball now is played in more than 3,200 locations in the U.S.
- Escalade Sports has acquired Onix Sports, maker of paddles, balls, sportswear and accessories for pickleball.
- Tennis Warehouse has renewed its partnership with the ATP World Tour as the Official Online Tennis Store of the ATP through 2017. Tennis Warehouse has powered the online tennis store for the ATP World Tour via the ATP’s website, ATPWorld-Tour.com, since 2000.
- Voya Financial is a new presenting sponsor of ESPN’s US Open coverage.
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