Former USTA, TIA Prez Haggerty To Head ITF
Former USTA and TIA President Dave Haggerty was elected president of the International Tennis Federation on Sept. 25 at the ITF Annual General Meeting in Santiago, Chile. Haggerty will serve a four-year term, from 2015 to 2019, heading the world governing body responsible for the rules of tennis and maintaining the integrity of the sport.
The 58-year-old succeeds Francesco Ricci Bitti, who held the post for the last 16 years. Ricci Bitti has been named an Honorary Life President of the ITF.
Haggerty was elected on the second ballot with 200 votes, over Anil Khanna (IND) with 192 votes. Rene Stammbach (SUI) and Juan Margets (ESP) were eliminated on the first ballot.
Katrina Adams, the current president of the USTA, was elected to the ITF Board of Directors and also named as an ITF Vice President. The other vice presidents are Khanna and Stammbach.
The rest of the ITF Board of Directors for the 2015-19 term include: Martin Corrie (GBR), Sergio Elias (CHI), Ismail El Shafei (EGY), Bernard Giudicelli (FRA), Jack Graham (CAN), Thomas Koenigsfeldt (DEN), Celia Patrick (NZL), Aleksei Selivanenko (RUS), Rene Stammbach (SUI), Stefan Tzvetkov (BUL), and Bulat Utemuratov (KAZ).
Haggerty has held a variety of roles within the USTA since 2001 and within the ITF since 2009. He served as chairman, CEO and president of the USTA in 2013-14, and was a vice president on the ITF Board of Directors in 2013-15. He is a former president of the TIA and a current board member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. His 30-year career in the racquet industry includes being a former chairman of Head USA, president of Penn Racquet Sports, and president of Dunlop Maxfli Slazenger Sports.
Surface Uses Recycled Balls
A court surface made partially of recycled tennis balls was installed at the Tenafly Racquet Club in Tenafly, N.J., in August, says Franz Fasold, owner of Ace Surfaces Inc. of Orlando, Fla.
Advanced Polymer Technology and Ace Surfaces Inc. created with Laykold Masters the first cushioned court with a shock pad that absorbs up to 10,000 recycled tennis balls in a single tennis court. Rather than rolling into a landfill, the ground-up tennis balls are incorporated into a cushioned indoor/outdoor sports surfacing system: Laykold Masters 5 and Laykold Masters 8.
“Those who found hard courts to be difficult on their hips, knees and back will be pleasantly surprised by the difference the surface will have on their body,” says Gordon Uehling, founder and managing director of Tenafly Racquet Club. “We hope to see other clubs in the country follow our lead in making the sport more enjoyable while helping the environment.” Visit tennisballcourts.com.
Youth Event Held at US Open
The USTA held a Youth Tennis exhibition during the US Open to generate awareness of the importance of multi-sport participation in creating a lifelong enjoyment of sports — empowering future generations of children to stay healthy and active.
Nastia Liukin, 2008 Olympic gold medalist; Ryan McDonagh, captain of the New York Rangers and a U.S. Olympian; and Laila Ali, former boxing champion, TV host and USTA Youth Tennis spokesperson, spoke about the benefits of playing multiple sports and how an early, positive experience in sports creates a lifelong commitment to an active lifestyle.
The event coincided with National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and USTA Tennis Play Events taking place around the country in the month of September. Visit YouthTennis.com.
Babolat POP is a Connected Tennis Wristband
Just before the US Open, Babolat unveiled to media its new Babolat POP, a sensor worn in a wristband that will work with any tennis racquet. It pairs with an IOS or Android device via Bluetooth so players can see their stats live, and it also collects data about a players game and allows players of all ages and abilities to interact with and challenge friends, taking advantage of social and gaming features.
Available now, the Babolat POP has a suggested retail price of $89.95 and includes wristband, sensor, charger and USB cable. Visit play.babolat.us/pop-connected-tennis.
Solomon-Led Group Buys Atlanta, Memphis Events
Tennis promoter Jerry Solomon and a group of financial backers have bought the BB&T Open, the ATP Tour tournament in Atlanta that is part of the Emirates Airline US Open Series and played at the end of July. Earlier this year, the same Solomon-led group also acquired the ATP event in Memphis, which is played in February.
Solomon has indicated that both events will stay in their current locations, with their current tournament directors — Eddie Gonzalez for the Atlanta tourney and Erin Mazurek for the Memphis Open.
The BB&T Open is played in midtown Atlanta and was owned by the USTA Southern Section. The Memphis Open, which is played at the Racquet Club of Memphis, is the only indoor ATP event contested in the U.S. Ownership was transferred to Solomon’s group from a company in which the USTA is a joint owner. Solomon is president of Star Games Inc., which runs an annual exhibition at Madison Square Garden.
HoF Capital Campaign Exceeds $15 Million Goal
The International Tennis Hall of Fame’s fundraising on the Match Point Capital Campaign has exceeded its $15 million goal, the HoF announced in September.
“After three years of hard work by the Capital Campaign Committee and especially by Chairman Ed Woolard, I’m very pleased to announce the campaign has exceeded its goal and, in fact, construction on the improvement projects that will result from the campaign is already more than 70 percent complete,” said HoF Chairman Christopher Clouser.
The entire project is set to be completed and dedicated in May. The campaign was focused on a complete renovation of the museum; six new tennis courts and major expansion to the tennis club; improvements to Bill Talbert Center Court, primarily new seating on the South and East sides; an overall expansion and enhancement to the property, including the addition of a significant new building to house offices and tennis club facilities.
Attention Stringers! Scam Alert!
It was recently brought to our attention that someone may be contacting USRSA members by text and/or email with a scam asking for their rates for stringing services. They then send the stringer a fake cashier’s check, then later ask for a portion of that amount back, before the stringer is alerted by his/her bank that the cashier’s check is fake.
The USRSA has filed a complaint with the F.B.I. about this scam. Please be cautious in responding to any texts or emails you might receive from someone regarding your services. The USRSA apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause you.
Vitalsox Introduces Hot New Socks
The newest crew socks from Vitalsox “are a tribute to our Italian creativity,” says Vitalsox National Sales Manager Don Crusius. “The new crews are constructed like all of our socks, with a patented superior wicking fiber — SilverDryStat — and our familiar compression, like all of our socks.” Each of the three new styles comes in three eye-catching colors, too.
Crusius says Vitalsox plans to introduce new styles every two months. For more information, visit Vitalsox.com or contact Crusius at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-460-7681.
Industry Loses Dr. Howard Brody
The industry’s foremost physicist of tennis, Dr. Howard Brody, passed away on Aug. 11 in Bryn Mawr, Pa., at the age of 83. Brody was an emeritus professor of physics at the University of Pennsylvania, where he spent his entire career.
Brody became interested in the science and physics of tennis in the 1970s and was the first to make the sport the object of serious scientific study. An avid recreational player, he wrote the book “Tennis Science for Tennis Players” and co-authored “The Physics and Technology of Tennis,” in addition to dozens of other scientific articles on the sport. He also wrote the PTR’s science manual.
He was a member of the ITF’s Technical Commission, and among the many honors he received were the Educational Merit Award from the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the Stanley Plagenhoef Award for sport science achievement.
Nancy Horn Passes Away
Nancy Ellertson Horn died peacefully at her home in Boulder, Colo., Aug. 22 after a two-year struggle with ALS. She was 58 years old. In 1977, Horn joined Rocky Mountain Sports Inc. and for 38 years helped manage the company, rising to vice president. Contributions may be made in her name to: Crayons to Calculators, 721 Front Street, Suite A, Louisville, CO 80027, or ALS Therapy Development Institute, 300 Technology Square #400, Cambridge, MA 02139.
Van der Meer, Gullikson Inducted into USPTA HoF
Dennis Van der Meer and Tom Gullikson were inducted into the USPTA Hall of Fame in September at the annual awards presentation during the USPTA World Conference in New Orleans.
“Both of these men have made an incredible impact on our profession and in the tennis industry, and USPTA is honored to be able to recognize them,” said USPTA CEO John Embree. “Throughout their careers, they have made an enormous impact to our mission of elevating the standards of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches across the country and around the world.”
Van der Meer and Gullikson join 16 others in the USPTA Hall of Fame, which is the association’s highest honor.
HoF, ITF Honor Stenning
In a special ceremony at the US Open, the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Tennis Federation honored former Hall of Fame CEO Mark L. Stenning with the 2015 Golden Achievement Award, which is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions internationally to tennis in the fields of administration, promotion, or education, and who has devoted long and outstanding service to the sport.
Stenning served as CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame for 14 years, before stepping down last September, and he was with the organization for 35 years overall in various leadership roles. Stenning, who also was on the TIA board of directors, has been highly engaged in the sport as a whole.
Canadian Doctors Write Prescriptions for Exercise
Many Canadians who visit the doctor with health and medical issues are going home with a unique prescription: written instructions to exercise. This new philosophy is picking up momentum in the province of Quebec where nearly 9,000 general practitioners have new prescription pads produced for exercise and physical activity prescriptions. The pads are designed so that exercise instructions can be given by doctors in 15-minute increments, which are called “exercise cubes.”
“So many people say the right thing about the importance of physical exercise, but Canada is taking this to a whole new level,” says PHIT America Founder Jim Baugh. “We hope doctors in the U.S. quickly follow the lead from our friends to the north.”
NCAA Div. 1 Championships To Use No-Ad Scoring
Starting in 2016, the NCAA Division I men’s and women’s tennis championships will utilize the no-ad scoring format. The NCAA Division I Competition Oversight Committee announced its decision before the US Open, following more than three years of discussion that included members of the ITA, USTA and the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Committee.
“The decision of the NCAA to adopt the ITA format for the NCAA Division I Tennis Championships helps create a bright future for the sport of tennis,” said David A. Benjamin, former ITA executive director for 37 years and presently the chairman of the ITA Board of Directors. “The goal of everyone involved these past several years … has been to make college tennis even more relevant and more exciting.”
New ZyMax 69 Badminton String From Ashaway
Ashaway Racket Strings has introduced ZyMax 69 Fire, the heavyweight in its new line of ZyMax badminton strings. The line incorporates Ashaway’s proprietary BETA polymer fibers, and is constructed using the company’s special ZyWeaVe string core technology. At 0.69 mm, ZyMax 69 Fire is the heaviest string in the line, and is designed to provide chronic string breakers with dynamic stiffness for excellent feel and repulsion; optimum power and durability; knot and loop strength; and tension holding ability for consistent reliable performance. Visit ashawayusa.com.
TuringSense Introduces Wearable Technology
TuringSense, a Silicon Valley-based startup in wearable sports technology, made its debut in September at the USPTA World Conference in New Orleans, showcasing its first product, Pivot, a multi-sensor, high-speed full-body motion analysis system.
“We wanted to show our commitment to tennis and felt [the USPTA World Conference] was the perfect venue,” said TuringSense co-founder and CEO Limin He. “Pivot, now in beta, is the most advanced motion capture technology designed to improve each player’s tennis game, and ultimately, help elevate the tennis industry. It is wearable technology that can truly empower and democratize tennis playing and training.” For more information, visit turingsense.com.
Art Tucker Retires From CSS
After 32 years at California Sports Surfaces, Art Tucker officially retired in September. He joined California Products in March 1983 and helped set the company on the path to becoming the world’s largest manufacturer of acrylic sports surfacing systems.
Tucker long-championed the Plexipave and Plexitrac product lines and was instrumental in California Products’ acquisitions of DecoTurf and Rebound Ace. In his final year, he helped provide a guiding hand through the acquisition of the Premier Group.
He served several terms on the ASBA board of directors, served on several ASBA committees and presented at the Technical Meeting many times.
Vigeant is New USRSA Tester in Canada
Yan Vigeant, owner of the store Le Coin Badminton in Canada, is the newest USRSA Tester. Vigeant, a USRSA Master Racquet Technician, has been in the racquet sports industry for almost 10 years and went from being a competitive badminton player to a badminton coach and a tennis player. He spent the last decade as a racquet technician at various local and state tournaments, which led to the opening of his racquet sports business near Montreal.
Vigeant says he has a passion for stringing techniques and stringing machines, which has led him to always staying on top of the newest products and technologies in the field, as well as always being ready to provide the best advice and services to the tennis community.
USTA Foundation Receives $150,000 Grant from ESPN
USTA Foundation, the national charitable organization of the USTA, has received a $150,000 grant from ESPN to support seven National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network chapters. The NJTLs are part of the newly established Capacity Building Program, designed to provide long-term technical assistance for selected NJTL chapters.
The seven receiving a Capacity Building Program grant on behalf of ESPN are: A’s & Aces, New Orleans; New HYTEs- New Haven Youth Tennis and Education, New Haven, Conn.; Down the Line and Beyond Foundation, Villanova, Pa.; Dallas Tennis Association, Dallas; InnerCity Tennis, Minneapolis; Sloane Stephens Foundation, Compton, Calif.; and Youth and Tennis Academy, Queens, N.Y.
PTR Hall of Fame To Induct BJK
Billie Jean King will be inducted to the PTR Hall of Fame on February 17, during the PTR International Tennis Symposium on Hilton Head Island, S.C. King was induced into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame in 2010.
The PTR Hall of Fame was created to preserve history and honor excellence. The PTR Board of Directors elects members for enshrinement. Induction into the Hall of Fame is considered PTR’s highest honor. King will be the fifth inductee, joining Dennis Van der Meer, Jim Verdieck, Dr. Jim Loehr, and Arthur Ashe.
USRSA Announces New MRTs and CSs
Master Racquet Technician
Yan Vigeant - Longueuil, QC CANADA
Paul Gordon - Etobicoke, ON CANADA
Meredith Nixon - Markham, ON CANADA
Grace Tomlinson - Wynne Wood, PA
Mitchell Zavesky - Flossmor, IL
Our September/October issue contained an incorrect phone number for Tecnifibre. The correct contact info is 888-301-7878 or email@example.com. We apologize for any inconvenience.
By the numbers
Tennis Racquet Performance
Specialty Stores: January-June, 2015 vs. 2014
|% change vs. ‘14||2%|
|% change vs. ‘14||1%|
|% change vs. ‘14||-1%|
Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores
By year-to-date dollars: Jan.-June 2015
- Babolat Aero Pro Drive 2013 (MP)
- Babolat Pure Drive 2015 (MP)
- Wilson Pro Staff 97 (MP)
- Babolat Pure Drive GT 2012 (MP)
- Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Auto (MP)
“Hot New Racquets”
(Introduced in the past 12 months.)
- Babolat Pure Drive 2015 (MP)
- Wilson Pro Staff 97 (MP)
- Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Auto (MP)
- Babolat Pure Drive Team 2015 (MP)
- Babolat Pure Drive Lite 2015 (MP)
Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores
By year-to-date dollars, Jan.-June 2015
- Asics Gel Resolution 6
- Prince T22
- Nike Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tour
- Asics Gel Solution Speed 2
- Asics Gel Resolution 5
Top-Selling Strings at Specialty Stores
By year-to-date units, Jan.-June 2015
- Babolat RPM Blast
- Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex
- Wilson NXT
- Wilson Sensation
- Luxilon 4G
- Jimmy Evert, father of Chris Evert and a legendary, longtime teaching pro who served as the tennis director for the City of Fort Lauderdale for nearly 50 years, passed away Aug. 21 at age 92. Contributions may be made to the Jimmy Evert Scholarship Fund; checks can be made payable to the USTA Foundation–Jimmy Evert Fund, 70 West Red Oak Lane, White Plains, NY 10604.
- Head players found success at this year’s US Open. Novak Djokovic won his third Grand Slam of 2015 and 10th in his career after defeating Roger Federer in the singles final. Taylor Fitz won the boy’s singles title. Head player Leander Paes, with Martina Hingis, won a third mixed doubles title of the season. And David Wagner earned the Men’s Quad doubles title, with partner Nicolas Taylor.
- International Tennis Federation President Francesco Ricci Bitti received the 2015 USTA President’s Award during the USTA Semi-Annual Meeting in New York City during the US Open. He’s served as president of the ITF since 1999 and is stepping down this fall.
- LSI Industries Inc. has named Jay Matsueda as Senior Director of Strategic Marketing & Communications for the Lighting Solutions division. Matsueda will be responsible for all aspects of marketing strategy and execution, public relations, trade shows, collateral, site content, social media, competitive research, creative direction, brand development and more for LSI Lighting Solutions.
- Terri Graham has resigned her position at Wilson Sporting Goods after 21 years as the Business Director of Indoor Racquet Sports. She will be moving on to the world of pickleball developing the US Open Pickleball Championships taking place in Naples next April.
- Head player Sloane Stephens won her first career title at the Citi Open in Washington in early August, playing with the Head Graphene Radical.
- South African Kevin Anderson received the fifth annual US Open Sportsmanship Award presented to the professional tennis player who best demonstrates excellence in sportsmanship throughout the Emirates Airline US Open Series and the US Open.
- Longtime USPTA Director of Operations Rich Fanning passed away on Aug. 21, following a battle with cancer. Memorial donations may be made to: Priest Retirement Fund, In Memory of Rich Fanning, St. Cecilia Catholic Church, 11720 Joan of Arc Drive, Houston, TX 77024-2602.
- Longtime USTA Missouri Valley staff member and volunteer Fred Johnson died Aug. 5 following a courageous fight with cancer.
- The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) has promoted Cameron Jacobs to manager of communications and research and John Peters to director of sales and member services.
- Five U.S. tournament directors were selected by a subcommittee of the USTA’s Junior Competition Committee to be named the first class of “Blue Ribbon” tournament directors. Honored for their hard work and dedication were: Ivan Baron of Parkland, Fla.; Robert Dunivan of Deer Park, Texas; Meghan Houk of Tucson; Lorraine Novak of Mobile, Ala.; and Sheryl Osborn of Arlington, Texas.
- John Bridgeland, a 1982 Harvard graduate, received the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s highest honor — the 2015 ITA David A. Benjamin Achievement Award — in September. The award honors past participants in varsity tennis who have achieved excellence in their chosen careers. Bridgeland is the CEO of Civic Enterprises, a public policy firm, and Co-Chair of the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute, an initiative to create a voluntary, civilian national service counterpart to military service. The award this year was renamed in honor of Benjamin and made possible by a legacy gift from Margie and Stan Smith.
- Ben Porter is the new Global Product Manager for Wilson Sporting Goods.
- Wayne and Kathy Bryan, Jerry and Jeanie Buss, Bill Rombeau, Brian Teacher and Pam Teeguarden were recently inducted into the Southern California Tennis Association Hall Of Fame.
- The National Senior Games Association honored 67-year-old racquetball player Sharon Huczek with a Class of 2015 Personal Best Award. Huczek earned one gold and one silver medal for her racquetball singles and doubles play at the recent 2015 National Senior Games.
- Jennifer Capriati was among eight professional athletes honored in early October at the 30th Annual Great Sports Legends event in New York City, which is sponsored by the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis.
- Former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka has switched her representation from the Lagardere company to IMG.
- Brian Ogle is the new senior director of global sales and marketing for K-Swiss. His new responsibilities include developing a global voice for tennis, creating sales programs and strategies, overseeing the footwear/apparel/accessories product lines, and developing partnerships with retail partners around the world. He’ll also be responsible for athlete recruitment and development.
- The U.S. Davis Cup team beat Uzbekistan, 3-1, in a 2015 World Group Playoff match in September to move back into the World Group and be eligible to compete for the 2016 Davis Cup. The U.S. will travel to Australia for its first-round 2016 World Group match March 4-6.
- The long-running Family Circle Cup is changing its name to the Volvo Cars Open. The event, which began in 1973, is the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in the world. It will be April 2-10 on Daniel Island, S.C.
- PGA Tour Superstore says 14 of its tennis associates from stores around the country have received the highest certification a racquet sports retailer can receive, recognition as Master Racquet Technicians (MRT) by the USRSA. “We’re thrilled to have so many newly-minted Master Racquet Technicians at our stores to ensure consumers receive the best service in retail,” said Dick Sullivan, President and CEO of PGA Tour Superstore.
- Sports industry executives Mark Miles and Larry Scott were recognized for their extensive contributions to tennis by presentation of the Eugene L. Scott Award during the Legends Ball in New York, which is hosted by the International Tennis Hall of Fame during the US Open. In addition, The Tennis Media Company, which this year marks the 50th anniversary of Tennis Magazine, received the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award.
- Rome, Ga., has been selected to host the 2016-17 USTA Southern Junior Team Tennis Section Championships. The city is on track to open the 51-court Rome Tennis Center at Berry College in June. The annual tournament will be Aug. 11-14 and is expected to draw about 60 co-ed teams from the USTA Southern Section.
- Rocky Mountain Sports will be exclusive U.S. distributor for Mauve Sports products.
- The USPTA has partnered with the International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA), which now is now the official tennis-specific sport science educational organization for the USPTA. The partnership allows members of both organizations to take advantage of additional education opportunities. Visit uspta.com/certification.
- Ashaway Racket Strings has terminated Harrow Sports as a distributor of Ashaway strings, the company announced. In addition, Ashaway will no longer supply SuperNick® XL squash strings for factory stringing in Harrow frames.
- TIA Cardio Tennis Manager Michele Krause received a letter of appreciation from Florida State Rep. Greg Steube recently, following a story about Krause and Cardio Tennis in the Sarasota Herald. “I would like to offer my wholehearted congratulations to you on the outstanding success of Cardio Tennis,” Steube wrote. “Thank you for dedicating your talents to our community.”
- The press center at the US Open was officially named the Bud Collins US Open Media Center in a ceremony Sept. 6, during the tournament.
- Maria Sharapova, the co-owner of Supergoop!, has announced the launch of Project Black Dot, an education and activism platform with the mission to end the epidemic of skin cancer and improve skin health in America. The initiative will focus on providing consumers with sun-care education and activations year-round.
- USTA Foundation, the national charitable foundation of the USTA, has granted 53 high school students a variety of college scholarships totaling $373,000.
- American Express has entered into a multi-year renewal of its USTA and US Open sponsorship. American Express first became a sponsor of the US Open in 1994. Through its partnership, American Express contributes to the growth and health of the sport of tennis from the grassroots level to the US Open.
- Fisher Island Club Hotel & Resort, located on a private, 216-acre island accessible by ferry from Miami Beach, recently finished renovations to its tennis center that included construction of two red clay tennis courts. Now, Fisher Island offers all three Grand Slam playing surfaces — hard, clay and grass, with its total 18 courts.
- The USTA announced its first LEED (level of certification) Green Building Certification for its US Open Transportation Building, part of the USTA’s commitment to create a sustainable future and reduce environmental impact.
- The Toluca Lake Tennis & Fitness Club has been voted the 2015 Best Health and Fitness Club in Los Angeles in the Readers Choice Awards for the Los Angeles Daily News. Ben Brunkow is the tennis director and Christian Straka is the head pro.
- The Pro League of Hilton Head Island, S.C., donated $2,600 recently to the PTR Foundation, the charitable arm of the PTR.
- Infosys and the ATP have announced a strategic partnership to leverage the latest technological advances in mobility, cloud and analytics. As part of this partnership, Infosys will become the Global Technology Services Partner and Platinum Sponsor of the ATP World Tour, as well as the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, for the next three years.
- The FirstEnergy Foundation has donated $10,000 to Inner City Tennis Clinics of Cleveland (ICTC) to support programs that provide local children the opportunity to develop skills both on the tennis court and in the classroom. Founded in 2010, ICTC has served thousands of children with free programs designed to increase high school graduation rates and physical fitness, and develop skills to compete on the tennis court.
- Plannit, which offers a smartphone app to help tennis professionals manage their business, is now the official mobile business platform of the USPTA.
- Wilson has launched a marketing campaign called “My Wilson” designed to spotlight the relationship between athletes and their equipment and the stories they create together.
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