Tennis Industry magazine


Industry News

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

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

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

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 or contact Crusius at 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

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

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

Certified Stringers

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 We apologize for any inconvenience.

By the numbers

Tennis Racquet Performance

Specialty Stores: January-June, 2015 vs. 2014

Units 2015 305,585
  2014 299,767
  % change vs. ‘14 2%
Dollars 2015 $45,009,000
  2014 $44,391,000
  % change vs. ‘14 1%
Price 2015 $147.29
  2014 $148.08
  % change vs. ‘14 -1%

Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars: Jan.-June 2015

  1. Babolat Aero Pro Drive 2013 (MP)
  2. Babolat Pure Drive 2015 (MP)
  3. Wilson Pro Staff 97 (MP)
  4. Babolat Pure Drive GT 2012 (MP)
  5. Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Auto (MP)

“Hot New Racquets”

(Introduced in the past 12 months.)

  1. Babolat Pure Drive 2015 (MP)
  2. Wilson Pro Staff 97 (MP)
  3. Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Auto (MP)
  4. Babolat Pure Drive Team 2015 (MP)
  5. Babolat Pure Drive Lite 2015 (MP)

Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, Jan.-June 2015

  1. Asics Gel Resolution 6
  2. Prince T22
  3. Nike Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tour
  4. Asics Gel Solution Speed 2
  5. Asics Gel Resolution 5

Top-Selling Strings at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date units, Jan.-June 2015

  1. Babolat RPM Blast
  2. Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex
  3. Wilson NXT
  4. Wilson Sensation
  5. Luxilon 4G

(Source: TIA)

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