Information to help you run your business
USTA PlayDev Creates New ‘Team USA’ Department
USTA Player Development has created a new “Team USA–Pro” department that will be focused on providing American pro tennis players with coaching assistance, training and financial resources to help them reach the Top 100. USTA Lead National Coaches Tom Gullikson and Kathy Rinaldi have each been promoted to leadership roles in the new department and will lead its coaching efforts on the men’s and women’s sides, respectively.
The Team USA–Pro department was created to provide professional players ranked between 100 and 500 resources and assistance similar to what has been available to junior players since USTA Player Development first began to incorporate the Team USA philosophy into its junior development structure in 2014. Geoff Russell will assume a new role, as senior manager of Team USA–Pro, overseeing the department’s administrative operations.
“When players move quickly into the Top 100, they have a much better chance of achieving rankings in the Top 50, Top 20 or Top 10,” says USTA Player Development General Manager Martin Blackman. “Team USA–Pro will better enable us to maximize this opportunity for our American pros and help them achieve a ranking that gets them into the main draw of Grand Slam events, where we eventually want to see them competing into the second week.”
Additionally, USTA Player Development has reorganized its structure of National Coaches, creating teams of coaches who will focus on distinct groups of players: juniors, collegiate players and professional players. Richard Ashby (girls) and Andy Brandi (boys) have each been promoted to lead the junior coaching teams. The overall coaching reorganization is a move to assemble teams of coaches that will better be able to meet the developmental and training needs of those specific groups of players.
“We are utilizing the expertise and commitment of our coaching staff to develop smaller and more sharply focused coaching teams in order to provide private-sector coaches and programs with a collective resource that specializes in a particular phase of development — junior, collegiate or professional,” Blackman says.
Babolat Introduces New, Lightweight JET Shoe
Babolat’s new, lightweight JET shoe is now available, weighing in at 11.46 ounces. The company says the shoe is made from the “lightest performance material ever put into a tennis shoe.” The shoe is “built for speed yet exceptionally supportive,” says Babolat, designed to help players move faster and more lightly on the court.
The unique one-piece upper uses “Matryx,” a patented, woven textile made with durable Kevlar and Polyamide woven into specific zones where players need it most, and creating areas of visible support amid the catchy design. The shoe also features an exclusive “S” pattern Michelin outsole that’s designed to allow for quick direction changes while providing traction and durability, says Babolat.
The shoe is designed for competitive players looking for lightness and support. It’s available in all-court men’s and women’s models, and a clay men’s model, in gray/red and light gray/yellow. Suggested retail is $135. Visit babolat.com.
USTA Awards Wheelchair Tennis Grants to Nine Programs
The USTA is awarding $62,550 in USTA Wheelchair Tennis Grassroots Grants to nine programs nationwide to promote and develop the growth of wheelchair tennis and use the sport of tennis to build stronger, healthier communities.
“Wheelchair tennis continues to grow in stature and popularity in the U.S.,” says Dan James, USTA national manager of Wheelchair Tennis. “These organizations positively impact wheelchair tennis and we know these grants will be a part of a continued effort in expanding programs that support the wheelchair community through tennis and foster growth and success in players.” Grants are being awarded to:
- Dwight Davis Memorial Tennis Center, St. Louis
- Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association, Lake Forest, Ill.
- Rome Sports, Rome, Ga.
- Grey Rock Tennis Club, Austin, Texas
- Houston Wheelchair Tennis Program & Team, Cypress, Texas
- Tennis 4 Every 1, The Woodlands, Texas
- University of Alabama–Adaptive Athletics, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
- West Coast Wheelchair Tennis Association, North Hollywood, Calif.
- Wheelchair Sports Federation, Middle Village, N.Y.
Since 2008, the USTA has given more than $450,000 to wheelchair tennis programs across the country.
Solinco Adds New Hyper-G Co-Poly
Solinco introduces a new string to its formidable lineup. The Hyper-G is a co-polyester string utilizing a newly developed chemical formula in combination with the high-powered polyester monofilament fiber that is designed and shaped to generate maximum power and control while amplifying spin, according to the company.
Hyper-G is available in four gauges — 16/1.30, 16L/1.25, 17/1.20, and 18/1.15 — in 40-foot packages and 656-foot reels. Visit solincosports.com.
- Fila will become the Official Athletic Apparel and Footwear partner of Tennis Canada. The multi-year deal will also make Fila a silver sponsor of the Rogers Cup events, held in both Montreal and Toronto, and of Davis Cup and Fed Cup official uniforms, senior, junior and wheelchair national and international events, as well as all Tennis Canada officials, and national training center participants.
- The Marshfield (Mass.) Tennis Club received the USTA New England CTA of the Year Award. Also, Sportsman’s Tennis and Enrichment Center of Dorchester, Mass., was named USTA NE Organization of the Year, and the Boston Tennis Classic hosted by Tennis 4All was named Special Tennis Event of the Year.
- Advanced Polymer Technology (APT) has introduced its new Laykold Masters premium all-weather surface, with several enhancements to the high-performance surface. APT backs all Laykold Masters systems with a five-year warranty. Masters systems have been featured at tennis showcases and events across the globe including Chicago, New York City, Rome and Tokyo. For info, visit laykold.com.
- The same-gender couples’ doubles tournament, inaugurated last March in Palm Springs, Calif., is now a USTA National Championship event and will become an annual part of the USTA’s adult competition tennis calendar. The Plaza Racquet Club again hosted the event, which was held March 4-6.
- NetJets Inc. has signed on as the official private aviation partner of the 2016 PowerShares Series, the circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30. NetJets will receive advertising spots, branded in-broadcast features, signage and hospitality while providing flights for PowerShares Series players to select events. The 2016 PowerShares Series features 12 events throughout the year starting April 8.
- TGA Premier Youth Tennis has a new franchise, located in Durham, N.C.
- The University of North Carolina defeated Virginia to win its first Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I National Men’s Team Indoor Championship in February. Meanwhile, No. 6-ranked California captured its first-ever ITA Division I National Women’s Team Indoors Championship title in February with a 4-3 victory over No. 5 North Carolina.
- Aimee Ruiz and Jose Dias, two members of the Head Penn National Playing Staff, have earned appointments to the USA Racquetball National Adult Team with their title runs at the 2016 National Doubles Championships held in February.
- Wes Beaullieu has been appointed as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s new Championships Coordinator. Prior to joining the ITA, Beaullieu was a youth tennis coach and tournament coordinator at Tennis Success Inc. in Corpus Christi, Texas.
- Kristina Mladenovic and Alizé Cornetare are the latest WTA players to endorse USANA Health Sciences nutritional products.
- West Chester (Pa.) University men’s and women’s tennis coach Tina Tharp has been named coach of the year for the USTA Middle States section.
- Mario Ibarra is the new executive director of USTA Wyoming in the Intermountain Section.
- Mary Edman has been appointed as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s new Membership Coordinator. Edman, a 2015 graduate of Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, began her duties with the ITA on February 16. Prior to her joining the ITA, Edman worked as a Graduate Assistant for Diversity & Inclusion at the United States Olympic Committee’s offices in Colorado Springs. She was also a USTA Junior Team Tennis Intern in the summer of 2014.
T.O.M. Conference Slated For March 23-25 in Miami
It’s not too late to sign up for the Third Annual Tennis Owners & Managers (T.O.M.) Conference, March 23-25 at the Hilton Miami Downtown during the Miami Open pro tennis tournament. Single-day rates are available for the T.O.M.
The conference will bring together leading experts in facility management, programming and other key areas to provide vital information to grow tennis businesses, in addition to a Tennis Tech Fair & Resource Center.
Key speakers include Dr. Jack Groppel, Cliff Drysdale, Gigi Fernandez, Emilio Sanchez, Jim Baugh and Dr. Gerald Faust, among other management and business consultants. Tennis industry speakers include Craig Jones, Dan Santorum, John Embree, Randy Futty, Pat Hanssen, Lee Sponaugle, Virgil Christian and Scott Schultz. Among facility owners and managers sharing their knowledge will be: Greg Lappin, Simon Gale, Mike Woody, Fernando Velasco, Jorge Capestany, Doug Cash and many others. To register and for more information, go to TheTOMConference.com.
State of Industry Forum in Miami
Held in conjunction with the T.O.M. Conference will be the State of the Industry Forum, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 23 at the Hilton Miami Downtown. The Forum is free to attend (but space is limited, so register at TheTOMConference.com) and will present the latest news and data about the state of the tennis industry, including research, trends and more.
PTR, Tennis Europe Partner to Boost TennisCoachEd.com
Tennis Europe and the PTR have a two-year partnership that will make PTR an “Official Continuous Learning Provider” partner of the Tennis CoachEd initiative. The partnership will provide PTR with additional opportunities to promote activities in Europe. TennisCoachEd.com is Tennis Europe’s project aimed primarily at providing new opportunities, information and services for the European tennis coaching community.
“PTR is looking forward to working with Tennis Europe and its National Tennis Federations to provide additional quality education for tennis coaches,” says PTR CEO Dan Santorum. “We are confident those Federations who choose to work with PTR will benefit greatly and see an increase in their overall tennis growth.”
Pound, Maule take on key roles at Wilson
Iain Pound has been promoted to national sales director for Wilson Racquet Sports and will lead the brand’s sales efforts in the specialty tennis channel in the U.S. Also, Wilson has hired Mickey Maule as its new regional commercial director for racquet sports in the Americas.
Pound — a former Division 1 college player, USPTA certified pro, club director and college coach — previously, he served as regional sales manager for Amer Sports Winter, Outdoor and Cycle sales organization, and prior to that, worked as a territory manager for Wilson in the Southeast.
Maule comes from Babolat, where he was national sales manager. At Wilson, he will focus on growing the brand in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Maule was an ATP-ranked pro player in 1990-1993 and won the ITF Men’s 40 and over doubles World Championship in 2012. He led Northern Illinois University’s tennis team as head coach and served as assistant head coach at Northwestern.
New Edition Released for ‘Tennis Parent’s Bible’
Frank Giampaolo has come out with the Second Edition of his popular “Tennis Parent’s Bible,” written to help increase family harmony, decrease the game’s dramatic drop-out rate, and maximize a player’s potential at the quickest rate.
Unifying the player, parent and coach relationship holds many benefits, not only for the athlete and his or her parents, but also for tennis industry professionals, says the author. Improved team synergy will help build and maintain a healthy club bottom line, support a thriving junior development program, reinforce the lesson curriculum, organize parental accountability with actual job descriptions and strengthen parental commitment.
For more information or to order the new edition, visit maximizingtennispotential.com.
U.S. Fed Cup Team Plays in Australia
The U.S. Fed Cup Team will travel to Australia for the 2016 Fed Cup World Group Playoffs April 16-17 at a site to be determined. Australia is seeded No. 8, while the U.S. was unseeded. The U.S. advanced to the playoffs after winning its World Group II First-Round tie over Poland, 4-0, held in Hawaii in February.
Mitch Case is newest USRSA tester
Mitch Case, the director of tennis at Woodridge Lake in Goshen, Conn., is the newest USRSA tester. Case has been stringing racquets since 1995 and customizing frames since 2007. He’s a PTR-certified pro in both Adult Development and Junior Performance, teaching players of all ages at Woodridge Lake, as well as indoors at the Farmington Valley Racquet Club in Simsbury, Conn.
Case, who played college tennis at Western Connecticut State University, is also an Etcheberry certified coach, a No-Cut High School coach, and is a member of Tennis Magazine’s Playtest Panel.
SCTA Presents Awards
Several individuals and organizations were honored recently at the Southern California Tennis Association’s Annual Meeting & Awards ceremony held at the Los Angeles Tennis Center-UCLA.
Henry Talbert Lifetime Achievement: Franklin Johnson
Evelyn Houseman Junior Sportsmanship Award: Brandon Holt and Ena Shibahara
Member Organization: Marguerite Tennis Pavilion
LA84 Foundation/NJTL: Mike Casarz
Long Ellis Intercollegiate Award: University of California, Santa Barbara
Curt Condon Spirit Award: Hank Lloyd
Eugene Jung Multicultural Award: Jay Diaz
Service Awards were presented to Dave Nowick, Junior Tennis; Mahlone Becker, JTT; Ron Marquez, Cathedral Catholic H.S., San Diego, High School Tennis Coach; University of California–Santa Barbara, Tennis On Campus; Bryan East, Wheelchair Tennis; Pete Brown Scholarship Fund, Los Angeles; Scott Cleere, Central Coast; Alvin Alaman, Orange County; Amy Ellison, Adult Leagues (Inland Empire); Richard Chang, Volunteer.
US Open Pickleball Chps. Set for Naples, Fla.
The inaugural US Open Pickleball Championships is set to take place in Naples, Fla., April 26-May 1, and it is already so explosively popular that its organizers are beyond excited.
“We’re going to sell out on mixed doubles; it’s the most popular event,” says Terri Graham, president of Spirit Promotions, the group responsible for organizing the event. “We have 48 courts. They’ll all be busy.”
Paddletek LLC of Niles, Mich., developed a custom paddle for the tournament, and Curtis Smith, CEO, says it is selling out as fast as it can be produced — “and we haven’t even officially announced it yet.” Wilson has produced the official balls for the tournament and DecoTurf is the official surface; in fact, local officials in Naples fast-tracked construction proceedings in order to have all the facilities ready for the event. The event has a title sponsor, home builder Minto, as well as sponsorship support from more than a dozen other companies and charity partners.
The event is filling room nights in hotels in and around Naples, and also bringing in traffic in local condos. And, says Graham, once pickleball players get a look at the facilities — either in person or by being one of the estimated 50 million who will see the finals on CBS (which has signed a multi-year deal to televise the finals) — they’ll want to come back to Naples and play there.
“This place is going to attract visitors long after we leave here,” she says.
— Mary Helen Sprecher
iTPA to Hold 2nd Annual World Tennis Fitness Conf.
The Second Annual World Tennis Fitness Conference, presented by the International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA) will be July 30-31 in Atlanta. The conference focuses on techniques and evidence-based information to help participants to more effectively train tennis players.
About 140 people from six countries attended the inaugural event last year, including tennis coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, personal trainers, athletic trainers, physicians, healthcare providers and other tennis-specific specialists. Faculty included some of the world’s leading tennis-specific fitness education experts.
For information, on the 2016 World Tennis Fitness Conference, visit itpa-tennis.org.
USRSA Announces New MRTs and CS
Master Racquet Technicians
Albert Juliano - Farmington, CT
Jeremy Reeve - Melbourne, VC Australia
Hernan Chaves-Posse - Vancouver, BC Canada
William Milne - Fort Wayne, IN
By the numbers
Tennis Racquet Performance
January-December, 2015 vs. 2014
|% change vs. ’14||1%|
|% change vs. ’14||-2%|
|% change vs. ’14||0%|
Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores
By year-to-date dollars, Jan.-Dec. 2015
- Babolat Pure Drive 2015 (MP)
- Babolat Aero Pro Drive (MP)
- Wilson Pro Staff 97 (MP)
- Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Auto (MP)
- Babolat Pure Aero (100) 2016 (MP)
“Hot New Racquets”
(introduced in the past 12 months)
- Babolat Pure Aero (100) 2016 (MP)
- Wilson Blade 104 2015 (MP)
- Head XT Instinct MP (MP)
- Wilson Blade 98 18x20 2015 (MP)
- Wilson Burn 100 S (MP)
Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores
By year-to-date dollars, Jan.-Dec. 2015
- Asics Gel Resolution 6
- Prince T22
- Asics Gel Solution Speed 2
- Nike Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tour
- Nike Zoom Cage 2
Top-Selling Strings at Specialty Stores
By year-to-date units, Jan.-Dec. 2015
- Babolat RPM Blast
- Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex
- Wilson NXT
- Wilson Sensation
- Luxilon 4G
TI magazine search
TI magazine articles
- Our Serve: Clarity and Simplicity
- Industry News
- Racquet Tech: Stringing Blind
- Grassroots Tennis: Play It Forward!
- Player Ratings: Leveling the Field
- Building Our Future
- 2017 Racquet Selector: Finding the Perfect Fit
- Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards: Soft Serve
- Stringing Machine Review: Tourna 600-ES