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USTA Names Winners of 2016 Facility Awards

The Candy Erickson Tennis Center in Park City, Utah, has been named the USTA’s 2016 Featured Facility, the organization’s highest facility award. The tennis center will be honored at the USTA Semi-Annual Meeting in September.

Opened in 2011, the Candy Erickson center is part of the $11.25 million Park City Municipal Athletic Recreation Center, which is home to Park City’s Recreation and Tennis Departments. The 11-court indoor/outdoor facility includes a pro shop and other amenities. Park City tennis currently has six full-time certified pros and 14 part-time pros. The center also is home for the high school boys’ and girls’ tennis teams.

“Great facilities like the Candy Erickson Tennis Center help us to grow the game at the grassroots,” said Kurt Kamperman, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis. “The center has embraced many of our tennis initiatives and kept the sport at the forefront of its community each year.”

To be considered for an award, facilities must be under the jurisdiction of a park and recreation department, an educational institution, a nonprofit corporation or be a private or commercially owned and operated facility that offers both USTA and public programming designed to help grow tennis. Other 2016 USTA Facility Awards Program winners are:

Tennis Hall of Fame Enshrines Four

The International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., inducted its 2016 class on July 16. Enshrined in the “Recent Player” category are Justine Henin of Belgium and Marat Safin of Russia. Enshrined in the “Master Player” category are the late Yvon Petra of France and Margaret Scriven of England. Also honored this year was Amelie Mauresmo of France, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015 but was unable to attend the enshrinement ceremony due to the birth of her son.

USPTA World Conference Set for Indian Wells

The USPTA World Conference will be held on Sept. 25-29 at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa in California. This year, the Buying Show will be held at the start of the conference, on Monday, Sept. 26, from 5 to 10 p.m. The Awards Lunch will be held on Sept. 27.

Presenters will include Hank Pfister, Paula Scheb, Stan Oley, Jeff Salzenstein, Pat Shields, Jeff Gearheart, Scott Schultz, Craig Jones, Martin Blackman, Kurt Kamperman, Craig Morris, Peter Burwash, Michele Krause, Ajay Pant, John Yandell, Brian Teacher, Feisal Hassan, Gerry Faust and Bob Patterson,among others. A panel discussion moderated by Todd Martin will include Rosie Casals, Lindsay Davenport and Pam Shriver.

For more information or to register, visit uspta.org.

US Open Offers Richest Purse in Tennis History

Total prize money for the 2016 US Open is a record $46.3 million, making it the richest purse in tennis history. The $4 million increase in prize money represents a 10 percent boost from last year’s event, which saw Novak Djokovic and Flavia Pennetta win singles titles. This year’s singles champions will earn $3.5 million, the largest payout in tournament history. Singles players who lose in the first round will earn $43,300.

Both the men’s and women’s doubles champion teams will earn $625,000, also the highest purse in US Open history. The US Open Qualifying Tournament will offer more than $1.9 million in prize money.

This year’s US Open, held from Aug. 29 to Sept. 11, will feature a number of facility upgrades, including a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, a new Grandstand Stadium and a redesigned southern campus to ease accessibility throughout the site.

Cahill, Annacone Join PlaySight Coaching Team

World-renowned tennis coaches Darren Cahill and Paul Annacone have joined PlaySight as the new heads of the Coaching and Player Development team. Cahill and Annacone will assist with the creation of instructional content for PlaySight users and tennis players.

In addition, the former ATP pros will oversee the development of a PlaySight coaching curriculum, using SmartCourt video and analytics technology to work with tennis players of all ages and abilities around the world. Annacone and Cahill will also advise PlaySight in the rollout of SmartCourts across key collegiate, club, federation and tournament locations.

Playsight recently announced a partnership with the USTA that will bring SmartCourts to the USTA National Campus and will provide the USTA Player Development and its coaches and players with cutting-edge technology and tools. Visit PlaySight.com for more information.

Ball Machine Updates

In the July “Guide to Ball Machines” chart, a price was incorrect for one of the Sports Tutor models. The manufacturer suggested retail price for Sports Tutor’s Wilson Portable should be $1,145.

For Playmate, the toll-free number should be 800-776-6770.

For Spinfire USA, the correct contact information should be 888-244-0003 and www.spinfireusa.com.

USTA Foundation Distributes $100,000 from Chase

The USTA Foundation has partnered with longtime US Open sponsor Chase for the third consecutive year to award 10 National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapters with $10,000 grants. The money will go toward year-round tennis and education programming to engage kids in the A.C.E. (Academic Creative Engagement) curriculum.

In July, Chase also helped each NJTL grant recipient host a #ReturnTheServe Fun Day, which included a variety of tennis-related activities for the youth participants of the NJTL programs, along with their families.

NJTL chapters receiving $10,000 grants are: A’s and Aces, New Orleans; Youth Tennis Advantage, San Francisco; Dallas Tennis Association, Addison, Texas; 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; Metropolitan Tennis & Education Group, Upper Marlboro, Md.; The ACE Project, Riverdale, Ill.; and Houston Tennis Association.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Acquires Sports Authority Name

Dick’s Sporting Goods recently paid $15 million at auction for the Sports Authority brand name as well as additional intellectual property. Dick’s also paid an additional $8 million to take over 31 Sports Authority store leases. The intellectual property reportedly includes SA’s website, SportsAuthority.com, a loyalty program with 28.5 million members, and a list of 114 million customer files.

The purchases need to be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., which is where Sports Authority filed for Chapter 11 in March. Going-out-of-business sales have been taking place at Sports Authority’s 450 stores since May.

Renner Sports Surfaces Renovates Colorado Park

Renner Sports Surfaces of Denver recently completed the renovation of four asphalt tennis courts and a basketball court at Meadowwood Park in Aurora, Colo., rebuilding them with a post-tensioned concrete overlay. Renner rebuilt the badly cracked, undersized courts and expanded them to 14 feet wide, regraded for proper slope, installed new fencing to handle 90 M.P.H. wind loads and added new LSI Courtsider XL lighting and a Bakko practice wall. RSS Acrylic Color was used for the playing surfaces, which also have blended lines. •

Sportsmen’s Receives $225,000 Grant from Boston Foundation

Sportsmen’s Tennis & Enrichment Center has been awarded a $225,000 grant by the Boston Foundation. The grant will partially fund Match Point, Sportsmen’s signature community outreach program, into 2019.

Through Match Point, and with funding from the Boston Foundation, Sportsmen’s has partnered with dozens of nearby schools and community organizations to provide school-based and out-of-school tennis instruction since 2008. The most recent grant will be used to expand Match Point, which includes work with high-risk youth.

Inaugural PTR Tennis Tech Conference on Hilton Head

The PTR’s inaugural Tennis Technology Conference and Expo, dedicated to innovations and technology to help grow the sport, will be held on Nov. 3-4 at the Marriott Resort Hilton Head Island. The conference will feature interactive sessions covering the latest in products and software to help tennis coaches and club directors/managers run their businesses more effectively.

Session topics will include Software Integration for Clubs, Digital Marketing, Match Analysis Video Software, Teaching Apps, Green Initiatives, On-Court Technology and Racquet Technology with Software Integration. There will be an opportunity to demo on court as well.

For more information about the Conference and Expo, visit ptrtennis.org.

Short Sets

People Watch

USRSA Seeks Associate Director

The USRSA is accepting applications for the position of Associate Director, located in its Birmingham, Ala., headquarters. Candidates should be USRSA certified as a Master Racquet Technician (or be ready to qualify as an MRT within three months) and possess great customer service skills. A working knowledge of computers is required. Applicants must possess good communication skills and have the ability to lead and direct others. Send cover letter and resume to USRSA Executive Director Bob Patterson at bob@racquettech.com.

Subscription ‘Box’ Delivers Tennis Essentials Monthly

TennisTrunk.com is a subscription service that sends a box of tennis essentials to tennis players’ doorsteps every month. Products can include balls, wristbands, overgrips, sunblock, socks, protein bars, electrolytes and more.

TennisTrunk.com was started by Andres Vallejo, a tennis teaching pro at the Weston Hills Country Club in Weston, Fla., who was frustrated one day by not having tennis balls on hand when he wanted to play. “Later that day, I got an email from Dollar Shave Club notifying me that my razors were on the way, then it hit me,” he says. “I decided to create a subscription box for tennis players. I wanted players to have an experience every time they opened their box. It’s like getting a surprise in the mail every month.”

The cost for the service is $34.99, shipping included, with a month-to-month plan; prices decrease depending on the number of months in the plan. Users also can skip a renewal or cancel a subscription at any time.

“My goal is to motivate people to play more tennis,” Vallejo says. “Our subscribers tell us they get excited to play tennis every time they receive their box and it has made them play more tennis every month.” Visit TennisTrunk.com for more info.

WTT Smash Hits Returns to Las Vegas

World TeamTennis Smash Hits, the annual charity event co-hosted by Billie Jean King and Sir Elton John, returns to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Oct. 10. Headliners on the court this year will be John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Martina Navratilova and Lindsay Davenport. The action will begin at 7 p.m. on a specially-constructed tennis court in the valet parking lot.

The 2015 Las Vegas debut of WTT Smash Hits at Caesars Palace raised more than $1 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Ticket prices and packages range from $55 to $500. Visit WTTSmashHits.com or call 866-320-9763.

‘Zero Poly’ Trend Gains Momentum, says Ashaway

Ashaway Vice President Steve Crandall says a trend toward “zero poly” monofilament strings is “gaining momentum among tournament and other high-end players.”

“More and more high-end players are coming to realize they can get equal, if not better, performance from newer zero poly monofilament alternatives, along with better feel, better playability, and reduced risk of injury,” says Crandall, who helps lead one of the oldest family-owned businesses in the U.S.

In terms of spin generation, Crandall points to technical reports by physicist Rod Cross and Tennis Warehouse University’s Crawford Lindsay, which demonstrate that topspin is generated not by the stiffness of a string material, but by the string’s ability to move laterally and snap back when striking the ball, characteristics shared by non-poly alternatives such as Ashaway’s MonoGut ZX strings. MonoGut ZX, says Crandall, “can generate almost as much spin as poly, but with more power. Not to mention that it plays softer and offers better feel.”

For more information, visit ashawayusa.com.

USRSA Announces New MRTs and CS

Master Racquet Technicians

Anthony Nazzaro — Shenorock, N.Y.

Marco Commuzzo — San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Certified Stringer

Matt Deratnay — Toronto, Canada

 

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