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Your Serve

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FEBRUARY 2016 / VOLUME 44/ NUMBER 2 / $5.00


Outstanding Tennis
Facility Awards






Our Serve

Industry News

11 Letters
13 Racquet Service
16 Retailing Tip
18 Racquet Tech
20 Grassroots Tennis


22 Community Tennis


24 R
 acquets & Strings:

36 Ask the Experts

38 String Playtest:

Tourna Big Red 16

New and Improved

Your Serve, by Jason Jamison


Racquets for spring include updates of existing

models and brand new lines, while strings
offer something for all types of players.

Tennis Owners & Managers
Conference attracts top experts

PTR Week, Symposium set

for Feb. 15-21

ITF Recognized Court

program comes to U.S.

Bob Patterson named

USRSA executive director

Providers: List programs,

events at

PlaySight installations
continue to increase

ASBA elects new officers

and directors


28 Shoes: Stepping Forward

Colors continue in new footwear, along
with moves to either lighter weight or
more durability.

30 Apparel: Springing Ahead

Soft sophisticated tones and shapes are
coming back, leaving the neon brights behind.


Jon Vegosen named

ITA chairman


33 Threes Company

10 P
 eople Watch
10 Mateflex offers modular
court surfaces

Tennis Industry and the ASBA present the best

in tennis court construction and design.

11 B
 ollettieri teams with
Pivot wearable tech
11 L ongtime tennis journalist
writes Safe Tennis book


CEOs Message

46 2
 016 USPTA Annual
Awards Program Open
for Nominations
47 USPTA Foundation Raises
Goal for 2016

50 Rainy-Day Tennis on the

Racquetball Courts
54 Trip of a Lifetime to
the US Open

Read more articles online at

2 TennisIndustry

February 2016

44 First Vice Presidents

45 Master Pro Corner
46 USPTA News
48 Endorsee News
Inside Coaching
Beyond the Court
58 Career Development
Member News

Our Serve


David Bone Jeff Williams

Editorial Director
Peter Francesconi
Associate Editor
Greg Raven

Learning Curve

n the fall, I had the chance to attend three national conferences

that were important in terms
of education in the tennis industry: First was the USPTA World
Conference in New Orleans in late
September, then the USTAs Tennis
Development Workshop in San Diego in early November, and in early
December, I was at the American
Sports Builders Associations Annual
Technical Meeting in Scottsdale,
Ariz. (Another important conference in December I wasnt able to
be at was the Intercollegiate Tennis
Association Coaches Convention in
Naples, Fla.).
Attending these conferences once
again showed me how important
education is when it comes to being
a successful tennis provider. Not
only were the presentations packed
with great information, but the opportunities to network with peers
and exchange ideas, challenges and
solutions are a key to keeping your
tennis business vital and moving
Other tennis-specific national
conferences are coming up: Feb.
17-21 the PTR will hold its International Tennis Symposium on
Hilton Head Island, S.C., and March
23-25 in Miami, the Tennis Industry
Association will present its third
annual Tennis Owners & Managers
Conference (including a State of the
Industry Forum). The USTA holds
its Annual Meeting & Conference
March 12-14 in Carlsbad, Calif., and
its Semi-Annual Meeting & Conference in New York Sept. 3-6 (during
the US Open). And of course, there
are other sports and fitness-related
national conferences, too, such as

with the CMAA, IHRSA, NIRSA,

NRPA, etc. (For a calendar of tennis
industry events, go to and click the More tab.)
Keep in mind, theres also an
extensive list of regional and sectional conferences, conventions,
symposiums and workshops that go
on all the time around the country
by groups such as the USTA, PTR,
USPTA and USRSA. Clearly, there
are many in this industry who feel
the growth of this sport, and of your
business, is important and want to
help give you every chance to
And this is where you need to
come in. With the tens of thousands of teaching pros, facilities and
retailers in the U.S., only a fraction
actually take advantage of these
educational and networking opportunities that are out there. While
I realize online education is growing,
necessary and incredibly important
(witness the success that Coach
Youth Tennis has had with its online
modules), theres nothing quite like
being in the thick of a gathering
with hundreds of colleagues, hearing
presentations and insights from
renowned coaches, motivational
speakers, business leaders, community leaders, successful teaching
pros and others, and being able to
interact on a spontaneous level.
So, no matter what professional
organizations you belong to, or even
if you dont belong to any at the moment, this is a plea to get involved
and take advantage of these educational and networking opportunities.
Your business, and this sport and
industry, depend on it. I hope to see
you at many of these industry events.

Peter Francesconi, Editorial Director

4 TennisIndustry

February 2016

Design/Art Director
Kristine Thom
Special Projects Manager
Bob Patterson
Contributing Editors
Robin Bateman
Cynthia Cantrell
Peg Connor
Kent Oswald
Cynthia Sherman
Mary Helen Sprecher
Contributing Photographers
Bob Kenas
David Kenas
Corporate Offices
PO Box 3392, Duluth, GA 30096
Phone: 760-536-1177 Fax: 760-536-1171
Office Hours: Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Advertising Director
John Hanna
770-650-1102, x.125
Apparel Advertising
Cynthia Sherman
Tennis Industry is published 10 times per year:
monthly January through August and combined
issues in September/October and November/
December by Tennis Industry and USRSA, 310
Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North, Suite 400,
Birmingham, AL 35203. Periodcal postage paid
at Duluth, GA and at additional mailing offices
(USPS #004-354). Feb 2016, Volume 44, Number
2 2016 by USRSA and Tennis Industry. All
rights reserved. Tennis Industry, TI and logo
are trademarks of USRSA. Printed in the U.S.A.
Phone advertising: 770-650-1102 x 125. Phone
circulation and editorial: 760-536-1177. Yearly
subscriptions $25 in the U.S., $40 elsewhere.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Tennis
Industry, 310 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North,
Suite 400, Birmingham, AL 35203. TI is the official
magazine of the USRSA, TIA,and ASBA.
Looking for back issues of Tennis Industry/
Racquet Sports Industry? Visit the archives at our
website at for free digital
versions back to 2004.

Information to help you run your business

3rd Annual T.O.M. Conference

Attracts Top Experts & Leaders

he third annual Tennis Owners & Managers (T.O.M.) Conference, presented by the
Tennis Industry Association, will bring together top leaders from inside and outside the tennis industry. The event will be March 23-25 at the Downtown Miami
Hilton, during the Miami Open pro tournament.
The conference will open with the State of the Tennis Industry Forum (see box). A
major focus of the T.O.M. will be on innovation and new ideas to help tennis businesses
position themselves for growth. The T.O.M. will include a Tennis Tech Fair & Resource
Center, which will give owners, managers and their staff
an opportunity to learn more about and try out the latest
products that can engage members and players. There will
also be an interactive Idea Fair workshop, along with
problem-solving roundtables.
Among those who are planning to present at the T.O.M. Conference are Dr. Jack Groppel, co-founder of the Human Performance Institute and V.P. of Applied Science and
Performance Training at Wellness & Prevention Inc., who will address the importance
and business imperative of being a tennis wellness center along with how to implement
key strategies to to help your member base. Also speaking is Dr. Gerry Faust, a worldrenowned expert at strategic planning, executive coaching and business turn-arounds.
The T.O.M. will include expert speakers and panelists on programming, management,
court construction and renovation, facility maintenance, sustainability, legal and personnel issues. There will be a number of opportunities for networking, along with an opportunity to attend the Miami Open on Thursday evening.
A major component of the T.O.M. Conference will be how tennis will look in the future,
and understanding what drives and motivates todays consumers to get into tennis and
stay in the game. Gary Stewart, head of racquet sports at Virgin Active Health and Racquet
Clubs in the U.K., will present ideas
about successful programming, and
building and retaining members.
Ken Lindner, the president of the
Kicking off the third annual T.O.M. Conference in
U.S. POP Tennis Association, will
Miami will be the 2016 TIA State of the Industry
speak about his success rebranding
Forum, which will be March 23 from 10 to 11:45 a.m.
paddle tennis and how the sport
at the Downtown Miami Hilton. The Forum is free to
is looking to adopt 36- and 60-foot
attend, however, since space is limited, registration is
tennis courts to help bring people of
required at
all ages into the sport.
The Forum will include industry executives preUSTA executives speaking at the
senting the latest news and data about the state of
T.O.M. will include Kurt Kamperthe tennis industry, including participation research,
man, Craig Morris and Scott Schultz.
consumer and tech trends, an update on initiatives,
Also presenting will be PTR CEO
and more. Prior to the start of the Forum, registered
Dan Santorum, USPTA CEO John
attendees are invited to the Tennis Tech Fair & ReEmbree, TIA President and Tennis
source Center, which opens at 8:30 a.m.
Media Company Managing Partner
Jeff Williams, and Sports & Fitness
Industry Association President/CEO Tom Cove. Additional speakers include Jim Baugh,
Simon Gale, Jorge Capestany, Jeff Gocke, Craig Jones, Tom Sweitzer, Greg Lappin and
Doug Cash, among other successful industry leaders and entrepreneurs.
Visit for more details and to register, or call the TIA at 843686-3036.

State of the Industry Forum

March 23 in Miami

PTR Week, Symposium

Set for Feb. 15-21
PTR Week will be Feb. 15-21 on
Hilton Head Island,
S.C., and will include
Professional Development Courses
(Feb. 15-21), the
PTR Championships (Feb. 16-19), the
International Tennis Symposium (Feb.
17-20), Awards Banquet (Feb. 17) and
Tennis Trade Show (Feb. 18). The event,
which attracts hundreds of tennis
teachers and coaches from around the
world, will be held at the Van der Meer
Shipyard Racquet Club and Sonesta
More than 40 tennis industry experts
will conduct classroom and on-court
presentations, with subjects ranging
from tennis business to teaching tactics
and techniques. International Tennis
Hall of Famer Billie Jean King will be
inducted into the PTR Hall of Fame at
the organizations awards banquet on
Feb. 17. Visit for more info
and to register.

ITF Recognized Court

Program Comes to U.S.
Stuart Miller, a senior executive
director of the International Tennis
Federation, spoke in December to
the Tennis Division of the American
Sports Builders Association about
the ITFs Recognized Court program.
The new program is designed to
acknowledge that a tennis court
meets the recommendations provided in the ITF Guide to Test Methods for Tennis Court Surfaces. In the
U.S., the recognition program will be
available for courts built by an ASBA
Certified Tennis Court Builder.
The ITF offers two levels of recognition: for a One-Star ITF Recognized
Court, the court is tested for quality
of installation. Two-Star recognition
involves determining if the average
court pace rating of the court falls
within 5 points of the ITF classified
value. For more on the ITF Recog-

February 2016

TennisIndustry 7

nized Court program, visit

List Programs, Events

Looking to boost tennis activity at your
facility or for your CTA? As a tennis provider,
sign up now at to participate in the industry-wide Rally the Family campaign. Rally the Family focuses on
tennis for all ages, using lower compression
Red, Orange and Green tennis balls, shorter
courts, shorter racquets and modified

All tennis providers are encouraged to

sign-up to be part of the national campaign
and list their programs and events for free
at The initiative, expected to launch to consumers this spring,
is designed to drive adults and kids to your
courts and programs. Registered providers
will have access to free tools and resources
to promote their business locally.

WTA Reports Audience Gains

The Women's Tennis Association announced key metrics from an audience

Patterson Named
Office Moves to

he U.S. Racquet Stringers Association is

excited to announce that Bob Patterson of
Birmingham, Ala., has been appointed the
executive director. Patterson, a longtime USRSA
member and Master Racquet Technician, has worked with the USRSA and Tennis
Industry magazine for the last three years as special projects manager.
Patterson began his career in the tennis industry with a home-based stringing business that grew into a successful tennis specialty store. He also has done
extensive racquet service for tour players and worked on several pro tournament
stringing teams.
Bobs passion for equipment and racquet service, as well as his experience as a
shop owner and tour stringer, make him the perfect fit for the executive director
position, says David Bone, president of the USRSA. Patterson started his new position on January 1.
Im honored to be in this new position and Im looking forward to meeting the
challenge of serving our members, adds Patterson. The USRSA just completed its
40th year and there have been a lot of changes in our industry and our organization
during that time. Our goal has always been to help stringers provide their customers with the best professional service possible, and I will make sure we continue to
do that. Our focus will be to continue to provide the very best training and information for our members. I am looking forward to working with our members to see
how we can improve their experience with us so that we can meet their needs for
the next 40 years and beyond.
To allow the new executive director to take over all the day-to-day operations of
the USRSA, the organization has moved its main office to Birmingham.
The new USRSA address is: 310 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North, Suite 400,
Birmingham, AL 35203. The phone number remains 760-536-1177 and the fax
remains 760-536-1171. Email for Bob Patterson is or usrsa@ Hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time.

8 TennisIndustry

February 2016

report by SMG Insight that show overall

viewership of the 2015 WTA season rose
25 percent, with 395 million cumulative
viewers in 2015 vs. 316 million in 2014
an all-time high. For the second consecutive year the WTA registered a substantial
increase in audience, as viewership in
2014 rose by 23 percent.
The number of households reached by
WTA TV programming hit 954.4 million
in 2015, a 38 percent increase over 2014.
Digital viewership was up 44 percent,
with 44.6 million viewers watching
women's tennis through online channels,
compared to 31 million in 2014.
The top five most-viewed tournaments
in 2015 were: 1) China Open, Beijing
(34.64 million); 2) WTA Finals Singapore
(32.49 million); 3) Rogers Cup, Toronto
(29.70 million); 4) Miami Open (29.37
million); 5) BNP Paribas Open, Indian
Wells (26.81 million).
In 2015, the number of unique users
and visits to the website
were up 14 percent and 15 percent,
respectively. The number of fans following official WTA and player social media
pages was up 16 percent and reached
120 million cumulatively, while video
views across official WTA website and
social pages hit 48 million.

PlaySight Installations
Continue to Increase
Since signing a key deal with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in November,
sport video and analytics technology platform PlaySight Interactive reports that its
planning for a number of new installations
in the new year. PlaySight offers clubs, facilities, colleges, and academies an all-in-one
solutionfrom live streaming to real-time
analytics to after-action video review capabilities to professional coaching tools.
Recent PlaySight installations include

tion Solutions, Cincinnati; David Moxley,
Sportsfield Specialties, Delhi, N.Y.; and
Matt Strom, Leslie Coatings, Indianapolis.
Dan Wright (at left in photo) of Sports
Turf Co., Whitesburg, Ga., remains on the
board in the position of past chairman.

Ashaway Crossfire A
Cult Favorite for Hybrids

OKC Tennis Center Opens

Year-Round Courts

s part of its $4.2 million expansion, the OKC Tennis Center in Oklahoma City
recently completed a new 37,500-sq.-ft. tension fabric building housing six
regulation courts. The largest tennis facility in the state, OKC now has a total
of 36 courts. The final phase of the expansion project is planned for spring.
Designed and constructed by Legacy Building Solutions, the new structure is a
rigid, solid-steel frame with ceiling-mounted LED lighting fixtures. The building is
insulated and heating and air conditioning systems were installed to keep athletes
comfortable in all seasons. Legacy offers fabric in a variety of colors, and can also
custom print images and logos; OKC chose an exterior that features blue trim on
the roof and walls, which coordinate with the color of the outdoor courts. Visit

courts at the Tennis Club of Albuquerque,

University of California, Duke University,
Midtown Tennis-Rochester, Northwestern
University, and Scarborough East Tennis &
Fitness Club in Columbus, Ohio. For more
information, visit

ASBA Elects New Officers and

The American
Sports Builders
the national
for builders
and suppliers
of materials for
athletic facilities, has elected officers and directors for
2016-2017. Pete Smith (above, right),
a Certified Tennis Court Builder (CTCB)
with The CourtSmiths of Toledo, Ohio,
is the new chairman of ASBA. Smith,
who previously served as president of
the Tennis Division, has been active in
the association on many levels, includ-

ing serving on committees, speaking at

meetings, reviewing technical articles
and working on Association projects.
The new Tennis Division president
is Mike Edgerton, CTCB, of Copeland
Coatings in Nassau, N.Y. The new Field
Division president is Jim Catella of Clark
Companies in Delhi, N.Y.; and the new
Supplier Division president is Chris Rossi
of California Sports Surfaces of Andover, Mass. New board members include
Paul Nagle of Nagle Athletic Surfaces of
Syracuse, N.Y., and Bob Cohen of Robert
Cohen Co., of Albuquerque, N.M.
Others continuing on the board are:
Chris Sullivan, Verde Design, Folsom,
Calif.; Troy Rudolph, Sunland Sports,
Phoenix; Joe Covington Jr., Covington
Flooring, Birmingham, Ala.; Linn Lower,
Lower Bros. Co., Birmingham, Ala.; Ed
Norton, Holcombe Norton Partners,
Birmingham, Ala.; Ben Brooks, Patriot
Court Systems, Houston; Megan Buczynski, Activitas Inc., Dedham, Mass.; Randy
Futty, California Sports Surfaces, Andover, Mass.; Mark Heinlein, Turf Reclama-

Ashaways Crossfire hybrid family includes

six different material and string gauge combinations to suit even the most discerning
players taste, says the company. Earlier
Crossfire models,
such as
Crossfire II,
17 and 18,
utilized aramid (Kevlar)
mains and
synthetic gut
crosses. The
most recent additions to the Crossfire hybrid
line incorporate Ashaways 100 percent Zyex
monofilament strings. These include Crossfire ZX and Crossfire XZ Tour.
Ashaways Crossfire hiybrid strings have
been used for over 25 years. The first hybrid
used on the pro tour was of Ashaways signature aramid main string, in combination with
natural gut. Players of all stripes are using
polyesters or aramids for stiffness and durability, but mixing them with a softer string for
playability, says Ashaways Steve Crandall.
Ashaways Crossfire, though, has become a
cult favorite among hybrid fans. For more
information, visit

Vegosen Named ITA Chairman

The Intercollegiate Tennis Associations
Board of Directors has
unanimously appointed
Jon Vegosen as chairman
of the board. He succeeds
David Benjamin, who
announced his retirement
after having served as
chairman for nearly four
I am honored to have the opportunity
to again serve collegiate varsity tennis,
especially as part of the ITA, said Vegosen. I am eager to work with the ITAs
accomplished board members, dedicated

February 2016

TennisIndustry 9

Alexandre Papineau is the
new promotion and marketing
manager for Tecnifibre USA.
After serving Tecnifibre for
seven years as head of the sport
marketing department in Spain,
Papineau will move to Miami to
develop and expand the companys brand image in the U.S.

Sportsperson of the Year. Williams won three Grand Slam

titles in 2015 and 53 of 56
matches, and she was ranked
No. 1 every week for the second straight year. Her 21 total
Grand Slam singles titles is one
short of Steffi Grafs record in
the Open Era.

Dr. Ann Lebedeff, professor of

physical education and athletics
and women's tennis head coach
at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, received the 2015 Intercollegiate
Tennis Association Meritorious Service Award during the
2015 ITA Convention held in
December. The award is given
annually in recognition of an ITA
coach who has gone "above and
beyond" in their commitment
and contributions to the ITA and
college tennis in general.

Pioneering tennis promoter

and Volvo International Tennis
Tournament Director Jim Westhall, of New Hampshire and
Florida, passed away on Nov.
26, 2015. He was 88.

Sports Illustrated has named

Serena Williams as its 2015

New International Tennis

Federation President Dave
Haggerty is now part of the
Tennis Industry Associations
Global Council. In addition,
Steve Simon, who became
CEO of the Womens Tennis
Association (WTA) in October,
is the newest member of the
TIA Board of Directors.

Taylor Helfeldt Jones, who

has served with USTA Texas
for five years, has been named
senior marketing manager
for the section, responsible
for marketing strategies and
USTA Southern has named
Cee Jai Jones as the associations director of Diversity,
NJTL (National Junior Tennis
and Learning) and Grants.
Jones, of Atlanta, joins USTA
Southern after five years as director of Community Outreach
& Programs for the Atlanta
Youth Tennis & Education
Ed Norton of Holcombe
Norton Partners, Birmingham,
Ala., received the Chairmans
Award at the American Sports
Builders Associations annual
Technical Meeting, held in
December in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Antigua Apparel Adds New

Outerwear Pieces

ntigua apparel offers three

new additions to its collection. The Rebel half-zip
pullover is a long sleeve, jersey
face fleece with bold color blocking, available in five color options.
The Serenity half-zip pullover is a
brushed two-color geometric jacquard knit long sleeve, available in
three colors. And the Prime Jacket
and Pant are 100 percent polyester
double knit for warmth and freedom
of movement, available in three color options. Each piece uses Antiguas
Desert Dry fabrics to keep players
warm and dry in the elements.
Antigua also offers in-house
embroidery, ideal for outfitting tournaments, officials and teams with
logoed apparel. Visit

10 TennisIndustry

February 2016

Andy Murray has signed an

endorsement deal with British
carmaker Jaguar.
Former pro players Mary
Pierce and Mark Woodforde
have been appointed to the International Tennis Federations
Board of Directors for four-year
terms as athlete-members.
Longtime pro, coach and
tennis director Greg Lappin
of Chaska, Minn., has been
named PTR Minnesota Member of the Year.
Bo Gard of Laurel, Miss., and
David Despard of Parrish, Fla.,
have earned the PTR Master
of TennisJunior Development
certification. Earlier this year,
Gard earned Master of Tennis
Performance, and is now one of
an elite group of coaches who
have more than one Master of
Tennis certification.

college coaches, valued partners, and

talented staff led by CEO Tim Russell and
COO Erica Perkins Jasper.
Vegosen is a long-time volunteer,
leader, advocate, fundraiser and connector for tennis at all levels. He served as
the 2011-2012 chairman of the board,
president, and CEO of the USTA and spent
four years on the Grand Slam Committee.
In September, he completed a four-year
term on the ITF board of directors. He also
has served two years as chairman of the
USTA Collegiate Committee following two
years as the Committees Vice Chairman.
Vegosen co-developed PACT (Preserving
American College Tennis) and became a
leading advocate for varsity college

Mateflex Offers Modular

Court Surface
Mateflex says its interlocking modular
tennis surface combines the comfort and
resiliency of a soft court and the durability and low maintenance of a hard court.
The company, which recently displayed its


Fish Where the Fish Are

I am in complete agreement with your

Our Serve on Catching More Players
in the November/December issue. As
tennis professionals and providers, it
is one of our duties to grow the game,
and while national initiatives are
great, it is the local level that will have
the greatest impact on the sustained
growth of the sport.
I recently spoke at the USPTA
Middle States Conference on "Working With Large Groups and Growing
The Game and my focus was similar
to the idea of fishing where the fish
are. As an avid fisherman, I know
that even though my line is in the
water, I will not catch any fish if there
aren't any nearby.

products at the ASBA exhibitor show, says

its 12- by 12-inch injection-molded tiles connect with an easy to use interlocking system.
The narrow gauge ribs not only allow for fast,
flow-through drainage for quick drying and
safe footing, but also help the ball bite the
The manufacturer also says minor subbase faults wont adversely affect play or appearance of a Mateflex court, so the surface
can be used to convert older hard courts to
a softer surface or solve ongoing sub-base
problems. For more information, call 800926-3539 or visit

Bollettieri Teams with

Pivot Wearable Tech
TuringSense, a Silicon Valley pioneer of
wearable sports technology, and International Tennis Hall of Fame coach Nick Bollettieri have partnered to bring to market
Pivot, a biomechanics-based wearable
that incorporates Bollettieris coaching
Integrated within Pivot, says the company, is access to Bollettieris training
techniques and instructions, which can
be customized for individuals, to help

At the club where I work, Birchwood Tennis Club in Clarks Summit, Pa., we have successfully run
programs targeting large groups and
brought more players into tennis.
Perhaps one of the largest groups is
high school tennis players. In Pennsylvania, we estimate, conservatively,
that over 25,000 play fall or spring
high school tennis. As we know, many
put their racquets down when the
season ends. In addition, every one of
those players has family, friends and
neighbors who watch and support
them and just might want to play
themselves if given the opportunity.
Thats a lot of fish!
During the cold winter months, in
between the boys and girls seasons,
we run a series of low-cost clinics for
high school players and we recruit
high school coaches to volunteer
as well. Instead of focusing on the

top players, we target the rest of the

team. It is fun, social and the kids
improve their tennis. After these
clinics we offer Junior Team Tennis,
camps, clinics and Play Days to keep
them playing!
My 8-year-old daughter is involved
in Girl Scouts and we did a tennis clinic
for her troop as a fun activity and a
badge. I registered it as a USTA Play
Day, had 60 girls that first year, and
the event grew. Soon other local troops
wanted to participate. The idea has
become so popular that the head of
the local chapter asked me to move the
date outside of cookie season so that
even more could participate.
Catching more players is not that
difficult if you know where to look.
Thanks for the great article.
Tim Haus, USPTA
Birchwood Tennis Club
Clarks Summit, Pa.

them become better players. Pivot also

allows other users or coaches to integrate
their own training techniques.
Pivot is a multi-sensor, high-speed
motion-capture and analysis system
designed to improve playing and training and to prevent injuries. Unlike other
products that attach a single sensor to a
tennis racquet, Pivot uses a pack of wearable sensors that attach to different parts
of the body or clothing.
Ive dedicated my life to helping players enjoy and improve in the sport of
tennis, Bollettieri says. Through Pivot,
Im excited to be able to share my tennis
know-how and techniques with a much
larger swath of tennis players spanning
all ages and abilities. Now I can share my
techniques with everyone, wherever they
are in the world. Visit

properly prepare for

practice and matches
with detailed warm-up
plans and exercises that
specifically strengthen
players for tennis.
The book, with a
foreword written by
International Tennis Hall
of Famer Nick Bollettieri,
includes stretching exercises designed by
sports medicine physical therapists, proper
cool-down techniques, and many other
methods to help avoid injury. Martz, founder
and publisher of Florida Tennis magazine,
covered tennis for the Miami Herald for
21 years. The book is available through, or email Martz at fltennis@

Longtime Tennis Journalist

Writes Safe Tennis Book
Longtime tennis journalist Jim Martz has
authored a new book, Safe Tennis: How
to Train and Play to Avoid Injury and Stay
Healthy (Skyhorse Publishing) that teaches
readers how to avoid injuries and how to

Dave Miley Leaves

ITF After 24 Years
After 24 years, Executive Director of
Tennis Development Dave Miley has left
the International Tennis Federation for
personal reasons, effective at the end of
2015. Miley had visited over 140 countries worldwide and played a key role in

February 2016

TennisIndustry 11

Davis Cup title.

Tennis Channel and USA

Today Sports partnered
to determine the best
player and match of the
2015 season. Novak
Djokovic was crowned
Player of the Year and
Serena Williams' US
Open semifinal upset
loss against Roberta Vinci
earned the title of Match
of the Year. The judging
committee included Nick
McCarvel for USA Today
and Hall of Famers Tracy
Austin and Jim Courier for
Tennis Channel.

Peter Burwash
International has a new
partnership with Four
Seasons Resort Bora
Bora, offering daily tennis activities to resort
guests. This is the first
time the resort will offer
a full-service tennis
program. PBI is also
directing award-winning tennis programs
at eleven other Four
Seasons resorts around
the world.

Great Britain beat Belgium, 3-1, to win the 2015

PlaySight, a tennis
video and analytics

the development of tennis globally.

He initiated many successful projects
including Tennis10s, which grew out of
the ITFs Play and Stay program.
In 1993, Miley established the ITF
Coach Education Program and was
author of both the Level One manual
and co-author of the Advanced Coaches
manual that is now available in over 20
languages worldwide. The Junior Touring Team program proved very successful with many top-ranked players coming out of the teams, including Grand
Slam Champion Victoria Azarenka.
With Mileys departure, the ITF has
promoted both Kris Dent and Stuart
Miller to senior executive directors,
with expanded duties that include the
activities of the former Development
Department. Miller will head up Integrity and Development, adding Development, Rules of Tennis, Governance
and some legal activities to his present
responsibilities for Anti-Doping, AntiCorruption, Science and Technical.
Dent will head up ITF Circuits and Professional Tennis Events that will include
all ITF Circuits (Pro Circuit, Juniors,
Seniors, Wheelchair and Beach Tennis),
Live Scoring, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by
BNP Paribas, Olympic Tennis and Hopman Cup.

12 TennisIndustry

February 2016

company, has joined the

Tennis Industry Association as a new Technology
Partner. PlaySight creates
a product that players,
facilities, coaches and
other groups in tennis
can use to enhance and
expand the tennis-playing experience.

the 2016 season with its

original name, the Orange
County Breakers.

On This Day In Tennis

History, the popular
tennis book, ebook and
mobile app, is now also
available as an audio
book. The calendar-like
compilation of historical
The World TeamTennis and unique anniversaries,
Pro League is returning to events and happenings
Orange County, Calif. The from the world of tennis, compiled by Randy
franchise that in 2013
Walker, is now available
moved from Orange
County to Austin, Texas in audio form via Audible.
com and can be purand was renamed the
Austin Aceswill be back chased at
The narrator is Tiffany
in Orange County for

Williams, Djokovic Named

ITF World Champions
Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic have
been named the 2015 ITF World Champions.
Williams is named Womens World Champion for the sixth time, while this is the fifth
occasion that Djokovic has received the
Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza are the
Womens Doubles World Champions, while
Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau are Mens
Doubles World Champions. Dalma Galfi and
the U.S.s Taylor Fritz were named ITF Junior
World Champions, while the ITF Wheelchair
World Champions are Jiske Griffioen and
Shingo Kunieda. All will receive their awards
at the 2016 ITF World Champions Dinner on
May 31 in Paris, during Roland Garros.

Bobertz, a theatre
production veteran
graduate of Augustana
College. The audio
version is available
for $26.21 or $14.95
with an
Tower Strategic
Group LLC is now the
official life insurance
provider of the USPTA,
providing a wide
range of value-added
services for USPTAcertified members,
including consulting
with members on their
life insurance needs.

coaches who match their candidate requirements. It was founded by WTA coach
Sven Groeneveld. For more information,

ASBA Announces Blog

On Sports Facility Issues
The American Sports Builders Association
is producing a weekly blog on areas of interest to the sports facility industry, including
tennis court construction. The blog, which
is sent to ASBA members each week, also is
posted on the ASBAs website,, and will cover issues pertaining
to sports facilities in active use, as well as
those under construction, and more. In addition, the blog will cover association interests,
members activities and more.

PTR and OrangeCoach

Form Partnership

Arnhold Elected Chairman

of Tennis Hall of Fame

The PTR has entered into a three-year

partnership with OrangeCoach, an online
job and career platform that provides
recruitment services for tennis employers
and coaches, in which PTR members will
receive a free OrangeCoach Gold membership, valued at $150.
With its do-it-yourself or personal
services, OrangeCoach connects tennis
employers, such as managers, tennis parents, resorts, academies and clubs, with

The International Tennis Hall of Fame

has announced that John Arnhold has
been elected chairman of its Board of
Governors and Michael Goss has been
elected as vice chairman, effective
January 1, 2016. Arnhold and Goss, both
financial services executives, are avid
tennis players and devoted supporters of
the sport.
As members of the Hall of Fame's Executive Committee for the past four years,

Racquet Service
New Concept in Racquet Service
Babolat continues to transform tennis
from conventional to connected.

abolat is launching a new

concept that is sure to enhance
participating retailers struggling to maintain their brick-andmortar identity in an online world. My
Play Point is a multi-tiered program
with several components designed to
provide dealers an opportunity to offer
their customers a unique experience
while improving efficiency and promoting professional standards for the
Two key components to My Play
Point will be a new stringing machine
and new software for operating a racquet service center. The new machine
will feature a more fluid and efficient
ergonomic design. The machine can
be configured to meet the needs of the
dealer with several options available,
from clamps to height adjustments.
The other key component is a software package that offers a variety of
tools to track your customers service

both Arnold and Goss have taken an

active leadership role in long-term planning, fundraising, and strategic efforts to
grow the organization's work to preserve
and promote the history of tennis and
to honor its great champions. Arnhold
succeeds Chairman Christopher Clouser,
who concluded his term after eight years
as chairman.

Women Pros Dominate

Forbes Top 10 $$$ List
Tennis players dominated Forbes magazines list of the worlds highest paid female
athletes, with seven of the top 10 spots. The
list takes into account prize money, appearances, licensing and endorsements between
June 2014 and June 2015. No. 1 on the list is
Maria Sharapova with $29.7 million in total
earnings, and of that total, $6.7 million came
from tournament prize money.
Serena Williams is the second highest
paid female athlete, with $24.6 million total

records. The software is based on

the software we have used at Roland
Garros for the last five years, says
Mickey Maule, national sales director
for Babolat USA. Weve honed and
tweaked it over the years it has been in
use and now have configured it for use
in a retail environment.
The software can be used on a computer or tablet and also has a feature to
track racquets used for demo as well as
customer racquets for service. Another
feature is the availability of an app that
customers can download and have

access to their racquet service history

along with other related features.
Other components will include display modules for storing strings in both
sets and reels, a work desk, and other
displays for racquets, shoes and other
merchandiseall coordinated to provide a uniform and professional look.
Babolat plans to launch My Play
Point in February 2016 as a pilot in 16
stores in eight countries. The complete
My Play Point will available in October
2016. Pricing is yet to be determined.
Bob Patterson

($11.6 million in prize money), and No. 3

on the list is Caroline Wozniacki with $14.6
million in total earnings ($3.6 million in prize
Also in the Forbes top 10 are Ana Ivanovic
at No. 5, with $8.3 in total earnings ($1.8
million prize money). No. 6 is Petra Kvitova
at $7.7 million ($5.9 million). No. 7 is Simona
Halep at $6.8 million ($5.3 million). And No.
10 on the Forbes list is Agnieszka Radwansak
at $6 million ($2 million).

$70 million; Andy Murray, $70 million;

Victoria Azarenka, $30 million; Caroline
Wozniacki, $30 million; and Ana Ivanovic, $25 million.

Wealth-X Says Federer

Has Highest Net Worth
A Wealth-X list of the top 10 wealthiest
tennis players shows Roger Federer is
way ahead of his peers, with a net worth
of $330 million. No. 2 on the list is Maria
Sharapova, with a net worth of $160 million. Rounding out the Top 10, according
to Wealth-X, are: Serena Williams, $130
million; Novak Djokovic, $110 million; Rafael Nadal, $80 million; Venus Williams,

Is Your Cardio Tennis

Business License Current?
Are you registered as a Cardio Tennis Authorized Provider? To help ensure
quality Cardio Tennis for consumers, you
should be licensed to deliver CT sessions
and have access to valuable benefits and
services to help run the program. Since
Cardio Tennis began in 2005, more than
3,500 U.S. coaches have taken formal
Cardio Tennis education. Make sure your
2016 Cardio Tennis Authorized Provider
license is up to date. Visit CardioTennis.

USRSA Announces
Drew Violette - Amelia, OH

February 2016

TennisIndustry 13

of the

Rally the Family initiative,

and updates from the USTA,
including the progress at the
USTA National Campus in Orlando,
Fla., and the renovations at the
USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis
Center in New York. The Forum also will
outline ways to better define and boost the
economic growth and impact of the tennis
industry, and effective ways to distribute
clear, consistent messaging of health,
fitness and the reasons to play tennis.
Prior to the start of the State of the
Reserve your spot now for the 2016 TIA Industry Forum, registered attendees are
State of the Industry Forum, which will be invited to the Tennis Tech Fair & Resource
held in Miami on March 23, in conjunction Center, which opens at 8:30 a.m. and will
with the Tennis Owners & Managers (T.O.M. offer the opportunity to learn about key
Conference). The Forum is free to attend trends and products that will help industry
and will run from 10 to 11:45 a.m. in the business run more effectively and help
Symphony Ballroom of the Downtown Miami boost tennis participation.
Hilton on Biscayne Blvd. The event is being
While the State of the Industry Forum
held during the Miami Open professional is free to attend, registration is required,
tennis tournament.
as space is limited. To register, go to
At the Forum, industry executives site and select
will present the latest news and data State of the Industry Forum. (For those
about the state of the tennis industry, also attending or exhibiting at the T.O.M.
including participation research, consumer Conference from March 23 to 25, the website
and technology trends, an update on the has registration information and details.)

March 23, 2016 in Miami

Providers: Get Involved With Rally the Family

Tennis providers can sign up now at to participate in the
industry-wide Rally the Family campaign to
increase tennis activity and interest in the sport.
Rally the Family focuses on tennis for
all ages, using lower
compression Red, Orange
and Green tennis balls,
shorter courts, shorter
racquets and modified
scoring, along with a
focus on family time in
fun and healthy activities.
All tennis providersfacilities, parks, clubs,
teaching pros, etc.are encouraged to signup for this initiative and list their programs
and events at
Rally the Family was developed by
this industry and its stakeholders to grow
this sport, for the benefit of allincluding
the important benefits tennis brings to
14 TennisIndustry

February 2016

children and adults, says TIA President Jeff

Williams. We urge you to join your industry
to help revitalize tennis in America.
Rally the Family providers will have
access to free tools and resources to promote
locally, including a
Guide to Welcoming
New Players, along
with downloadable
and customizable
promotional material
and templates.
When you offer family tennis events
and programs with Rally the Family, youll
be part of a national campaign to grow our
sport, says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de
Boer. This family tennis initiative, launching
to consumers this spring, is designed to drive
adults and kids to your courts and increase
activity at your club or facility.

2016 Owners &

Managers Conference
to Feature Interactive
Tennis Tech Fair,
Resource Center,
Idea Fair
The upcoming Tennis Owners & Managers
Conference (T.O.M. Conference) in Miami
in March will provide an opportunity for
attendees to learn about the latest products
and trends and to experience interactive
resources and ideas, as the event will
feature a Tennis Tech Fair & Resource
Center and an Idea Fair workshop.
The T.O.M. Conference will be
held March 23-25 at the Downtown
Miami Hilton (Biscayne Blvd.), during
the 2016 Miami Open pro tennis
tournament. To register for the event, visit
Through the Tennis Tech Fair &
Resource Center and the Idea Fair
workshop, tennis facility and club owners
and managers will have the opportunity to
learn about key trends and products in the
industry that will help them manage and
run their businesses more effectively.
It will be a very interactive, hands-on
exchange of ideas, information and best
practices that T.O.M. attendees will find
very useful for their businesses, says TIA
Executive Director Jolyn de Boer.
The Tech Fair & Resource Center will
give owners, managers and their staff an
opportunity to learn more about and try
out the latest products that can engage
members and players. The Idea Fair
workshop will include expert panelists,
along with suggestions from the wealth
of knowledge among T.O.M. Conference
attendees, all with the goal of increasing
profits and participation.
Visit for more
details and to register for the conference
or call the TIA at 843-686-3036 for more


tennis business



core play


tech fair



& Profit

pro shop
resource centerconference

State of the Industry Forum


sports facility management



Tennis Owners & Managers

. CO




March 23-25, 2016

Miami, FL



TIA State of the Industry Forum

March 23, 2016

Downtown Miami Hilton (Biscayne Blvd.)

Tennis Tech Fair & Resource Center8:30-10 a.m.

State of the Industry Forum10-11:45 a.m.
Free to attendbut registration required at

Join top industry leaders and executives, manufacturers, organizations and more in support of YOUR industry.
Latest news about the state of the tennis industry
Updates on key initiatives, including Rally the Family
USTA updates, including the USTA National Campus and NTC

Participation, consumer and technology trends

How to boost the tennis economy
And much more

Space is limited. Register now at

For more info or to register:

contact the TIA / 843-473-4504

Retailing 141
Specialty Stores Are
Alive and Well!

For customer experiences and preferences, small

retailers have attributes that online and chain
stores just can't match.
By Cynthia Sherman

ots of attention is given to bigger

chain stores when they close
because, presumably, these
store closings define the overall health
of brick-and-mortar retail. But thats
too narrow a scope to take. More
often, its not that physical stores will
melt away into oblivion to give way to
pure e-commerce, but its the lack of
relevance of certain stores.
Starbucks, Wal-Mart and Apple have
planned huge new store openings this
year. Expansion in both domestic and
international markets is under way by
the largest U.S. retail chains. And global
retailers like H&M, Zara and Uniqlo
are expanding into the U.S., attracted
by the diverse consumer base, personal
income growth and resilient economy.
At this point and beyond, there seems
to be solid evidence that brick-andmortar retailing is still thriving for
those retailers with relevant offerings
and sustainable business models.
According to RBC Capital Markets
data, U.S. retailers are in the midst of
opening 76,000 stores in the next two
Growing retailers are all about
relevance and niche lifestylespecialty
sport and fitness, fast fashion,
food, and pharmacyand focus on
what consumers care about most,
including value, quality, health, the
environment, and customer service.
These retailers focus on and promote
their differences: by rewarding loyal
customers; creating a sense of urgency;
and being savvy when it comes to social

16 TennisIndustry

February 2016

media, technology and marketing.

Shopping their stores is an exciting and
noteworthy experience.

Preference for Physical


A study done by ICSC (International

Council of Shopping Centers) found
that consumers prefer physical stores
to online shopping for nearly every
tested reason to shop. This filters down
to the specialty store, too, where you
can really play up your attributes.
Tennis-playing consumers are like
most shoppers in that they enjoy
the shopping experienceeven if
they already know what they want.
Window and floor displays are tools
for enhancing this experiencetheyre
more powerful than social media
tools for communicating product
Online and omni-channel is here to
stay, and while consumers will actively
mix both online and brick-and-mortar
purchasing, they also want to shop
local. You can leverage the strength of
your physical store to deliver what the
consumer wants, so give them a reason
Focus on unique attributes like
physical displays.
If you have great stringers on board,
great gear selection, a demo program,
a loyalty program, make it known.
Create interactive displays, provide
mobile accessibility and payments
thats a big draw that enables you to
compete with the bigger guys.

Personalized Service

The enhancement of categories like

sporting goods will be extremely
important as shops distinguish
themselves from humdrum online
shopping. Its true that while your
customers will remain price-sensitive,
you have to boldly communicate a
blended message of value, selection,
convenience, customer service and
Get to know your customers by name,
what their kids are up to emphasize
service by offering to get equipment
back to your customers before their
next matchmaybe even offer to drop
racquets off to peoples homes. No
online shopping source can provide that
kind of personalized service.
With manufacturers setting pricing
policies across online and brick-andmortar stores, the amount consumers
save by buying tennis gear online
isnt much, despite the common
misconception from shoppers.
Think of the shopper whos looking
for shoes who has bad knees and other
pains. Your experienced staff has the
ability to fit them for the proper shoes
and, perhaps, orthotics, which will
vastly improve their physical well-being
and as a result, their game, for which
they may be eternally grateful. This is a
service to publicize!
Niche specialty retailers like tennis
shops have many positive attributes
not least is that their customers simply
dont like faceless purchasing, and
prefer the smaller-shop experience.

Racquet Tech
Stringing 101Knots

By Bob Patterson

or new stringers, tying knots can be intimidating. But a good knot is

vital to a good job, since it holds everything in place.
When I run workshops for new stringers, nothing seems to cause
more trepidation than tying off. Although, once learned, it seems quite
easy. Tying a good knot is vital to producing a good string job. You may
have done everything correctly, but its all for naught if the knot isnt
There are several things that can go wrong, but the most common is
simply doing a sloppy job. The knot must secure the tension without
damaging the anchor string, and it must hold up during play and not come
For beginners, the double half-hitch is best as it does a great job and is
easy to tie with a bit of practice and by following simple guidelines. While
many experienced stringers may use a signature knot of their own, it is
hard to beat the utility of the double half-hitch.
Remember O-U-T: Over, Under, and then Through. After tensioning
and clamping your last string, lock the turntable and cut any excess string,
saving about 12 inches or so for tying off. Take the string OVER the anchor
string and then UNDER it, then THROUGH the loop the string created
around the string.
With a good pair of parallel jaw pliers, pull the loop closed around the
anchor string and slide it away from the frame to pull any excess slack out
of the string along the outside of the frame (photo 1). Once youve eliminated the slack, hold the string taut as you slide the loop back toward the
grommet (2).
Now repeat the O-U-T loop, taking care to go in the same direction as
the first one. The one difference in the first and second loop is one that is
often overlooked by even experienced stringers. Do not pull away from the
frame with the second loop. Instead, simply cinch the loop up against the
Think about the first loop as your lock and the second as the deadbolt.
Once you have the first loop locked into place, you dont want to unlock
it by pulling it away again. Once you have the second loop snugged up,
release the clamp while still holding the knot tail with your pliers. This will
ensure the knot stays tight and in place. When completed, the two loops
should lie parallel to one another around the anchor string (3). If they
dont, something has gone wrong.
Trim the knot tail (end of the string) to about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch. Be
sure it is at least below the edge of the frame. Knots cut too short may
come undone and those cut too long look unprofessional and can cause
an annoying buzz during play. If you are using a poly-based or similar stiff
string, make sure the string end is cut flat. Sharp tips of strings can actually cause harm if the player hits it (4).
All knots should be tied using hand-applied tension with pliers. Never
use your machine to pull knots.

18 TennisIndustry

February 2016

Grassroots Tennis
Play It Forward!
CTAs, public parks and NJTLs are on the front lines
when it comes to growing this sport in communities.
USTA Northern
In Hastings, Tennis is for Everyone

Nine years ago, Sadie Reiners was looking for junior competition for her
daughter, Taylor, so she could qualify for the Minnesota State High School
Tournament. Not finding much help in the surrounding communities,
Reiners took it upon herself to develop players, so she started the Hastings
Tennis Association. From its two initial members, HTA now has over 160
members and was named USTA Northerns 2015 Member Organization of
the Year.
The HTAs mission is to inspire people of all ages to live an active lifestyle, instill that all members are mentors and leaders, and create a love for
the game. Initially running only competitive junior offerings, the HTA now
offers recreational programming that includes drills, lessons, leagues, clinics, Play Days, adult and junior tournaments and Junior Team Tennis.
More than 110 kids participated in 2015 and the HTA fielded eight JTT teamsthree advanced to the JTT Section Championships and Hastings Blue 14U won the Intermediate title. Team Blue represented USTA Northern at Nationals in December, where they finished 12th and claimed the Team Spirit Award. Player Colby Zak also took home the Boys Sportsmanship
The HTA has big plans for 2016, including bringing tennis to day-care programs operated by the school district and the
YMCA and the Hastings Senior Center. In addition, it will be hosting Rally the Family events starting in May.
We believe tennis is for everyone, Reiners says. We try to make tennis fun. Players are encouraged to give back by mentoring youth and beginning players. And we strive to be inclusive and affordable to all interested in playing. Lisa Mushett

Middle States
Family Fun Day Partners with 2K Run

First there was tennis. Then running, and tennis. Then much more running, followed by much more tennis. It was all part of a day that featured
two sports and multiple organizations coming together to promote something valuable to both: an active, healthy lifestyle.
USTA Middle States and its community partners in the Philadelphia
area partnered with youth running organization iRun4Life last spring at
Central Park in Doylestown, Pa., as part of the sections first-ever Free Family Fun Day, which took place throughout the day and offered free tennis to
families from all over the area. The partnership with iRun4Life connected
tennis to nearly 1,000 kids participating in a morning 2k run. Before and after the race, the kids were encouraged to try tennis
on the parks public courts, which were full of local tennis professionals who donated their time to provide one-on-one training
to the kids.
When not on the tennis courts, there were prizes, giveaways and other games available for the kids. A special emphasis was
placed on families and staying active together. While kids played on some courts, there were professionals there to work with
adults as well.
Middle States also provided the chance for kids to continue playing after they left the event. Information packets were
handed out with local play opportunities and junior programs, connecting the families to local programs.
The partnership is expected to continue in the coming years, helping to introduce the sport of tennis to thousands more.
Michael Gladysz

20 TennisIndustry

February 2016

Community Tennis
Use Crowd-Funding to Help
With Your Next Tennis Project
By George Lowe

ets say you want to resurface the

tennis courts in your town. The
contractors are saying that its
going to cost $70,000. You may be able
to secure up to $10,000 through the
USTAs facility assistance program. But
how do you raise the other $60,000? In
the past, it might have looked like this:
1. Gather all the tennis advocates in
your area.
2. Plan a fundraiser
3. Invite all those in the area with the
resources to make your project happen.
4. Lobby city officials and parks committee members.

22 TennisIndustry

February 2016

5. Hope that it works out or know

someone with the means to make it
happen that also happens to owe you a
Many communities are faced with
these tasks when working on funding
a tennis project, but the process could
take months, or even years. And until
lately, there were few alternatives.
But at least one community has
turned toward crowd-funding, and to
be more specific, crowd-granting,
as the answer. That community is
Charlotte, Mich., a small town in midMichigan with about 9,000 residents.

The town has four tennis courts at

Bennett Park, and thats where everything happens, from high school tennis
matches to summer community tennis
But the Bennett Park courts have
been slowly deteriorating. Because of
that, the high school teams have been
spending more time playing away
matches instead of at home. Something
needed to change, and that's when the
tennis community took action.
As the Tennis Service Rep for the
area, I received a call from Michael
Clark, a local tennis advocate and

parent helping to bring the issue of

tennis-court repairs to the city. His
initiative led him to Emily Williamson
and city councilwoman Yvonne Ridge.
Clark and I met to complete the USTAs
facility assistance form, then discussed
funding resources. He told me about
the Michigan Economic Development
Corporation (MEDC) and their ability
to match funds for qualified civic projects. In the case of Charlotte, it was a
50 percent match, so if Charlotte could
find $35,000, the MEDC would match it
for the grand total of $70,000.
And this is where crowd-funding
came in.
Crowd-funding is a way to solicit lowdollar donations from a high number
of donors, using an online social media
campaign and one of crowd-fundings
many platforms. According to www., the No. 1 crowdfunding site is GoFundMe, which raised
$470 million in 2014. Next is Kickstarter, at $444 million, then, in order,

Indiegogo, TeeSpring and Patreon.

Each platform has a unique aspect
to it, so if youre considering crowdfunding your tennis project, make sure
you shop around to decide which may
be your best option. Some may require
a partnership with your local economic
development corporation or other
So how does crowd-funding work?
First, go to the site and create an account for your project. Next, complete
a project application online to get approved. Your application should include
a description of the project, your fundraising goal and timeline (for instance,
the average campaign on Patronicity,
another crowd-funding site, lasts nine
Then through the use of social media,
a video, pictures and back story, which
you develop for your project, spread the
word and ask people to donate money.
In some cases, your crowd-funding
platform will do some extra legwork for

you and qualify your project for a grant

match, like Patronicity did for Charlotte
Most crowd-funding sites charge a
service fee of 5 percent to 15 percent.
But some offer your donors the ability
to cover this service fee as part of their
donation. If you do not raise the funds in
your allotted time frame, the money will
be refunded to the donors. In Charlotte,
the successful crowd-funding campaign
means resurfacing will begin this spring.
Crowd-funding is a viable resource for
fundraising for all tennis projects that is
free in most cases and simple to execute.
Through the power of the internet and
social media, people can now become
a donor to your project at a level that
makes sense to them. And, if you want,
you can take a break from planning
expensive fundraisers.
George Lowe is the Tennis Service Representative for Michigan in the USTA
Midwest Section.

February 2016

TennisIndustry 23

OUTLOOK 2016: Racquets & Strings

New and
Racquets for spring include updates of existing
models and brand new lines, while new string
offerings are available for all types of players.

By Bob Patterson
s we start a new year, manufacturers are gearing up with new models that include tweaks of successful designs
as well as brand new racquets. They also continue to push the envelope with new string introductions to suit
players of every type.

BABOLAT 877-316-9435

Babolat continues to advance technology. Its Play racquets, introduced in 2013, were the first connected tennis racquets. Now, the
company introduces POP, which is a wristband that can be worn
during play using any racquet, allowing players of all ages and playing levels to discover their game performance through entertaining
features and challenges. The device pairs with any IOS or Android
Babolat also introduces a new family of racquets for 2016, including a new recreational range and an evolution of its predecessor, the
E-Sense line. The Flow series includes three framesFlow Tour,
Flow Lite and Flow 105to fit the needs of all player types.

Flow Tour

DUNLOP 800-768-4727

Dunlop is introducing five new tennis racquets for 2016: the Force
98, Force 98 Tour, Force 100, Force 100 Tour and Force 105. The new
Force racquets feature Dunlops new SR-X handle system, giving
them an entirely unique feel. Glass fiber rods slotted into precision
channels inside the handle help dissipate vibration, says the company, resulting in a softer feel on the hands when striking the ball. To
increase racquet control and stability, the size of the flare at the base
of the handle has been increased by 30 percent.

24 TennisIndustry

February 2016

Force 98

GAMMA 412-323-0335

Gamma launches a new string series for 2016 with the Ocho line.
The octagon-profiled strings are offered in a variety of styles to fit
most players needs. The 8-sided string profile is designed to bite
the ball for ultimate spin and control, says the company. Gamma
Ocho is a soft co-poly monofilament construction designed for
baseliners. The nylon Ocho TNT features an octagonal coating
with a solid center core and is suited for all-court players. The
Ocho XP features an octagonal coating with a multifilament core
providing more power and comfort. All three strings are available
in 16 (1.30 mm) and 17 (1.25 mm) in both sets and reels.

HEAD 800-289-7366

Head continues to expand the Graphene XT line with introduction of nine new tennis racquets. The GrapheneXT Radical Pro,
GrapheneXT Radical S, GrapheneXT Radical Lite, and GrapheneXT Radical MP A, which features the Head Adaptive String
Pattern (ASP), allowing the frame to be strung either as a 16x16 or
16x19 pattern by swapping out the side grommet strip. Other new
frames are the GrapheneXT Prestige Pro, GrapheneXT Prestige
Rev Pro, GrapheneXT Prestige MP, GrapheneXT Prestige S, and
the GrapheneXT PWR Prestige. All the new racquets are compatible with the Sony Smart Tennis Sensor.

Prestige MP

PACIFIC 941-795-1789

Pacific introduces the next evolution of basalt fiber technology

BXTwith three new racquets for spring: BXT X Force Pro.1, BXT
X Tour 97, and the BXT X Force LT. All three have Pacifics new
PGS (Precise Grip System), which features a handle made of hightech injection molding, ensuring that every handle has the exact
same weight and size and is 80 percent stronger than traditional
foam handles.
Pacific also is adding new gauges to its two best-selling poly
strings. Poly Force and XCite will now be available in a 1.20
mm/17 gauge.

BXT X force LT


Prince expands its Textreme technology with five new frames for
spring: the Premier 120, Premier 105, Warrior 100, Warrior 100T
and Warrior 100L. Textreme is an advanced super-thin material that allows for a tighter weave pattern, which packs more
carbon fibers per square inch, delivering greater control, says the
A new string is also being introduced: the Warrior Response 16,
available in both sets and reels.

Premier 120

February 2016

TennisIndustry 25

OUTLOOK 2016: Racquets & Strings

VOLKL 866-554-7872

Volkl rolls out two new frames this year. First is an updated
version of the classic C10 Pro offering continuity for the
longtime Volkl player. The racquet features a twin absorber
handle developed specifically for tournament-level players. Also new is the Team Speed, which is a 102-square-inch
head that offers a large, forgiving sweet spot, making this the
perfect transition frame for juniors moving into the adult
performance market, says the company.


WILSON 800-272-6060

Wilson introduces a new racquet franchise with a familiar

nameUltra. The Ultra racquets feature octagon geometry
inside the frame and a rounded geometry outside of the
frame, which allows players to swing faster with less effort,
according to Wilson. The Ultra frames consist of four models: 97, 100, 103S and 108.
Also new from Wilson are three Burn FST (Fast Speed
Technology) models: 95, 99 and 99S. The Burn FST racquets
are built for speed, says the company, designed for baseliners to increase racquet-head speed to play a more aggressive
game. All the new Wilson frames are compatible with the
Sony Smart Tennis Sensor.

26 TennisIndustry

February 2016

Burn FST 99S

OUTLOOK 2016: Shoes

Stepping Forward
Colors continue in new shoes for 2016, along with
moves to either lighter weight or more durability.

By Kent Oswald

ontinuing the trends of recent years, tennis shoes in 2016 will

showcase an ever more colorful palette. Similarly, while there are
no game-changers, the construction of the shoes will continue to
take them mostly toward either end of the spectrum, with light
weight and durability serving as the poles. Youll want to make sure
many of these models are on your shoe wall. (Prices are suggested retail.)

ADIDAS 971-234-2300

Elegance, comfort and response are the key benefits for the extensively named
Adidas by Stella McCartney Barricade Boost (women, $150) debuting in 2016.
Features include a Primeknit upper, Boost technology in the midsole, an ergonomically-shaped TPU heel counter, and outsole durability backed by a sixmonth guarantee. The Energy Boost (men, $175) will also be introduced as the
companys most comfortable tennis shoe in history. The lightweight shoes upper
has engineered mesh, and integrated tongue-bootie construction; Boost technology in the midsole for responsiveness; and an outsole made durable enough to
stand up to the hardest of hard courts.

BABOLAT 877-316-9435

Frances singular tennis company will introduce new and even special edition
colorways into its Propulse All Court line of stable and durable shoes (men, $120)
that are also available with a wide comfort fit. There will also be new colorways
for the SFX 2 All Courts (men and women, $100) that among the cushioning
features include midsole construction focused on providing an exceptional level
of long-lasting and comfortable support.

DIADORA 800-768-4727

Extending its flagship Star K line, Diadora introduces the Star K VII AG (men,
$140) dressed in kangaroo leather and featuring the brands proprietary technologies for maximum shock absorption, energy recovery, and interior ventilation,
as well as a six-month outsole guarantee. The Star K IV (men and women, $140)
series grows with the addition of two new colorways. Additionally, the Speed Pro
EVO II AG (men and women, $120) built to compete in the lightweight section of
the market and featuring maximum breathability and a comfortable, snug fit, will
receive three new colorways for men and two for women.

28 TennisIndustry

February 2016

FILA 800-845-FILA

The performance-oriented Fila Cage Delirium (men and women, $100) has been
enhanced for 2016. Designed for optimum upper support, and breathability,
comfort and stability throughout, the shoes also feature a patented four-pivot
outsole configuration to enhance acceleration. Additional benefits include a
flexible toe shield and carbon fiber midsole layers for improved foot comfort. The
shoes are available in outsole options created specifically for hard, clay and grass

HEAD 800-289-7366

Nitro Pros (men and women, $139.99; junior, $79.95) are unveiled just in time
for the first ball in Melbourne. The premium lightweight shoes designed for all
surfaces showcase a low profile and feature technologies for robust flexibility
and comfort. The Revolt Pros (men and women, $139.99) created to synthesize
equally comfort, stability, durability and energy rebound gain new colorways in

K-SWISS 800-768-4727

Out of California come new colorways for the companys high-performance Hypercourt Express (men and women, $110). The lightweight, durable players shoe
features a seam-free upper, padded tongue and collar for comfort, stay-tied
laces, a superior mid-foot support chassis, durable outsole and toe guard.

NIKE 800-344-6453

The NikeCourt Air Zoom Ultrafly (men, $220), which the company describes as
its most innovative tennis shoe, premieres in white/volt and triple black. Highlights for the ultra-lightweight shoe include maximum responsiveness, a mesh
upper, superior heel and forefoot cushioning, and an ankle cuff.


2016 will see Prince continue to explore the color spectrum for its premium
performance Warrior lines (men and women, $109). Two new colorways will be
introduced in January for both men and women in this line of shoes featuring
support and stability, and backed with a six-month durability guarantee. As for
the companys best-selling T22s (men and women, $99), colorway introductions
will be rolled out for the cushioned, breathable and durable shoes in March, June
and again later in the year.

WILSON 773-714-6400

The lightweight and flexible Kaos (men and women, $125) shoes arrive in market
with attention-demanding colorways, and with an extra attention to arch support, comfort and outsole durability. The recently introduced Glide series (men
and women, $199) is designed with patented Glide Plate technology in recognition of the increasing need for players to control their slides across hard surfaces.
The shoes also feature rubber reinforced toe and internal drag pads, and an
enhanced outsole durability.

February 2016

TennisIndustry 29

OUTLOOK 2016: Apparel

It may be frosty outside in the
northern tier, but that only means
its time to start stocking up on
Spring tennis gear, and courtside
never looked so good. Soft
sophisticated tones and shapes
are coming back, leaving the neon
brights behind. (Prices are suggested retail.)
By Cynthia Sherman

BOLLE 301-362-0360

Bolles Melange fashion line shows off a sophisticated heather

gray palette, against black and yellow accents in a winning
moisture-wicking poly/spandex fabrication. A variety of pieces add to the lines diversity. Prices ranges from $62 to $70.

ADIDAS 800-982-9337

The Adidas by Stella McCartney Barricade collection forecasts the first comings of Spring in this Climacool dress
and matching shorties ($100) in peaches
and corals. This breathable, moisturewicking 3D fabrication with its ventilated channels and mesh inserts allow
air to circulate close to the skin. Its sure
to be a winner on the hot courts of the
Australian Open.

30 TennisIndustry

February 2016

ELEVEN BY VENUS 855-880-7777

French Open fans will ooh-la-la over this soft, lightweight, breathable Geo
Swirl print dress from Eleven by Venus. The muted geometric pattern sports a
contrast waistband, which provides tummy support. With a bonus of UV protection, a built-in shelf bra and a sleek modified racer back ensure comfort ($96).

FILA 800-845-3452

Filas refreshing Net Set feminine

collection focuses on peplum shaping, baby pleats and figure-skimming
cuts in soft mint tones. High performance fabrics in cool knits, French
terry, and fine pique come to life in
a chic pieced racerback tank ($60)
that pairs beautifully with the colorblocked fine pleated skort ($55).

TAIL (facing page)

Tail makes a splash with its

Making Waves line in an ultracomfortable poly-spandex sporty
rose/navy/white color-blocking
top ($69) and complementary
print wave pattern flouncy skirt
($69) in a figure-flattering fit Tail
is famous for. The performance
jersey pieces have the added bonus of UPF 40+ protection.


On court or off, Lucky In Loves

easy, breezy poly-lycra blend outfit
whispers Spring in a soft turquoise
diamond-printed pleated tiered skirt
($72) and matching bralette racerback tank ($64).

February 2016

TennisIndustry 31

Outstanding Facility-of-the-Year Awards

Threes Company
Tennis Industry and the ASBA bring you the best
in tennis court construction and design.

n 2015, there were 12 tennis project winners in the

Tennis Industry/American Sports Builders Association Facility-of-the-Year Awards program. Seven of
those winning projects were multi-court outdoor
facilities, three of which were public facilities or
schools. Four projects were residential courts, and one was an
indoor facility.
Each year, based on entries submitted by an ASBA member
who designed or built the facility or court, the association
selects outstanding tennis facilities that meet the standard
of excellence in design and construction determined by the

judging committee. For 2015, the panel of judges deemed 12

courts or facilities to be worthy of special recognition, but
three of those winners were chosen for Outstanding honors:
Bell Recreation Center in Sun City, Ariz.
James Goldstein Residence in Los Angeles
Tuscaloosa Tennis Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Award plaques to the three Outstanding winners and recognition for the Distinguished winners were presented at the
ASBA Technical Meeting held in December in Scottsdale, Ariz.
For more information, visit

Peter Francesconi

Nominated by: Sunland Sports

General Contractor: Sunland Sports
Suppliers: California Sports Surfaces,
Number of Courts: 10
Completed: April 2015

Outstanding Outdoor Tennis Facility-of-the-Year Award

Bell Recreation Center
Sun City, Ariz.
The 10 new post-tensioned concrete tennis courts, in three batteries, at the Bell Recreation Center replace nine courts that
were demolished and hauled from the site. Among the challenges were numerous buried, hidden and unknown obstacles
that were discovered during demolition of the more than 30-year-old site, including old, abandoned light footings that had
been covered with concrete. The site was substantially lower than the surrounding facilities and was surrounded by tall
block walls, but there was no original drainage around the walls, so a footing drain system was designed and retrofitted into
the site. The project also involved designing new drainage for the courts, including a slot drain in each battery, catch basins
in the landscape areas between batteries, and a small retention areaall tying into the new storm-water infrastructure
below the courts.

February 2016

TennisIndustry 33

Outstanding Facility-of-the-Year Awards

Nominated by: Zaino Tennis Courts Inc.

Specialty Contractor: Zaino Tennis Courts
Suppliers: California Sports Surfaces,
Edwards/Roldri Div. of Athletic Connection
Completed: June 2013

Outstanding Residential Tennis Facility-of-the-Year Award

James Goldstein Residence
Los Angeles, Calif.
The original design for the tennis court was created by famed architect John Lautner decades ago. The court is situated on a
south-facing slope, with a lush, terraced garden on the northern uphill side. The western end is enclosed by a concrete wall
extending up from the office below the court, and serving as a rebound wall. (The eastern end will eventually be enclosed by
a concrete structure of the reception/home theater building.) To the south, in order to maximize the view, is a glass guardrail, resulting in an infinity court with no visual barriers. The tennis court is a double post-tensioned slab with waterproofing in between that allows it to serve as a roof for the office structure below.

Distinguished Tennis Facility Honors

In addition to the Bell Recreation Center in Sun City, Ariz., the James Goldstein Residence in Los Angeles, and the Tuscaloosa
Tennis Center in Alabama, these nine locations were chosen by the 2015 panel of judges for the ASBA as excellent examples
of court construction, receiving Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards. This year, the ASBA also awarded Silver and
Bronze awards in various categories. Youll read more about these winners in upcoming issues of TI. (The nominating company is in parentheses.)
Belle Meade Country Club, Nashville, Tenn. (Welch Ten- Xavier University Brockhoff Family Tennis Facility, Cincinnis Courts Inc.)Silver Award, Outdoor Facility
nati, Ohio (Sportworks Field Design)
Bishop Manogue Catholic High School, Reno, Nev. (Ten- Nelson Residence, Wisconsin Dells, Wis. (Munson Inc.)
nis and Track Co.)Bronze Award, Outdoor Facility
Silver Award, Residential Facility
Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club, Palm City, Fla.
Miami Beach Residence, Miami Beach, Fla. (Fast-Dry Courts
(Welch Tennis Courts Inc.)
Inc.)Bronze Award, Residential Facility
Life Time Fitness Center, Centennial, Colo. (L.E.R. Inc., Alsop Residential Court at Haven Hill, Beverly Farms, Mass.
dba Renner Sports Surfaces)
(Boston Tennis Court Construction Co. Inc.)
Sundial Resort, Sanibel Island, Fla. (Welch Tennis Courts Inc.)

For details on the 2016 Outstanding Facility-of-the-Year Awards, contact the ASBA at 866-501-ASBA or, or

34 TennisIndustry

February 2016

Nominated by: Lower Bros. Co. Inc

Specialty Contractor: Lower Bros. Co. Inc
Suppliers: California Sports Surfaces, LSI
Courtsider Sports Lighting, Putterman
Number of Courts: 3
Completed: February 2015

Outstanding Indoor Tennis Facility-of-the-Year Award

Tuscaloosa Tennis Center - Tuscaloosa, Ala.
This new, three-court indoor tennis facility in Tuscaloosa was designed with expansion in mind. Initial construction included the indoor hard courts and six outdoor fast-dry courts, but the building and pro shop were placed in such a manner
that will allow three more indoor courts and several more outdoor courts to be built in the future. The completed facility
will complement the nearby University of Alabama complex and provide facilities capable of holding large NCAA and USTA
events. The exterior of the building is attractively landscaped and connected to the adjacent parking lot with a wide sidewalk. Inside, the walls and ceiling are well insulated and covered with a smooth layer of vinyl, providing a uniform reflective
surface and a very attractive appearance.

February 2016

TennisIndustry 35

Ask the Experts

Your Equipment Hotline

Counting calories

I was wondering if anyone has determined how

many calories are burned stringing
a racquet. I've had some surgery and
will not be able to play for a few more
weeks, but can still string racquets
and would like to keep up on my calorie intake and output.

We werent able to find

anything, but for the average American male, standing
burns approximately 200 calories per
hour compared with sitting, which
burns approximately 164 calories per
hour. We do know that if you have a
wrist-mounted activity tracker such as
the Garmin Vivofit 2, even rapid stringing isnt enough to convince the device
that you are active, although if youve

ever had to string three racquets in an

hour you know it takes a lot more effort
than simply standing in place, so you
may be burning a few more calories due
to the movement (and stress, if any).
We are not in a position to dispense
medical advice, but to keep from gaining weight until you recover, your best
bet seems to be to reduce your caloric
intake, and walk for a couple of minutes
every hour even when you are doing a
lot of stringing, depending on what is
allowable given your physical condition.

Digest notes

Years ago, the Stringers

Digest came in a loose-leaf
binder. In those days, updates were
added by individual pages we could
insert in the binder. A bonus with
the loose-leaf binder was the ability
to make notes in the margins of the

pages and keep these through the

When the Digest became a
bound publication, which I realize
is probably a function of cost, I
wrote to you about how trying to
retain notes from the old Digest to
the new Digest is now pretty much

Thanks for your feedback.

From what we hear, the
overwhelming majority of
our members have told us they appreciate the new format because the
pages don't fall out and new racquets
are included alphabetically among
the old frames, so they have to look
in only one place, instead of two.
One way to make the best use of
the new format while retaining your
notes is to keep your notes with

We welcome your questions. Please send them to Tennis Industry, PO Box 3392, Duluth, GA 30096; fax: 760-536-1171; email:

36 TennisIndustry

February 2016

your other customer records. That

way when the customer comes in,
you see any special notes on his
customer record before even referring to the Digest, so replacing
your Digest doesnt mean having
to copy over all your notes. You
can do this in your own loose-leaf
notebook, or in a simple computer
spreadsheet or database.

Tie-off tangle

I just finished a racquet

for which the Digest
lists the mains tie off at 6T. I used
6T on one side, but on the other
side I accidentally tied off at 8T. I
am afraid that if I undo the knot,
my string may be damaged in
that area, so it may be better to
just leave it.
In the future, should I stick to
the 6T tie off, because the 8T tie
off appears to be cleaner/shorter,
with less string going on the outside of the frame?

As long as you have a tieoff hole for the crosses,

you should be able to
complete the string job even using
the wrong tie-off holes. To avoid
problems in this particular situation, you can start your crosses
in such a way that they end (and
tie off ) on the side of the racquet
where you tied the mains off at the
correct hole.
In the future, if using the
wrong holes works better for
you, thats great. Usually, however,
swapping the tie-off holes for the
mains and crosses means your
main tie-off is blocking the hole
for the cross tie-off, so you are
creating more work for yourself
in that respect. As long as you can
negotiate the tie-off string around
the string blocking the hole, you
should be fine.
Whatever you decide, stick with
it so you are stringing that frame
consistently each time the customer brings it in. Greg Raven

February 2016

TennisIndustry 37

String Playtest
By Greg Raven

The string was tested for five weeks

by 31 USRSA playtesters, with NTRP
ratings from 3.5 to 5.5. These are blind
tests, with playtesters receiving unmarked strings in unmarked packages.
Average number of hours playtested was
Tourna Big Red feels stiff out of the
package, which is not unusual for a poly.
Coil memory made it a bit unruly on the
mains, but installing the crosses was
nice, as the mains offered just the right
deflection during weaving. Even before
getting the lab test results, it became
obvious that Big Red wasnt as stiff as it
seemed, because we had to trim the end
twice while negotiating a blocked hole.
Finally, Big Red offers great feedback
when cinching down knots.
One playtester broke the sample during stringing, 11 reported problems with
coil memory, five reported problems
tying knots, two reported friction burn,
and none reported other problems.

On the Court

Tourna Big Red 16

Tourna Big Red is a monofilament poly. According to Tourna,

Big Red is a soft, comfortable, playable poly that is easy on the
arm. Tourna designed Big Red as a control-oriented string with
outstanding feel, with medium power to give players excellent
accuracy and directional control. Additionally, Tourna tells us that
Big Red has great tension maintenance and durability.
Tourna Big Red is intended for intermediate to advanced
Big Red is available in 16 and 17 gauges in red only. It is priced
from $7.95 for 40-foot sets, and $79.95 for 660-foot reels. For more
information or to order, contact Tourna at 800-554-3707, or visit Be sure to read the conclusion for more information about a special offer on Big Red from Tourna.
In the Lab

We tested the 16-gauge Big Red. The coil measured 41 feet 10 inches. The diameter
measured 1.27 mm prior to stringing, and 1.26 mm after stringing. We recorded a
string bed stiffness of 74 RDC units immediately after stringing at 60 pounds in a
Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 95 (16 x 18 pattern) on a constant-pull machine.
After 24 hours (no playing), string-bed stiffness measured 69 RDC units, representing a 6.8 percent tension loss. Our control string, Prince Synthetic Gut Original
Gold 16, measured 84 RDC units immediately after stringing and 77 RDC units
after 24 hours, representing an 8.3 percent tension loss. In lab testing, Prince Synthetic Gut Original has a stiffness of 217 and a tension loss of 11.67 pounds, while
Tourna Big Red 16 has a stiffness of 194 and a tension loss of 16.32 pounds. Big Red
16 added 16.3 grams to the weight of our unstrung frame.

38 TennisIndustry

February 2016

Our playtest team found Durability to be

excellent in Tourna Big Red, and Resistance to Movement and Control each to
be well above average.
No playtester reported premature

Playtester Ratings
Ease of Stringing
(compared to other strings)
much easier
somewhat easier
about as easy
not quite as easy
not nearly as easy


Overall Playability
(compared to the string played most often)
much better
somewhat better
about as playable
not quite as playable
not nearly as playable


Overall Durability
(compared to other strings of similar gauge)
much better
somewhat better
about as durable
not quite as durable
not nearly as durable


Rating Averages
From 1 to 5 (best)
Spin Potential
Holding Tension
Resistance to Movement


"String has great control and resistance to movement. Plays fairly stiff
with average power, but very good
for putting spin on the ball. Has a firm
feel on volleys and is great for hitting
aggressive serves. Easy to keep the
ball in the court.
4.5 male all-court player using Wilson
Steam Spin strung at 64 pounds CP (Head
Reflex MLT 16)
Very good power from the baseline.
Good spin production. Slight loss of
control probably due to lower tension. Very good tension retention.
3.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using
Prince O3 White strung at 51 pounds CP
(Ytex Square X/Ytex Touch 16)
This string hit well! Recommended
for anyone looking for a more durable
string either in a full poly setup or in a
hybrid. The hybrid would provide the
durability and control of a polyester
with a softer feel and power of a multifilament.
3.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using
Babolat Pure Drive Roddick strung at 60
pounds LO (Solinco Tour Bite 16L)
While it still had a poly feel, the playability was better than expected. This
is one of the few strings that I would
be willing to switch from a hybrid for.
4.5 male all-court player using Prince
Textreme Tour strung at 49 pounds CP
(Prince Tour XC/Prince Premier Control
(Strings normally used by testers are
indicated in parentheses. For the rest of
the tester comments, visit

fraying or peeling, or buzzing, and five

reported notching. Three members of
the playtest team broke the sample during the playtest period, one each at 6, 12
and 27 hours.


Big Reds higher-than-normal installed

weight implies a denser material, which
might help explain its great durability
and truly impressive measured tension
maintenance. These characteristics at
this price point should be exceptionally
attractive to budget-conscious players.
If you think Tourna Big Red might
be for you, Unique is offering a special
buy one, get one free offer to USRSA

February 2016

TennisIndustry 39

Your Serve
Getting Ahead of the Class

A grassroots tennis expert says partnering with local

schools will grow your business and generate revenue.
By Jason Jamison

ant more kids and families

in your programs? There is
no better place to look than
your local schools.
But, how do you go about getting
permission to promote your programs?
And how do you get kids and families
excited about tennis and aware of what
your facility has to offer?
The USTA has developed a Partner
with Schools Handbook to help facility
and program leaders understand how
to make connections with schools, conduct fun demonstrations and events,
and link kids and families to follow-up
programs. This resource is available for
free at
In addition to tips and techniques
for meeting with decision-makers, the
handbook provides several options for
creating interest for tennis on school
grounds, including assemblies, lunchtime demos, class visits and festivals.
There are a wide variety of games
and activities, too, along with tips for
conducting Kids Tennis Clubs and Play
Days for school kids.

Do Your Homework

Before approaching school decisionmakers, though, connect with your

local USTA office to let them know of
your interest in partnering with a local
school or schools. They may have existing contacts and relationships that can
benefit your facility, and theyll have access to resources and support that can
complement your outreach efforts. This
often includes equipment discounts,
program grants, training, curriculum
and more.
Once youve made contact with your

40 TennisIndustry

February 2016

local USTA office, this recipe can help

you get on a fast track for creating
school and facility partnerships to grow
your programs:
1. Create a program flier for distribution at the schools.
2. Get to know the targeted school
administrators, teachers and personnel and promote the benefits of the
program. You can do this in a number
of ways, including attending PTO/PTA
meetings; conducting an assembly or
demo (with permission); offering to
assist with P.E. classes; assisting with a
USTA School Tennis Workshop. (usta.
com/schools has more information on
materials and resources available for
conducting PE programs, Kids Tennis
Clubs, and School Workshops).
3. Organize a Play Event to kick off
the program at your facility.

Generating Income

Around the country, many pros and

youth program providers have created
successful partnerships with schools
and have grown their business, resulting in new members and customers for
their facility and thousands of dollars in
additional income.
PTR pro Mark Smith from Greenville, S.C., for example, targeted a school
near his club in an effort to grow his
junior program and gain new members.
In working with just one school, he
generated over $30,000 in additional
income through lessons, clinics, pro
shop sales, league teams and memberships.
The USTA Schools program is a
great vehicle for creating partnerships
with local schools, Smith told me.

USPTA pro Chris Michalowski of

Traverse City, Mich., has been targeting schools in his community for many
years. His school-based strategies have
resulted in reaching thousands of kids
through on-site schools programs that
have generated significant revenue and
brought new players into his facility.
Ive benefitted from targeting
schools, too. Prior to joining the USTA
as the National Schools Program Manager in 2004, I worked with schools
that connected to my youth development program. I conducted assemblies, class visits, school trainings, and
taught lessons for schoolteachers to
establish long-term relationships as a
foundation for my programs.
With a little effort, youll find unlimited opportunities to transition kids
from school-based programs to facilities. Its good for the game, and it will
be great for your bottom line!
PTR and USPTA professional
Jason Jamison is a tennis
industry consultant with
over 25 years of experience
with USTA and facility programs. He serves regularly
as a trainer and presenter for conferences
and workshops around the country. From
2004 through 2015, Jamison served as
National Manager for School Tennis for
the USTA. He and his team were responsible for quadrupling program participation and creating on-court and program
delivery resources used throughout the
industry. He can reached at and through his website,
We welcome your opinions. Please email
comments to

Inside this issue

Rainy-day Tennis on the
Racquetball Courts 50
Trip of a Lifetime to the US
Open 54
48 Endorsee News
42 CEOs Message
50 Inside Coaching
First Vice Presidents
54 Beyond the Court
58 Career Development
45 Master Pro Corner
60 Member News
46 USPTA News
Read more articles online at
On the cover: In 2015, the USPTA Foundation gave a grant to ACEing Autism, one of
18 programs that support the mission statement to help economically disadvantaged
people learn tennis. See Page 47.

CEOs Message

Game Changing!

s many of you know, the USTA is

developing the USTANational
Campus in Lake Nona, Fla.,
(in the city of Orlando), which
will be the single largest tennis complex
in the world (102 courts). It will house
both the USTA Community Tennis
operations and Player Development.
Scheduled completion date is anticipated to be in late 2016.
In an attempt to make this location
the epicenter of tennis in the U.S., the
USTA has invited allied organizations
and tennis companies to join them in
order to create a dynamic and vibrant
Home of American Tennis. Tavistock
Development Company, part of the
international investment organization
Tavistock Group, is the full-service
development company working with
everyone who is considering a move
to this location. Think of it this way:
Tavistock is the owner of a giant mall,
the USTA will serve as the anchor tenant, and Tavistock is trying to attract
other storefronts to build out what will
be a huge tennis mecca.
Since learning about the USTAs
intentions and what their plans were
more than 18 months ago, the USPTA
Board of Directors believed it to be its
fiduciary responsibility to examine the
opportunity of relocating to central
Florida to be a part of this endeavor.
Would a move like this make sense,
both from a financial as well as a business perspective? What would it mean
to the USPTA to leave our home for the
last 25 years and relocate? What would
the impact be on the staff? Could we
afford to sell our building and lose
the rental income, or could we even
keep our building and be an absentee
landlord? What would the upside be of
moving to this complex? What would
it cost us to operate in Lake Nona vs.
Houston? What would our relationship
be with the USTA, knowing that we are
steadfast about remaining an independent trade association right in their


by John Embree
These, along with many other quesUSPTA would be foolhardy not to make
tions, were all part of the due diligence
another leap of faith as was done more
that the Board undertook to develop a
than two decades ago.
game plan that was finally presented to I readily applaud the bold thinking
the Executive Committee for consider- and the strategic vision of the USPTA
ation last September during our World
Board of Directors and Executive ComConference in New Orleans. Months of
mittee for this decision. It is gamenumber crunching, financial analysis,
changing for the USPTA. Without a
doubt, we have to do everything that we
evaluation of various real estate options, design and schematic preparacan to manage the downside risk and
tion, construction
budgets preparaThe leadership of the USPTA desires to always be
tion, etc., all played
on the front lines of innovation for our sport, and the
a huge part in defulcrum for that innovation will clearly be at this new
termining a proper
Home of American Tennis for decades to come.
course of action.
After considerminimize any financial concern that
able deliberation, the Executive Committee overwhelmingly voted to sell our comes with making this commitment.
But, we will dedicate every resource
existing building in Houston and move
to Lake Nona. Turn the clock back to
possible to ensure that the USPTA will
the early 90s when the then-Executive
come out of this stronger and more relevant than before.
Committee decided that it would be
Now, the heavy lifting begins. We
best for the association at that time
will be selling our building shortly,
to move from Florida to Texas and to
purchasing the land from Tavispurchase a building in a commercial
tock, constructing a state-of-the-art,
real estate area in Houston. It was a
10,000-square-foot building right at the
game-changing decision at that time.
The senior leadership of the association base of the USTA National Campus and
then handling a relocation of staff and
knew that it was a bit of a leap of faith
operations sometime in early 2017, asto make that commitment because no
suming everything works according to
one could look into a crystal ball and
plan. But, you know how construction
know how everything would play out.
Without question, it proved to be a pru- timelines typically go.
dent decision.
Naturally, we will attempt to do so
We are all aware of the incredibly
without any interruption of services
rapid pace of change happening in the
provided during the transition. It is not
world today. Technology and innovation going to be easy to manage through this
are driving businesses and changing
scenario, but the staff is professional
organizations quickly, some in a good
and understands its obligation to first
way, some in a not-so-good way. One
serve our membership in the best possible fashion. I cannot promise that
thing is clear: those entities that do not
there wont be some hiccups along the
embrace change and proactively look
way, but we hope to keep them to the
to prosper in the new world will fall behind and eventually become irrelevant.
bare minimum.
The leadership of the USPTA desires to
The Board and I would be happy
always be on the front lines of innovato answer any questions that you may
tion for our sport and the fulcrum for
have. You can look forward to getting
that innovation will clearly be at this
regular updates from me as we progress
new Home of American Tennis for
through this game-changing time in the
decades to come. With that in mind, the
history of our association. h



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First Vice Presidents Message

Our Financial Future Depends

on Every Member

n 1990, the USPTA Board of Directors had the foresight to move the
national headquarters from Florida to Houston and buy our existing
building. A great deal of hard work by
the staff during these subsequent years
has given us an opportunity to make
this exciting move back to Florida.
We need to thank all of the past board
members and staff for their efforts. It
was not easy to move to Houston, and it
will not be easy to move to Lake Nona.
I believe that we are going to surge
ahead as an association, our brand
will be recognized and we will grow
throughout the industry.
As I take the chair of the Finance
Committee in the coming months,
there are many things that we can all
do to help the USPTA make this move
and surge ahead.

by Gary Trost

Support our endorsees and partners

be part of our association, tennis players
Every USPTA member should be
will want to take lessons from USPTA
stocking and using Prince racquets
Professionals, and general managers
and balls, Nike
will want to employ
Host a test or educational workshop
shoes and clothing
USPTA Professionat your facility and encourage others
from Fromuth, tenals. Host a test or
to get certified and engaged. We all
nis court equipment
educational workneed to pitch in and work together.
from 10-S Tennis
shop at your facility
Supply, and products from our other
and encourage others to get certified
endorsees. Not only does it help you
and engaged. We all need to pitch in and
by increasing your sales and products
work together.
that you receive, it is sending money
to your retirement account. The
Do the simple stuff
USPTA will make extra money with
The easiest way to help us out is by
bonuses and continued support from
doing the basics, get your dues paid as
our endorsees.
soon as you can, and get those 6 hours
of education! Remind your staff and
Be an ambassador of USPTA
USPTA colleagues to continue their
Your efforts as an ambassador will
support of our association the future
always multiply through the industry.
is bright for us and you can help us on
Other tennis professionals will want to
our way. h



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2015 United States Tennis Association. All rights reserved.


Master Pro Corner

Master Pro by the Numbers

By Pat Whitworth and Bob Love, USPTA Master Professionals

o you ask, what is the deal with

these Master Pros? Read on for
interesting facts about USPTA
Master Professionals.

that he would welcome Love creating a

point system, and then would review it.
Love created a 600-point system
with 150 points in each of four a reas

The Master Pro program has evolved a great deal over the years in a very positive
direction, and any Master Professional today is highly deserving of the honor. The basic
concepts of honesty, service, devotion, and passion for tennis that the early Master
Professional possessed are still exemplified by the Master Professionals of today.
In 1983, the USPTA
publications and
Current Master Pros
announced a new class
research, service to
in divisions:
of membership Master
industry, coaching and
5 California
Professional. The problem
competing and service
7 Eastern
was that the requireto USPTA. For each item
29 Florida
ments were a bit vague.
he indicated the type
2 Hawaii
The general fields were
of support material the
6 Intermountain
service to tennis, service
Master Pro Committee
3 International
to the USPTA, demonwould require for veri12 Mid-Atlantic
strated coaching and playfication. Items included
4 Middle States
ing skills, education and
articles published in
17 Midwest
training, contributions
local newspapers or
8 Missouri Valley
to professional developmagazines, radio and TV
8 New England
ment, and publications.
tips, graduate research
1 Northern
At the convention in
projects, theses, and
4 Northern California
Saddlebrook, Bob Love
doctoral dissertations. A
2 Pacific Northwest
went to George Bacso, naperson needed to score
4 San Diego
tional awards and testing
450 points with a mini25 Southern
mum of 75 in each area
chairman, and expressed
7 Southwest
for acceptance. Love was
concerns about the lack
14 Texas
asked to be the commitof specificity in the requirements. For example
tee chairman, a position
there were no apparent places for the
he held for the next six years.
officiating, or articles written for news The Master Pro program has evolved
papers and magazines. His response was a great deal over the years in a very posi-

The first USPTA Master Professional class, 1983. Front Row: Tim Heckler, Bill Tym. Middle Row: Dick King, John
Verde, Nick Bollettieri, Newton Cox, Gary Wilensky, Bob Love, Ted Withall. Back Row: George Bacso, Les Longshore, Paul Gagon, Jack Justice, Don Henson , Gardnar Mulloy, Don Leary. (Not pictured: Peter Burwash, Fred Earle.)

Master Pro Stats:

1983 The year the Master Pro level began

18 Number of pros in the first class
156 The current number of Master Pros
42 The age of the youngest members
102 The age of Gardnar Mulloy, our
oldest member
28 The youngest age that anyone achieved
Master Pro status Ed McQuillin.
65 The median age for current Master Pros
10 Years certified at Elite Professional
before you can apply

tive direction, and any Master Professional today is highly deserving of the
honor. The basic concepts of honesty,
service, devotion, and passion for tennis
that the early Master Professional possessed are still exemplified by the Master Professionals of today.
Our newest Master Professionals, honored in 2015, are Michael
Chamberlain, Christopher Chopra, Stan
Oley, James Shaughnessy and John
Trinity. This group exhibits a continued
desire to help others and contribute to
both USPTA and the tennis profession.
Many of the Master Professionals
have submitted materials for the Business Essentials section on the USPTA
website. This is a collection of documents and information in several categories, from interviews to operations.
The group also presents at the World
Conference, and will continue to share
at the division level. All it takes is a call,
and most (if not all) of these professionals are ready to help. Please keep that
in mind whenever you have a chance to
chat with a Master Professional. While
it is a great honor to become a Master
Professional, you will rarely find a group
more willing to help and share. h
Pat Whitworth, left, is the tennis professional for the River Club in Suwanee,
Ga. He is a past president of the USPTA
Southern Division. Bob Love, right, has
been a national clinician for the USTA
and at USPTA conferences. He has made
presentations in Spain and Egypt and
has been a tennis teacher for 48 years. 45


2016 USPTA Annual Awards

Program Open for Nominations

SPTA is now accepting nominations for its 2016 National

Awards Program. As the leader in tennis-teacher education
and certification, each year the USPTA
honors members who are committed to
excellence as tennis teachers and as ambassadors using tennis to impact people
and communities.
This year the awards period has
moved to a calendar year, and the nominating period has been moved up to
accommodate the new schedule. The
awards period for 2016 is from Jan. 1,
2015 - Dec. 31, 2015. All Professionallevel members are eligible. USPTA is
accepting nominations until the Feb.
28 deadline. These changes were made
to allow the Awards Committee more
time to review applications and give
award recipients more time to make
travel arrangements to accept their
awards in person. Recipients will be
recognized during the USPTA World
Conference, Sept. 25-29, at the Hyatt
Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa in
Indian Wells, Calif.
In addition, the USPTA will no
longer recognize Players of the Year
based off of USPTA player rankings.
Instead, winners of the USPTA Masters
Invitational will be awarded during a
ceremony after the completion of the
The Awards Committee voted to
rename the College Coach of the Year
award after Steve Wilkinson, a USPTA
Hall of Fame inductee who retired in
2009 after 39 years as the head coach
at Gustavus Adolphus Colleges mens
tennis program, where he was the winningest coach in the history of mens collegiate tennis with 923 victories.
Also new in 2016, nominations may
be submitted via an online form along
with supporting documents. Online
forms can be accessed at


Jorge Capestany, 2015 Alex Gordon USPTA Professional of the Year

As the leader in tennis-teacher education and certification, each year the

USPTA honors members who are committed to excellence as tennis teachers and as ambassadors using tennis to impact people and communities.
The awards categories are as follows:

USPTA U30 Award

Alex Gordon Award for Professional

of the Year

USPTA Diversity Award

USPTA Industry Excellence Award
Steve Wilkinson College Coach of
the Year
High School Coach of the Year
Tim Gullikson Touring Coach of the
George Bacso Tester of the Year
USPTA Lessons for Life Award

Manager of the Year, Large and

Small Facility
Award nomination forms and guidelines are available at
or by sending a request to
Since changes have been made to some
individual categories, as well as Division
of the Year criteria, be sure to read the
general rules and requirements for each
award carefully. Also there are changes
to the awards format at the conference,
so please note that while all awards will
be announced in writing at the conference, not all awards will be presented
formally as they have in the past. h


USPTA Foundation Raises Goal for 2016

he USPTA Foundation, Inc.,

completed its second year of
operations awarding grants
to needy tennis programs
nationwide. In 2015, the Foundation selected 18 programs that support the mission statement to help
economically disadvantaged people
learn tennis. Programs include
wheelchair, veterans of war, and inner
city youth. Grants exceeding $32,000
were awarded to programs that have
USPTA-certified members on the
As and Aces, ACEing Autism,
Harper for Kids, Mardy Fish Foundation, Milwaukee Tennis & Education
Foundation, Tennis Success, Upstate
NY Cerebral Palsy Down the Line, Serving for Success, and Tennis 4 Every 1 are
just some of the programs your USPTA
Foundation supported in 2015. If you
are involved with a program that fits

the mission statement, please apply for

a USPTA Foundation grant online at
The Foundation is responsible for
raising its own funds, primarily at the
silent auction. The World Conference
in New Orleans raised its highest total
ever. Many divisions stepped up and
added valuable prizes that helped generate nearly $20K for the foundation.
As we move into 2016, the foundation target operational budget is
$50,000. This increased budget will allow your foundation to fund more programs across the country. Most of the
budget is allocated to funding grants
since the Board of Directors and committee members are all v olunteers.
How can each USPTA member
help the foundation? You can make a
tax-deductible contribution and join
other USPTA members on the Foun
dation Recognition ladder. h

USPTA Foundation
Gift Recognition Ladder

Platinum Donor = $2,500 and above

Gold Donor = $1,000-$2,499
Silver Donor = $500 - $999
Bronze Donor = $250 - $499
Patron = $249 or below

Your generous donation will support

programs that help economically disadvantaged people learn tennis. Please
make your tax deductible check out to
and mail to:

USPTA Foundation
3535 Briarpark Drive, Suite 202
Houston, TX 77042

USPTA Foundation Board of Directors:

Warren Lem, Nancy Cox, Christin Thurston,
Kristen Wilson & Pat Whitworth

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800.374.6153 | 47

Endorsee News

Up Close & Personal:

Q & A with Prince Brand Manager
Miguel Rosa on Prince-USPTA
Member Benefits

rince regional Brand Manager

Miguel Rosa is passionate
about his job and the opportunity it brings for him to
work directly with USPTA members.
Covering Florida and parts of the Caribbean gives him a large area to cover
and plenty of opportunity to help edu SPTA members on the Prince
cate U
I honestly enjoy being able to meet
and help the many diverse USPTA
Professionals that live and work in my
territory. Besides being able to help
educate them on the Prince TeXtreme
line, I also help promote the many terrific Prince benefits that are available
to them through the USPTA, said Rosa.
We had an opportunity to talk with
Miguel and ask him a few questions
about what he thought were the highlights of the Prince-USPTA r elationship.

Q: Does Prince provide special incentives or programs for USPTA


direct financial responsibility for

their shops. Many members dont
know that Prince was the first major
USPTA endorsee to contribute to
the retirement plan.

Q: What do you believe is the top

benefit that many USPTA members should take advantage of
but perhaps are unaware of that
Prince offers?

Q: Do USPTA members have the opportunity to access new Prince

equipment ahead of the general

A: Without a doubt, the USPTAs Retirement Gold+ Plan has to be the

top benefit. Its one I would take
advantage of. Prince contributes 5
percent on the purchase of racquets
and accessories, and 2.5 percent on
both Tour and Play & Stay balls*
to the USPTAs Retirement Gold+
plan for any USPTA Professional
who is a club shop owner or who has

A: Absolutely. At Prince we are committed to ensuring all players are

always fitted for the optimum
equipment for their game. I will
hold demo days for any USPTA pro
that requests one and provide the
pros and their members an opportunity to test our TeXtreme line while
educating them on the benefits of
this breakthrough technology.

A: That is probably one of the most

obvious benefits of the PrinceUSPTA partnership. We provide
USPTA members access to several
Team Prince equipment packages
that are sure to fit every members
needs. Additionally, we provide very
competitive industry pricing to our
USPTA members who would like to
enhance their shop with the Prince
TeXtreme line. The TeXtreme technology has been wildly successful
and when I hold a Prince demo day,
club members are always excited to
experience firsthand the improvements that these new racquets actually make to their game.
Q: What would be one last feature
of the Prince-USPTA partnership you would share?
A: I think many USPTA members are
surprised when I share with them
that Prince offers a Friends & Family program. What a great way to
share their love of the game by giving USPTA pros friends and family
access to some of their Prince-
USPTA benefits! h
* All USPTA Professionals may receive
contributions to their Retirement
Gold+ accounts for purchases of
tennis balls.

For more information on the many Prince-USPTA benefits, contact your local Prince Brand Manager or visit the
USPTA Prince page on the USPTA website at


Inside Coaching

Rainy-day Tennis on the

Racquetball Courts
By Gerry Berkheimer, USPTA

arly on in my career I added

racquetball and squash to my
list of sports just because they
were related racquet sports
and because I could get a racquet workout indoors on a rainy day. The obvious next step for me, since tennis was
my main sport, was to play tennis on
the racquetball courts on rainy days. I
created some simple rules and began
a long and productive journey to improve the tennis games for my clients
on the racquetball courts.
The courts I access now are fullsize racquetball courts at our club and
not just a couple short side walls and
a front wall. The three-sided walls are
fine in a pinch and will help warm up
all the strokes, but they give you only a
fraction of what the six-sided* courts
can. Do what you can to find any available indoor or covered outdoor full
courts and you will begin to see the improvement every time you and your clients/friends use the racquetball courts
to play tennis. Have the clients pay for
the indoor time or work a deal with the
club that has the courts the benefits
will be worth it to both your adult and
junior programs.
The six-sided racquetball court is
about half the length of a tennis court
and I use the first line up from the floor
on the front wall as the net. All serves
must hit above the first line on the
front wall first, then may bounce off the
floor or side walls. (I would not recommend serving and hitting the front wall
then the back wall in the air). Once the
serve is in play, you may hit any wall
you like as long as the ball hits above
the first line on the front wall during
that sequence of shots. You may also
use the back wall during the rally after
the serve.
The benefits to tennis from the racquetball court are numerous:


I tell my kids on rainy days that they are the only ones playing tennis today anywhere in the county because we are the only club with racquetball courts. If you
have access to indoor racquetball courts, there are no rained-out tennis days.

1. Since the length is about half the

distance of a tennis court and has a
solid wall at that point, the players
reaction time in preparation increases dramatically I would say
doubling in quickness would be
safe. Keep in mind the floors are
wood or another very fast surface
so the player must respond faster
to stay with the court, wall and hitting speeds. When the player goes
out to a regular tennis court, the
quickness in preparation shows
immediately the player preparing to hit the incoming ball is
extremely early and waiting to address the ball as now he has twice
the distance to get ready.
2. The enhanced reaction time in
reading where the ball is being hit
by the opponent also is valuable. As
the player is in a smaller space on a
racquetball court, he has to follow
the ball much more quickly from
various angles to make the shot. On
the tennis court the player arrives
earlier to the designated hitting
point as he has a longer, straighter
surface and more time to run to
that particular shot.
3. Reaction time is also increased by
the smaller six-sided court and its
angles as opposed to watching a single linear ball path on a larger tennis court. Initially a player will miss
many of the angles on a racquetball
court as he is accustomed to linear
training on a tennis court, but once
that player has learned to respond
to shots off several walls and seemingly an infinite number of possible
angles in the shortest amounts of
time, that player automatically
becomes faster and believes he is
faster when back with only the linear path on the tennis court.

(Note here that players will smack

their racquets against the side and
back walls until they adjust to the
distance, then that problem virtually disappears. I would recommend
using older or used racquets until
they find their range. To date I have
had no racquets broken on the racquetball court walls).

4. Playing tennis points on a racquetball court will improve fitness

rapidly. The rallies are significantly

longer as players improve and learn
the wall angles. We play games to 50,
75, or 100. Ive had games to 75 with
30-50 shots on many points on the
racquetball courts and this fitness,
intensity, and focus will definitely
carry over to the tennis courts. If the
score is 75-60, you have played 135
points 5 golden sets or about
three competitive sets. Playing this
game to 75 takes about 45 minutes
to one hour. That quick burst of
speed needed to retrieve the ball on
racquetball courts really helps on
the quick first step needed at the
tennis baseline and at the net as well.
I would only recommend two tennis
players on the racquetball court when
playing competitively, although after
35 years of using racquetball courts,
I have had only two or three minor

ates and advanced players. The dead

or well-used balls have the pace for
the slower game and less experienced
players while they get accustomed to
the multi-walled court and speed of the
surface. The new balls will boost the
adrenalin levels of your best players by
creating an extremely quick and often
reflexive game of strokes and footwork.
Games are where the fun really begins. There is a game for the advanced
kids where they have to call the shot
they are going to make before they
make it. Calling the shot in advance
makes them think ahead. I include
games where one player hits the most
number of balls he can, then switches
with one of several kids I have standing
against the back wall. The highest number of hits wins. Another game is each
player hits one ball and rotates to the
back wall until it is his turn again. If a
player wins 10 points, he wins the game.

I have seen such immediate improvements with my kids speed and reaction
times from the racquetball courts to the tennis courts that I have considered
going to the racquetball courts once or twice a week on nice days and/or if I
have extra kids or adults.
injuries with three to eight juniors
running around. The question of safety
has come up often over the years and
I recommend the racquetball safety
glasses to concerned players; however,
I do believe a unique self-preservation
kicks in on close quarters of the racquetball court. I have had many more
accidental injuries on the tennis court
with colliding doubles partners, players misgauging incoming lobs, or getting hit by overheads than hitting one
another on the racquetball court.
I also utilize the racquetball courts
for individual shot improvement on
serving, the serve and volley routine,
groundstrokes, volleys, overheads,
half-volleys, swing volleys, and drop
shots. Even Bucharest Backfires and
tweeners can be practiced on the racquetball court. Each shot can be honed
individually then used in different
sequences and combinations to reflect
those same shot patterns on the tennis
Another point to consider is the type
tennis ball to take on the racquetball
court. It is here that I select almost
dead tennis balls for beginners and
advanced beginners and new balls for
the fastest game with my intermedi-

The kids love the games and the number

of games are up to your imagination.
I have seen such immediate improvements with my kids speed and
reaction times from the racquetball
courts to the tennis courts that I have
considered going to the racquetball
courts once or twice a week on nice
days and/or if I have extra kids or
adults. For the record you may use
a squash court for these games and
strokes too.
I tell my kids on rainy days that
they are the only ones playing tennis
today anywhere in the county because
we are the only club with racquetball
courts. If you have access to indoor
racquetball courts, there are no
rained-out tennis days. h
* I include the floor as a side as it is so
valuable in the training
Gerry Berkheimer has been a U
member for more than 30 years. As
a coach, he worked with more than
15 top 300 players in the world and
one top 30 player. Berkheimer is in
his 21st year as the tennis director at The Jungle
Club in Vero Beach, Fla. To contact Berkheimer
Photo by Brian Walters Photography
regarding the article, call 772-321-7800. 51

Beyond the Court

Trip of a Lifetime to the US Open

he vibrant atmosphere of the

US Open was highlighted by
the suite we enjoyed on the
mezzanine level of Arthur
Ashe Stadium, Chuck Poteet recalls,
with great food and unbelievable
seats to view the matches.
Hes referring to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity he and his wife Freda
enjoyed at the US Open after winning
the grand prize in the Tennis Thanks
the Troops contest.
Tennis Thanks the Troops is a
campaign organized by ThanksUSA,
which since 2006 has provided more
than $11 million in educational
scholarships to the children and
spouses of our servicemen and women. Awardees represent all military
branchesArmy, Navy, Air Force,
Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National
Guard and Reserveand come from
each of the 50 states and the District
of Columbia.
Tennis Thanks the Troops campaign offers a reward to the club or pro
that raises the most money: two tickets to the US Open along with airfare
and lodging.
For the third year in a row, the
grand prize trip was awarded to
Berkeley Hills Country Club in Duluth, Ga. Tennis Director Todd Assini began his 2015 push by hosting
a Memorial Day tennis mixer and

Chuck and Freda Poteet at the US Open,

courtesy of Tennis Thanks the Troops.

concluded by hosting a Wimbledon

viewing party and silent auction. It
is the least we can do for all those who
sacrifice every day for our freedom,
he said.
The Poteets son from Berkeley
Hills Country Club decided to turn
the trip over to his mother, an avid
tennis player for years. Freda, who
plays in USTA, ALTA and league tennis in the Atlanta area, was able to
turn a dream into reality during this
astonishing trip. She was thrilled

Tennis Thanks
the Troops provides
a trip of a lifetime
that she and I will
always remember.
the highlight would
have to be the suite
we e
njoyed on the
mezzanine level of
Arthur Ashe Stadium


when Martina Hingis, her favorite

player, and partner Sania Mirza continued their run by winning the US
Open womens doubles title without
losing a set.
Chuck and Freda Poteet know the
stresses military service can mean
for families. Chucks father was in the
military. He came of age on the heels of
the Vietnam War and went into law enforcement in 1979, where he continues
to be active today.
This was a trip of a lifetime that
she and I will always remember,
Poteet said. I think your [Tennis
Thanks the Troops] campaign does
great things for the families of our service men and women, and I appreciate
any organization that recognizes the
sacrifices made by so few to protect
so many. h
ThanksUSA in partnership with the
USPTA continues to support scholarships
for military families. To join our team,

All Rezilient Direct policies pay cash directly to you, even if you are covered under another plan.
These policies will cover expenses not paid under your major medical plan such as
daily living expenses, rent, or the loss of income from being out of work.
Monthly policies cost as little as $25.00 for accident, $40.00 for critical illness and $87.00 for hospitalization.

And remember, you

can check to see how
many credits you
already have at any
time by logging in
to your member
documents at

* International members and

those over the age of 65 are
exempt from the professional
development requirements
of membership.

Career Development
Exams, Upgrades Webinars

Division Activities
(6 credits)

(.5 credits)
Feb. 10

(4 credits for PTCA I segment)

March 7-8
La Jolla, Calif.
March 11
Rochester, N.Y.
March 12-13
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 12-13
Huntington Beach, Calif.
March 12-13
Rye, N.H.
March 15
Jackson, Miss.
March 18
Nichols Hills, Okla.
Paradise Valley, Ariz.
March 19-20
Columbus, Ohio
March 20
March 24 Minneapolis
March 25-26 Houston*
April 9-10
Aurora, Ill.
Orlando, Fla.
April 9-10
April 10-11
Lakewood, Calif.

Present challenges in

running a tennis complex

Fernando Velasco
March 10

Craig OShannessy

Watch all 2015 recorded webinars at

user/TheUSPTA. For more information visit
Education>Education Calendar.

Cardio Tennis
Feb. 21

Cardio Tennis Training Course

Shipyard Racquet Club,
Hilton Head Island, S.C.

* This course is held at the USPTA World Headquarters.

Exam reservations must be made at least 21 days
prior to the dates listed. Each date includes an exam,
upgrade and PTCA I unless noted. Exam cancellations
must be received no later than 14 days before the
exam, or a cancellation fee will be charged accordingly.

Please visit to register.

Feb. 18

USPTA Texas Convention

Horseshoe Bay, Texas
Feb. 19
USPTA Southwest Convention
Feb. 19
USPTA California Convention
Los Angeles
Feb. 25 USPTA Missouri Valley Convention
Kansas City, Kan.
March 4-5 USPTA Mid-Atlantic Convention
Rockville, Md.
March 6
USPTA San Diego Convention
La Jolla, Calif.
April 24-25
USPTA Eastern Convention
Chatham, N.Y.
May 1-2 USPTA New England Convention
Norwich, Conn.
May 12-14
USPTA Southern Convention
May 15
USPTA Hawaii Convention

Applicant: late cancellation fee $95; failure to cancel

application fee is forfeited. Certified members: late
cancellation fee $25; failure to cancel $25 plus the
upgrade fee is forfeited. Registration for another exam
will not be accepted until cancellation fees are paid.

Register your Accredited Professional Coach (APC)
and specialty course credits earned with the USPTA
SmartCode Education System. This uses your
smartphone to instantly register your attendance
to all seminars and specialty
courses earning APC.
To use the system at a
seminar, general session or
specialty course, you must
scan two QR codes. One QR
code is on your conference badge. The second
QR code will be in your conference notebook and
cannot be scanned until the end of the session or
the beginning of the next session.
If you do not have a smartphone, you may use
someone elses. Forms are available upon request.


Education requirements
All USPTA-certified Professionals must earn 6 education credits in a three-year period
to remain current. Go to for a partial list of eligible activities. Please send verification (email, letter, certificate, receipt, etc.) that shows you
attended the event/activity and submit it along with the date and agenda to to receive your credit. (International members, Recreational Coaches
and those over the age of 65 are exempt.) Questions? Write to
or call 800-877-8248, ext. 147.

Member News
On Aug. 22, a Pro/Am Tournament was held on Williams Island, North Miami, Fla., to assist a
fellow USPTA member, Antony Emerson. Emerson, the son of legendary Roy
Emerson, was diagnosed with brain, lung and liver cancer in 2015. His friends
led a team of volunteers to organize and facilitate the event. A record number
of pros and amateurs were on hand for an exciting competition, all sporting
Go Emmo T-shirts and wristbands.
Those who did not play were still
included in the days festivities as participants partook of a benefit lunch and silent auction,
all making for a very successful fundraiser. Emerson
is receiving treatment at home in California with his
family and friends. If you would like to contribute to his
ongoing battle, a site has been set up for him: www.
Lane Evans, Director of Tennis & Wellness at Champion Hills Club in Hendersonville, N.C., had a
busy November giving and helping others. After receiving the 2015 USPTA Industry Excellence
Award, which came
with a $1,000 grant
and a new Tennis
Tutor ball machine
package valued
at around $3,000,
Evans decided to
go on a little giving
spree. He first gave
the $1,000 grant to
the tennis program
at West Henderson High School where the money will go toward court resurfacing or other team
needs. Evans then went to the Methodist University Professional Tennis Management program in
Fayetteville, N.C., for his next phase of giving. They had an old broken down ball machine that was
being held together with spit and scotch tape so I decided the next gift should go to them, Evans
said. Finally, he had one more item of giving business to attend to. Annually, he spearheads a food
drive to help the Hendersonville Rescue Mission. Through the tennis and fitness programs as well
as Champion Hills Club member generosity, many hundreds of pounds of food have been collected
and donated over the years for the mission.
Four USPTA members
were named 2014-15
Wilson/ITA Coaches of
the Year at the awards
banquet during the ITA
Coaches Convention in
Naples, Fla., in December: Mark Goldin, NAIA
Womens Coach of the
Year, Cardinal Stritch
University; Hendrick
Bode, NCAA Division II Mens Coach of the Year, Hawaii Pacific University; David T. Porter,
NCAA Division II Womens Coach of the Year, BYU-Hawaii; and Kelly Stahlhuth, NCAA Division
III Womens Coach of the Year, Washington University in St. Louis.
ADDvantage magazine editorial offices
USPTA World Headquarters
3535 Briarpark Drive, Suite 202
Houston, TX 77042
Phone 713-978-7782 / 800-USPTA-4U
Fax 713-358-7794


Managing editor

Kimberly Forrester
Kathy Buchanan

Office hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Central time

ADDvantage is published monthly by the
United States Professional Tennis Association.

Art Thomson (February 10, 1947 December

19, 2015), lost his battle of over four years to
ALS. ALS robbed him of his
ability to walk and talk and
thus removed him from the
sport of tennis in September of 2013. Thomson, a
Colorado native, competed
for George Washington
High School. Graduating from the University
of Colorado-Boulder at No. 1 singles position,
he finished third in the Big 8 Conference. He
captured the 1981 Colorado State Open singles
title at age 34 and holds three major Colorado
open doubles titles two Denver City Open
crowns (1971 and 1972) and one Intermountain
Championships (1973). He was runner up at the
Denver City Open twice (1970 and 1973). Over
a 30 year period, Thomson was named USPTA
Intermountain Player of the Year in various age
brackets, between 35 65. Thomson amassed
23 triple titles (singles, doubles and mixed) as
well as numerous individual singles and doubles
titles. In 1993, Thomson was named USPTA
National 45 and Over Singles Player of the Year.
In 2014, he was a Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame
inductee. During his 50+ years as a USPTA Elite
Professional, he worked at Arapahoe Tennis
Club, Mount Vernon Country Club, Vail Racquet
Club and was owner/director for Loves Acre in
Colorado. Thomson has shared his love and
passion for the game of tennis with countless
students. He is survived by his wife and tennis
partner, Laura (also a USPTA Professional),
two stepsons, Garth (Katie), Marc (Britta), and
grandchildren, Sophie and Cooper Miles.
First Vice

Chuck Gill
Gary Trost

Vice Presidents

Past President
Legal Counsel

Alan Cutler
Feisal Hassan
Ken McAllister
Jack Michalko
Diane Selke


Tom McGraw
John Embree
George Parnell

The opinions expressed in ADDvantage are those of the

authors and not necessarily those of ADDvantage or the
Copyright United States Professional Tennis
Association, Inc. 2016. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any portion of the magazine is not
permitted without written permission from USPTA.