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Volume 40 Number 9 $5.00
USTA’s Top Brass
On Youth Tennis,
USTA’s Top Brass
On Youth Tennis,
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R S I S E P T / O C T 2 0 1 2
7 FCC rules in favor
of Tennis Channel
7 2013 PTR Symposium
moves to May
7 Judge approves Prince’s
8 USPTA World
Conference Sept. 16-21
8 Ashaway introduces
MonoGut ZX Red
8 PTR offers deal for
‘10U Tennis Month’
8 Dunlop, Gosen join
10 Har-Tru hosts Clay Court
Workout for juniors
11 Fila picks winner in
dress design contest
12 Short Sets
12 GripScholar offers
logoed grips, wraps
13 2nd quarter specialty
store sales data
4 Our Serve
7 Industry News
17 Retailing Tip
20 Pioneers in Tennis
40 Tips and Techniques
42 String Playtest: Gosen Sidewinder 17
44 Your Serve, by L. Jon Wertheim
2 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012 www.racquetsportsindustry.com
(APPEARS AFTER PAGE 22)
23 How Facebook Can Grow
If you are not on social media, you’re
missing a great opportunity.
26 Response Time
The USTA’s top brass answer our
questions on topics that impact many
segments of the tennis industry.
37 New Racquets and Shoes
Many companies are promising new
product launches in 2013, but we still
found those taking to the court during
this year’s US Open.
32 Image is Everything
You may not notice things wear out
and wearing down, but your players
34 Test Your Court Knowledge
Here’s a pop quiz to see how much you
know about tennis courts.
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(Incorporating Racquet Tech and Tennis Industry)
David Bone Jeff Williams
Mary Helen Sprecher
RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY
PO Box 3392, Duluth, GA 30096
Phone: 760-536-1177 Fax: 760-536-1171
Office Hours: Mon.-Fri.,8 a.m.-5 p.m. Pacific Time
Racquet Sports 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, PO Box 3392,
Duluth, GA 30096. Periodcal postage paid at
Duluth, GA and at additional mailing offices (USPS
#004-354). Sept/Oct 2012, Volume 40, Number 9 ©
2012 by USRSA and Tennis Industry. All rights
reserved. Racquet Sports Industry, RSI 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 Racquet Sports Industry, PO Box
3392, Duluth, GA 3009.
RSI is the official magazine of the USRSA, TIA,and ASBA
A Celebration of Tennis
4 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012
he US Open brings the best tennis players
together for what many consider is the
biggest and best tournament in the world.
That’s a perfect reason to celebrate this sport.
But now, this industry is adding another reason for celebration. The
Tennis Show 2012 is happening in New York City on Friday, Aug. 24, at
the Grand Hyatt. If you’ll recall, the inaugural Tennis Show had been
scheduled last year, but Hurricane Irene forced cancelation of that and
many other events the weekend before the Open.
This year’s Tennis Show is a one-day celebration of tennis that
includes an Exhibitor Show (with demo court for trying out racquets), TIA
Tennis Forum, the induction of Nick Bollettieri into the Tennis Industry
Hall of Fame, and a cocktail reception. The Friday time slot (from 3 to 9
p.m.) was picked to lead into the USTA’s Tennis Teachers Conference,
which begins the next morning.
Entrance into The Tennis Show is free for all involved in the tennis
industry, so we hope you’ll be able to make it to help support this indus-
try. The Tennis Show program is inserted into the center of this issue of
RSI, so if you aren’t able to be in New York at that time, you can still see
what it’s all about.
Also in this issue is an extensive Q & A with three of the USTA’s lead-
ers: Kurt Kamperman, Patrick McEnroe and Gordon Smith. They were
kind enough to answer our questions on a range of important subjects,
from youth tennis, to Player Development, to teaching pro organizations,
to the National Tennis Center, and much more. We’re sure, however, that
many of you will have other questions you’d like to put to the USTA, and
we encourage you to send them to us (email me at
email@example.com). While I can’t guarantee we’ll get answers, we
can certainly try.
We hope to see you at The Tennis Show this year. (If you are going to
be there, I’ll probably be spending a lot of time in a TIA-sponsored “ten-
nis industry media” booth, so please stop and say hello.) If you can’t
make it to New York for the show this year, make sure you take time to
celebrate this sport, in your shop, club, public park—wherever your
business is. The US Open “season” is the perfect reason to boost your
I NDUSTRY NEWS
I NDUSTRY NEWS
I N F O R M A T I O N T O H E L P Y O U R U N Y O U R B U S I N E S S
to May on HHI
PTR CEO Dan Santorum
announced in late July that the
2013 PTR Symposium will be
May 2-5 on Hilton Head Island,
instead of the traditional time
around President’s Day in Febru-
ary. The change is due
to an extensive
Crowne Plaza) that won’t be
completed until the spring.
The PTR Championships will
begin on Tuesday afternoon, April
30. The Symposium will begin on
Thursday morning, May 2, fol-
lowed by the Parade of Nations
at 1 p.m. and the PTR Banquet
that evening. Friday will be the
Trade Show. The Symposium con-
tinues Saturday and Sunday, end-
ing with the Gamma/Head
Casino Night Dinner/Dance Sun-
day evening. Professional Devel-
opment Courses will be offered
May 1, 6, and 7. The rate at the
newly renovated Sonesta Resort
will be $139/night with no resort
For those who may have been
planning on the February dates,
the PTR will host its inaugural 10
& Under Tennis Conference Feb.
14-17 at the Marriott Resort–Pal-
metto Dunes on Hilton Head
Island. The conference will
include a PTR Junior Develop-
ment (10 & Under) Certification
workshop and testing. The 10U
conference will end with a Youth
Town Hall lunch.
Visit www.ptrtennis.org for more
R S I S E P T / O C T 2 0 1 2
FCC Ruling Favors Tennis Channel Over Comcast
he Federal Communications Commission’s 3-2 ruling in July in favor of Tennis Channel over
cable giant Comcast may have come just in time for US Open fans. Although at press time
Comcast said it will appeal, for now it must add Tennis Channel to an addition-
al 18 million Comcast households
"Tennis Channel has demonstrated that Comcast discriminated against Tennis
Channel and in favor of Golf Channel and Versus on the basis of affiliation, and that
this discrimination unreasonably restrained Tennis Channel's ability to compete,”
the commission’s ruling said. “By relegating the Tennis Channel to a more expensive
sports tier, which reached only about 3 million Comcast homes, Comcast had effec-
tively limited the channel's reach and crimped its revenue prospects.”
Comcast has said it will appeal to the courts, but for now it must add the Tennis
Channel to 18 million households, which also means that it will have to pay the network millions of
dollars more each year for its programming. Tennis Channel is currently available in about 34 million
homes nationwide. The FCC also levied Comcast with a $375,000 fine.
September/October 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 7 www.racquetsportsindustry.com
Judge Approves Prince’s Reorganization Plan
t the end of July, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved Prince’s plan for restructuring,
which allows it to exit court protection in less than three months. Under Prince’s reorganiza-
tion plan, lender ABG-Prince LLC will get all the reorganized company’s equity in exchange
for its $67.2 million secured debt. Unsecured creditors, owed about $13.8 million if all claims are
allowed, will get proceeds from lawsuits and $4 million cash in two installments for an estimated
recovery of at least 29 percent.
Prince sought bankruptcy protection May 1 listing about $54.2 million in
assets as of Dec. 31, court filings show. The company owed creditors more
than $75 million.
Active Brands Co., which was formed in the spring by the principals of two Omaha-based com-
panies, acquired exclusive rights to the Prince, Ektelon and Viking brands in North America, forming
a wholly owned subsidiary, Prince Americas. Prince Americas will exclusively operate and manage
the production and distribution of all products and services associated with Prince, Ektelon and
Viking in North America, Latin America and South America. The CEO of Active Brands is Chris Circo.
USTA Promotes Free Tennis Play Days
n Sept. 1, the USTA, with the help of a “celebrity spokesperson,” will kick off National Child-
hood Obesity Awareness Month by encouraging parents and kids to attend one of more than
a thousand USTA Free Tennis Play Days, held over the next month.
“Childhood obesity has become the No. 1 health concern among parents, as this epidemic has
tripled in the last three decades,” said USTA President Jon Vegosen. “With our new rules for young
kids and the overall safety of the sport, tennis can be the perfect prescription for a lifetime of fun
and healthy activity.” The USTA is looking for tennis providers to register their Free Tennis Play Days
at YouthTennis.com. The first 2,000 events to register will receive:
* 50 copies of a special edition of Bounce, the USTA’s youth publication.
* 50 photo frame magnets with “USTA Free Tennis Play Day in celebration of Nickelodeon’s World-
wide Day of Play” branding.
* Exposure in the searchable database on YouthTennis.com that will be promoted on Nickelodeon.
PTR Offers Deal for ‘10U Tennis Month’
he PTR’s Junior Development (10 & Under) Workshops have certified more than
1,000 tennis coaches since February 2011, and to honor that milestone, the PTR has
announced that August is PTR 10 & Under Tennis Month.
During August, anyone who joins PTR as a full member can take advantage of two
special offers that will save them a total of $220: 1) PTR will waive the $100 member-
ship initiation fee, and 2) Free registration for a PTR Junior Development (10 and Under
Tennis) Workshop, a $120 savings, provided you attend the workshop in 2012.
“The USTA is providing grant funds to assist with delivering these 10 and Under edu-
cational workshops,” says PTR CEO Dan Santorum. “This is a great deal for people who
have been thinking about joining PTR and getting their tennis teaching certification.
PTR membership has always been a terrific value, but this August, it’s even better.”
“The USTA is excited that PTR is helping build a larger pool of well-trained teachers
and coaches for this very important age group,” adds USTA Chief Executive of Commu-
nity Tennis Kurt Kamperman. To take advantage of this offer, call the PTR at 843-785-
S E P T / O C T 2 0 1 2
8 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012 www.racquetsportsindustry.com
Join Sponsors at
unlop is the latest company that
will take part in the 2012 GSS
Symposium at Saddlebrook Resort
in Tampa, Sept. 22-26, joining
Wilson and Yonex.
“We’re happy to be
part of the 2012
Hunter Hines of Dun-
“Over the past 18
months we’ve built
some strong momentum with
strings like Silk and Black Widow,”
adds Hines, “and we hope being a
part of the Symposium will serve to
build our brand and grow our pres-
ence in the string segment.”
This will be Dunlop’s first time at
the GSS Symposium, which is now
in its sixth year. “We’re pleased to
add Dunlop to the list of industry
leaders that help make this event
possible each year,” says GSS Sym-
posium founder Tim Strawn.
“These five companies will con-
tribute to our major gift bag that
will see each attendee walk away
with a triple racquet thermal bag,
12 sets of premium string, and a
premium racquet. This, along with
gifts from other sponsors, will more
than offset the cost of registration
to attend the event.”
Also participating in the Sympo-
sium will be string company Gosen.
“Gosen is recognized as a world
leader in the manufacture of rac-
quet strings, so they’re a perfect fit
for this group,” Strawn says. “Our
attendees love the opportunity to
test new strings as soon as they’re
released. In 2011 Gosen provided
free sets of their new Sidewinder
polyester, and I still hear from last
year’s attendees who continue to
have great success with that string.”
For more info on the GSS sym-
posium, visit www.grandslam-
stringers.com and click on the
“Symposium” link. For questions,
contact Strawn at 540-632-1148.
USPTA World Conference Sept. 16-21 in CA
he USPTA’s World Conference on Tennis will be Sept. 16-21 at the Hyatt Regency Mon-
terey Hotel & Spa in Monterey, Calif. More than 1,500 tennis-teach-
ing professionals, industry leaders and representatives, media
and manufacturer representatives are expected to attend, par-
ticipating in educational sessions both on- and off-court, net-
working, and more.
The seminars address current issues and future challenges facing
all tennis teachers. Attendees also can participate in morning Car-
dio Tennis sessions. Also, USPTA players can compete for prize money and ranking points,
and players who would like to represent their divisions may also compete in the USPTA
On Sept. 19, USPTA will hold its Tennis Buying Show. Exhibitors include equipment,
apparel and footwear companies, video analysis, teaching aids, court surfacing and more.
In addition, the USPTA Silent Auction will be held during the buying show, which benefits
the USPTA foundation.
For more information, visit www.usptaworldconference.com.
Ashaway Introduces MonoGut ZX Red for Tennis
shaway Racket Strings has added a new member to its growing line of Zyex-based ten-
nis strings. Colored bright red, MonoGut ZX Red is made from the same non-polyester
100% Zyex material as its sister product, MonoGut ZX, and plays more like natural gut,
In recent blind playtests conducted by both the US and European Racquet Stringers
Associations (USRSA and ERSA), Ashaway's
MonoGut strings were found to have much
reduced stiffness and improved elongation, pro-
viding more power and control, and a softer feel,
than leading polyester brands.
Ashaway says MonoGut ZX Red is designed
for players seeking both gut-like playability and
superior durability in a solid monofilament
string, as well as those using monofilament
strings in hybrid stringing patterns. The 1.27
mm (16 gauge) MonoGut ZX Red is available in
40-foot sets and in both 360- and 720-foot reels.
Recommended stringing tension is up to 60 lbs.
he 2012 USPTA Worsdfsdf
Sep/Oct 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 9 www.racquetsportsindustry.com
I N D U S T R Y N E W S
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TR and sdfsdf
Har-Tru Sports, USTA Northern California
Host Clay Court Workout for Juniors
ar-Tru Sports teamed up with the USTA Northern California Section in
July to provide some of California’s top juniors the unique opportunity
to train on clay courts. Har-Tru’s NorCal Clay Court Workout events were
open to players who had qualified for the Clay Court Nationals, and North-
ern California players who ranked in the top 20 of each age division.
The two-day event took place at two facilities: Napa Valley Country
Club and the Flora Vista Inn. About 20 young players ranging from ages
12 to 16 attended, where they learned clay-court strategy, tactics and foot-
work. Topics included movement and balance, learning to slide, using
depth and spin versus power, controlling the point, playing offense versus
defense, how to get your opponent out of position, and shot selection.
"The level of talent in Northern California is tremendous," said Pat
Hanssen, Director of Sales & Marketing for Har-Tru Sports and a former
player and coach. "These kids are extremely intelligent and have access
to some of the best coaches I have
seen. Our goal was to provide young
players with clay-specific training and
coaching—something they sorely lack
out West—that will have a positive
impact on their game, and give them
experience to draw on as they head
East for the biggest tournaments of the
Har-Tru says providing juniors with
more training opportunities and com-
petition on clay will lead to more well-rounded players. The company says
clay courts have served as a training surface to 88 percent of male players
who have reached the top 10 in the world since rankings were kept.
10 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012
S E P T / O C T 2 0 1 2
• Babolat recently presented its top retailer and sales rep awards. Tennis
Station of Burlingame, Calif., was named the retailer of the year. Allan Iver-
son has been named Babolat’s National Sales Representative of the Year.
Andy Wild has been named the North Sales Representative of the Year. Mike
Moor and Mike Sprengelmeyer are the South Sales Reps of the Year. The
“Tennis Runs In Our Blood Award” goes to National Sales Manager Mickey
Maule and Director of Marketing Susan DiBiase.
• Asics America has signed two-time NCAA singles champion Steve John-
son. Johnson played four years at University of Southern California before
leaving this past May as one of the most decorated tennis players in college
• HEAD stars Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic were each honored
with a 2012 ESPY trophy at the 20th Annual ESPY Awards in July. Sharpova
was named Best Female Tennis Player and Djokovic Best Male Tennis Player.
• The USTA has named F. Skip Gilbert as Managing Director, Professional
Tennis Operations & US Open Tournament Manager. In his new role, Gilbert
will be responsible for the USTA’s professional tournaments including Cincin-
nati, New Haven and Atlanta; oversee all aspects of the USTA Pro Circuit
department including its interaction with Player Development; oversee the
USTA’s officiating department and the USTA’s USOC relationship; as well as
serve as Tournament Manager at the US Open.
• Former world No. 1 Martina Hingis of the New York Sportimes and the
Washington Kastles' Bobby Reynolds were named as MVPs for the World
TeamTennis Pro League. John-Patrick Smith of the Orange County Breakers
and Kristyna Pliskova of the Philadelphia Freedoms were named as WTT
Rookies of the Year, while Murphy Jensen of the Washington Kastles was
named WTT Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
• Stanford junior Nicole Gibbs and USC senior Steve Johnson were honored
as the 2012 Campbell/ITA National College Players of the Year as part of
induction weekend in July at the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Muse-
um in Newport, R.I.
• Rob DeMartini, New Balance President & CEO, joined several members of
Congress and the RFPMA (Rubber and Plastic Footwear Manufacturers Asso-
ciation) on Capitol Hill recently to highlight the importance of supporting
domestic footwear manufacturing. Martini said, "New Balance is proud to
make shoes in the U.S. despite the inherent challenges that caused the rest
of the athletic footwear industry to move all of their production offshore."
• Wilson tour player and 17-time Grand Slam record holder Roger Federer
set a record in mid-July by becoming the first male tennis player to hold the
world no. 1 ranking for 287 weeks total.
PTR Holds Wimbledon Symposium
The Professional Tennis Registry hosted its inau-
gural PTR Wimbledon Symposium, June 28-29,
in London. Presenters included Judy Murray, LTA
Fed Cup captain; Roger Draper, LTA chief execu-
tive; Anne Pankhurst, world renowned coach edu-
cational expert; Jez Green, fitness coach of Andy
Murray; and Claire Pollard, head women's tennis
coach for Northwestern University.
PTR President Jorge Andrew and PTR CEO Dan
Santorum told the mostly British audience that
PTR is dedicated to revitalizing PTR membership
in Great Britain. “Holding the Wimbledon Sympo-
sium was the first step in that direction,” Santorum
said. The PTR says the two-day Wimbledon Sym-
posium will be an annual event that hopes to
attract an international audience.
September/October 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY11
I N D U S T R Y N E W S
Fila Picks Winner in Tennis
Dress Design Contest
ila announced that Samantha Swank, a
recent fashion design graduate from Art
Institute of Philadelphia, has won its tennis
dress design contest, which was held via
the brand’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/
FilaAmerica. The contest was a twist on
the designer/celebrity collaboration trend,
says Fila, which gave real
people the opportunity to
become a star in the spe-
cialized world of perform-
ance tennis fashion.
The final round,
between Swank and co-
McDonald, a film and
television producer liv-
ing in Brooklyn, N.Y., was held in
Fila’s New York office, where they present-
ed their ideas and inspiration to a panel of
Swank remained in New York to begin
the product development process for her
design and oversee production alongside
Fila Vice President of Apparel Danny
Lieberman. She will return to New York the
first week of September for a fitting of the
dress on a professional tennis player. Then
in March 2013, Swank will watch courtside
as her dress debuts in a tournament match
by a Fila-sponsored WTA Tour tennis play-
er at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.
PTR to Host Tennis
he PTR’s inaugural Directors of Tennis
Conference will be Oct. 16-18 on
Hilton Head Island, S.C. The inaugural
conference will be limited to 75 atten-
dees and will be on a first-come first-
A variety of topics relevant to directors
(indoor, resort, country club and private
facility) will be addressed by the faculty,
which includes directors of tennis and
consultants Doug Cash, Jorge Andrew,
Roy Barth, David Brouwer, Michael
Mahoney, Mark McMahon and others.
The conference also will feature vendor
displays to showcase products and servic-
es. To register, call the PTR at 843-785-
ASBA Leaders Visit at
Wimbledon, Meet With ITF
SBA Executive Director Fred Stringfel-
low (left) and Tennis Division President
Pete Smith represented the Association in
June in London during the Championships
at Wimbledon. Stringfellow and Smith par-
ticipated in the ITF Foundation’s Court
Surface Technical Meeting at ITF’s head-
June 28. Par-
Net Tension considerations. The ITF Foun-
dation includes corporate and non-profit
GripScholar Offers Logoed Grips, Wraps
ripScholar specializes in custom sports grips, wraps, and tapes, working with
individual tournaments, charities, athletic departments, bookstores, individual
sports teams, and a variety of retailers and corporate partners.
“Our tennis grips are comprised of our own custom material, providing the
perfect combination of feel and durability,” the company says. Images on the
grips “do not run, wear, or degrade when introduced to sweat, water, and com-
petitive/repetitive use.” The company can
place almost any logo or image on the
grips. Some of their clients include Harvard,
Yale, MIT, Northeastern, Boston College and
the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Two of the most popular products are GS
Premiere and GS Performance Grips. The
company says GS Premiere is a super tacky,
sweat absorptive, soft yet durable overgrip
most often used for tennis, squash, bad-
minton, cycling, golf, and baseball/softball.
GS Performance is a thinner, tougher, stock-
ier material most often used for hockey, field hockey, and lacrosse. For more
information, visit www.gripscholar.com.
S E P T / O C T 2 0 1 2
12 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012
Starting Jan. 1, 2013, and for a period of
five years, Babolat will become the official
shoe brand of The Championships, Wimble-
don. As part of the deal, Babolat will equip the
ball boys and girls during The Championships.
Donnay officials say their best customer so
far is Andre Agassi, “who bought six of our XP
Dual models and will order an additional 40
for the rest of the year.” A company source
said Agassi recently playtested about 25
frames from four manufacturers. Agassi does
not have an endorsement deal with Donnay
and won’t be doing any promotional appear-
ances for the brand, the source said.
10-S Tennis Supply is the new official ten-
nis court equipment supplier of the USPTA. As
part of the partnership agreement, 10-S Tennis
Supply’s Six Star II tennis net will become the
official tennis net of the USPTA.
The USTA has created a “US Open Sports-
manship Award,” which will be presented to
one male and one female professional tennis
player who best demonstrates excellence in
sportsmanship throughout the Emirates Air-
line US Open Series and the US Open. The
award will be presented to each winner dur-
ing the 2012 US Open.
The PTR’s TennisPro Magazine received
three 2012 APEX Awards for Publishing Excel-
lence. The awards were for the January/Febru-
ary 2011 issue in the category of Education &
Training Writing, the September/October 2011
issue for Sports Writing, and the January/Feb-
ruary 2012 issue in the category of Magazine
& Journal Writing. PTR Director of Communi-
cations Peggy Edwards is the editor of Tennis-
The World TeamTennis Pro League finals
will be Sept. 14-16 at the Family Circle Tennis
Center in Charleston, S.C.
Consider hosting a “Tennis Play Day,” in
conjunction with the USTA’s military outreach
initiative. The USTA’s Tennis in the Parks Com-
mittee, working with other USTA committees
and departments, is urging park & rec agen-
cies, CTAs and other tennis providers to host a
Play Day on or near Veterans Day, which this
year falls on Sunday, Nov. 11. For more infor-
mation and to register your Veterans Day Play
Day event, visit www.usta.com/veteransday.
Junior tennis players from across USTA
Eastern had a chance to improve their games
and learn about careers in tennis at the sec-
tion’s 14th Annual Camp A.C.E. (Achieving
through Coaching and Education) in July. For-
mer pros Rodney Harmon and Leslie Allen
coached the juniors, and USTA and other exec-
utives offered sessions on playing tennis in
college, career choices in tennis, team build-
ing, and leadership skills. Camp A.C.E. is an
NJTL Regional Leadership camp.
Looking to hire, or be hired? CareersIn-
Tennis.com has more than 1,300 registered
job-seekers, and more than 1,000 job list-
ings, and it’s free for employers and job-
Andre Agassi, Stefanie Graf, and Andy
Roddick will join other top players for the
Mylan World TeamTennis Smash Hits, pre-
sented by Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King,
on Oct. 16 at the Petersen Events Center.
Match Mate Tennis's new "Quickstart"
ball machine is designed for 10 and Under
Tennis. The machine can throw all three types
of transition balls—red, orange and green—
in addition to the standard yellow ball. Top
speed has been tweaked down to 30 mph
maximum for safety. Instructors also can
stand behind the player and have a more
hands-on lesson. Visit www.matchmateten-
nis.com or call 800-837-1002.
ATP Tour Player Ivo Karlovic has signed
with Genesis Tennis, as has ATP pro Teymuraz
Gabashvili. Also Genesis has launched its
newly redesigned website, which includes
integration with various social media sites.
Congratulations To the Following
For Achieving MRT and CS Status
Ian Campbell Lake Oswego, OR
Justin Gallagher Antioch, TN
Ivo Ljubibratic New London, NH
September/October 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 13
I N D U S T R Y N E W S
Top-Selling Tennis Strings
at Specialty Stores
By year-to-date units, January-June 2012
1. Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex
2. Babolat RPM Blast
3. Wilson NXT
4. Wilson Sensation
5. Luxilon Alu Power
at Specialty Stores
By year-to-date dollars, January-June 2012
1. Babolat Aero Pro Drive GT (MP)
2. Babolat Pure Drive GT 2012 (MP)
3. Wilson BLX Juice (MP)
4. Babolat Pure Drive GT (MP)
5. Babolat Pure Drive Lite 2012 (MP)
“Hot New Racquets”
(introduced in the past 12 months)
1. Babolat Pure Drive GT 2012 (MP)
2. Wilson BLX Juice (MP)
3. Babolat Pure Drive Lite 2012 (MP)
4. Babolat Pure Drive 107 2012 (OS)
5. Wilson BLX Juice (OS)
Tennis Racquet Performance
January-June, 2012 vs. 2011
Units 2012 336,728
% change v. ’11 9%
Dollars 2012 $47,055,000
% change v. ’11 6%
Price 2012 $139.74
% change v. ’11 -3%
Top-Selling Tennis Shoes
at Specialty Stores
By year-to-date dollars, January-June 20122
1. Prince T22
2. Adidas Adipower Barricade 7
3. Asics Gel Resolution 4
4. Babolat Propulse 3
5. Nike Zoom Breathe 2K11
(Source: TIA/Sports Marketing Surveys)
14 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012
S E P T / O C T 2 0 1 2
BJK Supports Juniors at Adopt-A-Unit Packing Party
illie Jean King was on hand at the World TeamTennis Junior Nationals in San Diego in early
August to help with a “packing party” the junior players held to collect and send donated sup-
plies to an Army unit in Afghanistan, as part of the USTA’s Adopt-A-Unit program. Players also
wrote personal notes of appreciation to accompany the six full packages.
The tournament, held at the Barnes Family Junior Tennis Center, also hosted a presentation by
a recovering serviceman from the San Diego Balboa Medical Center and other Armed Forces per-
sonnel, who talked to the players about the role tennis has played in military as well as the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers.
“The purpose of the presentation was to inform the players of the service and sacrifices made by military families, and
ways the tennis community can support them,” says volunteer coordinator Kathy Willette. Willette worked closely with U.S.
Navy Capt. Steve Kappes (ret.), a member of the USTA’s Community Tennis Association Committee, to plan the event.
More on a
After reading the letters in the
August edition of RSI about a
“restringing campaign” I do have
one thing that I think needs to be
mentioned. Television announcers
do a disservice when discussing
polyester strings. Yes, for the pros
they do a great job, however the
announcers rarely, if ever, give
the rest of the story. They don't
tell of the quick tension loss, the
reduction of power when switch-
ing from a typical synthetic to a
poly, and the biggie, the harsh-
ness due to its inherent stiffness
and the increased potential for
I have customers at the
2.5/3.0 level—who can only
break a string if they hit a sharp
rock with their racquet—wanting
to put a poly into their frame
because of what they heard
watching a televised match. I
have a pretty much canned
speech that I give them, to allow
them to have the other side of
the story so that they can make a
truly educated decision about
their stringing needs.
Will this change the announc-
er's philosophy about strings?
Probably not. But it should, for
the health of our customers.
David Pavlich, MRT
September/October 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 15 www.racquetsportsindustry.com
State Sales Tax Issue
The “Our Serve” in the August
issue (“Leveling the Field”)
addresses the very complex topic
of state by state sales tax and how
it affects brick-and-mortar special-
ty shops extremely well. I especial-
ly appreciated the research that
put the dilemma in historical and
political perspective. As part of a
company that sells nationwide, this
is also an issue for us with our cus-
tomers in our home state of Texas.
President, Oncourt Offcourt, Ltd.
I N D U S T R Y N E W S
More on a
Strings are vitally important to
player performance and physical
well-being. For the first time in
many years, we are hearing televi-
sion commentators discussing the
strings that the tour players use or
the tensions or the reason for
changing racquets during a match
when new balls are introduced.
This is a good trend for the recog-
nition of the importance of strings
as a key component of equipment
with regard to performance.
As we all know, not every play-
er can get the same benefit from a
string as a tour player, so it does
remain incumbent upon stringers,
retailers, facility managers, teach-
ing pros, coaches and manufactur-
ers to provide education and
knowledge about string technolo-
gies that will improve a player’s
performance and enjoyment of the
game at all levels.
We highly appreciate the efforts
of RSI and the USRSA for suggest-
ing a campaign that recognizes the
importance of string for perform-
ance and the importance of
restringing a racquet to maintain
and enhance performance.
The TennisConnect website nicely
illustrates and provides a solution for this
challenge with TennisConnect Mobile-
Builder, a tool that converts a specialty
retailer’s website into a mobile-compati-
ble site, while not changing normal web-
site functionality. The objective is to
make standard websites, which don’t
really work on handheld devices because
of sizing issues, compatible with the
smaller viewing size requirements of digi-
tal, handheld mobile devices, like smart-
phones and the new generation of flat-
screen personal computers.
With the tools available from Tennis-
Connect, specialty tennis retailers of all
sizes now have the help they need to not
only develop competitive commerce-
enabled websites, but also digital, mobile
device compatible websites.
This circles back to allowing specialty
tennis retailers to continue and extend
their email marketing programs from
their customers’ home computers to
include their customers’ smart phones
and personal flat-screen handheld com-
While other small to mid-size special-
ty retailers in the U.S. are going to be
scrambling to find service providers to
help them become multichannel retailers,
and catch up to the rapid pace of
changes in hand-held mobile technology
for consumers, specialty tennis retailers
have a huge advantage in the established
and very affordable source for all their
mobile compatible website needs at Ten-
All they have to do is take full advan-
tage of the opportunity TIA has provided
for them. w
w The best time to send consumer emails
is between 5 and 8 p.m.—Tuesday
through Thursday, or between Friday
evening and Sunday afternoon.
w Add a line at the top of your emails,
requesting that your email address be
added to the recipient’s address book.
w Make the “from” name on your emails
your store brand, or the name of a per-
son at your store. Once you choose a
“from” name, keep it consistent. In the
split second before deciding to open or
delete, the most important factor is
whether the recipient recognizes the
name on your email.
w For your newsletter, include both a
plain text and HTML version. If you
don’t, about 5 percent or more of your
recipients will see a message with noth-
ing in it.
w Don’t use all caps or multiple exclama-
tion marks within your subject line or
body. If you do, you will trigger spam fil-
w Build your email list at every opportuni-
ty. In addition to your website, a stan-
dard request for an email address and
permission to send your newsletter, spe-
cial events and promotional information
at the time every transaction is complet-
ed, no matter how small, should be part
of your store operations. Add an email
sign-up form to your customer satisfac-
tion survey and as a part of every special
event and promotional activity your
store participates in.
w Maintain your email list and keep it cur-
The rapid pace of change in digital, hand-
held technology has impacted the process
of email marketing, and today all size
retailers, including specialty tennis stores,
are being challenged to provide web-based
mobile connectivity, including website and
s the handheld digital devices
revolution has exploded, special-
ty tennis retailers’ use of email
marketing to reach their customers will
also have to evolve and change.
A new group of service providers
has cropped up, specializing in modify-
ing retailers’ websites to be more com-
patible with the variety of handheld
digital devices consumers are using.
Another group of new service providers
will help retailers modify and craft
email or develop a proprietary applica-
tion to make retailers’ email marketing
more compatible and effective on hand-
The great news for specialty tennis
retailers is TennisConnect (www.tennis-
connect.com) can provide all the sup-
port and information they need to
initiate and update websites, find the
service providers they need and catch
up to the handheld digital devices con-
Email Best Practices
But, before we get too far ahead of our-
selves, let’s look at some important best
practices for email marketing, which
apply to both the more traditional as
well as the emerging mobile and digital
w Only send emails to persons who
have requested to receive them! This
means you need to set up the means
to ask and receive permission before-
hand. A sign-up form on your website
is a great place to do this.
w Use an email service—like IContact,
ConstantContact, or TennisConnect—
to ensure you don’t get tagged as a
w Be consistent with your sending fre-
quency—particularly with newslet-
ters. Whether weekly, biweekly or
monthly, pick a schedule and stick with
Digital & Email Marketing
With the explosion of handheld digital devices, retailers
need to evolve to best reach their customers.
September/October 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 17
This is part of a series
of retail tips presented
by the Tennis Industry
Association and written
by the Gluskin Townley Group (www.gluskin-
18 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012
Tennis on Campus
well as in-person events such as open
houses, tennis mixers and more.
One of the newer additions to the TOC
family, the tennis club at the New Mexico
Institute of Mining and Technology, came
together after using a campaign of fliers
and notices around campus. Club presi-
dent Hani Barghout said it took some
time, “but the players did come out.”
Rebuilding: A Team Effort
Rebuilding a tennis club, says Stephanie
Dudzinski, women's team president at
Duke University, can be a challenge every
September. “I think definitely if you have
new members, creating a team, not just
having players, makes a huge difference.”
Duke, she adds, is “dedicated to having
those extra practices” to bring its team
Team-building can take many forms.
Club members at the College of
Charleston have three-times-a-week prac-
tice, but also make time to just go to the
park together on weekends and hit, some-
thing they say fosters a spirit of unity.
Clemson University's club team has a
unique way of bonding, according to
senior Nathan Wood. The school fields a
very fall, Tennis On Campus
teams hit the baseline, ready to
start over following graduation of
their senior-class players. Returning play-
ers take stock of who's still participating,
and they wonder who will come in to fill
the empty spaces. And many have a
momentary sense of panic: I need to
make sure our team keeps going.
Guaranteeing continuity of a club ten-
nis team, say TOC members, involves a
three-part effort: recruitment, rebuilding
and retention. And some of these ideas
can apply beyond a college campus
Recruitment: Getting the
Many colleges use a campus-wide expo
to make students aware of the opportu-
nities for club participation. For instance,
the University of California–Santa Bar-
bara offers its Fun and Fitness Festival.
More than 5,000 students turn out to
learn about the school's clubs, including
its Gauchos Tennis Team.
According to Michael Montgomery,
co-president of the club, the festival
“really gives everyone a great opportuni-
ty to learn about things on campus. It's
not just club sports either; the school has
clubs for all kinds of interests, and it
really teaches people what's available to
North Carolina State University offers
clubs a similar opportunity when it pre-
sents its Fall Festival, says tennis club
member Tanya Bator. The University of
Alabama hosts Get On Board Day
through its Division of Student Affairs. At
all events, club representatives are ready
with information on meetings and prac-
tices, and can take down contact infor-
mation for prospective members.
Many Tennis On Campus teams in
smaller schools market themselves to
students using posters and e-mails, as
Keep Your Club Team
BY MARY HE L E N S PRE CHE R
competitive team, but is welcoming to
players of all levels, he notes. “Anyone
who wants to come out and play can.
We practice four days a week, Monday
through Thursday. Then on Friday, we
book a small gym and play basketball
together. It's bad basketball, but hey,
we're tennis players.”
Retention: Key to the Future
The challenge facing many teams is
assuring continuity following graduation
of strong players who have been active
in recruitment efforts and in team activi-
ties throughout their years as students.
In many cases, keeping a club viable
keeping up its
visibility in the
eyes of the stu-
sity of Connecti-
cut, says Sam
tinuously since its formation. “Thankfully
every year, we've gotten better and bet-
ter,” he says. Players who see them-
selves growing in skill will return each
semester, and will talk up the team to
others—those who want to improve, and
those who already have years of play
under their belts.
At Ohio University, club president
Jennifer Hoffman was faced with “a
somewhat younger team” following the
graduation of some longtime members,
but like many teams, recognizes that
underclassmen can be the key to conti-
Mark Otten, president of the UCLA
Bruins, who won ToC Nationals in 2011,
would agree with that. The star players
on the Bruins' winning team included
“two freshman girls, and two sophomore
guys, so our future looks bright.” w
The USTA’s Tennis on Cam-
pus program is in nearly
600 colleges and universi-
ties and has 35,000 student-
athlete participants. For
more information, visit
Many colleges use
expo to make
students aware of
for tennis club
\ '\).: ;_-
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20 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012
Pioneers In Tennis
"Pioneers in Tennis," an occasional column in RSI, draws attention to trailblazers in the sport. Have someone to suggest?
Making Tennis Big Business
to them the business side of tennis, that,
‘Guys, this is so you can get commer-
cials. The more people watch, the more
the television will be able to charge for
commercials and the more prize money
you’re going to get.’”
“We called him ‘the Sarge’ because
he was always barking orders,” says fel-
low former touring pro and Hall of
Famer Buchholz. “Mike was the guy who
convinced Lamar that he shouldn’t put
up all the money for WCT by himself,
that he was going about it wrong and
should find sponsors, somebody else to
put up the money. Through his passion,
Mike took tennis out of the small office
and the trunk of somebody’s car and
made it big business. He was the bridge
that made all that happen.”
When asked what he would do to
change the sport today, Davies laughs at
the difficulty of the question, ponders a
moment and then throws out yet anoth-
er business pitch.
“I really think the Grand Slams are
going to have to look at five-set match-
es,” he says. “I’m not saying they should
change to three sets, but I think they
need to shorten the men’s matches.
Television drives the business train of all
sports. When you have five-set Davis
Cup matches, for example, the network
has to devote, like, nine hours on the
first day of singles play. That’s a tremen-
dous amount of inventory and dedica-
tion. Maybe you play four sets with a
tiebreaker for the fifth, something like
The idea of a super-tiebreaker in lieu
of the fifth set at Roland Garros may
seem radical but, then again, so have
most of Davies’ other ideas.
“So many of the things that we’re
doing today are because Mike started
them,” says Buchholz. “He may have
been a rebel but, in the end, he’s been a
rebel for the establishment.”
—Cindy Shmerler ◗
greater lure of names such as two-time
Grand Slam champion Rod Laver and
his fellow Australian Ken Rosewall,
Davies secured the first lucrative televi-
sion deals with NBC. (The caveat was
that Davies had to raise the first $1 mil-
lion in advertising himself, which, of
course, he did.)
He then came up with the idea of
using yellow tennis balls, rather than the
traditional white ones, and colored cloth-
ing, all with the intent of enhancing
viewer pleasure. But there were other
problems as well.
“In those days players did not sit
down, did not have chairs on the court,”
says Davies, with a bit of a smirk,
acknowledging that today’s pros don’t
know how good they have it. “They
walked basically to the umpire’s chair,
took a drink of water, wiped down and
went to their place to play. All that took
about 20 seconds. [But] the television
people said to me, ‘What are you doing?
We have to put commercials in.’ I said,
‘We’re going to have to put chairs on
the court and hold the players.’
“Rosewall and Laver, the first time
we did this, they looked at me like I was
crazy,” adds Davies of the now-90-sec-
ond changeover time. “I had to explain
ike Davies is tired of people
mispronouncing his name. It
anyway—that even his best buddies
like Butch Buchholz and Stan Smith
refuse to call him “Davis,” the native
Welsh pronunciation, preferring instead
“Davees,” as most have referred to him
for most of his 50 years in tennis. Only
now, as a recent inductee into the Inter-
national Tennis Hall of Fame, has
Davies made it clear that he wants his
name spoken correctly.
But perhaps it is fitting that Davies’
work in the game has trumped his
name recognition. The 76-year-old
Davies is a behind-the-scenes one-of-a-
kind who, through his tennis creativity,
business acumen and sheer chutzpah,
has literally transformed the way the
professional game is played today.
The year was 1970 and “open” ten-
nis—a.k.a. paid touring pros—was still
in its infancy. Davies, once the top-
ranked player in Great Britain, had
been banned by the International Ten-
nis Federation from playing Davis Cup
and the major championships for turn-
ing pro in 1960 at age 24. His playing
days over, Davies was teaching at the
Jack Kramer Club in Los Angeles when
Lamar Hunt and Al Hill Jr. tapped him
and his marketing skills to help lead
World Championship Tennis, the inde-
pendent, renegade league that
promised players big money and even
bigger worldwide exposure.
“Lamar taught me many things,”
says Davies, who was the last Brit to
reach a Wimbledon final, in doubles in
1960, until Andy Murray lost to Roger
Federer in the singles final this past
July. “One was that there are two words
to ‘show business,’ and most forget the
So Davies set out to make the game
big business. By using the burgeoning
popularity of the sport and the even
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Welcome to The Tennis Show 2012!
e’re thrilled that you’ve
joined us for this
exciting celebration of tennis
and the tennis industry. We
encourage you to spend time
with all of our exhibitors,
see and try out new products
and services, network with
colleagues, and fnd out more about the industry and the
important initiatives and programs in the works.
Also, make sure you attend the TIA Tennis Forum for an
update on the state of the industry, the U.S. tennis market,
current initiatives to support industry growth, and 10 and
Under Tennis. The second half of the Forum will be the
induction of coaching legend Nick Bollettieri into the Tennis
Industry Hall of Fame.
The Tennis Industry Association has been very active in
helping to lay the groundwork for creating a more sustainable
future for all involved in tennis. As the not-for-proft trade
association supporting the growth and economic vitality
of tennis, the TIA remains focused on four key strategic
platforms: 1) Growth of Tennis & the Tennis Economy,
2) remaining the #1 Source for Tennis Research, 3) increasing
Awareness & Advocacy for our sport through communications
and positioning, and 4) Unifying the Industry Under One
Brand – TENNIS.
Among the strategies to grow tennis and the tennis
economy is increasing the number of frequent tennis players—
the key drivers of revenue and of long-term sustainability.
Our goal is to reach 10 million frequent players by 2020, and
we’ve been working closely with industry partners to develop
grassroots and technology programs and initiatives, including
the recently re-launched playtennis.com—a central portal to
get consumers on the pathway to more frequent play. The
site will be supported with messaging on 30 million ball cans,
1.5 million racquets, and other product packaging.
We continue to work closely with the USTA and industry
partners to support efforts to bring more youth into tennis.
The TIA has been coordinating a National Youth Tennis Retail
Promotion to educate the marketplace on the new age-
appropriate equipment standards for tennis. This effort targets
those new to the game by placing over 1 million Youth Tennis
hang-cards on racquets at retail locations across the U.S. In
addition, the TIA is coordinating the USTA Community Tennis
Equipment program, so eligible non-proft organizations can
purchase youth tennis equipment at discounted prices from
The TIA is the primary source of tennis research and
market intelligence, conducting more than 70 research reports
and surveys annually. In May 2012, we released our second
edition of the annual State of the Industry report. There’s also
an “Industry Dashboard” on TennisIndustry.org that includes
key industry performance indicators.
Coordinating The Tennis Show is one way we’re increasing
advocacy and awareness. We also distribute newsletters and
press releases to 17,000-plus industry providers and contacts,
as well as the general media. And our social media efforts
continue to expand in both scope and response, including key
messaging supporting 10 and Under Tennis. We continue to
manage the successful Cardio Tennis program and message
the health benefts of tennis: In just seven years, we now
have more than 1.3 million Cardio Tennis participants at over
1,800 U.S. facilities, plus Cardio Tennis is in 30 countries. We
have also added enhancements to Cardio Tennis, too.
One of the key factors for long-term success is unifying this
sport under one brand—TENNIS. The TIA remains focused on
bringing together various industry segments to support the
common goal of growing the game. We can achieve a great
deal by working together.
Please enjoy The Tennis Show, TIA Tennis Forum and
Tennis Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and thank
you for your continued support and for all your efforts to grow
The Tennis Show/TIA Tennis Forum
t’s time for The Tennis Show 2012, a one-day celebration of
the “sport of opportunity.”
Presented by the Tennis Industry Association, in
conjunction with the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference, The
Tennis Show 2012 will be a fun, informative time, in addition
to a great networking opportunity.
The Tennis Show is from 3 to 9 p.m. on the ballroom
level of the Grand Hyatt. It starts with an Exhibitor Show in
Salons I & II, as a variety of tennis industry businesses and
organizations display their latest products and services.
A full-size Demo Court will be open from 3 to 5 p.m. next
door, in Salons III & IV, so you can try out the newest gear from
Babolat, Dunlop, Gamma, HEAD/Penn, Prince and Wilson.
Check the demo court schedule for specifc times. (Some of
the demo times will include Cardio Tennis, too.)
The TIA Tennis Forum will start at 6 p.m. on the demo court.
USTA Chairman of the Board and President Jon Vegosen will
welcome attendees, then TIA President Jon Muir will present
the state of the tennis industry, including updates on the U.S.
tennis market and current initiatives. USTA Chief Executive of
Community Tennis Kurt Kamperman will follow with a report
on 10 and Under Tennis.
Next is the induction of coaching legend Nick Bollettieri into
the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame. ESPN tennis commentator
Brad Gilbert will introduce his former coach.
The Tennis Show exhibitor area will remain open
from 7 to 9 p.m. and will include a cocktail and
hors d’oeuvres reception, DJ, and drawings for
prizes totaling nearly $20,000 donated by exhibitors.
(Make sure you fll out the prize drawing form and
hand it in at the registration desk or TIA booth.)
Thank you for attending The Tennis Show. We hope
you fnd it entertaining, informative and inspiring.
TIA Board Members
Stacey Allaster–Women’s Tennis Association
Eric Babolat–Babolat VS SA
Gordon Boggis–Prince Sports Inc.
David Bone–U.S. Racquet Stringers Association
Kevin Callanan–International Management Group
Linda J. Clark–ATP World Tour
Tom Cove–Sporting Goods Manufacturers
David Egdes–Tennis Channel
Tim Heckler–U.S. Professional Tennis Association
Kurt Kamperman–U.S. Tennis Association (USTA)
Ilana Kloss–World TeamTennis (WTT)
Greg Mason–HEAD Penn Racquet Sports
Dave Miley–International Tennis Federation (ITF)
Jon Muir–Wilson Racquet Sports
Kai Nitsche–Dunlop Sports Group
Meredith Poppler–International Health, Racquet &
Sportsclub Association (IHRSA)
Dan Santorum–Professional Tennis Registry (PTR)
Mark L. Stenning–International Tennis Hall of Fame
Fred Stringfellow–American Sports Builders
Jeff Williams–The Tennis Media Company
TIA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Jolyn de Boer
TIA /TENNIS SHOW STAFF
Matt Allen–IT Manager
Brian O’Donnell–Business Manager
Michele Krause–Cardio Tennis Program
Ryan Melton–Operations Manager
Marty Mohar–Retail Development Manager
TIA SUPPORT STAFF
Peter Francesconi–PR & Communications
Keith Storey–Research, SMS
3 PM - 9 PM
6 PM - 7 PM
7 PM - 9 PM
EXHIBITOR AREA OPEN
Salons I & II
Salons III & IV
TENNIS SHOW RECEPTION
Salons I & II
Exhibitor Area Open
(cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, prize drawings)
The Tennis Show 2012–Schedule of Events
BOLT Sports LLC
Connor Sport Court
Curveball Inc. (SpeedFeed)
Tennis Show Exhibitors
Dunlop Sports Group
Fast-Dry Courts/10-S Tennis Supply
Gamma Racquet Sports
Human Performance Institute
Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA)
Love Tennis by Hazel
Perfect Pickup/Tenn Tube
Tennis Industry Hall of Fame
oaching legend Nick Bollettieri will become the ffth
inductee into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame, in a
ceremony that will take place as part of the TIA Tennis Forum,
which begins at 6 p.m. Bollettieri, one of the world’s most
famous coaches, will be honored for his signifcant impact
A coach, businessman, motivator and educator, Bollettieri
has worked with players of all ages and skill levels, coaching
10 world No. 1 players. He started the Nick Bollettieri Tennis
Academy in 1978, and in the process, he developed a style
and method of coaching and training that has revolutionized
tennis instruction. His Bradenton, Fla., academy was the frst
major tennis boarding school, and it changed the way tennis
was taught at the elite junior level.
“I am thrilled to be honored by the tennis industry,”
Bollettieri said. “I’ve dedicated my life to helping players of
all ages and abilities enjoy the sport of tennis. It’s quite an
honor to be recognized by the tennis industry in this way.”
“Nick is very deserving of this honor and of the specifc
recognition toward helping to pioneer the academy business,
which has not just impacted tennis in our country but driven
a business segment of our industry,” said Tennis Industry Hall
of Fame Chairman Jeff Williams. “His years of success in
teaching tennis and the related business expansion, combined
with his great support of the 10 and Under Tennis initiative,
demonstrates his ongoing commitment to driving long-term
frequent player development for our sport and industry.”
Bollettieri joins previous Tennis Industry Hall of Fame
inductees Howard Head (2008), Dennis Van der Meer (2008),
Alan Schwartz (2009), and Billie Jean King (2010). Plaques of
the inductees are on permanent display at the International
Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.
Professional Tennis Registry (PTR)
Racquet Sports Industry
Rocky Mountain Sports
Sports Essential Ltd./PLAYMATE
Sports Marketing Surveys
Tennis Industry Association (TIA)
TGA Premier Youth Tennis
The Active Network
Total Health Interactive
U.S. Professional Tennis Association (USPTA)
USTA 10 and Under Tennis
USTA Tennis On Campus
USTA Training & Facilities
Wilson Sporting Goods Co.
YTEX Strings/String Tech Corp.
With the consumer launch of playtennis.com, the TIA has set up
TennisIndustry.org/playtennis specifcally for tennis providers
to download free marketing material to use to help support the
industry-wide effort and stimulate growth for their businesses.
The web page has playtennis.com logos, banner ads and
videos, a TV commercial, hang tags, FAQs, a “checklist” with
ideas on how to spread the playtennis.com message, and
other resources tennis providers can use.
Playtennis.com allows players of any skill level to fnd
programs, courts, partners, teaching pros, retailers, gear and
more. The free site was developed through a cooperative
industry effort and will be accessible on all digital platforms.
Teaching pros, facilities, retailers, and other tennis
organizations should make sure they’re listed in the free
industry databases so consumers can fnd their businesses.
To quickly and easily sign up their business and programs
or update their information, tennis providers should visit
ore than 1 million racquet hang-cards displaying youth
tennis equipment educational messaging will hit the
shelves of mass merchants, chain sporting goods stores,
and pro/specialty tennis retailers starting later this year and
into 2013. These racquet hang-cards, which clearly defne
age-appropriate equipment, are a part of the National Youth
Tennis Retail Promotion currently being coordinated by the
TIA, in conjunction with the USTA.
The TIA also will continue to distribute 10 and Under Tennis
“Retail Kits” to authorized pro/specialty tennis retailers.
The kits include a Parents’ Guide to Tennis, Growth Chart
Wall Poster, Authorized 10 and
Under Tennis Equipment
Dealer door sticker, and
10 and Under Postcards.
retailers who would like to become
“authorized dealers” and be listed on the 10 and
Under Tennis Retail Locator should visit TennisRetailers.org
and complete the registration form.
For more on the National Youth Tennis Retail Promotion,
contact the TIA at email@example.com.
National Youth Tennis Retail Promotion
USTA Tennis Teachers Conference
he USTA Tennis Teachers Conference, which runs through Monday, Aug. 27,
at the Grand Hyatt, provides current educational resources and excellent
networking opportunities to tennis teaching professionals, organizers and
coaches. Learn, connect with colleagues and attend the greatest sporting and
entertainment event in the world: The 2012 US Open.
At the conclusion of the 2012 Tennis Teachers Conference on Monday, TTC
attendees are invited to a reception at the Hospitality Pavilion in the Chase Center
located on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.*
* Note: Admission to the reception is for TTC attendees only. Non-transferable. Day Session only on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 11:00 a.m EST. Attendees must purchase
a Grounds Pass or a ticket for Arthur Ashe Stadium for entry to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The USTA reserves the right to deny anyone entry to the
grounds of the US Open in its sole and absolute discretion.
Other sessions throughout the
three days include some of this
sport’s most acclaimed speakers
and presenters, including:
• The TTC Opening
Aug. 25, Salons III
& IV, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
will feature former
• The General Session,
Sunday, 9-10 a.m.,
will be a panel
discussion with Jody
Burlinsky, Dan Gould
and Paul Lubbers on
the topic “Teaching
and Coaching: Both
Science and Art.”
a.m., will feature
Dr. Jim Loehr on
“The Only Way to Win.”
uring The Tennis Show, members of the Cardio Tennis
Speakers Team will help to coordinate activity for some
of the Demo Court sessions. Cardio Tennis has become
one of the fastest growing ftness trends in the U.S., and in
fact has been one of the fastest growing tennis programs in the
country. Since its creation in 2005, there are now more than 1.3 million
Cardio Tennis participants.
At the show, connect with Cardio Tennis Speakers Team members to
fnd out how they’ve been able to grow their businesses and revenues,
while providing their players with an activity that keeps them healthy
and playing more tennis.
At the TIA and Cardio Tennis booths, you can fnd out more on becoming a Cardio
Tennis “Authorized Provider” and all the benefts it can bring to your business. Among the
opportunities is access to the Cardio Tennis Invitation System, which allows you to create digital
invitations to make it easier to fll classes and generate more revenue.
Also fnd out about the new TRX Cardio Tennis, which adds strength, power fexibility and
balance to the heart pumping workout. The TIA, which manages Cardio Tennis, has partnered with
TRX Suspension Training
to bring this innovative training system to the courts. In
addition, Cardio Tennis has joined forces with Total Health Interactive
a new web-based health and ftness experience for a complete wellness program.
3 PM - 5 PM
3 PM - 9 PM
6 PM - 7 PM
7 PM - 9 PM
Exhibitor Area Open Salons III & IV
3:00 – 3:20 HEAD/Penn
3:20 – 3:40 Wilson
3:40 – 4:00 Prince*
4:00 – 4:20 Dunlop
4:20 – 4:40 Babolat*
4:40 – 5:00 Gamma*
* Includes Cardio Tennis
Demo Court Open
TIA Tennis Forum
Hall of Fame Induction of
Tennis Show Reception
Exhibitor Area Open
(cocktails, hors d'oeuvres,
(see schedule at right)
The Tennis Show 2012–Schedule of Events Demo Court Schedule
Salons III & IV
Salons III & IV
Salons I & II
Salons I & II
1. TENNIS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION
2. 10 AND UNDER TENNIS
3. THE ACTIVE NETWORK
4. TENNIS ON CAMPUS
5. USTA TRAINING & FACILITIES
8. TENNIS CONCEPTS
9. VOTSA PRO
10. CLUB AUTOMATION
11. CARDIO TENNIS
12. TOTAL HEALTH INTERACTIVE
16. STRING TECH CORP./YTEX
17. LOVE TENNIS
20. PROFESSIONAL TENNIS REGISTRY
21. POWERANGLE RACKETS
22. INTERCOLLEGIATE TENNIS ASSOCIATION
23. ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPORTS
24. UNITED STATES PROFESSIONAL TENNIS ASSOCIATION
25. SPORTS ESSENTIAL / PLAYMATE
26. PERFECT PICK UP / TENN TUBE
27. HUMAN PERFORMANCE INSTITUTE
28. HEAD PENN
29. FAST DRY COURTS – 10STENNIS SUPPLY
30. DUNLOP SPORTS GROUP
31. CONNOR SPORT COURT
32. GAMMA SPORTS
33. SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS
34. TENNIS SOLUTIONS
35. PRINCE SPORTS GROUP
37. TGA PREMIER YOUTH TENNIS
38. WILSON SPORTING GOODS
Salon l Salon ll
1 Corpus Christi, 117 Executive Center,
Hilton Head Is., SC 29928
Support your industry–get involved at TennisIndustry.org
23 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012 www.racquetsportsindustry.com
f your business, club, parks & recreation association or com-
munity tennis group is not on Facebook (or Twitter), you are
missing a great opportunity to create a lasting impression on
your customers and grow your business and ultimately the game
The days of being scared about social media are over. You
should be scared if you are not on one, both or many of these
platforms. The reason is simple: People, your current and poten-
tial customers, are online—and they’re online a lot.
According to Nielsen’s 3Q 2011 Social Media Report, over 80
percent of all Americans use a social network, and Americans
spend more time on Facebook than any other U.S. website.
That same Nielsen report gave two hard stats that are key to
the tennis industry: First, adults who are active on social net-
works are 19 percent more likely to attend a professional sport-
ing event when compared to an average adult internet user. Sec-
ond, those same adults on a social network are 18 percent more
likely to work out at a gym or health club. Both of those statistics
should shock you into logging onto Facebook right now.
The thing about social media is that it represents the greatest
opportunity to engage—that’s the key word, engage—your fans in
a way the world has never seen.
Build Your Presence
Most everyone has a website now. That is a fact. But hardly any-
one goes to your website. In the tennis industry, it’s news about
players, events and new products that people want and Facebook
and Twitter have the latest news. This is where the opportunity
SOCI AL MEDI A
CAN GROW YOUR
CAN GROW YOUR
Your current and potential customers are online a
lot. If you’re not there too, you’re missing a great
opportunity. BY RI CHARD DE DOR
24 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012 www.racquetsportsindustry.com
sits ready and waiting for you. But to get started you need to be
there. If you’re just starting, claim your Facebook page and start
suggesting it to your greatest fans. You can run a few early contests
to get your fans. And as your fan base begins to grow, that is the
moment social media becomes beneficial to your business.
The ATP’s Facebook fan page recently went over 1 million fans
and it is pretty clear why: tennis fans are passionate. The ATP
Facebook page has a hybrid style of content distribution: hard
news and soft news, always with a focus on engagement.
Just like with Community Tennis Associations or court contrac-
tors, it’s not like the ATP can sell tickets or memberships. But
sports fans and especially tennis fans are extremely loyal. And it is
that loyalty that drives the ATP’s engagement. “We want to reach
fans wherever they are, and that is increasingly on Facebook,”
says Paul Macpherson, managing editor, ATPWorldTour.com &
ATP digital marketing.
The ATP builds that presence with engaging and highly
sharable content. Tennis fans love the inside scoop on their
favorite players and tournaments. “The immediacy of Facebook is
also an attractive proposition,” Macpherson says.
And it is not just the major players in the industry who have
jumped in with both feet. Some clubs across the country even post
quick updates that they have open courts, because they know their
members are likely on Facebook either at home or on their mobile
devices. Those clubs have figured out what their members want
and need, and so Facebook becomes a simple revenue driver in
Interacting With Members
What do you know about your members, your fans and your
potential customers? The latest statistics on Facebook’s member-
ship is staggering: The average age of a Facebook user is 38, there
are 425 million active mobile users, 250 million photos are
uploaded per day and there are 2.7 billion total “likes” and com-
ments per day. And chances are, those numbers will continue to
grow. How can you be a part of it?
Will Sikes, the marketing director of the Western & Southern
Open, says of the tournament’s Facebook presence, “We like to
post information on tennis that people may not be seeing that we
find humorous, interesting, off the cuff, and from there we created
a voice on the page.”
Sikes’ last point is important to note: Be who you are. You want
your social presence to feel just like they are at your courts, in your
store and at your event. The overall goal, aside from making a sale,
must be to simply engage with your fans.
In marketing and merchandising, it is all about maximizing
touch points and the experiences therein. “They (our fans) trust us
to give them fun, interesting and engaging content,” Sikes says.
That is why building a great page and interacting with your fans,
especially those that begin the conversation with you, is vital.
But being on Facebook requires a commitment. Sikes went on
to say that it isn’t something you can let your 13-year-old manage
for you. There has to be a strategy behind it. Once you have the
strategy, you have to execute it, religiously.
And that is where the eight-court Shavano Park Tennis Club in
San Antonio, Texas, has the right plan in place. “Facebook was
used for brand awareness in the very beginning. But now it is
about getting them engaged in the culture of the club,” Soeurette
Shook-Kelly says of the social media efforts of the club.
No matter the size of your business, you can start today. You
just need to log onto Facebook once in the morning, mid-day, and
then at night. If you’re going to post something, be sure you have
a few minutes to stay and interact with anyone who comments
back. You can also set up Facebook so you get email notifications
when someone comments on your page.
For many small businesses, hiring someone full-time to man-
age social media is not an option, but that’s okay. It should really
only take you a half-hour each day to get this initiative going. From
there, you suggest your page to your friends and promote it
through your newsletter, posters and event sign-ups.
Growing Your Business
Of course social media is just one way to grow your business, and
nothing beats the personal face-to-face connection of a club, the
atmosphere of a professional event and the smile on a child’s face
when they hold a racquet for the first time.
And that is the backbone to how using Facebook can grow your
business. It is an engagement platform that can be an extension of
the real-life experience someone would get from you in person.
For the ATP it is about an insider’s look into the world of pro-
fessional tennis. For any tournament, it is about providing an
inside look that a casual fan can’t get anywhere else. For a club,
tennis association, gym, court manufacturer and anyone else
involved in tennis, it is about providing great information,
resources and a link to the experiences you offer.
In some instances, Facebook acts as the virtual suggestion jar.
On E-Marketing Constant Contact’s blog, Martin Lieberman wrote
recently, “When you’re deciding how to reply to a comment on
Facebook, remember: The most important thing to do is show
Even better, when you listen, show you care. Imagine how a
potential customer or fan would feel if they came to your Facebook
page, asked a question, and when they came to you in real-life,
you remembered them because of the online interaction!
“Facebook is used to announce events at the facility,” Shook-
Kelly says of the Shavano Park Tennis Club. “And the goal is
always to engage potential members, but we don’t scream that
The same goes for ticket sales for events. The Western & South-
ern Open planned on trying different tactics for social selling for
this year’s event. It has to be a value-add without becoming adver-
So, is Facebook or other social media platforms right for you?
Sikes has a simple answer: “Facebook is a great customer-ser-
vice mechanism, for better or for worse. You have to be prepared
to answer every single question.”
At the end of the match, the tournament, or when they need a
recommendation, your fans go to Facebook and the people they
know. Be one of the people they know and your business will
Richard Dedor, a former Tennis Service Representative for the USTA
Missouri Valley Section, is a social media consultant, speaker and
personal coach. His work has appeared in Sports ‘n Spokes Magazine,
The Community Manager and SocialFresh. You can find him online at
RichardDedor.com and on Twitter @RichardDedor. He has written
one book, “Anything is Possible.”
Q & A
The USTA’s top brass answer our questions on topics
that impact many segments of the tennis industry.
s the US Open gets under way, we thought it would be
a good time to put some important questions to top
USTA leaders about a range of topics, including 10 and
Under Tennis, the junior tournament structure, tennis participa-
tion, USTA relationships, coaching, teaching pros, college tennis,
Player Development, industry relations, the NTC, perceptions of
the USTA, and plans for the future.
Taking the time to answer our questions were Kurt Kamper-
man, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis; Patrick
McEnroe, general manager of USTA Player Development; and
Gordon Smith, executive director and chief operating officer.
Q: What are key challenges the USTA and the
industry face with 10 and Under Tennis? Are
teaching pros and facilities adopting the pro-
Kamperman: As far as adoption, currently we have over
6,000 facilities that have registered on our 10 and Under Tennis
website. Red, orange and green ball sales are booming, so clear-
ly it’s taking off.
The key challenge, and opportunity, is getting clubs to go “all
in” and really offer a full complement of 10 and under program-
ming. Unfortunately, the great majority of facilities are just doing
this in a partial way, which is not what’s best for the kids or their
business. The facilities that have been really focused on offering
a complete 10 and Under Tennis pathway have seen significant
growth both in participation and the revenue they’ve been able
Q: How are the USTA Sections adapting to 10 and
Under Tennis, including the different balls/equip-
ment/courts and the rule changes?
Kamperman: All of the USTA Sections have made 10 and
Under Tennis a priority. However, consistency with the specs for
USTA tournaments at the section level is a challenge. Obviously,
we’d love to have a more standardized, consistent approach,
and we are recommending that, for most sections, 10% of their
10 and under events should use the green ball for the very top
kids in the section. The rest of the tournaments should be orange
or red, depending on the age.
Q: There has been a lot of talk about better kids
being allowed to play with the yellow ball. Is this
a real “issue” with 10U? How many kids are we
talking about, and can they simply “play up”?
Kamperman: When we started this initiative, we had only
10,000 unique kids playing in USTA 10-and-under tournaments.
Think about that number for a moment and recognize that most
major cities have more 10-and-under soccer players than we had
tennis players in the entire country. Our numbers were that low
despite having 10-and-under tournaments available for decades
and despite having many kid-focused instructional programs like
Pee Wee Tennis, Munchkin Tennis, Little Tennis, etc. over the
past 20 years.
With several million kids 10-and-under playing the game in
schools, parks, lessons, clinic programs, etc., we had far less
than even 1% of those kids playing in USTA tournaments. Of
26 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012 www.racquetsportsindustry.com
The USTA’s top brass answer our questions on topics
that impact many segments of the tennis industry.
September/October 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 27
that very small percentage playing tournaments, less than 1% of
those kids for their long-term development have any business at all
playing with a yellow ball on a full-size court. So is this a real issue?
Perhaps, but only for a very, very small number of kids, parents and
coaches who believe they might be the next world champion and
need to start training like Federer at age 9. And yes, those players
can play up and they always have.
Q: Do you feel the USTA is “force feeding” rules to
players and parents?
Kamperman: First, keep in mind my answer to the last ques-
tion. Second, the rule change was one that the ITF has required
worldwide. I would add that had the USTA not made this rule
change, we would have been neglecting our duties
as the national governing body for the U.S. The fact
that every other sport has kid-sized their competi-
tions and every member country in the ITF has sup-
ported this rule change might also be worth noting.
When you look at the population of the U.S., it’s
an incredibly small base of players and parents who
even knew what the rules used to be. That said, kids,
parents and coaches can train and play any way
they want and with any ball. However, when it
comes to USTA-sanctioned events, yes, they have to
play by the rules of tennis, which are set by the ITF
and in this country, the USTA.
The same thing is true for every age division and
is also true for every other sport. The sanctioning
body sets the rules. Before the rule change, the only
ball that was allowed for USTA-sanctioned events
was the yellow ball…only one choice. Now there are
three choices, and we feel they are much better
choices for the masses.
Q: What kind of increases do you expect
to see in youth tennis participation, and
when do you expect to see them?
Kamperman: : When we started this initiative,
we felt that increasing the number of kids in our
competitive system from 10,000 to 100,000 in five
years was an aggressive goal. We may reach that
goal this year.
Ball sales are a great metric for play because they
can be measured accurately. Five or six years ago,
the industry was selling less than 100,000 low-com-
pression balls. Last year, according to TIA census
reports, over 3.2 million red, orange and green balls
were sold to retailers, and we expect that to grow
significantly again this year. So what’s exciting is
that with ball sales growing that dramatically, there
is obviously lots more 10-and-under play, even out-
side of our USTA competitions.
Q: There is concern that the USTA is too single-
focused on 10U, to the exclusion of other pro-
grams/audiences. What are your thoughts?
Kamperman: : 10 and Under Tennis is a top priority for the
USTA as a whole, and for Community Tennis and Player Develop-
ment in particular. What’s exciting about this initiative is we have a
huge cross-functional team from all parts of the organization work-
ing collaboratively to make sure this is successful. That said, our
other key USTA programs for both youth and adults are receiving
about as much support as they have in the past and remain critical
for our long-term success. 10 and Under Tennis has the ability to
feed into all these other programs and to be a “tipping point” for
helping us fulfill our mission to promote and develop the growth of
Q: I understand the USTA is revamping the junior
tournament structure, which would result in fewer
events and smaller draws, but events that are clos-
er to home. How is this being received?
mcenroe: We are making changes to the National
Junior Tournament Schedule (NJTS), which will take
effect in 2014. While some events have been elimi-
nated, new tournaments have been created. The new
NJTS will promote earned advancement as players
will have to be successful within their Sections in
order to advance to Regional and National competi-
There has been some criticism of the new NJTS,
which has largely focused on the reduced draw sizes
of two National Championships. It’s worth noting that
there have been proposals since 2004 to restore the
traditional 128 draw to our National Championships,
and that will now take effect in the summer of 2013.
The 128 draw should make the events much more
challenging and should also make it more affordable
We’re trying to help folks plan for the changes and
our experience over many years is that players, par-
ents and coaches will quickly adapt to the new sched-
ule. The most recent evidence of this is the change to
the national ranking point tables that took effect in
2012. While there were some questions about the
changes to the tables, players have adapted well to
the improvements in the tables. There will be a two-
year phase-in of the changes and families have plenty
of time to prepare.
Q: explain the importance of doubles in
the junior ranks.
mcenroe: We do think doubles is important for
young players and we are expanding doubles oppor-
tunities as a part of the changes coming in 2014. It is
worth noting that doubles is already offered at every
tournament on the National Junior Tournament
Schedule, so the promotion of doubles is nothing
It’s no secret that there are plenty of skills one
learns while playing doubles that can help one’s sin-
gles play. In addition to the importance of doubles in
college varsity tennis, the USA has a long and strong tradition of dou-
bles play and we want to make sure that continues. Starting in 2013,
there will be a new, true National Championship for doubles and the
winning team will earn the traditional Gold Ball. Mixed doubles is
already played at our USTA Zone Team Championships (BG12,
BG14, BG16 Section team events played in July) and is very popular.
Q: explain the TGA relationship. How does this
impact local tennis providers and teaching pros?
Kamperman: TGA is a franchisor of tennis enrichment programs
delivered at schools. USTA is not a business partner with TGA, we
simply support TGA with our normal training, court, and equipment
grants if they qualify. As for teaching pros, it appears to be a great
opportunity for pros or tennis entrepreneurs to own their own busi-
nesses and earn extra money. TGA has used this model very success-
fully in introducing more kids to the game of golf, and we hope TGA
can do the same for tennis.
Q: Some critics say the USTA should not be involved
in coaching. What are your thoughts?
Kamperman: If you’re referring to coaching education, the USTA
has been involved in helping coaches for many years, particularly in
the area of high performance and now 10 and Under Tennis. We will
continue to do so, working collaboratively with the USPTA and the
If you’re referring to our Player Development Department, coach-
ing players directly, that’s really not for me to answer. However, I
would say this. When you’re watching the French Open and a TV
announcer is talking about the lack of Americans playing in the sec-
ond week, it’s the USTA taking all the heat. I’ve never heard individ-
ual coaches or the teaching pro organizations being blamed for our
lack of success. It’s the USTA as the governing body taking the fire,
so we have a responsibility to help develop more top players, work-
ing with some players directly as well as working with the many tal-
ented coaches that develop top American players.
Q: Does the USTA feel there should be one unified
teaching pro organization?
Kamperman: The USTA doesn’t have an official position on this.
We’ll leave that up to the leaders of both the PTR and the USPTA.
Q: Is the USTA going to get into the tennis teacher
Kamperman: In many other countries, the NGB’s do certify ten-
nis professionals. The USTA clearly has the resources to do this if it
wanted to, and if it wanted to, it would. However, our preference has
always been to work collaboratively with both the USPTA and the
PTR to raise the standards of teaching tennis.
Q: What is the USTA’s position on college scholar-
ships for foreign players? Is this something the
USTA can/should be involved in?
mcenroe: It’s not an issue where the USTA has jurisdiction. The
National Collegiate Athletic Association sets the rules for college ath-
letics. The sport is definitely global, and college tennis is a reflection
of that. We have a challenge and a responsibility to help develop
young players who will be able to compete at that level. If you were
to take a look at recent results and ranking for NCAA Division I ten-
nis, you will see that American players are doing quite well.
Q: We hear about college tennis programs being
dropped. How can the USTA help prevent this from
mcenroe: Obviously, we are not in favor of any program being
dropped, and we know these decisions are not made lightly by uni-
versities and colleges. What we can do and have been doing is trying
to help provide college coaches with tools that will help them embed
their programs in their local communities, such as Campus Quick-
Start, Campus Kids’ Days and Campus Showdowns. Hopefully, it will
make these decisions tougher if a president can see what the tennis
program means to the campus and to the community as a whole.
Engaged tennis alumni are also important advocates in this process.
Q: In your opinion, is USTA player Development as
effective as it could be?
mcenroe: Since the USTA made the decision five years ago to
become more directly involved in working with players by establish-
ing a full-time residence training program in Boca Raton, Fla., the
results of our younger players have been quite good, including win-
ning Junior Grand Slam Championships. With this being said, we
understand that this is a long-term project. In Player Development,
our goal is to help all American players reach their highest level,
whatever that might be and whether or not that assistance is direct
or supplemental. We are always looking for ways to improve all
facets of everything that we do. Overall, we have made some good
strides in the last five years. If you were to take a look at the results
of the players that we’ve supported and been working with or have
worked with on a full-time basis, they have been pretty good.
Q: Do you feel player Development is worth the
money that the USTA puts into it, or could that
money be better spent in other areas?
mcenroe: We take our responsibility very seriously. With the suc-
cess of the US Open, we have been very fortunate to receive some
great resources that enable us to carry out our daily mission of trying
to develop world-class American champions. We are always looking
at how our resources are allocated and most effective ways to use
these resources. Most countries and even most National Governing
Bodies in this country spend a significant portion of their dollars
towards player development.
28 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012 www.racquetsportsindustry.com
September/October 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 29
Q: What is the accountability and measures of suc-
cess that are being used with player Development?
How is the USTA measuring its effectiveness and
mcenroe: One of our most important metrics or goals is the
number of players we have in the Top 100 of the ATP and WTA
rankings. The more players that we can help get into the Top 100,
the more players there will be in the Top 50, Top 10, contending for
major titles, etc. We also take a look at the success of younger play-
ers that we have coming up through the system.
The quality of our national coaching staff is an important measure
and consideration, as is trying to help elevate the overall level of coach-
ing in the U.S. through our High Performance Coaching Education pro-
gram. Another major effort we have undertaken in the last four years
is the establishment of USTA Certified Regional Training Centers
(RTC’s). We have allocated significant resources in this area and are
partnering with existing, high-quality programs around the country to
help deliver regionally-based camps, coaching education, parent edu-
cation as well as helping to enhance the RTC’s in-house programs.
Q: It seems that smaller, local tennis pro shops are
having a tough time. What is the USTA doing to
help keep local retailers in business?
Kamperman: We want all tennis businesses, large and small,
to succeed. The best thing the USTA can do to help in this area is
to grow the number of frequent players, particularly youth. We
have the opportunity to create hundreds of thousands of lifetime
players with 10 and Under Tennis. These players can help drive
the entire industry, and in particular retail, for decades to come.
Q: What is the USTA’s relationship with Tennis Ware-
Kamperman: Tennis Warehouse is one of several online retail-
ers listed on our 10 and Under Tennis site. Tennis Warehouse han-
dled our Jr. Team Tennis jersey fulfillment, but no longer does.
Lastly, we recently did an RFP for a company to handle our inter-
nal fulfillment orders for schools, etc., and Tennis Warehouse was
awarded that business. USTA National has no relationship with
Tennis Warehouse that offers us financial gain in any way from its
sales or orders, nor have we ever had such a relationship.
Q: Cardio Tennis has over 1.3 million participants in
just 7 years, and other countries have latched onto
the program as a way to grow participation and
get people healthy. What are your thoughts on
Cardio Tennis, and will the USTA use it more in the
future to help grow the sport?
Kamperman: The USTA has invested several million dollars in
Cardio Tennis. We funded the development and launch of Cardio
Tennis and have continued to fund efforts to educate and train the
provider network here in the U.S. For the last several years we’ve
provided financial support to the TIA to continue funding Cardio
Tennis. This is another program that the USTA has funded because
we believe it will help grow participation and help teaching pros.
Despite the fact that we’ve been the biggest funder of Cardio Ten-
nis, we’ve never had a USTA logo associated with it, made a penny
from it, nor tried to grow USTA membership through Cardio Ten-
nis. We feel that the TIA is overseeing it quite well and don’t feel
we need to take a more active role.
Q: Where does the USTA see the playtennis.com
website in 5 years?
Kamperman: With all the changes in technology, and the run-
away growth of social media, it’s hard to predict what any technol-
ogy will look like in five years. That said, the primary goal of
playtennis.com is to help create more frequent players by connect-
ing players of all abilities with local play and instructional pro-
grams. We have 14 million regular players in this country who play
between 10 to 20 times a year. If we can get 20% of those players
to become frequent players, it will be a huge boom for the entire
tennis industry. We believe that playtennis.com can help accom-
plish that goal.
Q: Do you feel there are areas the TIA should
address to better help the industry grow?
Kamperman: I think the TIA’s focus should remain where it’s
always been, which is to be a unifying force that brings individual
brands together to work collaboratively on our shared brand, TEN-
NIS. In addition, the TIA provides important and reliable industry
data and research. What has separated the tennis industry from
other sports is we have competitors working collaboratively under
the TIA umbrella to grow tennis. That’s been a huge reason why
tennis is the fastest growing traditional sport in the U.S. over the
past 10 years.
Q: A $500 million long-term “strategic vision” for
the national Tennis Center, yet it doesn’t include a
roof. What was the rationale behind that?
Smith: Nothing would make the USTA happier than being able
to announce that we will be installing a roof on Arthur Ashe Stadi-
um. Unfortunately, the best structural engineers and architects in
the world have not yet been able to design a roof that works for
Arthur Ashe Stadium given the unique issues the stadium presents:
w Problematic underlying soil conditions.
w Design doesn’t allow for the additional weight; need to construct
a building over a building.
w Span and size of stadium.
w Air handling and temperature issues.
We remain steadfast in our determination to find a solution and
will not stop until that solution is found. When a design that works
is found, we will construct a roof.
While a roof will benefit the 20,000 fans in Arthur Ashe Stadi-
um, the USTA is equally focused on improving the experience for
30 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012
the more than 700,000 fans who attend the Open each year. The
US Open is not a one-stadium event. We need to upgrade the
entire USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in order to
continue to provide a level of excellence in entertainment and fan
experience. That is why we have announced a strategic vision
that plans for significant upgrades for the entire site, including the
replacement and rebuilding of Louis Armstrong Stadium and The
Q: What are some immediate changes we’ll see at
the nTC for this year’s open?
Smith: Visitors will see an emphasis on the upgrades to the fan
experience at the 2012 US Open. Court 17 is now complete. It
will be surrounded with amenities in and out of the stadium to
ensure this court becomes a very special place at the US Open.
We have torn down and rebuilt the Heineken Red Star Café. The
new building will be two-levels with a retail component on the
ground floor and an expanded bar/restaurant on the second floor.
Moet & Chandon will build a new Moet Terrace adjacent to the
US Open Club outside of Arthur Ashe Stadium, which should be a
spectacular new offering. American Express is moving, and great-
ly expanding, the US Open American Express Fan Experience.
This experience will be located in the former Smashzone area,
and will include a full-sized tennis court, hitting bays, and innov-
ative digital experiences. In short, there will be more for fans to
do in-between matches and on the grounds than ever before.
Q: What do you think of the USTA’s system of
governance, with 17 separate sections that essen-
tially function as independent businesses? Is
everyone rowing in the same direction?
Smith: As with any large organization, the USTA’s structure
provides many positives and some challenges. The positives are
numerous and outweigh the challenges. With a national office
and 17 geographic sections, we can be national in scope and local
in impact. This may indeed be one of our strongest assets. Also,
with a professional staff combined with a vast and talented vol-
unteer network, we can tap into the most passionate tennis advo-
cates across the country and impart professional expertise to
move the best ideas forward.
Of course, whenever you have an organization of our size,
internal communication is critical and can be challenging. We are
putting so many great programs into the field around the country,
and it is imperative that the entire organization understands the
breadth and impact of these programs, and the rationale behind
these programs’ implementation.
Q: How do you think the USTA is perceived in the
industry and among consumers and players?
Kamperman: From an industry standpoint, the USTA is often
in a no-win situation. We’re expected to fix/solve any and all
problems with tennis, i.e. build a roof, stop foreign players from
playing collegiate tennis, save the pro specialty store, create
American champions, etc., etc. At the same time, whenever we
take a strong stance and put resources behind initiatives that we
feel are important, we are accused of being big brother, i.e. the
USTA shouldn’t be involved in coaching, the USTA shouldn’t set
the rules for tennis, etc. Our guiding principle at the USTA is to
always try to do what’s best for TENNIS and if sometimes that
draws some criticism, so be it.
Q: What is the strategy for growing USTA mem-
Kamperman: The No. 1 strategy is to create more frequent
players. If we can create more frequent players, we’ll get our fair
share of members. We also need to continue to improve our value
proposition for providers, organizers and players of all abilities.
USTA membership is a more than $20 million business. It is
not a money-maker for national. It is a significant revenue source,
however, for our 17 sections. We are not looking to do away with
membership dues, but like any membership business, we are
constantly looking at new models that may help us provide a bet-
ter value proposition to players and organizers. Our governance
is based in large part on membership, so I can’t see us not
remaining a member-based organization.
Q: What are some of the plans for the next year?
What future directions may the USTA take?
Kamperman: For next year, 10 and Under Tennis is going to
remain a top priority. We’ll also be focusing on improving our
performance and results for our existing programs. We are work-
ing with the USTA Sections on a prioritization exercise so that we
can focus our human and financial resources on the areas that
will provide the biggest return on that investment. That ROI is not
money, but rather mission—more frequent players, more Amer-
ican champions, more programs that help kids on and off the
In terms of the future, we’re exploring a big idea for using
technology to better serve the millions of frequent players who
aren’t currently engaged with the USTA. While we’ve had several
excellent ideas and strategies this term, in January, we’ll have a
new president and new leaders at the national and sectional lev-
els. This leadership change every two years always creates fertile
ground for new ideas and strategies to promote and develop the
growth of tennis. w
32 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012 www.racquetsportsindustry.com
ou see your tennis facility every day. But do you really see
it? The image you think your tennis facility is projecting—
that of a spiffy, well-cared-for set of courts, may fall short
of that. Over time, a facility can lose its luster, not because of one
big thing, but because of many small things that wear out, wear
down and fade. You might not notice, but players, particularly
those new to your facility, will.
Want to stay on top of those little downturns? Start by borrow-
ing a new set of eyes. Invite a colleague from a different facility
to come and walk your courts, and take note of the places where
improvement is needed. Do the same for that person in return.
Three rules: First, neither one of you is allowed to get testy
with the other over any observations made; in fact, it's probably
better if each person examines the other's facility alone. Second,
neither one of you is allowed to dismiss any of the other's recom-
mendations. If they noticed it, so have plenty of others. Third,
meet at your local watering hole or coffee shop to unwind and
trade these observations. There's something about being off the
premises that makes it easier to talk.
What kinds of things will come under scrutiny? Sometimes,
things you never thought of (or perhaps you noticed them, but
thought they weren't important). And each change you make to
correct those problems, minor as you may have thought they
were initially, will bring your courts back to life and really make
w On the surface: Hard courts, whether inside or outside, will
get stains that mar the overall look of the court. Some stains are
faint (a Coke or other soft drink was spilled on the surface and
needs to be hosed off) and some are more noticeable (rust
stains around a net post, fence gate or light post). The person
who installed your courts can give you recommendations on
the best way to clean various types of stains
Other noticeable surface issues include blemishes such as
cracks, high or low spots, dings, etc. As with stains, repair meth-
ods can vary according to the problem; a tennis court contrac-
tor will be able to give specific advice.
w nets: An old net can make an entire facility look tired. Nets
with noticeable holes or rips, or nets that are faded and disin-
tegrating because of excess weathering, need to be replaced.
If all that is wrong with the net is one or two stains on the
white headband, these can be treated with a bleach/water solu-
tion, but only after the net has been removed from the court,
since bleach will cause spotting if it drips onto an acrylic sur-
face. New headbands can also be obtained, and laced over the
w Posts: According to Richard Zaino of Zaino Tennis Courts in
Orange, Calif., net posts are an often-overlooked aspect of the
court. "Nobody removes the net posts from the sleeves to clean
either the sleeve or net post in the sleeve," he says. "If possible,
the owner should remove the net post once a year to clean the
inside sleeve and paint the outside of the post with a rust
inhibitor. Then he should paint all of the net post for a fresh-
looking post. This will help to save the existing net post and get
the most from the original installation."
Another way of seeing how your net posts are working is by
checking the tension on nets. Once the tension is correct, check
to make sure the net is 36" at the center strap, and 42" at the
post. If the winding mechanism in the post has seen better days
or if the post won't hold nets to the proper setting, it's time for
a replacement or a new tensioning device. Nothing looks worse
than a net that is sagging drastically and allowing the fabric to
puddle onto the court. A court contractor can advise you.
w Windscreens: If your outdoor court uses windscreens, it
should look neat, clean and even. Inspect your entire wind-
screens to make sure there are no rips or tears in the fabric,
and no damage where it attaches to the fence. Pay extra atten-
tion to the hem and grommet areas. When the windscreen is
attached to the fence, it is imperative to make sure every grom-
met is being used with the attachment device it came with (i.e.
tie-raps, lacing cord, etc.). Ripped hems, loose grommets and
windscreen that has come loose from the fence is not only
unattractive, but can cause even further damage to the wind-
COURT CONSTRUCTI ON & MAI NTENANCE GUI DE
You may not notice things wearing out and wearing
down, but your players will. Here’s how you can
keep your facility looking, and playing, its best.
BY MARY HE L E N S PRE CHE R
You may not notice things wearing out and wearing
down, but your players will. Here’s how you can
keep your facility looking, and playing, its best.
BY MARY HE L E N S PRE CHE R
September/October 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 33
screen since loose fabric will start to flap
against the fence.
w Fence: As long as you're out looking at
the windscreen, Lee Murray of Competi-
tion Athletic Surfaces in Chattanooga,
Tenn., suggests taking some time to
examine the fence as well.
"The fencing is often overlooked," he
says. "Make sure the fence fabric is
properly tied to the posts and bottom
wire/rail. Nothing looks worse, not to
mention more hazardous, than having
the fence wire bowing out at the bottom.
Check your gates, too, since gates can
slip with time. Make certain they swing
freely and don’t drag on the court sur-
face." A bonus, he notes, is the fact that
"these items can be easily fixed by the
w Lighting: If courts are lit, check to
make sure no lamps are burned out, and
that all are functioning. According to
Bruce Frasure of LSI Industries in Cincin-
nati, "Replacing the lamps in the court
lighting fixtures may improve the light
levels by as much as 30 to 40 percent."
(You can always go through the facility
with a light meter if you want to check
for light uniformity; again, you might not
think players notice, but they do).
w Court Furnishings: If there are
tables, chairs, benches, umbrellas,
awnings, etc., check to make sure
they're clean, usable and in good work-
ing order. Maintenance as simple as a
regular wipe-down can make a big dif-
w What else? Take a look around the
court. This time, direct your attention
above the surface and below the lights.
If this is an indoor court, and there are
any windows, are they clean? Are the
windowsills cluttered or clear of debris?
Indoors or out, if there are banners,
signs or other notices hung in various
places, they should be hanging straight
and be immediately readable. A droop-
ing league banner or a rule sign that is
propped against the fence at foot level
looks trashy. And speaking of trashy...
"For heaven's sakes," says Lee Murray,
"if you put out garbage containers, then
make a commitment to empty them reg-
ularly." This also applies to recycle bins
that hold empty water bottles, tennis ball
canisters and so on.
Small changes can make a big differ-
ence in the image your facility projects.
And as we all know, image is everything.w
Photo courtesy of General Acrylics, Inc. Phoenix, AZ
Photo courtesy of Mid-America Courtworks, Wichita, KS
Photo courtesy of Fast-Dry Courts, Pompano Beach, FL
Photo courtesy of Atlas Track & Tennis, Tualatin, OR
Photo courtesy of McConnell & Associates Corp., North Kansas City, MO
34 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012 www.racquetsportsindustry.com
COURT CONSTRUCTI ON & MAI NTENANCE GUI DE
Take out your pencils. Put away your construction
books. Here’s a pop quiz to see how much you know
about tennis courts:
1. true or False: net tension should be checked regularly.
2. true or False: Power-washing can remove stains from courts.
3. true or False: Backboards and hitting walls should be placed
on the north side of the court.
4. true or False: Cracks can be temporarily addressed with a hot-
pour rubberized crack filler so that play can continue until the
builder can look at it.
5. true or False: an oil-based stain-blocking paint can help hide
marks on the court.
6. true or False: Basketball can hurt a tennis court.
7. true or False: Lines for 10 and Under play on 78-foot courts
should be white.
8. true or False: all lines for 10 and Under play are 1-1/2" wide.
9. true or False: 10 and Under lines should stop 1" short of
regular playing lines.
Take out your pencils. Put away your construction
books. Here’s a pop quiz to see how much you know
about tennis courts:
September/October 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 35
1. net tension should be checked regularly.
False. Net tension, set correctly, should not require con-
stant correction. "Lots of court owners are confused about
net tension," says Lee Murray of Competition Athletic Sur-
faces in Chattanooga, Tenn. "We suggest they set the net
to the proper height and tension they prefer, then remove
the handle. There's no need for adjusting and certainly no
need to allow every player to tinker with the tension."
Various net tensioning devices are available on the mar-
2. Power-washing can remove stains from
True, but power-washing shouldn't be attempted without
professional supervision. "If hosing and gentle scrubbing
won't remove a stain," says Murray, "they can try a pres-
sure washer, but they need to use common sense and to
be careful about doing damage to the surface, either cush-
ioned or hard. In the end, very few owners tackle this
3. Backboards and hitting walls should be
placed on the north side of the court.
True. It's not a rule, but a recommendation, at least for
those who live in the north. "Most of the time I find that
owners who install bang boards or windscreens do not
take into consideration the shading their work will pro-
duce on the courts," says Fred Kolkmann of Fred Kolk-
mann Tennis & Sport Surfaces, LLC in Grafton, Wis. "In
our part of the country, and I'm sure the rest of the north-
ern tier, when someone installs a bang board, plants
trees, or leaves windscreens up too long (or worse-case
scenario leaves them up all winter) on the south fence
lines, the result is always peeling paint in that shade
In addition, he notes, the shade keeps snow from melt-
ing, and doesn't allow surface water to evaporate as well
as it should. "When I meet with clients or give seminars,
I always mention that permanent structures should
always be placed on the north side of the courts and wind-
screens on the south fence lines should be the last up and
first down as soon as the season is over."
4. Cracks can be temporarily addressed
with a hot-pour rubberized crack filler so
that play can continue until the builder can
look at it.
False. As much as you want to hide cracks so that play
can continue, leave it open until the builder can see it and
make a diagnosis as to the cause. "A hot-pour crack-filling
product will also become tacky with heat and will not
accept acrylic coatings," says Pete Smith of the Court-
SMITHS in Toledo, Ohio.
5. an oil-based stain-blocking paint can help
hide marks on the court.
False: "Never apply oil-based products to surfaces need-
ing water-based acrylic coatings," notes Smith.
6. Basketball can hurt a tennis court.
True. The basketball itself might not hurt the court, but
players often don't wear court-friendly shoes, and those
can mark the surface. Ditto for inline skating and other
sport uses. In particular, remember that players of other
sports can sustain injuries by running into net posts, fenc-
ing and so on, and that playing area sizes will vary from
court to court. Why open athletes (not to mention yourself
as a court manager) up to that kind of risk?
7. Lines for 10 and Under tennis play on 78-
foot courts should be white.
False: On 78-foot courts with blended lines for 10U play,
the 10U lines should be distinctly different from the 78-
foot white playing lines, and should never be white. USTA
recommends they be in the same color family as the court
surface itself. In other words, if the court surface is dark
green, 10U lines should be a bright or light green.
8. all lines for 10 and Under play are 1-1/2"
True. All 10U lines are 1-1/2" wide. For 78-foot courts
marked for regular adult play, centerlines and center ser-
vice marks are 2" wide. All other lines are between 1" and
2" wide, except for the baseline, which may be up to 4"
9. 10 and Under lines should stop 1" short of
regular playing lines.
False: 10U lines must stop 3" before the white lines. (They
may not run up to, over or into the white lines, either). w
DAY oF PLAY
he US Open fortnight is a time of reflection and hope
for tennis manufacturers and retailers. Much of the
reflection focuses on dollars and how to get more of
them in the coming year. The hope is driven by how tech-
nology keeps improving the experience.
While the industry’s roller-coaster ride continues, there
are signs that (perhaps) there may be a little bit more avail-
able for everyone’s cash register. The Sporting Goods Man-
ufacturers Association recently announced annual wholesale
spending across the entire sports marketplace increased just
over 4 percent in 2011 to $77.31 billion.
On the other hand, figures collected by Sports Marketing
Surveys for the Tennis Industry Association estimate an
audience of about 27 million—down from 2009’s approxi-
mately 30 million—played tennis at least once in 2011;
about 4.8 million hit frequently, slightly on the underside of
the 5 million the game has averaged the last few years.
Hopes are high for the 10 and Under Tennis initiative, but
those newcomers have not yet begun working their way
through the system in measurable numbers.
For the entire industry, racquet sales dropped 8.7 per-
cent from 2007 through 2011 to $97 million, although ten-
nis shoe sales are up to $162 million, a 3.4 percent increase
in the same period. Measuring just the high end, specialty
racquet sales are down about 100,000 units from 2007.
While sales continue to reflect the economic challenges
of the past few years, one constant is the disconnect
between America’s premier tennis viewing event and its use
as a time to focus that interest on new products, at a time
when category sales traditionally head south for a few
months (see the “Timing Gear” story in RSI’s
September/October 2011 issue). Economic pressures have
forced manufacturers to look more closely at their market-
ing and promotion budgets, and one result is a diminishing
number of manufacturers rolling out new products or even
promoting recently tweaked products on or around the US
But, while most companies are promising their next big
product launches for the beginning of 2013, there are still
those taking the court during the Open.
37 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012 www.racquetsportsindustry.com www.racquetsportsindustry.com
BY KE NT OS WAL D
Adidas extends its Adizero series with men’s and women’s updates that are very
much part of the recent trend toward lightweight, durable and “shockingly” colorful
footwear. In addition to serving as kicks of choice for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Fernando
Verdasco, Kei Nishikori, Daniela Hantuchova and Ana Ivanovic among others, the
three stripes will be supporting sales of the shoes with in-store POP such as window
decals, Adizero booklets, Adizero specific shoe shelf wrap, a free pair of Formotion
socks with purchase and Adidas Ultimate Tees featuring the Adizero slogan “Fast On
Any Surface.” (Adizero Feather II, for men is in dark blue/running white; Adizero Tem-
paia II for women is in bright pink/white.)
38 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012 www.racquetsportsindustry.com www.racquetsportsindustry.com
The Gel Resolution 4 tennis shoe will be available in new colors following the
Open. Recognizing trends of the past few years, the palette is a bit darker
and bolder as the company continues to build its presence at the local level.
The shoes are available for both men and women. Currently the footwear
of choice for Australia’s Sam Stosur and America’s Irina Falconi, this flagship
of the Asics tennis models is the most stable of the Japanese company’s
footwear line with a form-fitting upper, a memory-foam collar and heel to
personalize a fit, exceptionally durable outsole and stability. The shoe also
is backed up by a six-month durability guarantee. (Available in titanium/sil-
ver/electric melon and eclipse/beetroot purple/silver.)
One of few companies fully leveraging the US Open to bring attention
to new products, Dunlop is introducing six new racquets in its bio-
mimetic-themed line to media and the industry during the two weeks
of play. While more than satisfied with the success it’s had since intro-
ducing the line of racquets built on the idea of taking from the best
ideas in nature, the company is adamant that the game has changed so
dramatically that it requires evermore “radical” redesigns.
The racquets feature a new naming system (“F” for players with
fast/fuller swings; “M” for medium/moderate swings and “S” for
short/slower swings), rounder heads, more aerodynamic profiles and
an upgrade of the “aero skin” that cuts down wind resistance, “self-
lubricating” grommets that allow freer string movement, and the addi-
tion of “biofibers” in the throat to further dampen vibration.
(The F 3.0 Tour has a 98-square-inch head, is 27 inches long and
weighs 11.48 ounces. The M 3.0 is 98 square inches, 27 inches, 11.02
ounces. The S 3.0 Lite is 98 square inches, 27 inches, 9.85 ounces. The
M 6.0 is 102 square inches, 27 inches, 10.5 ounces. The S 6.0 LITE is
105 square inches, 27.25 inches, 10.2 ounces. And the S 8.0 LITE is
115 square inches, 27.5 inches, 9.47 ounces.)
Boston-based manufacturer New Balance is taking a new look at how to
grow its loyal tennis audience. Promising a bigger rollout in 2013, the only
major footwear company with production in the United States will be talking
up the new and different look of its low-cut, “featherweight” 851s for men
and women as a precursor to the additional emphasis they plan to bring to
the sport. (Women’s model in blue/pink, men’s in blue/yellow.)
September/October 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 39 www.racquetsportsindustry.com www.racquetsportsindustry.com
The game-improvement Organix 2 and Organix 3 racquets (at
right) are being introduced to Volkl’s DNX carbon nanotube frame
line. The German company is also highlighting its new graphite
frame Team Speed designed for newer players. The marketing roll-
out is a full social media press, with featured placement on Volk’s
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, co-op e-blasts and
newsletters, as well as placement on the newly launched website,
catalogs, in-store posters and point-of-purchase materials at tennis
events, Volkl demo days and clinics. (The Organix 2 has a 115
square inch head, is 27.6 inches long, and weighs, 9.4 ounces
unstrung. The Organix 3 is 110 square inches, 27 inches and 9.5
ounces unstrung. Team Speed is 102 square inches, 27 inches and
9.4 ounces unstrung.)
While the beginning of the calendar year is when the majority
of its new products are introduced, Chicago-based Wilson has
timed a few additions to both its shoe and racquet lines for
the months closer to the US Open. The Tour Ikon series, the
company’s premier shoe offering, has a new choice among its
low-profile, high durability shoes featuring breathable synthet-
ic leather, mesh uppers and nanoWick moisture-management
lining. (For men, it’s in sport royal/black.)
The company also expands the racquet line with three new
models. The Juice series (choice of Feliciano Lopez and Victo-
ria Azarenka) and Steam group (endorsed by Kei Nishikori
and Petra Kvitova) were both introduced earlier this year and
now have mid-plus head-size options. (The Juice 100 BLX has
a head size of 100 square inches, a length of 27 inches and
weighs 11.3 oz. strung. The Steam 100 BLX is 100 square
inches, 27.25 inches and 11 ounces.)
The iconic Pro Staff has also been tweaked. The current
choice of Roger Federer and in earlier incarnations of Pete
Sampras, Stefan Edberg and Jim Courier, the Pro Staff
Six.One BLX is udpated with the Amplifeel handle system, a
technology featuring foam that conforms to a player’s grip,
highlights the tweaks. (Pro Staff Six.One BLX is 90 square
inches, 27 inches and 12.5 ounces.)
40 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012
strip of electrical tape inside the throat
of the racquet, then put the paper label
on top of it.
The electrical tape glue is generally
softer and easier to remove from the
You can use any size label with this
and now there are even different colors
of electrical tape available in the local
hardware store; blue, yellow, white,
green, and the classic black.
When it’s time to remove the label,
the electrical tape comes right off, along
with the label itself.
.5 sets of Wilson Super Spin 16 to:
Cristhian R. Peredo. Manassas, VA
Although I have a few dedicated cus-
tomers, I don’t typically spend all day
on my feet stringing racquets. Thus,
when I would string at a tournament,
my feet would be screaming in agony
I never liked the sticky mess left by old
string labels when trying to remove
them. Some racquets come in with a
stack of many labels, making an even
bigger big mess on the racquet.
What I've done to make it easier to
remove the labels with less mess is apply
electrical tape first. I place a long enough
Tips & Techniques
after the third day. I tried taking differ-
ent kinds of shoes, different orthotics,
sitting down as much as possible
between frames, walking during breaks,
and even taking off my shoes and work-
ing in my stocking feet. It seemed that
nothing would prevent the inexorable
spread of pain up into my legs.
Then one tournament as I was get-
ting ready to go in, I realized I was tying
my shoes as though I was going to go
play tennis, which is to say that I was
making certain they were nice and
snug. In so doing, I was in effect apply-
ing tourniquets to my feet.
As a test, I loosened my shoes as
much as I could while still being able to
walk in them.
The difference was astonishing. Fif-
teen hours later when it was time to
go home, I could actually still walk
If you find yourself in this position,
Readers’ Know-How in Action
my advice is to wear the loosest
footwear that still supports your feet.
5 sets of Gosen NanoSilver 17 to:
L. Hodges, Lucerne Valley, CA
Don’T be a buzz-kiLL
The USRSA recommends informing your
customer immediately upon inspecting
the frame if there are any structural
issues, but I would like to propose an
exception to this otherwise excellent
If you are in a setting where the play-
er has a coach or parent who is involved
in dropping off and/or picking up rac-
quets, tell the coach or parent about any
problems, not the player. This goes dou-
ble when in a competition situation.
Unless you’re on really great terms
with the player, you may be unaware of
how obsessive he is about his equip-
ment, and you probably don’t know
how many other racquets he has in
I recently had a situation where a
WTA pro dropped off two racquets the
day before the tournament started, and
on each of them the grommet for the
fourth main (the first one outside of the
throat) was pulling through the carbon
fiber. The frames had failed to the point
that the spacing on the mains was way
Instead of contacting the player who
had dropped off the racquets, however, I
tracked down the coach. On examining
the six racquets the player had with her
for the tournament, it turned out that
each of them had this same issue to
We wound up restringing the rac-
quets as best we could without telling
the player. The player went on to win
matches in both singles and doubles
with racquets that should have gone
straight to the dumpster.
5 sets of Babolat Revenge 16 to:
Alan Yoshida, Ocean Park, CA
One thing I’ve learned from talking with
other racquet technicians is that every-
one has his own way of mounting
replacement bumperguards and grom-
met strips. Some use heat guns, some
September/October 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 41
use hot water, and still others resort to
the time-honored technique of brute
force and strong language.
My personal preference is to install
the bumperguard and grommet strip
using just an awl and a bit of patience.
For me, the best approach is to start the
grommet strip at the end with the
longest grommets and work toward the
short grommets, when possible. For
example, on racquets where the grom-
mets come in two long pieces (not
counting the replacement throat grom-
met), I start at the throat end and work
my way toward the head.
On racquets with side grommets,
often there will be interlocking ends
where the grommet sections meet.
These help determine the order of instal-
On racquets with side grommets that
do not interlock, I do the side grommets
first, starting again at the throat. On
these racquets, the top grommet piece
usually has longer grommets at each
end, with the shortest grommets in the
center. On these racquets, I normally try
mounting the top piece at the center first
and working out. If this works, you can
ensure that the bumperguard and grom-
met strip are centered on the racquet,
which sometimes is difficult to do when
starting at the end. If that doesn’t work,
and if it’s easy to tell where the top sec-
tion of bumperguard and grommet strip
meet the side pieces, I’ll try working
from one end to the other … and then
I’ll make a note so that next time I con-
front that racquet I’ll be able to refer
back to what’s worked better for me in
5 sets of Luxilon Savage White 127 to:
Doug Denton, San Diego, CA
Tips and Techniques submitted since 1992
by USRSA members and appearing in this
column, have all ben gathered into a
searchable database on www.racquet-
tech.com the official member-only website
of the USRSA. Submit tips to: Greg Raven,
USRSA, PO Box 3392, Duluth, GA 30096; or
42 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012
EASE OF STRINGING
(compared to other strings)
Number of testers who said it was:
much easier 1
somewhat easier 2
about as easy 22
not quite as easy 7
not nearly as easy 0
(compared to string played most often)
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 0
somewhat better 7
about as playable 15
not quite as playable 7
not nearly as playable 2
(compared to other strings
of similar gauge)
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 2
somewhat better 16
about as durable 17
not quite as durable 0
not nearly as durable 0
From 1 to 5 (best)
Spin Potential (9th overall) 3.8
Holding Tension 3.3
Resistance to Movement 4.0
osen Sidewinder is new geo-
metric monofilament polyester
string that is made from high–
tech polyester resin combined with a
chemical additive to increase power,
control, and spin. Gosen tells us that
Sidewinder utilizes the latest innova-
tion in co-polyester technology. The
“Sidewinder” appellation means it is
extruded with a rectangular shape and
then twisted, providing a string with
maximum return of energy from the
string to the ball and massive amounts
of spin. Gosen designed Sidewinder for
advanced players looking for a power-
ful poly that provides extra spin perfor-
mance and power.
Sidewinder is available in 17-gauge
(1.22mm-1.24mm) in yellow and in
black, and in 16-gauge (1.30mm-
1.32mm) in orange. It is priced from
$13.50 for sets of 40 feet, and $155 in
reels of 660 feet. For more information
or to order, contact Sportmode at 714-
379-7400, or visit gosenamerica.com/
sportmode. Be sure to read the conclu-
sion for more information about get-
ting a free set to try for yourself.
IN THE LAB
We tested the 17-gauge Sidewinder in
black. The coil measured 40 feet. The
diameter measured 1.24-1.21 mm
prior to stringing, and 1.16-1.19 mm
after stringing. We recorded a
stringbed 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
After 24 hours (no playing),
stringbed stiffness measured 68 RDC
units, representing an 8 percent ten-
sion loss. Our control string, Prince
Synthetic Gut Original Gold 16, mea-
sured 78 RDC units immediately after
stringing and 71 RDC units after 24
hours, representing a 9 percent tension
loss. In lab testing, Prince Synthetic Gut
Original has a stiffness of 217 and a
tension loss of 11.67 pounds, while
Gosen Sidewinder 17 has a stiffness of
221 and a tension loss of 21.26
pounds. Sidewinder added 16
grams to the weight of our
The string was tested for
five weeks by 32 USRSA
playtesters, with NTRP rat-
ings from 3.5 to 6.0. These
are blind tests, with
unmarked strings in
unmarked packages. Average
number of hours playtested was 28.1.
Gosen Sidewinder has a surface
appearance that lets you know right off
the bat that it
isn’t a typical cylindrical string,
although it feels more like a textured
string than a geometric. It also seems
thick, with 17-gauge Sidewinder feeling
more like a 16-gauge string. On our elec-
tronic machine, the tension head didn’t
stop abruptly on reaching reference ten-
sion, but rather eased up to the final ten-
sion as the string stretched more than
poly strings normally do. Even with its
shape, Sidewinder crosses seemed to
glide across the mains: It’s no surprise
that our playtesters rated it highly in
Resistance to Movement. We found
installing Gosen Sidewinder very easy
for a polyester string.
One member of the playtest team
broke the sample during stringing, four
reported problems with coil memory,
one reported problems tying knots, and
none reported friction burn.
ON THE COURT
Gosen Sidewinder lived up to its name.
Our playtest team rated Sidewinder the
9th best string for Spin Potential of the
166 strings we’ve playtested to date for
publication. As mentioned above,
Sidewinder also garnered excellent rat-
ings for Resistance to Movement, often
a key component for generating spin.
Sidewinder also ranked well above aver-
age in Durability, Playability, and Power,
placing it well above average in the over-
all rankings, too.
Three playtesters broke the sample
during the playtest period, one each at
10, 12, and 15 hours.
Gosen Sidewinder 17
September/October 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY 43
Gosen will send a free set of Sidewinder to USRSA
members who cut out (or copy) this coupon and send it to:
Offer expires 15 September 2012 • Offer only available to USRSA members in the US.
USRSA Member number:
If you print your email clearly, we will notify you when your sample will be sent.
USRSA, Attn: Gosen String Offer
PO Box 3392, Duluth, GA 30096
or fax to 760-536-1171, or email the info below to firstname.lastname@example.org
For the rest of the tester comments, visit www.racquet-
Excellent spin and control. Decent comfort
for a poly.
3.5 male baseliner with heavy
spin using Prince EXO3 Ignite Team strung at 54
pounds CP (Luxilon Adrenaline 16L)
Nice pop on serves. Excellent control and
spin from the baseline. Power on groundies is
not as good as with serves.
4.5 male all-
court player using Head Youtek Six Star strung
at 55 pounds CP (Head Sonic Pro 17)
This one proves that durability strings
have come a long way. In addition to the
incredible spin and control, this string has
great all around playability.
5.5 male baseliner with moderate spin
using Wilson BLX Pro Staff Six One strung
at 65 pounds CP (Luxilon Savage 16)
Good spin and power. The thinner
gauge provides added feel. Great for high
level doubles, especially when you want to
serve wide kickers or hard slices.
male all-court player using Wilson BLX Six
One (16x18) strung at 55 pounds CP (Wil-
son NXT 16)
This is a very playable poly with great
control. It performs well even on slower
swing speeds. Tension maintenance is
exceptional. Power is above average for a
6.0 male serve-and-volley
player using Yonex V Core strung at 65
pounds CP (Yonex Cyber Brid 17)
The playability and spin are high, but
this one is not very lively. The exceptional
directional control made hitting passing
5.0 male all-court player
using Dunlop Biomimetic 400 Tour strung
at 50 pounds CP (Dunlop Black Widow 18)
I can take a full rip from the baseline
without fear that the ball is going to sail
long. This allows me to aim closer to the
lines. The feel on slow swings is not as
dead as most of the polys I’ve hit.
4.5 male all-court player using Wilson nPro
strung at 59 pounds LO (Babolat Superfine
Despite its high rating for Spin Potential,
Gosen Sidewinder’s “gentle” exterior
makes it a pleasure to install. Due to its
textured-yet-slippery exterior, Sidewinder
is an obvious candidate for those looking
for a poly to include in a hybrid string
bed. You won’t need to worry about tear-
ing up your soft nylon or natural gut when
mixing it with Sidewinder.
If you think that Gosen Sidewinder 17
might be for you, fill out the coupon to get
a free set to try. —Greg Raven◗
ndy Roddick’s foot smudged the
baseline as he served and, to his
misfortune, the official stationed
at the baseline saw it clearly. “Foot
fault!” she yelled, her voice echoing
through the National Tennis Center this
night at the 2010 US Open. With that,
Roddick snapped, serving up a petty
and prolonged tantrum, playing to the
crowd and humiliating the
lineswoman—all over a correct call.
Roddick’s explosion begged for con-
demnation. But in the ESPN booth there
was an awkward silence. The notion of
John McEnroe offering credible analysis
of a player-official conflict is, of course,
comical. His brother, Patrick, was not
only the U.S. Davis Cup captain at the
time—the success of his team depen-
dent largely on Roddick’s willingness to
play—but had recently served as Rod-
dick’s informal coach. Meanwhile, Brad
Gilbert was in a conflicted position, too.
Having once coached Roddick, Gilbert
has long been reluctant to say anything
disparaging about his former charge.
The scene was a familiar one. A year
earlier Serena Williams also launched an
ugly eruption after a foot-fault call. It
was memorably ugly, but who was
there to call her out? Not John McEnroe.
Not Patrick McEnroe, also the head of
USTA Player development. Not Mary Joe
Fernandez, who moonlights as the
USTA’s Fed Cup captain, a job that con-
sists mostly of beseeching Serena to
commit to playing every now and then.
Not Pam Shriver, who shares an agent
Welcome to tennis. The sport may
be perceived by so many as prudish and
chaste, but truth is, everyone is in bed
with everyone else. The Tours represent
both labor (players) and management
(tournaments). The USTA has a stake in
44 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY September/October 2012
sport’s growth. For one, in the eyes of
recreational players and casual fans, ten-
nis comes across as clubbish and niche, a
sport that is not big enough to trigger the
usual rules. The overarching message: It’s
“just tennis.” (Ask yourself: Would ESPN
ever allow an active NFL league executive
to serve as a Monday Night Football com-
mentator?) More passionate players and
fans are ill-served too. Lord knows what
questions aren't being asked and what
information isn't being imparted, given
the relationships and the financial ties.
Worse, the cliquishness breeds a lack
of accountability, stifling serious dis-
course and examination and the kind of
difficult discussion and inquiry that ulti-
mately help businesses grow. So long as
Patrick McEnroe is on the payroll, ESPN
is unlikely to undertake an expose of the
USTA’s difficulty in harvesting top junior
talent or the controversy surrounding the
10-and-under program. And so long as he
draws a check from the USTA, Patrick
McEnroe is unlikely to speak critically on-
air about the lack of a roof at the National
Tennis Center or address players seeking
a greater share of revenues from events
like the US Open.
Like a team in a three-legged race,
tennis stumbles and moves clumsily
when all the major parties are tied togeth-
er. To Gimelstob’s point, yes, tennis is an
incestuous, conflicted sport. But maybe
we shouldn't be so cavalier about allow-
Serving the Tennis Public?
A longtime sports journalist says the conflicts of
interest in tennis breed a lack of accountability and
stunt the sport’s growth.
We welcome your opinions. Please email
comments to RSI@racquetTECH.com.
BY L . J ON WE RT HE I M
L. Jon Wertheim is a senior
writer for Sports Illustrated.
Full disclosure: he also works
for Tennis Channel.
tournaments and the media entities. Man-
agement agencies represent players, own
and operate tournaments, and negotiate
In the media, it’s conflicts galore.
Though only occasionally disclosed,
ESPN’s Darren Cahill is on the Adidas pay-
roll. Justin Gimselstob of the Tennis Chan-
nel is also on the ATP Board. In addition to
her USTA duties, Mary Joe Fernandez is
married to Roger Federer’s agent. I don't
exempt myself here: While my day job
entails writing for Sports Illustrated, I also
work for Tennis Channel at the Majors.
The justification for these tangled webs
goes something like this: The same rela-
tionships that might compromise integrity
also help grease the skids for access. (It
stands to reason, for instance, that an ATP
player might be more inclined to accept a
Tennis Channel interview request when
one of his representatives on the ATP
board makes the request.) What’s more,
these conflicts have always been in ten-
nis’s DNA. Decades ago, it was Donald
Dell who, memorably, offered television
commentary on the match of a player he
represented at an event he was running.
As Gimelstob recently put it to me, “Tennis
is an incestuous, conflicted sport. If you
are going to allow that, you can't blame
someone for taking advantage of it the
best he can.”
Yet when tennis allows these cozy rela-
tionships, it has the effect of stunting the
'When tennis allows
these cozy relation-
ships, it has the effect
of stunting the sport’s
• Penn Internal core softening data - new Pro Penn Marathon vs Pro p
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